Syntactic relations in word combination: Accumulation |

Syntactic relations

On top of the three main word classes (nouns, verbs and adjectives), there are other types of words that can be categorized: prepositions, conjunctions, pronouns, interjections, determiners, numerals, and articles. One of these is the word “accumulation” – a type of conjunction. Annex: References

We investigate syntactic relations in word combination, i.e. the syntactic structures of multinomial expressions (i.e., expressions containing three or more words). Among others, we are interested in the question how complex syntactic structures are accumulated in multinomial expressions. For example, is it the case that syntactic structures accumulate up to a certain point or that grammatical relations are always preserved? To answer these questions, we focus on a corpus of German conversation, which we elicit from non-expert speakers and annotate with syntactic structure. Moreover, we also conduct a corpus study of English conversation.

The tertiary opposition is insufficient to characterize all types of syntactic relations. Although Hjelmslev claims that there can be only three types of relations between two elements, this claim is only true in the field of logic. The linguistic material shows that the situation here is more complicated and that logical relations are not able to capture the full variety of syntactic relations within grammatically organized structures.

Although syntactic studies make abundant use of the term attitude, the term is rarely explained or clarified. Without going into the philosophical meaning, a relation in syntactic analysis can be defined as the interdependence of elements that can (or cannot) be formally expressed. Every connection is objective and real to the extent that the elements between which it occurs are real.

If we are. B. separate a sentence like girl a letter from a larger construction to write girl a letter, then the nouns girl and letter seem dependent on each other and thus interrelated. The connection between the two can be proved by a substitution, which results in a change of form: (write) a letter to a girl – (write) a letter to a girl. The relationship between these nouns cannot be defined by the types distinguished in syntax. These two nouns do not indicate an equivalence relation and cannot be connected by a coordination relation, i.e. they have no coordination. It is difficult to say that one of these elements is the head and the other is dependent on it, which proves that there is no subordination relationship. The relationship within a word combination is not one of interdependence, since each noun can function without the other – write a letter, write a girl. This process is not possible for interdependent materials.

Since this kind of relationship is not very distinctive and groups connected in this way can only be identified as syntactic structures if one has something in mind beyond the word combination in question, this kind of relationship can be called accumulative to indicate its amorphous properties.

Accumulation relations are not only observed in groups of two objects of different types. Accumulation relations often occur in attributive groups composed of features expressed by different morphological classes (e.g., those suede shoes, some well-known authors). The examples given contain elements that are not indifferent to each other, since their syntactic position is fixed and they cannot change place: *Suede these shoes, *fa-mous writers.

The fixed position proves that the elements of a given attributive group are connected by a certain kind of relation. This relationship is not a coordination relationship because the elements cannot be connected by a coordination link. The relationship of co-subordination and interdependence between the elements is also not revealed, since none of the features dominates over the others, and the elements can function without each other: these shoes – suede shoes; some authors – famous authors. Thus, we have reason to believe that the attribute group is based on accumulation.

In Slavic linguistics, these constructions are usually classified as attribute groups with heterogeneous subordination. This term defines the relationship of attributive elements to an entity outside the group, without defining the relationship between elements within the attributive group. In contrast, in attribute groups with homogeneous subordination (e.g., beautiful blue eyes; cold and windy evening), relationships between attributes are classified as coordinated. In other words: In cases of homogeneous subordination of prepositional attributes, a distinction is made between external (homogeneous subordination) and internal (coordination) relations. In contrast to these structures, heterogeneous subordination only defines the nature of the relationship between the word to be modified and the modifier, without specifying the relationship between the modifiers. The introduction of the concept of cumulative relationship fills this gap.

Therefore, our classification at this point includes four types of syntactic relations: Interdependence – coordination – subordination – accumulation.

This source has been very much helpful in doing our research. Read more about semantic relations and let us know what you think.


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