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Tagalog transformational syntax : a preliminary statement Peralta-Pineda, Ponciano Bendiola

Abstract

This study deals with the description of Tagalog syntax using the techniques of transformational-generative grammar. Specifically, the formulations in this work follow, to a large extent, the statements of Chomsky in his "A Transformational Approach to Syntax." The primary aims of this work are to formulate the basic rules of Tagalog kernel sentences, and to show some of the most common transformations in the language. Further, this thesis seeks to establish a basis for a more detailed study of the transformational syntax of Tagalog, and expects to provide a point of departure for future contrastive analyses of Tagalog and other languages. The author believes that he has provided the teacher of Tagalog with basic material for the teaching of the fundamentals of Tagalog transformational- generative grammar, and the new learner with a ready manual for the easy grasp of the core of Tagalog structures. The analysis concerns the linguistic intuition of the author as a native speaker of Tagalog. The steps involved in the analysis are as follows: investigation of actual and possible sentences known and permitted by the intuition of the author, including a large written corpus; formulation of the rules of various kernel sentences, generation of grammatical strings with morphographemic realizations, accompanied by the necessary explanations including tree structures; collating the different kernel rules and forming the base rules of Tagalog kernel sentences; showing some of the most common transformations, with pertinent comments; and concluding with a summary of what was discovered in the investigation, along with recommendations for further study and investigation. The formulations show the rules for six types of sentences, namely, sentences of the construction verb phrase plus noun phrase; sentences of the copula types, which are adjective or adjectival phrase plus noun phrase, adverb or adverbial phrase plus noun phrase, noun phrase plus noun phrase, pronoun plus noun phrase, and prepositional phrase plus noun phrase. All the kernel sentence rules are brought together in the base rules of Tagalog kernel sentences. Ten kinds of transformations are shown: pronoun transformation — declarative and imperative-—, negative transformation, yes-no interrogative transformation, yes-no negative interrogative transformation, pronoun-negative-interrogative transformation, ay inversion transformation, manner adverbial transformation, indirect object transformation, -in- passive transformation, and: nominalization transformation. The investigation finds some deep regularities in the language; and it also finds some problems for further study and investigation.

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