BNC Text HE0

King's College London: lecture. Sample containing about 6226 words speech recorded in educational context

3 speakers recorded by respondent number C349

PS2N0 Ag2 m (Segal, age 30+, lecturer) unspecified
HE0PSUNK (respondent W0000) X u (Unknown speaker, age unknown) other
HE0PSUGP (respondent W000M) X u (Group of unknown speakers, age unknown) other

1 recordings

  1. Tape 101401 recorded on 1993-12-09. LocationLondon: London ( lecture theatre ) Activity: lecture

Undivided text

Segal (PS2N0) [1] [...] back issues have turned out some previous lectures but you can pick them up afterwards rather than now.
[2] Today still unfortunate cos you've got a two page handout.
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [3] Why?
Segal (PS2N0) [4] Cos they do little trees on them which takes space.
[5] Er, well this, this is the last week at Kings term which means that this is the last lecture in this series so if you come back next week you'll be disappointed.
[6] Erm the service continues next term with me starting and then Mike taking over half way through and what I'll be doing is supplying the general two theoried two theoretic semantics that I've been talking about erm two specific instructions in a natural language I can get what six
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [cough]
Segal (PS2N0) [7] definite descriptions and names something like that.
[8] ... So today I'm going to talk about notions of structure or ... about sentence structure and logical form, so point one a reminder something that I keep saying, knowledge of language is knowledge of a bod a body of rules that assign phonological, syntactic and semantic properties to words and sentences.
[9] Thanks.
[10] You've got a box in your head and it's got rules of those three types, at least those three types ... [...] .
[11] Erm now, something that puzzled me for quite a long time when I started out doing philosophy of language er one or two years ago erm ... frequently you hear claims or we hear claims to the effect that this is a logical form of this sentence or this is the structure of this sentence, or this is the semantic structure of this sentence and I was never quite sure what that actually meant erm it's partly because ... apart from Davidson, erm a lot of people who write on these issues don't actually tell you what the background theory is and exactly what the point of the assignment of structured sentences is supposed to be, erm however after thinking about it for a while, I've arrived at the following [laughing] following general view [] there are at least three rather different enterprises er which might lead you to assign sentence structure and er one needs to figure out the relations between them.
[12] So point, sentence structure.
[13] There are three distinct projects logic, syntax and semantics which might lead you, which do lead you to assign structures to sentences.
[14] Logical structure accounts for certain inferential relations among sentences.
[15] I'm gonna elaborate on all these a bit in syntax a lot as we proceed.
[16] Syntactic structure accounts for well and ill-formedness.
[17] Semantic structure accounts for the derivation of meanings of complex expressions from those of their components.
[18] It's not obvious a priori whether all or any pair of these projects converge on a single set of structures.
[19] ... And now just to spend the rest of the lecture elaborating on what I just said.
[20] So logic first erm point three.
[21] Logic needs to account for logical relations among sentences the sort that we'll learn about in elementary symbolic logic.
[22] For example, needs to account for why if the sentence P and Q is true, then so is the sentence Q and in order to do that it assigns a certain structure, for example as on the handout in my assigned structure and brackets P Q. ... Erm ... [...] anyway erm it just has and has a separate particle operating on two distinct sentences that are not ordered ... syntax needs to account for the well-formedness of the structure, sorry [...] P and Q. The ill-formedness of P Q and ... the similar grouping of and with or that is in English [...] between sentences and where you can find one and find another ... but not with, not ... you don't say John loves Mary not Peter loves Jill.
[23] A slightly more subtle data the well-formedness of the following dialogue Sally likes Jill yes, and she likes Mary versus the ill-formedness of Sally likes Jill yes, she likes Mary and.
[24] ... Well what this suggests is that ... and she likes Mary accounts as a legitimate string with and at the beginning of the sentence, but she likes Mary doesn't, so you can't stick and at the end of the sentence.
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [...]
Segal (PS2N0) [25] Thanks for [...] .
[26] Okay, erm ... okay moving on to semantics, we're half way through point three.
[27] Semantics needs to account for our understanding of P and Q on the basis of our understanding of P, Q, and and.
[28] It might just assign a structure P and Q, three separate constituents between their [...] structure.
[29] In each case the assignment is part of a large theory with its own particular data and goals.
[30] So it's a priori possible that the three projects don't converge.
[31] Erm ... okay I'm going to talk about syntax mostly erm is everybody happy with the, the role that the assignment of structure plays in, in logics and semantics?
[32] I'll come back to semantics a bit at the end.
[33] But if you remember your symbolic logics there should be no problems.
[34] That rules ... deduction rules of whatever kind er derivation rules or [...] rules er ... applied to sentences in logic on the basis of the structure [...] brackets what kind of connectives you have and so on.
[35] ... Okay.
[36] Semantic syntax and then afterwards the relation between syntax and semantics so I'm actually going to do some real syntax.
[37] Lesson one in syntax.
[38] Point four erm sentences are made up of noun phrases and verb phrases ... those phrases can be composed of intransitive verbs standing alone, or transitive verbs and objects ... so you can have four, the structure what sounds like Florence smiled actually has a structure as on the handout ... in the sentence composed of a noun phrase and a verb phrase, the noun phrase contains a single noun Florence and the verb phrase contains a single verb smile or you can have something like four two, Florence teased Dougal and there the verb phrase contains the verb teased and another noun phrase containing the single noun Dougal.
[39] Okay, that's [...] the question is why, why does it have that structure?
[40] It might be that the subject noun and verb phrase go together to form a constituent, so you have Florence teased Dougal or the structure might not be that [...] it might just be ... three separate constituents with no firm structure [...] forming a further constituent, so why that structure?
[41] Okay, well I shall now give you evidence for that some which is straightforward, some which is a little bit more subtle.
[42] So point five, evidence for verb phrase structure.
[43] ... First of all ellipsis.
[44] This is where you drop something from a sentence or phrase and you leave a word or a phrase out.
[45] You can often allow a verb and an object together, but never a subject and a verb, so sentence three and five you can say Florence said she teased Dougal and she did, I E she did tease Dougal, but ... sentence four is ill-formed.
[46] Florence said she teased Dougal and Dougal, which is what you'd get if you allowed it and Florence teased, so you can allow teased Dougal, but you can't allow Florence teased.
[47] So here's the hypothesis to explain that ellipsis is confined to constituents ... where constituents are just what they sound like, genuine components of a larger thing which is signalled by sticking brackets, labelled brackets round them so they make a phrase [...] and you can do certain things with them.
[48] ... Okay.
[49] Second, four B, erm the proform substitution where a proform is like a pronoun or a proverb or ... if you fancy a pro-sentence ... erm sentence five Florence teased Dougal, and Brian did so too ... did so means teased Dougal the sentence for that is a proform.
[50] That's fine but sentence six Florence teased Dougal, and did so Brian too ... doesn't sound right ... but notice that's exactly what you would get if you could substitute the proform for ... a subject verb construction and then it would mean Florence teased Brian too.
[51] ... Okay?
[52] C, the third piece of evidence idioms tend to be either whole sentences or noun phrases or verb object instructions, but never verb subject or rather subject verb instructions.
[53] When an idiom is just ... something that has the form of, has a certain apparent grammatical form but actually occurs just as a single unit of a fixed meaning, so it has no genuine ... semantic structure from which you can determine its meaning, for example kick the bucket means die and you don't get that [...] in the meaning of kick the bucket.
[54] ... but notice kick the bucket appears as a verb phrase and eat humble pie, get your knickers in a twist and so on.
[55] So if you just generally think about the [...] idioms like that, frozen pieces of language and fixed meanings you'll find they come in formed sentences and subject expressions and verb phrases ... but not subject verb.
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [56] Could you say I walk, I walk?
Segal (PS2N0) [57] I walk?
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [...]
Segal (PS2N0) [58] By idiom?
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [59] Yeah.
Segal (PS2N0) [60] Erm ... well really ... it's just what I said, it's er ... roughly speaking it's when er a string of words doesn't have the meaning you'd expect on the basis of the standard semantics of the language, but rather has a fixed ... different meaning and whenever there's any apparent structure in it, I E several words, er, their, their normal meanings are irrelevant which is the meaning of the whole phrase.
[61] So like I said kick the bucket, the meaning of that idiomatically is just die, sorry die.
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [62] It's a metaphorical meaning originally?
Segal (PS2N0) [63] Er, it might be I don't know in this particular case.
[64] It often comes about that way, it starts as a, a metaphor and then gets frozen.
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [65] What do you mean subject verbs and [...] ?
Segal (PS2N0) [66] Er ... what I actually mean is whenever you have an idiom, you can substitute in the position of a whole sentence or of a verb phrase, but you can't substitute it for a subject and a verb, leaving the object of the sentence intact.
[67] Yeah, so, so ... Okay then the general [...] I'm [...] for is that in a subject verb object sentence ... there's very important sense in which the verb and the object go together, they form one unit and one constituent of a sentence, whereas ... subject and verb don't.
[68] ... So in point of fact idioms is ... you'll find that they always fit in either this slot or in this slot, but you won't find an idiom which has to form such that if you remove the subject and verb from a sentence you can stick the idiom in there and it will make sense.
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [...]
Segal (PS2N0) [69] You're the literary one.
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [...]
Segal (PS2N0) [70] [...] A, because it's not an idiom, and B even if it were it would be a whole sentence, because walk is intransitive.
[71] ... Well think about it I mean ... there might be one, in which case we have to do a little bit er [laughing] dancing around []
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [72] Why doesn't the idiom just take the place of the verb, because if you get rid of the object [...] as well?
Segal (PS2N0) [73] Well it's a verb phrase so erm ... they just, all that means is if you take a subject expression and well, what goes, what goes after such expression is a verb phrase, that my opinion [...] not just you know [...] .
[74] ... So, although ... in all these three, kick the bucket, eat humble pie, get your knickers in a twist er all look like fairly complex transitive constructions.
[75] They look as though they [...] they don't really they [...] actually intransitive.
[76] So that's okay, the point is that they can substitute in a sentence [...] intransitive verb or transitive verb object [...] grammatic [...]
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [77] How about erm God smiled upon John, God smiled upon someone?
Segal (PS2N0) [78] Er ...
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [79] Meaning he was talented.
Segal (PS2N0) [80] ... Mm, yeah, good.
[81] ... I don't know, I'll think about it.
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [laugh]
Segal (PS2N0) [82] Very good
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [...]
Segal (PS2N0) [83] [laughing] Well [] unfortunately if they're idioms, then they do.
[84] God smiled upon him, er ... [...] idiom?
[85] It does seem to be doesn't it?
[86] ... Because if you substitute something into the God, it doesn't really work or smiled upon ... fortune smiled upon him.
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [...]
Segal (PS2N0) [87] Fate smiled upon him.
[88] Yeah, it's not an idiom.
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [laugh]
Segal (PS2N0) [89] Notice it really isn't smiled upon, smiled upon is one, is the idiom.
[90] [...] so that's just a, a verb and then you can put, put in anything such that if such thing smiles upon you, you are blessed, God, destiny, fate, fortune.
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [91] I'm sure there are things about [...]
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [laugh]
Segal (PS2N0) [92] Well there might be er ... and that's the trouble when one starts doing philosophy and there's real study of language, it gets really difficult.
[93] Erm okay, moving on to point six, and now we soon get a little bit fancy.
[94] This is more evidence for ... the claim that you get a verb phrase in a sentence [...] erm, but it introduces, er ... it's also an example of how you can account for grammatical phenomena in terms of er structural relations in sentences and large expressions.
[95] So, point six erm ... okay ... look at the sentences one and two under six, one is apparently ill-formed, herself left, except in ... I think some Irish dialects ... actually yes, well it has a rather special meaning ... where herself is given special status ... erm in the context, but in normal English, English herself left is ill-formed, but two, Florence saw herself is fine ... herself is a reflective pronoun refers that herself ... [...] each other or one another, the other are reflective pronouns.
[96] ... Erm and then if you move on to sentences four and five underneath them ... er anyone left ... is ill-formed, but no one saw anyone is fine.
[97] Still, ideas that the reflective pronoun herself and the item anyone which is called a negative polarity item, the item anyone needs to have something else in the sentence in order to license them ... they can't just occur freely ... in the normal position for er nouns, even though they are nouns.
[98] ... So Florence licenses herself and Florence [...] herself and no one licenses anyone in [...] anyone.
[99] Okay, but the item that licenses them ... the other licensing sentence you need ... in order to license these items, you can't just go anywhere in the sentence ... so sentence three, herself saw Florence is no good, even though Florence is there, it's in the wrong place relative to herself and similarly six, anyone saw no one is no good, even though no one is in the sentence.
[100] ... So what we need to do is you need to figure out ... what kind of items license erm ... reflects the pronouns like herself and make it a polarity items like anyone.
[101] What kind of items license them and where do they have to be in the sentence.
[102] ... Well the position ... the relative position is to find in terms of pre-structural notions.
[103] Erm, okay the [...] notation for Flo Florence teased Dougal is it can be expressed, converted directly into the explicit tree notation on the handout.
[104] That just depicts the same structure in terms of constituents and sub-constituents, so the whole thing is a sentence which in the bracketing notation just has the sentence with its bracket and the other bracket's way down the other end, and this is mirrored by ... the label sentence occurring at the top of the tree, it means it covers everything below it roughly.
[105] The sentence is divided into noun phrase and a verb phrase ... and so on verb phrase [...] .
[106] That's just a bracket notation ... made more explicit.
[107] Okay, we can now define certain pre-structural ... relations which we'll then use to explain the behaviour ... of things like herself ... so it's only over ... okay, and node X dominates a node Y right, where a node is the point where a label appears, sentence node, [...] node and so on.
[108] So node X quote dominates a node Y if and only if there's a path leading down the tree from X to Y. It's straightforward, just means it's higher up ... in the tree, and there's a path connecting them.
[109] Okay, we can now define a further notion called C command ... the phrase X ... C commands a phrase Y, if and only if A ... neither of X nor Y dominates the other ... so neither is [...] directly above the other and in the path ... and B, the first branching node is dominating X, also dominates Y ... so let's find out if X and C commands to Y, you go up the tree from X and you find the branching node, the first branching node dominating X and see if that node also dominates ... Y. ... Okay.
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [...]
Segal (PS2N0) [110] Well I've just defined it as [...] constructural notion and am now going to show the point, having done that.
[111] What C command really is is a scope, it's er syntactic correlate in the notion of scope from logical semantics.
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [...]
Segal (PS2N0) [112] No, I don't think C means anything.
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [...]
Segal (PS2N0) [113] It's erm [...] terminology ... it comes along with government binding.
[114] Dominant.
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [laugh]
Segal (PS2N0) [115] Which is if, I mean ... when he was giving lectures in government and binding, [...] people would ... [...] invited him would put up posters [...] saying [...] government and binding so he got all the wrong audiences.
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [laugh]
Segal (PS2N0) [116] It was quite a serious problem I mean that you, you get hundreds and hundreds of people in a room [...] to get jobs to talk about politics and he'll start [...]
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [laugh]
Segal (PS2N0) [117] Okay.
[118] What's the point for a C command?
[119] Well, well the main point is that actually it's the proper, er syntactic definition of scope ... and, but in this context it'll explain stuff about, er negative polarity [...] pronouns.
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [...]
Segal (PS2N0) [120] Yeah.
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [...]
Segal (PS2N0) [121] Yeah.
[122] So if you look at the tree T one [cough] okay.
[123] Florence C commands both saw and herself because if you go up the tree from Florence you find the first branching node, that's the S node ... and that dominates both saw and herself.
[124] Okay and saw C commands herself because if you go up the tree from saw to the first branching node, you'll find that branching node also dominates herself.
[125] Okay, but saw doesn't C command Florence because the first branching node dominated saw, it's a verb phrase and that doesn't dominate Florence, it's on the wrong branch.
[126] ... Okay, so the, the reflective pronouns require a C commanding antecedent, antecedent really is just [laugh] a noun phrase from which it can get its reference like herself back to Florence.
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [127] [...] Florence er C commands Florence [...]
Segal (PS2N0) [128] Er ... er ... yeah I think it does actually ... erm, yeah cos Florence doesn't dominate Florence and the first branching node dominates Florence dominates Florence erm,
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [...]
Segal (PS2N0) [129] Okay, now I've just used this one example, but if you look at erm ... each other and one another there is also a reflective pronoun to find that they work in the same way in the appropriate antecedents and it also works for quantifier pronoun relations [...] every girl admires herself ... which is fine but herself admired every girl doesn't make a whole lot of sense.
[130] ... So I just picked two examples, but you'll find that they generalize a [...] some interest.
[131] Okay, negative polarity items, that's the ... anyone case, they require a C commanding trigger, so if you go on to tree T two, no one saw anyone, no one C commands anyone ... but notice if you reverse that and you had anyone saw no one, with no one in object position, anyone subject position ... no one would then not C command anyone.
[132] ... So that would predict what we found, that anyone saw no one is ill-formed.
[133] This also generalizes er ... the trigger, is basically some kind of negative element.
[134] People, I don't think anybody really knows how to define the notion of trigger properly, but there's always some negative connotation like no one erm ... and you can say I don't like anyone, but you can't say I like anyone.
[135] Well you can actually, but you can't say ... I like you any more ... but you can say I don't like you any more. ...
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [...]
Segal (PS2N0) [136] Erm, well C commands [...] roughly it's just a noun phrase, which can endow the pronoun with a reference or an interpretation, so if Florence saw herself ... Florence is a noun phrase and gives herself the reference [...] Florence.
[137] It does work for quantifiers [...] ... Every doe saw herself ... and there the interpretation of herself is like [...] in logic.
[138] ... Every X, X doe ... X saw herself ... cos all the does are standing around looking at the lake, seeing their reflections ... so there [...] is just a quantifier.
[139] ... Herself ... works very much like a [...] variable from logic.
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [...]
Segal (PS2N0) [140] Erm
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [...]
Segal (PS2N0) [141] Right, no one itself isn't a negative polarity item
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [cough]
Segal (PS2N0) [142] [...] negative polarity item is the one that needs to be licensed by something else.
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [...]
Segal (PS2N0) [143] Given them the negative polarity item ... I give a damn.
[144] I don't give a damn.
[145] Actually the trouble is the grammatic ones is people deliberately messing about, especially Americans. [laugh]
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [146] How about erm the grim reaper called upon you can't do that the same thing as God smiled upon?
Segal (PS2N0) [...]
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [...]
Segal (PS2N0) [147] The grim reaper called upon.
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [148] Yes, it's different because the
Segal (PS2N0) [149] First of all the grim reaper ... [cough] grim reaper's just a name for a fictional being and I think that [...] is a normal [...]
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [150] Yeah.
Segal (PS2N0) [151] It just means the grim reaper [...] has been called upon ... probably just means called upon.
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [...]
Segal (PS2N0) [152] [...] since you know what the grim reaper does when he or she calls upon you.
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [153] Yeah, but whole thing is an expression and you can change the object.
Segal (PS2N0) [154] [sneeze] I think you can change also, expressions ... [sneeze] [...]
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [155] But that doesn't mean
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [...]
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [156] Well, maybe.
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [157] Well let's say this, okay I just don't accept it.
[158] I mean let's say this
Segal (PS2N0) [sneeze]
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [159] erm, let's say that ... erm ... erm the crow sang his name, was an idiomatic expression meaning er that his time was up, he was, he was, he died, so he sang his name.
[160] Erm, now you couldn't do that with that and that sounds intuitively like the kind of expression that we might have, just because I can't think of one doesn't mean that [...]
Segal (PS2N0) [161] But that's a whole sentence
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [162] Erm, the grim erm, the, the crow sang John's name, the crow sang James' name ... do you know what I mean?
[163] And that doesn't sound funny at all.
[164] We must have some like that.
Segal (PS2N0) [165] ... [cough] Erm ... Well that's tricky, because the, the object ... isn't what goes in here [...] erm it's actually the whole thing.
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [166] Yeah.
Segal (PS2N0) [167] The crow's name.
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [168] But that doesn't destroy [...] ... I mean as soon as the class is over, I'll think of one, that's the problem, or in the middle of the night
Segal (PS2N0) [169] Mm well maybe, I mean [...] to come up with a, a clear example.
[170] It doesn't matter a whole lot, I mean because the ... er, all it would show is that ... metaphors needn't take the form of constituents in sentences.
[171] Sorry, not metaphors, idioms, sorry.
[172] It wouldn't show that the verb phrase wasn't a constituent.
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [173] And does this er, does this only matter when the subject [...] have an object that, that is [...] ?
[174] Because I mean there's plenty of epigrams like a rolling stone gathers no moss, but that's a subject not a verb, and it's actually saying something totally different, or every time
Segal (PS2N0) [175] Er
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [176] about the situation and sort of used [...] in a sense about somebody's situation.
Segal (PS2N0) [177] Yeah, it's just, just that's the whole sentence.
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [178] Yes.
Segal (PS2N0) [179] A rolling stone gathers no moss.
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [180] But it's [...] and a verb which are idiomatic and are used.
Segal (PS2N0) [181] [cough] Well the whole, the whole thing is a single idiom in that case.
[182] I just wanna go over the form of the argument erm ... [...] subject [...] object.
[183] ... Now, the, there, it appears that there's a whole variety of phenomena er ... which suggests that sentence divides up in this way and that can be explained on hypothesis [...] we just call such a division a constituent, and then we stipulate that, as certain operations can only apply to constituents.
[184] We suppose that's a rule in our minds and that explains our judgments ... about for example and proform substitution and so on that's [...] so we define the notion of a constituent plus label it with brackets, and then we make certain predictions about operations that can or can't be performed on.
[185] Okay, now one of the predictions made is that metaphors to, sorry idioms to form into this plus.
[186] That might turn out to be wrong, but that wouldn't impugn the other data the stuff about, er [...] proform substitutions and particularly erm ... the stuff about reflexive pronouns and polarity items, yeah, that's why it's not, it's not actually crucial.
[187] But of course if, if you start, if you find that the other evidence dissolves as well, then, then you give up eventually.
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [...]
Segal (PS2N0) [188] Yeah, the whole sentence is, is a constituent itself er it and can be a constituent of larger sentences obviously.
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [189] It's just that it's the [...]
Segal (PS2N0) [190] [...] yeah.
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [191] It just can't be, be the, I mean if you think of all the, I mean like say you've got a, a, a sort of er cockney expression for if he's got syphilis might be something like you know Johnny Rotten's kissed him or something you know, there must be things like that, you know, there must be loads of things like that.
[192] You know, there must be loads of things like that.
[193] I mean that just sounds like familiar you know, I mean not that
Segal (PS2N0) [...]
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [194] Ha?
Segal (PS2N0) [...]
Segal (PS2N0) [195] No, Johnny Rotten kissed object.
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [196] Yeah, but it's what you're standing in, in well
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [...]
Segal (PS2N0) [197] Yeah.
[198] The subject and verb stay the same the object [...]
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [199] [...] subject and verb by themselves which [...]
Segal (PS2N0) [200] Well Johnny Rotten kissed
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [201] That's it, yeah
Segal (PS2N0) [202] Yeah, and then the idea is the verb you plug in there, whatever then you plug in there is fine.
[203] You then get a grammatical sentence and means this person.
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [204] [...] syphilis
Segal (PS2N0) [205] You're right, it doesn't sound odd, but then the question is why does this all really occur?
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [206] It does really occur, I'm sure if it doesn't sound odd, it must occur
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [laugh]
Segal (PS2N0) [207] If it doesn't sound odd, you'd expect it to occur.
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [208] I'm sure it does.
Segal (PS2N0) [209] I know that.
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [laugh]
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [...]
Segal (PS2N0) [210] Yeah.
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [211] [...] how would you [...]
Segal (PS2N0) [212] We'll be just like T two with no one and anyone reversed.
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [213] Yeah, but [...]
Segal (PS2N0) [214] Yeah, but the, the claim is that ... anyone needs to be licensed ... by the C commanding trigger which is no one and the point is that erm ... anyone will then not be C commanded by no one, because no one is too far down the tree.
[215] ... Erm ... but notice if you stick an if in, you have if anyone saw no one, then I'll be surprised, [...] that does actually make sense.
[216] ... [...] If nobody saw anybody yesterday I'd be amazed ... it's fine [...] because if is the legitimate trigger and it would C command no one.
[217] ... Okay, erm, just carrying on quickly [cough] it's very hard to see how you could account for erm the stuff about reflectives and the polarity items ... if you didn't have the structures of the kind you get with T one and T two on verb phrases, erm and the reason's just ... erm you want that kind of a symmetry ... between say Florence and herself ... between their positions in the tree and no one and anyone except you can't reverse them, things like that.
[218] If you had less structure as in T three ... which is a ternary branching tree, instead of binary branching ... be just an N P B N P, it's real hard to see how you can account for the data.
[219] You can try it of course, you can try and use erm linear ordering and things like to explain the data ... just turns out often these doesn't work.
[220] ... So now point seven.
[221] Neither semantics nor logic ... requires V P structure, a priori, that is there's no particular reason why you'd expect verb phrase structuring in particular from either of those two enterprises, because either could get by with ... er ... either the flat structure Florence teased Dougal, that's the structure in T three ... three separate constituents, or teased Florence Dougal where teased is one constituent and Florence Dougal is another which is the way we most standardly do it [...] calculus ... and that works fine.
[222] So erm, if you're looking, if you're looking for semantic structure, which is ... any structure such as and you then provide interpretations for parts of sentences and rules are getting sentence meaning from word meaning in the structure, you can get by with crude structures that don't discriminate very much ... and the same applies to logic.
[223] ... When you do syntactics, you get finer structures, more detailed, more complex.
[224] ... So now, what are the relations between them erm we talked about the logical bit last time, but about semantics and syntactics and [...] point eight.
[225] Well here's an actual hypothesis to make, semantic structure just the syntactic structure.
[226] Why?
[227] Well, A, this would be an economical and elegant way for our knowledge of language to be organized.
[228] Syntactic structure does appear to be suitable for semantic purposes, one can develop compositional semantic rules that apply to syntactic structures.
[229] ... Basically because in syntax you get all the structure you need for semantics and some more, which doesn't do any harm.
[230] Now, suppose you are designing a language learning and using machine ... you really wouldn't want to have separate levels of structure for syntax and semantics.
[231] It would be pointless it would be messy it would be inelegant and it would create the problem of the relations between the two, you'd have to have transformations to get you from one to the other.
[232] So the first thing you'd expect on just ... by the false but enormously appealing principle that the world is simple and elegant, is there is just one level of structure there.
[233] ... It's a terrible thing actually, because you always ... [...] pretty much er once they work, once they [...] to the data and people still worry about it, why have [...] rather than some other.
[234] They [...] it's simple, it's nice, it's elegant ... and it's not an item at all unless you have a further premise that the world itself is simple, nice and elegant and [laughing] you have no reason [] to believe that at all, but since that applies across all sides, I think linguistics is in no worse shape.
[235] Okay, secondly and more importantly eight B [cough] the idea that syntactic and semantic structure are the same, or rather that semantics just works over the syntactic structure, erm that would help solve the acquisition problem.
[236] [cough] Remember the acquisition problem infants acquire language on the basis of minimal evidence, that's called a poverty of stimulus problem, which I talked about a bit in lecture one or two.
[237] It's just it's very very very ... well, put it this way, children seem to learn language very very very very quickly and they've got very very very little data to go on when they learn the language. ... [...]
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [cough]
Segal (PS2N0) [238] small number of sentences [...] number that they come out [...] understanding and that's rather mysterious ... So to explain just in general terms, you're interested in describing language in such a way that ... it's the kindest thing that's easy to learn, rather than hard to learn.
[239] ... That's the basic idea and the fact that we do actually learn, becomes less mysterious.
[240] So now, if syntactic and semantic structure are the same ... then both kinds of evidence, both semantic evidence and syntactic evidence will, will constrain the choice of structure.
[241] One of the things the kid's got to do ... [...] learn his language [...] sentence ... and in the context he can figure out what the sentence has to mean, like radical interpretation ... [...] kid, the kid is sitting playing on the floor, a rabbit's bounced by and the mother goes [...] .
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [laugh]
Segal (PS2N0) [242] Okay.
[243] Erm, the kid's got to figure out if it's going to use that to project the other sentences then it might come across [...] it's got to, it's gotta decompose that into structure.
[244] Right.
[245] That's one of the important tasks.
[246] Well, if there's only one level of structure then evidence about the [...] and evidence of that meaning are both going to bear on that.
[247] [...] the same structure.
[248] If there were two levels of structure, the task would be much much harder.
[249] ... Okay, so language would be much easier to learn if this hypothesis were true, rather than if it were not true. ...
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [...]
Segal (PS2N0) [250] Er, for example?
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [...]
Segal (PS2N0) [251] More or less yeah.
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [252] Yeah, [...]
Segal (PS2N0) [253] Are they a related meaning?
[254] I mean
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [255] Yeah
Segal (PS2N0) [256] It might just be a case [...]
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [...]
Segal (PS2N0) [257] Yeah
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [...]
Segal (PS2N0) [258] Yeah, obtained, just ... they're just photographs.
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [...]
Segal (PS2N0) [259] Words that are spelt and sound the same just like [...] and [...]
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [260] How about identifying the normal [...] and identifying the philosophy?
Segal (PS2N0) [261] Erm ... what's that going to find the philosophy say?
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [262] [...] identify it.
[263] Er, well as in the English you'd probably say if you didn't study philosophy, you'd say [...] were identified as Venus, but it's not the same thing.
Segal (PS2N0) [264] Er, yeah.
[265] ... It's just I mean as philosophy just very standardly takes ... words from ordinary language gradually gets a technical meaning, er which is different from the original meaning and then when ordinary speakers use it in the original meaning they get told off.
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [laugh]
Segal (PS2N0) [266] Er, that's I mean, I think ... if you really, in these cases you have to count them as different words ... just like I mean maths and physics doesn't mean what maths used to mean in English.
[267] Energy certainly doesn't.
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [268] [...] necessary
Segal (PS2N0) [269] Necessary er ... all those things.
[270] It's hard, I mean it's, it's difficult to tell, difficult to decide when the meaning has actually changed ... it's a notoriously hard problem, which nobody really knows how to solve in the principle way.
[271] Nevertheless sometimes it clearly has and other times it clearly hasn't, so there does seem to be a line there, even if we don't yet know, we certainly have to draw it.
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [...]
Segal (PS2N0) [272] Mm.
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [...]
Segal (PS2N0) [273] Erm ... I don't know if [...] I mean remember that in order to do any compositional semantic theory, you have to assign structuring.
[274] Remember the little truth theory that we did in lecture two or three, or when you do semantics in logic by swinging two model theories, when you interpret the expressions of a logical language, you have to assign a structure ... and, er ... the claim here is just that the natural language, that structure, structure that the semantic interpretation rules apply to, it's just the syntactic structure.
[275] ... Is that okay?
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [276] Yeah, [...]
Segal (PS2N0) [277] It does, I mean it's ... it wasn't clearly formulated until er about nineteen sixty eight I think by Gilbert Harman
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [...]
Segal (PS2N0) [278] Davidson ... Davidson kind of claims this in semantics in natural languages which I suggested that you read, but Davidson puts the claim the other way round, that is there's no more syntax than that structure needs in semantics and that's just false, that's just false because ... you're not going to account for all the data I've been talking about, about verb phrases.
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [...]
Segal (PS2N0) [279] Semantic structure?
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [280] Er, yeah, it doesn't really er [...]
Segal (PS2N0) [281] But Davidson actually makes the claim that you to assign no more structure than what's required by a truth theory just to get the [...] coming out right.
[282] Don't ask me what truth theories.
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [laugh]
Segal (PS2N0) [283] Okay.
[284] Davidson says, I think he actually claims all you need to do is, is to develop your compositional semantics to get the truth theories coming out right and that's the only notion of structure you need.
[285] He doesn't really, doesn't seem to have room for his idea of having independently motivated syntactic structure ... I don't know why cos [...] simple idea, but I think ...
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [286] But is it true about the semantic structure where you can say it hasn't got a verb phrase [...]
Segal (PS2N0) [287] [...] yeah.
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [288] [...] then the other one still has to have the equivalent of a C commanding [...] although it's in a, in a different way.
Segal (PS2N0) [289] But you wouldn't have C command, I mean that if you take the first structure in seven, that's just the one in T three.
[290] ... Okay ... so now suppose you have Florence as the first noun in T three and herself ... no do it the other way round, suppose you had herself as the first noun and T three [...] Florence ... okay ... then you'd find Florence does C command herself ... but it shouldn't ...
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [291] Erm, [...]
Segal (PS2N0) [292] Oh, right.
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [293] Er ... say if you look in seven you've got er, say the [...] .
Segal (PS2N0) [294] Yeah, that's erm ... [cough] actually, there's ... [...] that's this structure ...
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [295] Okay if you said the first one was saw, [...]
Segal (PS2N0) [296] Mm.
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [297] and er and the last I believe there was herself ... then er the middle item has got to be a particular type of item.
Segal (PS2N0) [298] Yeah, erm
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [299] And it's then related in the same way as the C commanding [...]
Segal (PS2N0) [300] er in fact Florence does C command herself here.
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [301] Yeah.
Segal (PS2N0) [302] So that's er on the other hand, erm it would do if you also, if you'll reverse them ... [...] herself Florence ... which would, which would presumably be herself saw Florence [...] structure, but that's
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [303] Yeah
Segal (PS2N0) [304] but that's ungrammatic .
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [305] Yeah, but that's what I'm saying there's
Segal (PS2N0) [306] So that you'd have to
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [...]
Segal (PS2N0) [307] you'd, you'd have to, well you don't, you don't because the thing is ... you want an asymmetrical relation between Florence and herself, because Florence or herself is okay and herself or Florence isn't.
[308] Here it's symmetrical.
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [309] Yeah.
Segal (PS2N0) [310] Now, you, you could have [...] the linear ordering [...] that's an alternative proposal erm, but then you've actually got erm ... you've got to come up with a kind of proper account of these structures of how they come about and of the relation and then you've got to check it out against all the other data and all I can say is as it happens, I've tried that and it doesn't work ... but that's only and we want to find out if you can see that the [...] quite a long way.
[311] So I mean by, by all means don't take any of this for, for granted.
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [...]
Segal (PS2N0) [312] Yeah.
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [...]
Segal (PS2N0) [313] Well you have to
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [...]
Segal (PS2N0) [314] you have to decide if that really is [...]
Unknown speaker (HE0PSUNK) [cough]
Segal (PS2N0) [315] structure, it may well be that it's a [...] structure [...] structure is the other way round ... in which case [...]