Linguistics 101 Assignments Fall 1996

Assignment 1

Due: Monday, September 16, 1996

Assignment 1: Grammaticality

This assignment is due at the beginning of the Monday lecture class on September 16. Be sure to write your TA's name and your recitation day on the top of your assignment. All future assignments should also be handed in at the beginning of the Monday lecture class in the week that they are due. Assignments will be returned in recitation sections, beginning on the Friday after they are handed in.

1. Prescriptive & Descriptive Grammar

In order to answer this question, you will have to be familiar with some notation used in linguistics. An asterisk (*) is used to mark sentences which are ungrammatical. Grammatical sentences are unmarked. Recall that "ungrammatical" is used in the descriptive sense of interest to linguists, not in the prescriptive sense. Pinker, whose use of the term we will follow, defines "grammatical" as "well formed according to consistent rules in the dialect of [a] speaker..." (p. 31). The dialect we have in mind here is the spoken language of the general college-educated American population.

(A) Look at the sentences in (1a) and (1b). Why is (1b) ungrammatical?

(1) a. Two paintings are on the wall.

b. *Two paintings is on the wall

(B) Now consider the sentences in (2). Do the grammaticality judgments indicated correspond to your own? Assuming the correctness of these judgments, what rule or rules could a speaker use to generate the grammatical sentences (2a) and (2c) but not generate the ungrammatical sentence in (2b). Keep in mind that your rule(s) should also be able to account for the sentences in (1). How does your description of the sentences in (1) and (2) differ from prescriptions that govern standard usage?

(2)a. There are two paintings on the wall.

b.*There is two paintings on the wall

c.There's two paintings on the wall.

(C) The sentences in (3) show a similar pattern to the pattern seen in (1). However, the pattern in (4) is different from the one in (2). Write a description of the rules needed to generate the grammatical sentences in (3) and (4). Your rules should not generate the ungrammatical sentences.

(3)a. A painting by Picasso and a painting by Klee are hanging on the wall.

b. *A painting by Picasso and a painting by Klee is hanging on the wall
(4) a. *There are a painting by Picasso and a painting by Klee hanging on the wall

b. There is a painting by Picasso and a painting by Klee hanging on the wall.

c. There's a painting by Picasso and a painting by Klee hanging on the wall.

2. Grammaticality Judgments

(A) Decide whether the phrases in (1) - (15) are grammatical in your spoken dialect. (If you are not a native speaker of English, consult a native speaker for judgments). Mark ungrammatical sentences with an asterisk ( * ) and say briefly what's wrong with them.

(1) To the bank.
(2) The rat the cat the dog bit chased ran.
(3) The cat the dog bit ran.
(4) Being so flat, the Dutch bicycle everywhere.
(5) Who do you wonder whether they will come.
(6) Ivan a tin of caviar ate quickly.
(7) Its mayor praised her village.
(8) If you go to school, there's an elephant on the corner.
(9) Susan told John that washing herself in public is a bad idea.
(10) The candy ate the boy.
(11) Immediately he opened the door he saw the murderer standing there.
(12) The police officer arrested Sam and I.
(13) Earlobe seven by hexed fruitless.
(14) Go take dog for a walk!
(15) Colorless green ideas sleep furiously.

(B) Often it is possible to make sense of an ungrammatical sentence. Likewise a grammatical sentence can be incomprehensible. Mark the incomprehensible but grammatical sentences in (A) with a number sign (#).

3. American Sign Language

Read the discussion of deaf sign language in Pinker and the Perlmutter article in the bulk pack before answering this question.

Sign language users all over the world have been struggling for years to eradicate the notion that because they do not use speech, their communications systems are not "real" languages. One characteristic of languages in general is that there is an arbitrary relation between words and what they represent. You can't hear the French word 'chien,' for example, and know by its sound that it refers to what the English word 'dog' refers to. Critics of sign languages have often described them as "iconic," as a series of pictures and gestures for acting out the real world -- and thus dismissed them as nothing more than complex mime. Consider the issue of iconicity in American Sign Language (ASL) in light of the following evidence.

(A) The signs for male and female:

female: running thumb along jaw toward chin, mimicking bonnet strings
male: grasping an invisible cap near the forehead

female: thumb on chin, with a hand shape as if thumbing your nose at someone
male: thumb on forehead, same handshape.

-- How have these signs changed over time? How does this development affect the debate over whether signs are iconic or not?

(B) First person pronouns:

When hearing children are first learning to speak, they often display a charming tendency to confuse the pronouns 'you' and 'me.' When asked, "Do you want milk," they reply, "Yes, you want milk," believing that they are describing themselves. In a curious parallel, deaf children who are learning to sign will display, at the same age, the tendency to confuse the signs for 'you' and 'me.' The adult will point to the child and ask a question, and the child will point at the adult in reply, even though, once again, these children are describing themselves.

-- Why do you think children make these mistakes? Based on the assumption that ASL is a true language, would you expect hearing children (who are not exposed to ASL) to make the same mistake as deaf children when responding to pointing? Why or why not?

(C) Character placing:

When telling a story, an ASL signer is likely to name the characters at the beginning (or whenever they appear) and in doing so, to "place" them at some location in space (one to the left, and one to the right, for example). From that point on, the signer will refer to those locations by pointing instead of repeating the names.

-- Does these rules for pointing remind you of anything in spoken language?

(D) Handshapes:

While fingerspelling is not a grammatical part of ASL, many signs in ASL are signed with the handshape of the first letter in the English word -- 'language' is signed with the "l" shape, 'class' with the "c" shape, and 'water' with a "w". The colors blue, purple, green, orange and yellow are all signed with the same motion, shaking the initial letter (b, p, g, o, or y) back and forth. 'Apple' is an "a" shape rotated at cheek level. At the same time, 'onion' is an "x" shape moved the same way, so this pattern does not always not hold.

-- How do these facts impact upon the iconicity debate?

(E) Iconicity in spoken language:

There are iconic elements in ordinary spoken English. Give some examples. In what ways are similar to and/or different from iconic features of ASL?

Assignment 2

Due: Monday, September 24, 1996

Assignment 2: Language, Grammar, and Thought

1. Tongan Syntax

The following (simplified) sentences are from Tongan, a Polynesian language spoken on the island of Tonga in the Pacific. Each sentence is glossed (directly translated) and an English translation is also provided. The following abbreviations are used: Pr=present tense, Pst =past tense, Nom=nominative case, Acc=accusative case, 1ps=First person singular, 2ps=Second person singular.

Answer the following questions based on your observations of sentences (1)-(4): (a) what would you say is the main structural difference between Tongan and English? (b) how is tense realized in Tongan? (c) are the nouns marked in any particular way?

 (1) oku ui ehe- tamasi ae- tangata
  Pr call Nom child Acc man
          'The child calls the man.'

 (2) oku kai ehe- fefine ae- ufi
Pr eat Nom- woman Acc- yam
          'The woman eats the yam.'

 (3)  nae  ako  ehe-  tamasi  ae-  lesoni
   Pst  study  Nom-  child  Acc-  lesson
          'The child studied the lesson.'

 (4)  nae  haka  ehe-  fefine  ae-  ika
   Pst  boil  Nom-  woman  Acc-  fish
          'The woman boiled the fish.'

How are the following sentences structurally different from the ones above? Also, why is the 1ps pronoun in (5) different from the one in (8)? Similarly, why is the 2ps in (6) different from the one in (7)?

 (5)  nae  ku  ui  ae-  tangata
   Pst  1ps  call  Acc-  man
          'I called the man.'

 (6)  oku  ke  kai  ae-  laise
   Pr  2ps  eat  Acc-  rice
          'You eat rice.'

 (7)  oku  manako  koe  ehe-  tangata
   Pr  like  2ps  Nom-  man
          'The man likes you.'

 (8)  nae  tokonia  au  ehe-  kakai
   Pst  help  1ps  Nom-  man
          'People helped me.'

If you have adequately analyzed the above sentences, you should now be able to do some simple translations from English into Tongan! Try translating the following:

The man scares the child. ('scare' = 'fakailifiai')

The woman saw me. ('see' = 'vakai')

You ate the fish.

You like me.

2. The Relationship between Language and Thought.

It is by now a well known fact (and those of you who have tried to learn a foreign language will undoubtedly admit this) that certain things can be expressed more conveniently in some languages than in others. While one language may have a special word to refer exclusively to a particular object or notion, in another language this object or notion can be described only by using a whole phrase or sentence. For example, in Tuvaluan, a language spoken by the Polynesian inhabitants of a group of islands in the Central Pacific, there are different words to refer to many different types of coconut, which need to be described at great length in English. Here are a few examples :

pii : drinking coconut, with little flesh and much water, at a stage when the water is maximally sweet

mukomuko : young coconut with some flesh in it, before it has become too solid

uto : coconut at the stage when its husk can be chewed on and its water is still sweet

motomoto : same as mukomuko, but with firmer flesh

niu : coconut ripe enough for its flesh to be grated

uttanu : mature coconut whose sprout has already pierced through the husk and whose water has turned into an edible spongious solid kernel

How much can we conclude from examples like this one about the relationship between the language that people speak and the way that they think? Do examples like this one support the Sapir-Whorf hypothesis?.

3. Grammar of Non-Standard English

Study the following three groups of sentences of Appalachian English. The sentences of each group share a grammatical feature not found in Standard English. Describe these features.

(1)  Boy, I started to runnin'.
   A vein in his nose bursted and he went to hemorragin'.
   She practically raised 'im 'til he got up to walkin'.
   Just recently, I had an aunt to come from Texas.
   Usually, I hafta have somebody else to do it.
   (note: 'went' and 'got' is roughly the equivalent of Standard English's 'started')

(2)  I'd go out and cut me a limb off a tree, get me a good straight one.
   We had us a cabin, built us a log cabin back over there.
   And then you'd get you a bowl of ice water.
   He wanted some straw to build him a house out of.
   I'm gonna write me a letter to the President.

(3)  I got some kin people lived up there.
   He's the funny lookin' character plays baseball.
  'Cause there was this vampire that killed people come in the house.
   My grandma's got this thing tells me about when to plant.

4. Two puzzles

(a). Included in your bulkpack there is an excerpt from an interview with Miss Manners. What point relevant to a linguistics course does she make in her discussion of ettiquette books?

(b). Right after the Miss Manners interview there is a page with a Domino's Pizza advertisement. Why do you think this page was included in the course bulkpack?

Assignment 3

Due: Monday, September 30, 1996

Assignment 3: Sentences as Structured Objects

1. Expressivity of Language

Consider the following sentences :

a) I hate war.

b) You know that I hate war.

c) He says that you know that I hate war.

Construct a sentence that includes sentence (c) and then construct another sentence that includes your new sentence. Can you repeat the process again to create an even longer sentence? How long do you think you can go on? Why?

2. Structural Ambiguity

Our syntactic knowledge goes beyond our ability to decide which strings are grammatical and which are not. It accounts for the structural ambiguity of expressions like synthetic buffalo hides. The ambiguity results from the fact that synthetic can modify buffalo hides or simply hides to result in two different interpretations. It is therefore due to the syntactic structure that the expression has two meanings and not due to any ambiguous words. Paraphrase each of the following sentences in two different ways to show that you understand the ambiguity involved :

a) Smoking grass can be nauseating.

b) Rob finally decided on the boat.

c) Old men and women are hard to live with.

d) That sheepdog is too hairy to eat.

e) Terry loves his wife and so do I.

f) They said she would go yesterday.

Is the type of ambiguity in the above sentences different from the ambiguity in the following sentences :

g) I walked by the bank yesterday.

h) Thomas Jefferson ate his cottage cheese with relish.

3. Mathematical exercises

Do exercises 3, 4, and 8 on page 24 at the end of chapter 0 of Sipser.

Assignment 4

Due: Monday, October 7, 1996

Assignment 4: Mathematical preliminaries

A. Alphabets, Strings and Languages

Let be the alphabet containing the symbols a and b. In other words: = {a, b}. A language L contains all strings over which either begin with a and end with b, or begin with b and end with a. State which of the following strings belong to L, and which do not:

i) ab
ii) baa
iii) abba
iv) baba
v) bubba
vi) b

Concatenation is an operation on strings where one string is appended to the end of another string. For example, if we have two strings xy and yx, we can do the operation xy o yx (where 'o' is the symbol denoting concatenation) to yield a new string xyyx. Now, when we concatenate certain strings from the language L, we get a new string which still belongs to L. For example, the strings aab and abb are valid strings in L. The operation aab o abb gives us the new string aababb which still belongs to L (since it starts with an a and ends with ab). However, the concatenation of two valid strings of L does not always yield a new string which also belongs to L. Provide some counterexamples of when the concatenation of two strings of L results in a new string which does NOT belong to L.

B. Relations and Functions

The above diagram shows the maternal family tree of a certain family. F is the set containing all the members of this family. Let M be the set containing all mothers in F. Hence, M = {Eve, Jennifer, Mary, Kate}. Let the relation R = "is the mother of". The statement mRf, where m is an element of set M and f is an element of set F, simply says that m is the mother of f. We can show this relationship diagramatically:

The above diagram shows a normal relation, where an element in the first group can map onto more than one element in the second group.

a) Now, let S be the set containing all sons in F. List the set S.
where R = "is the son of", sS, and fF.

c) Briefly explain why this relation is a function.

d) Let G be the set of siblings in F. List G. Is gRf a function, where R = "is the sibling of",

gG, and fF.

C. Finite State Automata

Do Exercises 1.1, 1.2, 1.3 and 1.4a (on page 75) from Chapter 1 of Sipser.

Assignment 5

Due: Wednesday, October 17, 1996

Assignment 5: Finite State Automata and Regular Grammars

1. Spot the Problem

A language L is described as follows:

L = all strings that begin with a 0, end with a 2, and contain at most three 1s

The alphabet of this language is {0, 1, 2}

a) Give an example of a string in this language which does not contain a 1.

b) Give an example of a string in this language of length 10.

c) Does the following finite state accept the language L? If not, how would you change it so that it does accept exactly the language L? (Hint: You need to add an extra state.)

2. Introduction to the trees program.

Download the Trees 2 program by following the instructions on the Trees web page and the grammars G1, and G2, and G3 . For each of the grammars answer the following questions.

a) Describe the language generated by the grammar.

b) Draw a finite state automaton that accepts the same language.

Assignment 6

Due on Monday, October 21.

Assignment 6: More Machines and Grammars

1. More Finite Automata

Consider a finite automata whose input alphabet is S = {the, old, man, men, is, are, here, and}.

a) Construct a state diagram for an automaton which accepts the following language :
        {the man is here, the men are here}.

b) Do the same for the following language : {the man is here, the men are here, the old man is here, the old men are here, the old old man is here, the old old men are here......}

c) Construct a state diagram for an automaton which accepts all the sentences in (b) plus all those formed by conjoining sentences with and , e.g., the old man is here and the old old men are here and the men are here.

2. Portuguese verb morphology

Download the grammar Port-verb from the assignments page on the web and answer the questions below. The grammar generates the regular forms of the three conjugations of Portuguese verbs for the following tenses: the imperfect, the pluperfect, and the past subjunctive. Here are the meanings of the symbols used in the grammar:

Agr = agreement node (1, 2, 3 = persons; s/p = singular/plural)
Tns = tense node
Imp = imperfect
Plu = pluperfect
Psub = past subjunctive
Theme = thematic vowel node
T1 = first conjugation theme
T2 = second conjugation theme
T3 = third conjugation theme
St1 = first conjugation stem (example in grammar: "fal" - 'speak')
St2 = second conjugation stem (example in grammar: "beb" - 'drink')
St3 = third conjugation stem (example in grammar: "un" - 'unite')

Consider the following paradigm:

falava bebia unia
--- bebias unias
Imperfect falava --- unia
falávamos bebíamos ---
faláveis bebíeis uníeis
falavam bebiam ---
falara --- unira
falaras beberas ---
Pluperfect falara bebera unira
--- bebéramos uníramos
faláreis bebéreis uníreis
falaram beberam uniram
falasse bebesse unisse
falasses bebesses unisses
Past falasse bebesse unisse
Subjunctive falássemos bebéssemos uníssemos
--- --- ---
falassem bebessem unissem

a) Ten of the forms in the above paradigm are empty. Fill them in by downloading and using the grammar Port-verb to generate them. Ignore the accent marks, which are not incorporated into the Port-verb grammar.

b) For each of the following forms, give the tree structure that the grammar assigns to it:

c) Why is the category " Th' " needed in this grammar?

d) The grammar Port-verb generates the wrong forms in one kind of case. Where does it make a mistake? How would you recommend fixing the problem?

Assignment 7

Due on Monday, October 28.

Assignment 7: Regular Grammars and Context Free Grammars

Regular grammars and regular languages.

Download grammars G7.1a, G7.1b, and G7.1c. These grammars all include tree fragments that don't follow the schema for regular grammars. To remind you, here is the schema for the tree fragments (or rules) for regular grammars:

where 'u' is a terminal symbol and X, Z are non-terminals. [We are looking here at the schema for a right-regular grammar. Nothing would change if we switched to the left-regular grammar schema.]

However, the fact that a given grammar for a language is not regular doesn't mean that the language itself is not regular. There could be another grammar that generates/accepts the same language and this second grammar is regular. A language fails to be regular only if it has no grammar that is regular.

For each of the grammars you have downloaded, do the following:

a. Describe the language generated by the grammar.
b. Is the language regular? If so, give a regular grammar for it. If not, show that it is not, using the pumping lemma for regular languages.

2. Compound Nouns

Download grammars G7.2a and G7.2b. These grammars generate compound nouns, using this list of nouns:


The grammars will generate compound nouns like the following, as well as many others:

              Monsanto plastic seat cover paint

How are the grammars formally different? How are they different linguistically? Do you see any way in which one is superior to the other for purposes of linguistic description?

3. Constructing Grammars and FSA's

Construct a Grammar ( for this you need to construct rules like the one you saw for the grammars you downloaded) and a finite state automaton for the following language :

L = {w | w contains exactly two occurrences of 'a', not necessarily contiguous, and any
number of 'b's.}.

Assignment 8

Due on Monday, November 11.

Assignment 8: Context Free Grammars and Constituent Structure

1. Context Free Grammars and Pushdown Automata

For the following language L = {w | w starts and ends with the same symbol}
where S = {0,1} :

a) Give the Context Free Grammar generating L.
b) Construct the State Diagram for the Pushdown Automaton for L.

2. Structural Ambiguity

The following sentences are all structurally ambiguous. Download the grammar tool 8.2 and use it in the Trees program to construct two different structures for each of the sentences. Provide these structures by copying them into your answer or printing them out and attaching them. For each pair of structures describe briefly how the difference between them corresponds to a difference in interpretation.

(1) John wrote the book on that table.
(2) Short-haired cats and dogs filled the streets.
(3) Roman history teachers lectured well.
(4) The quarterback stared down the defensive line.
(5) Mary said John sneezed yesterday.

3. Constituency

For each of the following sentences show its constituent structure using unlabeled brackets or trees. For example The sentence "John loves Mary passionately" would be bracketed as follows:

[John [ [loves Mary] passionately] ]

This bracketing corresponds to the following tree:

Justify the bracketing you give with the constituency tests discussed in class. Are the tests always consistent with one another? Concentrate on the way the two sentences in each pair below differ in constituency.

(1) a.   John ran up a big bill.
   b.   John ran up a big hill.
(2) a.   I drink my coffee black.
   b.   I know the people present.

Assignment 9

Due Monday November 18.

Assignment 9: X-bar Structure

1. X -Bar Theory

Consider the following X - bar structure and answer the following questions :

a) State (with reasons) whether the following are true or false :

b) Using the X' - model as done above for the phrase "right across the bridge", draw a tree diagram for the following phrases :

2. Plug and Play

Consider the following sentence in French:

The following are the X-bar projections for the words in the sentence:

And the following is part of the tree diagram for this sentence:

Given the two principles of phrase structure below, complete the above tree structure.

b. Now, consider the following sentence in Japanese ("tm" = topic marker):

Japanese word order is quite different from French word order but it can just as easily be captured by the X-bar schema, following the principles below:

Using the tree diagram you have built for the French sentence as your guide, but changing the structure just enough to comply with the two rules for Japanese given above, construct the tree diagram for the Japanese sentence (Consider the topic marker as part of the noun).

3. Structural Ambiguity

The following sentences are all structurally ambiguous. Download the grammar tool assign9.3 and use it in version 2.1.1 of the Trees program to construct two different structures for each of the sentences. Provide these structures by copying them into your answer or printing them out and attaching them. For each pair of structures describe briefly how the difference between them corresponds to a difference in interpretation. To what extent do the tests for constituency discussed in class give evidence to support the differences in the paired structures you have found.

Assignment 10

Due Monday November 25.

Assignment 10: Transformational Movement

1. Tree structures

Download the grammar tool assign10.1 and for each of the following sentences construct the appropriate tree. Don't forget to include whatever transformational movements are required. The tool supports movement by the dragging of nodes from one position to another in a tree.

(1) Mary will see John.
(2) Mary did not see John.
(3) Mary saw John.
(4) Will Mary see John?
(5) Did Sally know that Mary saw John?
(6) Who will Mary see?
(7) Who saw John?

2. Layered VP's

In using the Constituency tests, we saw that substitution was structure based. In other words, only constituents can be substituted for by a pro form. Keeping this in mind, determine the structure of the VP in (1) on the basis of (2) - (5), among other examples you may think of.

(1) Mary will organize a meeting at home in the afternoon.

(2) Mary will organize a meeting at home in the afternoon, and John will probably do so too.

(3) Mary will organize a meeting at home in the afternoon, and John will probably do so in the evening.

(4) Mary will organize a meeting at home in the afternoon, and John will probably do so in the cafe in the evening.

3. BE and LIKE

Consider the following simple sentences:

a. Hobbes is a real tiger.
b. Hobbes likes the outdoors.

Now look at the respective negations of the sentences:

c. Hobbes is not a real tiger.
d. Hobbes does not like the outdoors.

What do you notice about the different behavior of BE and LIKE in these sentences. Next consider the verb HAVE. Does it behave like BE or like LIKE?

Now, assume that not is a modifying adverb which adjoins to VP. Draw tree diagrams for (c) and (d). Where did you locate BE in the diagram, and where did you locate LIKE?

Next, examine the following sentences:

e. Hobbes will be a real tiger.
f. Hobbes will like the outdoors.
g. Hobbes will not be a real tiger.
h. Hobbes will not like the outdoors.

Are sentences (e)-(h) problematic for the tree diagrams you just constructed? Using the notion of verb movement, propose a solution that will provide a unified account of sentences (a)-(f)! What would you say about the behavior of HAVE now, in light of these added facts.

Assignment 11

Due Monday December 1.

Assignment 11: Semantics I

These exercises come from the indicated readings in the bulkpack.

1. [O'Grady and Dobrovolski, p.247, #3] Three semantic relations among sentences were covered in chapter 6: paraphrase, entailment, and contradiction. Which of these relations is exemplified in each of the following pairs of sentences?

a) I saw Terry at the anniversary party.
  It was Terry that I saw at the anniversary party.

b) Jules is Mary's husband.
  Mary is married.

c) My pet cobra likes the taste of chocolate fudge.
  My pet cobra finds chocolate fudge tasty.

d) Vera is an only child.
  Olga is Vera's sister.

e) It is fifty miles to the nearest service station.
  The nearest service station is fifty miles away.

f) My cousin Bryan teaches at the community college for a living.
  My cousin Bryan is a teacher.

2. [O'Grady and Dobrovolski, p.247, #4] In discussing the nature of meaning, we noted that it is necessary to distinguish between intension and extension. Describe the intensions and extensions of each of these phrases:

a) the President of the United States
b) the Queen of England
c) the capital of Canada
d) women who have walked on the moon
e) the Prince of Wales
f) Princess Diana's first husband

3. [O'Grady and Dobrovolski, p.248, #6] Each of the following words is associated with a concept:

a) island e) whisper
b) soft f) husband
c) white g) baseball bat
d) wristwatch   h) mountain

i) Determine which of these examples are fuzzy concepts. ii) Choose one of the fuzzy concepts above. Name one prototypical member of that concept and one member that is closer to the concept boundary. iii) Draw a diagram for the concept 'dwelling' similar to that of Figure 6.2 in this chapter. Do the same for the concept 'vehicle'.

4 . [Finegan and Besnier, p. 40-42, #6] As in Russian, word order in Spanish is used to encode information structure. The constituents of a sentence may be ordered in a variety of ways, as shown by the following examples from Castilian Spanish, all of which can describe the same event. (S = subject; V = verb; O = direct object)

Consuelo envió el paquete.
Consuelo sent the package

Envió Consuelo el paquete.
sent Consuelo the package       "CONSUELO SENT THE PACKAGE."

Envió el paquete Consuelo.
sent the package Consuelo

El paquete lo envió Consuelo.
the package it sent Consuelo

Consider the following conversational exchanges, focusing on the order of constituents in the answers.

a. Q:  ¿Qué hizo Consuelo?
      what did Consuelo
     "What did Consuelo do?"

  A:  Consuelo preparó la sangría.
     Consuelo prepared the sangria
     "Consuelo made the sangria."

b. Q:  ¿Quién comió mi bocadillo?
      who ate my sandwich
     "Who ate my sandwich?"

  A:  Tu bocadillo lo comió Consuelo
     your sandwich it ate Consuelo
     "Consuelo ate your sandwich."

c. Q:  ¿A quién dió Consuelo este regalo?
      to whom gave Consuelo this present
     "Who did Consuelo give this present to?"

  A:  Este regalo lo dió Consuelo a su madre.
     this present it gave Consuelo to her mother
     "Consuelo gave this present to her mother."

d. Q:  ¿Qué pasó?
      what occurred
     "What happened?"

  A:  Se murió Consuelo
     died Consuelo
     "Consuelo died."

e. Q:  ¿Recibó Consuelo el premio?
      received Consuelo the prize
     "Did Consuelo get the prize?"

  A:  No, el premio lo recibió Paquita.
     no the prize it received Paquita
     "No, Paquita got the prize."

f. Q:  ¿Recibó Consuelo esta carta?
      received Consuelo this letter
     "Did Consuelo get this letter?"

  A:  No, Consuelo recibió este paquete.
     no Consuelo received this package
     "No, Consuelo got this package."

g. Q:  ¿Recibó Consuelo el premio?
      received Consuelo the prize
     "Did Consuelo get the prize?"

  A:  Si, el premio lo recibió Consuelo.
     yes the prize it received Consuelo
     "Yes, Consuelo got the prize."

(A) On the basis of this data, describe how word order is used to mark information structure in statements (but not in questions). In particular, state which categories of information structure are marked through which word order possibility. Make the statement of your rules as general as possible.

(B) Notice that in certain sentences, the pronoun lo 'it' appears before the verb. What is the syntactic rule that dictates when it should and should not appear? Which rule of English does the presence of the pronoun in these sentences remind you of?

Assignment 12

Due Monday, December 9.

Assignment 12: Semantics II

1. Translate the sentences below into truth-conditional logic. You should first break each sentence down into its various atomic statements (using upper-case letters to represent each statement), and then use connectives to relate the statements. Note that the sentences contain various sorts of deletion, so you need to reformulate them first.

Example: "Jack and Jill went up the hill."

P = Jack went up the hill Q = Jill went up the hill

(a) A bear or a wolf frightened the boys.
(b) Susan doesn't like squash or turnips.
(c) John and Bill are going to the movies, but not Tom.
(d) Either John and Mary are going to the museum, or I am going to bed.
(e) Peter likes the Village People and Mary K.C. and the Sunshine Band.

2. Draw truth tables for the following expressions:

3. Let P, Q and R be true and let S be false. Find the truth values for the following statements:

4. Let's define a new connective in addition to AND ( ), OR (v) and NOT(¬), calling it IF-THEN (->). We need this connective to capture the meaning of conditional sentences like:

a) If it rains, we will stay indoors.

Here are two possible truth tables, defining the meaning of IF-THEN. Which one seems closer to the meaning of conditional sentences in English? Why?


   P   Q   P->Q
  T T  T
  T F  F
  F T  T
  F F  T


   P   Q   P->Q
  T T  T
  T F  F
  F T  F
  F F  T