Discontinuity (linguistics)

discontinuitydiscontinuitieslong-distance dependencies
In linguistics, a discontinuity occurs when a given word or phrase is separated from another word or phrase that it modifies in such a manner that a direct connection cannot be established between the two without incurring crossing lines in the tree structure.wikipedia
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Topicalization

topicalizedfrontingnon-topicalised
There are various types of discontinuities, the most prominent and widely studied of these being topicalization, wh-fronting, scrambling, and extraposition.
Topicalization often results in a discontinuity and is thus one of a number of established discontinuity types (the other three being wh-fronting, scrambling, and extraposition).

Scrambling (linguistics)

scramblingScramblescrambled
There are various types of discontinuities, the most prominent and widely studied of these being topicalization, wh-fronting, scrambling, and extraposition.
Scrambling often (but not always) results in a discontinuity; the scrambled expression appears at a distance from its head in such a manner that crossing lines are present in the syntactic tree.

Wh-movement

wh''-frontingwh-frontingfronted
There are various types of discontinuities, the most prominent and widely studied of these being topicalization, wh-fronting, scrambling, and extraposition.
Wh-movement often results in a discontinuity, and in that regard, it is one of (at least) four widely acknowledged discontinuity types, the others being topicalization, scrambling, and extraposition.

Extraposition

There are various types of discontinuities, the most prominent and widely studied of these being topicalization, wh-fronting, scrambling, and extraposition.
Extraposing a constituent results in a discontinuity and in this regard, it is unlike shifting, which does not generate a discontinuity.

Inversion (linguistics)

inversioninvertedinverting
Discontinuities should be distinguished from inversion and shifting, two mechanisms that result in non-canonical word order but that do not necessarily incur discontinuities depending on the theory of sentence structure one assumes (e.g. dependency- or constituency-based).
When a layered constituency-based analysis of sentence structure is used, inversion often results in the discontinuity of a constituent, but that would not be the case with a flatter dependency-based analysis.

Shifting (syntax)

shifting
Discontinuities should be distinguished from inversion and shifting, two mechanisms that result in non-canonical word order but that do not necessarily incur discontinuities depending on the theory of sentence structure one assumes (e.g. dependency- or constituency-based).
If one assumes relatively flat structures, shifting does not result in a discontinuity.

Dependency grammar

dependentdependencydependency grammars
Discontinuities should be distinguished from inversion and shifting, two mechanisms that result in non-canonical word order but that do not necessarily incur discontinuities depending on the theory of sentence structure one assumes (e.g. dependency- or constituency-based).
A negative result of this focus on hierarchical order, however, is that there is a dearth of dependency-based explorations of particular word order phenomena, such as of standard discontinuities.

Syntactic movement

movementtracemovements
Modern theories of transformational grammar (e.g. Government and Binding Theory and the Minimalist Program ) assume a movement or copying procedure that moves or copies constituents out of one position into another in the course of the derivation.
Syntactic movement is the means by which some theories of syntax address discontinuities.

Branching (linguistics)

branchingleft-branchingbinary branching
It is motivated by the desire to focus or emphasize the extraposed expression, or it serves to reduce center embedding and in doing so, it increases right-branching, right-branching structures being easier to process in English than left-branching structures:
Worth noting in this area is that the more layered the syntactic structures are, the more discontinuities can occur, which means the component of the theory that addresses discontinuities must play a greater role.

Argument (linguistics)

argumentargumentsverb argument
The topicalization of argument NPs is rare in English, but adjunct prepositional phrases (PPs) that establish situational context are frequently topicalized.
Theories of binding, coordination, discontinuities, ellipsis, etc. must acknowledge and build on the distinction.

Phrase

phrasesphrasalword-group
In linguistics, a discontinuity occurs when a given word or phrase is separated from another word or phrase that it modifies in such a manner that a direct connection cannot be established between the two without incurring crossing lines in the tree structure.

Phrase structure grammar

phrase structureconstituencyconstituency grammar
Discontinuities should be distinguished from inversion and shifting, two mechanisms that result in non-canonical word order but that do not necessarily incur discontinuities depending on the theory of sentence structure one assumes (e.g. dependency- or constituency-based).

Tree (graph theory)

treetreesforest
Projectivity is a principle of tree structures by which discontinuities are identified and defined.

Head (linguistics)

headheadsheaded
The trees illustrate when discontinuities occur: if a given constituent (= complete subtree) is separated from its head by an element that dominates its head, a discontinuity obtains.

Syntactic category

syntactic categoriesfunctional categoriescategories
The solid shapes represent phrasal categories, and the empty shapes lexical categories:

Topic and comment

topictopic–commenttheme
Topicalization occurs when a constituent is fronted in order to establish it as the topic.

Transformational grammar

transformationaltransformational generative grammartransformational-generative grammar
Early transformational grammar, which is based on phrase structure, addressed discontinuities in terms of Deep Structure and Surface Structure and transformations that mapped constituents out of one position in Deep Structure into another position in Surface Structure.

Deep structure and surface structure

deep structureunderlying structureD-structure
Early transformational grammar, which is based on phrase structure, addressed discontinuities in terms of Deep Structure and Surface Structure and transformations that mapped constituents out of one position in Deep Structure into another position in Surface Structure.

Government and binding theory

government and bindingmaximal projectionChomsky's Binding Theory
Modern theories of transformational grammar (e.g. Government and Binding Theory and the Minimalist Program ) assume a movement or copying procedure that moves or copies constituents out of one position into another in the course of the derivation.

Minimalist program

bare phrase structureMinimalismMinimalist
Modern theories of transformational grammar (e.g. Government and Binding Theory and the Minimalist Program ) assume a movement or copying procedure that moves or copies constituents out of one position into another in the course of the derivation.

Head-driven phrase structure grammar

HPSG
Representational phrase structure grammars (e.g. Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar and Lexical Functional Grammar ), in contrast, reject movement and in its stead, they assume some sort of feature passing mechanism that passes information about the displaced constituent up and down the tree.

Lexical functional grammar

lexical-functional grammarLFG
Representational phrase structure grammars (e.g. Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar and Lexical Functional Grammar ), in contrast, reject movement and in its stead, they assume some sort of feature passing mechanism that passes information about the displaced constituent up and down the tree.

Lucien Tesnière

Tesnièrecentrifugal
Traditional dependency grammars (e.g. Lucien Tesnière's Structural Syntax and Igor Mel'čuk's Meaning-Text Theory ) approach discontinuities much differently.

Igor Mel'čuk

Igor Mel’čukMel'čuk, Igor A.
Traditional dependency grammars (e.g. Lucien Tesnière's Structural Syntax and Igor Mel'čuk's Meaning-Text Theory ) approach discontinuities much differently.

Meaning-text theory

meaning-textmeaning–text theory
Traditional dependency grammars (e.g. Lucien Tesnière's Structural Syntax and Igor Mel'čuk's Meaning-Text Theory ) approach discontinuities much differently.