LING111 Syntactic Variation Between Spanish and English Paper

A major goal of syntactic theory is to understand the ways in which languages can differ systematically one from another in syntactic structure, and to understand the ways in which all languages are systematically similar. By SYSTEMATICDIFFERENCE we mean here differences in sentence structure or in the structure of phrases — differences that affect aspects of the language on a scale larger than the individual word. For example, Japanese and Irish use different words for what in English is called a fish. But this difference is not systematic. It affects those words and nothing else in the language. On the other hand, Irish and Japanese differ in another way: in Irish, the finite verb always comes at the beginning of the clause, while in Japanese, the verb always comes at the end of the clause (more or less). This is a systematic difference: it effects uncountably large numbers of phrases in the language, rather than individual words. Hindi, Turkish, and Navajo are all languages which resemble Hindi with respect to where the verb must appear. Chamorro, Tzotzil and Classical Hebrew all resemble Irish in having the verb in initial position.

Part One

Choose a language other than English: either a language known to you or else a language for which you can find a good grammar. Identify TWO systematic 1differences between the syntactic system of your chosen language and the syntactic system of English.

In essay format, using complete prose sentences, describe the two differences as precisely and as explicitly as you can. Make sure that you define terms you use to describe the differences in question. Illustrate the two differences by presenting a few pairs of examples (one from each language). When presenting examples from your chosen language, be sure to gloss every word and then give a translation of the 2sentence as a whole.

For instance: (1)Manhuyung i panglao sa’ gualåfun

PL. come-out the crab because full-moon

“The crabs are out because it is full moon”

Be sure and explain why the differences you identify count as systematic differences. The completed solution to this part should consist of 2-3 double-spaced pages of prose, which includes the examples. Identify your sources: be they yourself, a speaker of the language you consulted or a grammar.