Up until now we have used the word sentence without attempting to define it. Reviewing what we know about the sentence, we can say that it has a characteristic IC structure, N-V, even when it has undergone transformation. In addition, the sentence is marked by an intonation pattern which allows the speaker-listener to sense its beginning and end and to feel that in some sense it constitutes a unit. The most common intonation pattern is 2-3-1, and there are a relatively small number of transformed intonation patterns. A formal definition, then, might read like this: a sentence is a linguistic unit consisting of sound and meaning symbols that follow the structural pattern N-V and produce an intonation pattern satisfactory to the speaker-listener.
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