Abstract

Immediate Constituent Analysis  is a technique in analysing units or constituents which form a language unit, i.e. word cluster, phrase unit, clause unit or sentence unit. Each language unit assumed as units consist of two or more constituents directly form the units.

The purpose of analysing immediate constituent is to avoid multiple  interpretation on a phrase, clause or sentence. Eventhough, IC analysis has some weakness, but this kind of analysis give enough advantage in understanding language units, benefits in avoiding ambiguity because of language units bound with its discourse context which can be understandable with those analysis.

There are some traditional tests which are used to indicate constituency : the ability to stand alone, the substitution test, and the movement test by using a tree diagram, bracketing, or underlining.

Having seen a few elementary phrase-structure rules and phrase-structure trees in the previous section, we need to introduce some terms for talking about phrase structure trees and the relations between the elements in them, which are called nodes. We will be using these terms so frequently throughout the study that they will become second nature in no time

Keywords :  immediate constituent, tree diagram, substitution test, movement test

Introduction

 

As an alternative definition, sintax is a study of relationship between  the parts of sentence structure and  a study of rules which role the sentence arrangement in words (Ba’dulu dan Herman, 2005). Gleason (1955:128) stated that syntax is a principle of construction arrangement which made of derivation process dan inflection of words into a variation of bigger construction. Kridalaksana (1982: 154) mentioned that syntax is  (1) a set and relation of words, or with some bigger units, or between the bigger units in the language; (2) subsystem of language which include those units (assumed as parts of gramatically units); (3) the branch of linguistic studying those units. It can be concluded that syntax is a study of sentence structure.

Construction

To explain of construction definition, the following statement given by linguist according to its basic principle. Gleason (1961: 132) stated that construction is a group of significant  words (or morpheme). Crystal (1980: 85) also mentioned that in its general meaning in linguistic, contruction refers to a whole process of internal organization of gramatical units, e.g. sentence, which consist of morpheme formation with applied rules.

More specifically, construction refers to the result of syntagmatic unit from a certain process, a construction type is given by definiton as a unit cluster which has functional identity in the grammar of a language system.. Furthermore, Hockett (1958: 164) explained that the construction is a pattern for developing composite forms of  a from class of immediate constituent units of the specific class. Kridalaksana (1982: 92) mentioned that the construction is a process dan result of clustering of language units into a meaningful units which has a moreless freedom. We can conclude that a construction is the process of words clustering into a meaningful unit.

Constituents

La Palombara (1976: 173) gave a definition of constituent as a syntactically unit combined with other syntactically unit to form a construction.  Moreover, La Palombara mentioned that each constituent can be classified based on two criteria

  1. in  relation with its arrangement of internal constituent itself.
  2. in relation with the grammatical function, as a unit in a bigger syntactically environment i.e. syntactically related with other constituent.

Other definition is given by Crystal ( 1980 : 83). He stated that constituent is a linguistically unit that is a component of a bigger construction. Kridalaksana (1982 : 91)  also mentioned about constituent that is a language unit which is part of bigger units or part of construction. So, constituent is a part or component of  a construction.

Background

 

The following sentences can be interpreted into various meanings, i.e. should be interpreted by an analysis to avoid ambiguity in meaning, e.g.

They are frying chickens.

Guru baru datang.

Istri lurah yang nakal pergi ke Jakarta.

Anak dukun beranak.

Tokyou e itta basu wa dore desu ka.

Main Discussion

According to Harimurti Kridalaksana, as mentioned above, a construction consist of constituents which has a certain meaning. For example Anak muda itu sangat pandai. The cluster  anak muda itu and sangat pandai are construction, while itu sangat is not a construction. Part of construction is called constituent. Constituent is the language unit which is a part of bigger unit ; part of construction e.g. pena saya, lebih tajam, daripada senjata anda are constituents of following sentence :

Pena saya lebih tajam daripada senjata anda.

 

Type of constituent:

Immediate constituent produces components in first cutting in constituent analysis. For example:

            Pemburu itu menembak babi

That sentence has two immediate constituents, i.e. pemburu itu and menembak babi. In other example, berkereta api has also two immediate constituents i.e. ber- dan kereta api.

Ultimate constituent is a component produced in final cutting of constituent analysis.

Pemburu itu menembak babi

Has 6 ultimate constituent i.e.pem-, buru, itu, me-, tembak, babi.

Discontinous constituent is a single unit that shows up between other units, e.g.

Put down

He put it down

Ke-an dalam ketahanan

Therefore Constituent Analysis is a sentence analysis by cutting into smaller units; each complex constituent can be analyzed into constituents until that sentence can be represented as constituents layers.

Collocation is a relation of meaning or permanent association between words and other adjacent words in a sentence e.g. the word buku and the word tebal in the following sentence:

Buku tebal ini mahal

The word keras and the word kepala in the following sentence

Kami sulit meyakinkan orang keras kepala itu

 

 

Immediate Constituent Analysis

In Linguistic, Immediate Constituent Analysis, known as IC analysis, is a method of sentence analysis first explicitly introduced by an American linguist, Leonard Bloomfield,  in his book Language published in1933. It is a major fature of Bloomfeldian structural linguistics.

In IC analysis, a sentence is divided up into major divisions or immediate constituents, and these constituents are in turn divided into further immediate constituents, and these process continues until irreducible constituents are reached i.e. until each constituents consists of only a word or meaningful part of a word. The end result of IC analysis is often presented in a visual diagrammatic forms that reveals the hierarchical immediate constituents structure of a sentence. For sentences whose structure is unusual, this diagramming may become excessively complex; in such cases verbal description is used.

For example : the boy is smart. This sentence can be divided into immediate constituents “ the boy” and “is smart”. These in turn can be analyzed into immediate constituents (the+girl) and (is+smart). Bloomfield does not give any special technique to detect immediate constituents, rather appeals to native speaker’s intuition.

IC Analysis is an important metodological tool for  syntactically analysis based on Structural Linguistics theory. By applying this analysis technique, a sentence must be analyzed into two immediate constituents. If one or two immediate constituents consist of construction, then those immediate constituents must be further analyzed into its immediate constituents until ultimate constituents is reached i.e single word.

Grammatical Units

In order to state general rules about the construction of sentences, it is constantly necessary to refer to units smaller than the sentence itself: units such as those which are commonly referred to by the terms clause, phrase, word, and morpheme. The relation between one unit and another unit of which it is a part is CONSTITUENCY. One way of indicating constituency is by bracketing, another is by a tree diagram or underlining.

Tree Diagram

The tree diagram is a visual description of each unit that consist of constituents hierarchically. A tree diagram is more informative if it labels the constituents as instances of particular units or classes of units. For example, as follows:

S

NP                                     VP                             AdjP                           AdvP

Det           N               Aux       V                   Adv     Adj                  Adv     Adj

The      weather           has       turned              very     cold                 just      recently

Three sizes of unit have been distinguished: clause, phrase, and word. A further level would distinguished morphemes (turn, -ed, recent, -ly) as constituents of words. The terms for different phrase (noun phrase, adjective phrase, etc) obviously reflect the character of the words which are the main constituents of these units.

Constituents

The above figure shows constituents simply as the smaller parts into which a unit can be divided. We may extend this part-whole relation to include units which are only indirectly part of a larger unit. Thus in the above figure not only [the weather], but indirectly also [the] and [weather] are constituents of the whole clause. But it is useful to reserve the term IMMEDIATE CONSTITUENT for those units which are the parts into which another unit is immediately divisible: thus the verb phrase [have turned] is an immediate constituent of the whole clause, and the auxiliary [have] and the main verb [turned] are immediate constituents of the verb phrase [have turned].

More important, in one respect constituency does not correspond to our ordinary understanding of the part-whole relationship. One unit may be a UNITARY CONSTITUENCY of another unit; i.e. it may be the only part into which another unit can be analysed. Unitary  constituency thus may be distinguished from MULTIPLE CONSTITUENCY, where a unit is divided into two or more immediate constituents.

Traditional grammar has acknowledged this concept of unitary constituency in certain respects. For example, it has been normal to say that a sentence may consist of a single clause. Such sentences are called simple sentences, and are distinguished from complex or compound sentences, which include two or more clauses.

It has also been normal to say that a word may consist of just one morpheme, or of more than one: night, for example, consists of a stem alone, while nights consists of the same stem followed by the inflectional suffix –s.

On the other hand, the term phrase has traditionally been applied to a unit consisting of more than one word, and this has meant some inconsistency in the interpretation of grammatical constituency. Avoiding this inconsistency, many modern grammarians have used the term ‘phrase’ to refer to a constituent consisting either of one word or of more than one word, and this usage will be followed in this book.

Chain And Choice Relationships    

The principle which allows both unitary and multiple constituents of a grammatical unit goes against the common sense understanding of ‘parts’ and ‘wholes’, and therefore needs some justification. The justifications lies in a distinction between chain (i.e. syntagmatic) and choice (i.e. paradigmatic) relationships among linguistic constituents. The chain relationship is an ‘and’ relationship, whereas the choice relationship is an ‘or’ relationship. Thus if two units X and Y occur one after the other in a larger unit, they are in a chain relationship, X + Y. But if X and Y can be substituted for one another in a larger unit, they are in a choice relationship, X/Y. Substitution here means ‘commutability’, i.e. acceptable replacement in terms of the structure of the sentence, not necessarily in terms of meaning. In examining a single sentence, we can observe only the chain relationships, and indeed, if we were interested only in chain relationships, we might be satisfied simply to represent a sentence as a sequence of morphemes as follows:

The + weather +  has + turn + ed + very + cold + just + recent + ly

When, however, we consider what are the possibilities of English grammar, we have to investigate choice relationships. Describing English grammar involves stating what choices exist in the construction of English sentences, and what the relations are between these choices. It is on this basis that it is necessary to distinguish units of different ‘sizes’, and to recognize the choices which exist at different levels of constituency. From here, consideration of examples leads to the recognition of unitary constituents:

The weather    has been          very cold         just recently

It                 was                    cold                             recently

Braces {  }, as well as the oblique stroke or slash /, are used in this grammar to indicate choice relation

 

The Substitution Test

The substitution test relies on the fact that groups of words which function as constituents in the sentence can generally be replaced in a sentence by a single word. This confirms that the group of words forms a constituent. Depending on exactly the single substitution word you choose, you can even identify the syntactic category of the constituent you’re dealing with. Pronouns, for example, can be used to tell whether a given string of words constitutes an Noun Phrase constituent. If a given group of words is not only a constituent, but it is specifically an Noun Phrase.

 The Coordination Test

Conjunctions, elements like, and, or, and but, can serve as very useful aid in determining the constituent structure of a sentence, since only constituents can be conjoined. Furthermore, both elements to be conjoined must be of the same syntactic category. Sequences of words which are not constituents cannot be conjoined.

The Movement Test

In addition to substitution and conjunction, it is also possible to use Movement as a test for constituency. The important thing to notice is that certain groups of words seem able to be moved around as a unit in the sentence whereas others cannot.

John will leave a book on the table

It is possible to take various constituents in the above sentence and move them to the front of the sentence, giving it in an emphatic or contrastive interpretation. This is called Topicalization.

On the table John will leave a book, but on the chair he will leave some paper

The book John will leave on the table, but the letter he will put in the bin

On the other hand, if we try to take a string of words which does not form a constituent and topicalize it, the result is ungrammatical:

*Book on, John will leave the table

*On the, John will leave the book table

Unfortunately, the movement test is probably the least reliable of the three tests that we have mentioned because movement in general, and topicalization in particular, are  subject to a number of constrains which have nothing to do with constituent structure.

English Syntax

Clause Types

Type SV                      someone was laughing

Type SVO                   my mother enjoys parties

Type SVC                   The country became totally independent

Type SVA                   I have been in the garden

Type SVOO                Mary gave the visitor a glass of milk

Type SVOC                Most people consider these books rather expensive

Type SVOA                You must put all the toys upstairs

Three Main Verb Classes

Intransitive verbs à occur in type SV

Transitive verbs à occur in types SVO, SVOO, SVOC, SVOA

Copular verbs  à occur in types SVC and SVA   (C=complement)

Articles : a lot of, a great many, a great deal of, a couple, a little, a few, the, this/these, that/those

Nouns:

N + N              à hall door, kitchen table, Fleet Street, winter clothes, river bank, summer holiday

N + gerund      à fruit picking, weight lifting, lorry driving, bird watching, coal mining

Gerund + N     à waiting list, landing card, dining room, driving license, swimming pool

Japanese syntax

Sentence in Japanese has a form of SOV type with particles for its case marking. The basic pattern is…….wa…….desu.

There are several type of sentences such as affirmative sentence, negative sentence, interrogation sentence, etc. Noun and demontratives pronoun can be placed at subject, noun and adjectives for object, and verb for predicate. Also there are polite forms, honorific forms, and common forms of sentences which is indicated by inflection and derivation of the verbs.

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