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Richard Abend

Page history last edited by Bonny Hart 4 years, 2 months ago

 

FrontPage > Materials > Richard Abend's Materials


 

 

Click here for Richard's complete  X-Word grammar course

 

Are you just starting out with X-Word Grammar? Would you like to use it in the classroom? Richard's growing list of videos is a great place to start. BH

 

All of Richard's videos are available on Youtube. Search for Richard Abend. Subscribe to his channel. 

Video: What is a sentence

Video: What is a subject

Video: What is a Predicate

 

 

LING 10 - Foundations of Language:  Richard Abend 

 

"This is the first exercise from a Linguistics class I teach at Monterey Peninsula College.  It's paired with Steven Pinker's The Language Instinct."  This sixteen- week class introduces Sector Analysis and students use that knowledge to compare and contrast a language of their own choosing.  This class is designed for native speakers and tests the Principles and Parameters Theory.  Below is the first of sixteen exercises... RA

 

 

Week 1: The X-Words

 

 

 

Part I: Every sentence has three forms: Affirmative, Negative, and Yes/No Question.

 

     Affirmative:         We will get to know each other this semester.

     Negative:             We will not get to know each other this semester.

    Yes/No Question: Will we get to know each other this semester?

 

YOUR TURN: Change each of the following sentences into its other two

                        forms.

 

1.     Language began approximately 150,000 years ago.

 

2.     The dropping of the larynx in the throat was necessary to allow humans to speak.

 

3.     The human brain has undergone many changes in conjunction with language.

 

4.     Robin Dunbar believes language originated as a means for establishing alliances among the members of a group.

 

5.     Language is not a cultural invention.

 

6.     You and I shall have an enjoyable time looking at language together.

 

7.     The majority of California’s state universities offer linguistics programs.

 


 

Part II.  The Yes/No Questions in Part I above all begin with X-words: did, was, has, does, is, shall, do. In fact, X-words always begin Yes/No Questions in written English.  Your negative sentences in Part I above also all contain X-words.  There are 20 X-words in English. 

 

YOUR TURN: What are the 20 X-words? Ask 10 “yes/no questions” without using any X-word more than once. I’ll answer any questions I can that might interest the class.


 

Part III. Every sentence has two x-word places.  There exists one place at the beginning of every sentence for the X-word to form the Yes/No Question.  There also exists a second place for the X-word in affirmative and negative sentences.  In written English, all Yes/No Questions and Negative sentences contain an X-word, but not all Affirmative sentences contain an X-word.  Nevertheless, even though an X-word may not be present in an affirmative sentence, and only one X-word is present in a Negative sentence or Yes/No Question, the two X-word places exist in every sentence.  For example, the two X-word places are indicated with red in each sentence below.

            

X  We X talked on the phone last week.

 

X  We did not talk on the phone last week.

 

Did we X talk on the phone last week?

 

 

X Our conversation was about the weather.

 

X Our conversation was not about the weather.

 

Was our X conversation about the weather?

 

YOUR TURN: Highlight the two x-word places red in sentences 1-7 in Part I above.


Part IV. The Subject of an English sentence is between these two x-word places. Indicate the subjects in sentences 1-7 above by highlighting them in blue.  The X-word is visible in Yes/No Questions and Negative sentences.  If you can’t find the X-word places, change the sentence into its other two forms.  For example,

                                                       

      Many people studying grammar for the first time get perplexed.

  Many people studying grammar for the first time do not get perplexed.

Do many people studying grammar for the first time get perplexed?

     X Many people studying grammar for the first time X get perplexed.




Part V. 

YOUR TURN: Review the sets of sentences below.  Compare the English and Chinese sentences or use the same English sentences translated into another language of your own choice.  What are your observations about the Chinese sentences or your own translated sentences relative to what we have seen to be true about English sentences in this first week’s exercise?

 

English                           Kathryn is a doctor.

Chinese –                   Kathryn shi    yi sheng

English Gloss-          Kathryn  is     doctor

 

 

English -                     Kathryn  is not a doctor.

Chinese –                   Kathryn  bu  shi   yi sheng

English Gloss-          Kathryn  not  is    doctor       

 

English -                     Is Kathryn a doctor?

Chinese –                   Kathryn  shi   yi sheng  ma?

English Gloss-          Kathryn   is    doctor  (interrogative MA)?

 

 

English -                      Kathryn helps families.

Chinese –                    凯瑟琳           家庭     看病

English Gloss-           Kathryn    do    family     help

 

English -                      Kathryn does not help families.

Chinese –                   凯瑟琳           家庭   看病.

English Gloss-           Kathryn   not  do   family   help

 

 

English -                    Does Kathryn help families?

Chinese –                  凯瑟琳          家庭   看病     ? 

English Gloss-         Kathryn    do   family   help (interrogative MA)?      

 


 

PART VII.

YOUR TURN: What are your reactions to our first “exercise” of the semester?   Submit your exercise when completed at the “Submit Exercise Week One” link.


 

Week 2: The 5 Ties 

 

 

Below is the second lesson for Linguistics 10 - Foundations of Language

 

PART I –

 

An inflection is a change in the form of a word to show grammatical and syntactic relationships.  The inflections in sentences 1, 2, and 3 occur independently in their sentences, without involving another part of the sentence. For example,

 

1. Miriam is tall.  Miriam is taller.   The –er on taller shows a comparison. 

 

2. You are afraid of Miriam’s dog.  You are afraid of Miriam’s dogs.  The –s on dogs shows plural, more than one dog.

 

3. We took a ride.   She gave us a ride.  We and us refer to the same people, but appear differently because of their syntactic roles.  They is in the subject place and us is in the object place.

 

There are other inflections that are not independent.  They involve two parts of a sentence “tying” together.  These inflections involve “ties”.  They involve two parts of the sentence because if you change one part of the sentence, you may have to change another. For example,

 

4. I am at home.  You are at home.  When the subject changes from I to You, the X-word changes from am to are.

 

5. They drink coffee every morning.  They drank coffee yesterday morning.   When the time changes from present (every morning) to past (yesterday), the verb changes from drink to drank.

 

Examples 4 and 5 contain “ties”:  When you change one part of a sentence, you may have to change another part of the same sentence.  English contains 5 ties. 


 

Tie #1: X-wordsßàSubjects (X-words tie with subjects)

 

Do all X-words “tie” with subjects?  We need to test each X-word.  We can’t use every possible subject in English.  There are just too many.  But we can run through the list of most common subject pronouns to do our test.

If I change the subject in my sentence, may I need to change the X-word will?

 

I will sleep late tomorrow.

You will sleep late tomorrow.

He will sleep late tomorrow.

She will sleep late tomorrow.

It will sleep late tomorrow.

We will sleep late tomorrow.

They will sleep late tomorrow.

 

It’s not necessary to go any further.  By substituting the most common subject pronouns, we see that no subject causes the X-word will to change.  Will does not tie with a subject.

 

Does the X-word can tie with a subject?

 

I can type.

You can type.

She can type.

He can type.

It can type.

We can type.

They can type.

 

The X-word can never changes because we change the subject.  The X-word can does not tie with any subject.

 

Does the X-word am tie with subjects?

 

I am at work.

You are at work.

He is at work.

She is at work.

It is at work.

We are at work.

They are at work.

 

Yes!  The X-word am ties with the subject I.    am ßà I

The X-word are ties with subjects that can be substituted with the pronouns you, we, and they.  are ßà you, we, they

The X-word is ties with the subjects that can be substituted with he, she, and it.   is ßà he, she, it

 

YOUR TURN: There are 15 more X-words, please list the X-words and subjects that “tie”.

1.    ,2 , etc

 


 

Tie #2: X ßà Time (X-words tie with time)

Do all X-words tie with time?

 

Martin was sick yesterday.  He is fine today.

He could eat nothing.  Today he can eat everything.

 

Yes, X-words always tie with time, either the past or the present.  For example, was and could tie with the past.  Is and can tie with the present.

 

YOUR TURN: There are 16 more X-words.  Which X-words “tie” with the present and which “tie” with the past?

1.    , 2. , etc

 


 

TIE #3: VerbßàSubject  (Verbs tie with subjects)

Tie # 3 involves the first two forms that every verb has:  The “No –S Form” of every verb ties with subjects like I, you, we and they.  The” –S Form” of every verb ties with subjects that can be replaced with the pronouns she, he, and it.

 

 

 

 

1. No –S Form ß à I, you, we,                          they     

 

I drive.

You drive.

We drive.

They drive.

 

2. –S Form ß à she, he, it

 

She drives.

He drives.

It drives.

 

 

 


 

 

TIE #4: VerbßàTime (Verbs tie with time)

Tie #4 involves the first three forms that every verb has.  The “No –S Form” and the “–S Form” tie with the present, and the “PAST Form” ties with a definite time in the past.

 

 

 

1.    No –S Form ß à Present

You live near a large mall.

 

2.    –S Form ß à Present

He lives near a large mall.

 

 

3.    PAST Form ß à Definite

                           Time in the past

We lived near a large mall last year. (Regular verbs end in –ed in this form)

 

We bought all our clothes there.

We hurt our finances there.

We read the newspaper there.

 

 

(Strong verbs change the verb:

Buy/bought, sell/sold, etc, or don’t change the verb: cut/cut, put/put, etc, or make a pronunciation change:, read/read)

 

 


 


TIE #5: X-wordsßàVerbs (X-words tie with verbs)

X-words tie with the 4th, 5th and 6th Forms that every verb has.

 

 

 

4.    BASE Form ß à do, does, did, can, could, may, might, should, must, shall, will, would

 

 

They can call.

They will call.

They should call. Etc.

 

 

5.    –ING Formß àam, are, is,   was, were

 

 

They are calling.

She is calling.

They were calling. Etc.

 

 

6.    DTN Formß àhave, has, had, am, are, is, was, were

 

 

I have called. 

He has called.

We had called.

He is called.

You were called. Etc.

(Regular verbs use  –ed in this form)

 

 

You have eaten.

It was eaten.

She has cut her hair.

Her hair is cut.

We had read the book.

The books are read.

(Strong verbs change or don’t change the verb and usually end in –D, T, or N)

 

 


Summary of Ties

The completed verb chart with all ties is below.  No –S, -S, and Past Forms are considered verb forms with time because of their ties to the present and past.  Base, -ING, and DTN Forms are considered verb forms with no time.                  

 

 Verb Forms with Time Verb Forms with no Time

 

 

1.No –S Form ß à Present

                          ß àI, you, we,

                                   they     

                   

       I drive.

      You drive.

      We drive.

      They drive.

 

 

 

 

2.   –S Formß àPresent

                        ß àshe, he, it

 

 

     She drives.

     He drives.

     It drives.

 

 

3.    PAST Formß àDefinite

                           Time in the past

 

 

We lived near a large mall last year. (Regular verbs end in –ed in this form)

We bought all our clothes there.

(Strong verbs change the verb,

buy/bought, sell/sold, etc, don’t change the verb, cut/cut, put/put, etc, or make a pronunciation change, read/read)

 

 

 

 

 

 

4.   BASE Formß à do, does, did, can, could, may, might, should, must, shall, will, would

 

 

They can call.

They will call.

They should call. etc.

 

 

 

 

5.   –ING Formß àam, are,

                          is, was, were

 

 

They are calling.

They were calling.

She is calling. etc.

 

 

6.   DTN Formß àhave,

                                 has, had

 

 

I have called. 

He has called.

We had called.

He is called.

You were called. Etc.

(Regular verbs use  –ed in this form)

 

 

You have eaten.

It was eaten.

She has cut her hair.

Her hair is cut.

We had read the book.

The books are read.

 

 

 (Strong verbs change or don’t change the word and usually end in –D, T, or N)

 

Tie = When you change one part of the sentence, you may need to change another part. 

Every sentence has at least one tie.  Many sentences have more than one.

 

YOUR TURN: Find the two x-word places, the subject, and the ties in the following sentences.  What ties are found in each sentence? What verb forms are used?     Adapted from “No Labels Planned on Cloned Products” by Libby Quaid, Associated Press

Your work will resemble the example sentences below.

 

  Just the other day Xthe last native speaker of one Inuit languageX passed away.

 

                                                                    VerbßàTime   passedßàjust the other day

                                                                                                Past Form

 

X We are an interesting group of people.   X-wordßàSubject   areßàwe

                                                                X-word ßàTime   areßàpresent

 

 

X Some of us X work.    Verb ßà Time        workßàpresent

                                 Verb ßà Subject    workßàsome of us

                                                                     No –S Form

 

X Others are taking classes full-time.    Xßà Subject   areßàothers

                                                                  Xßà Time   areßàpresent

                                                                  Xßà Verb   areßàtaking

                                                                                                      ING Form

 

Last semester X all of the students X got along very well.  

                                                            VerbßàTime   gotßàlast semester  

                                                                              Past form                                                                                                                                                                

1.         Clone-burgers will not come with warnings.

 

 

2.         The Food and Drug Association is not planning to add special labels.

 

 

3.         However, the FDA has a special green organic seal.

 

 

4.         Organic food means no human alterations.

 

 

5.         Organic products cost more than cloned products.

 

 

6.         Last year movie theatres started selling cloned popcorn.

 

 

7.         Many people polled in a recent research study do not mind cloned food.

 

 

8.         They have indicated their support of these products.

 

 

9.         The government says this food is safe.

 

 

10.      Are you willing to eat cloned food?

 

 


 

PART II –

YOUR TURN: Ties are not the same in all languages.  For example, the ties in the Italian translations below are different. What are your observations about the ties that exist in Italian?  Please summarize them.  If you are feeling ambitious, translate the English sentences below into another language and summarize the ties you find. It is not necessary to do more than one language analysis. 

 

lavorare (to work)

 

 

io lavoro -  I work.

tu lavori  -  You work.

lui lavora  -  He works.

lei lavora  - She works.

Lei lavora  - It works.

 

 

noi lavoriamo  -  We work.

voi lavorate  -  You work.

loro lavorano  - They work.

 

 

 

io ho lavorato – I worked.

tu hai lavorato – You worked.

lui ha lavorato – He worked.

lei ha lavorato – She worked.

Lei ha lavorato – It worked.

 

 

noi abbiamo lavorato – We worked.

voi avete lavorato – You worked.

loro hanno lavorato – They worked.


 

Comments (3)

Cyndi said

at 1:53 pm on Jul 20, 2009

Thank you, Richard and Bonny! I'm going to play with the lesson ideas here and let you know how it goes.

Bonny Hart said

at 11:46 am on Jul 15, 2009

Done. Richard, could you add a brief Introduction re who you use this exercise with and at what point in your course? Is this for ESL students? First week? How advanced are the students?

Richard Abend said

at 10:25 am on Jul 15, 2009

Bonny, I added some materials by pasting them into my editing. I wanted to add them under Abend Materials, but they don't seem to appear. Can you fix that for me or should I do it again, this time as a file? Richard

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