Friday, October 07, 2016

The Ling Space: What Does Possession Tell Us About Syntax? Determiner Phrases

(The Ling Space)

Like many of The Ling Space videos, this one starts out with suggestions of previous videos to watch first.  "Maybe Watch These First" the video suggests, with links to two previous videos on syntax.

So I did.

I had already listened to the whole Ling Space collection, but previously I had it on in the background.  This time, I was concentrating my full experience on it.

Re-watching these videos was a humbling experience, because once I focused my full attention on these videos, I realized I had absorbed just about nothing previously.  I mean, the words all sounded familiar, sure.  I had definitely heard those videos before.  But I realized I had never understood or absorbed any of the meaning.  I hadn't actually learned X-bar theory.

I've re-watched all the relevant videos now, however.  With my attention fully focused.

It's complicated stuff, and I was just barely hanging on.

Like a lot of TESOL teachers, I ended up in TESOL because of circumstances, not because of a passion for linguistics.   My predispositions are more toward history and humanities, and trying to make sense of syntax theory make me wonder if my brain can handle linguistics.

But I got through it.  I had to watch this video a couple times, but I think I made sense of it all.

I don't really have much to say other than
1) it's complicated but,
2) interesting once you put the effort in.

In my own experience, I discovered that determiners and possessives can't go together several years ago, by reacting to the mistakes of my students who were trying to put them in the same noun phrase.

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