Sign Levels pp 95-126 | Cite as

Proto-Language Sentences

  • D. S. Clarke
Part of the Philosophical Studies Series book series (PSSP, volume 96)


The language we actually use consists of a set of elements with conventional meanings and grammatical rules for combining these elements into successively larger wholes. From morphemes as the minimal elements are formed some words as combinations of free and bound morphemes. Other rules specify the formation of phrases as combinations of words, simple atomic sentences as combinations of noun and verb phrases, complex molecular sentences combined from atomic sentences, and finally blocks of discourse as combinations of sentences about a common topic. Discourse can take a variety of forms, including informative conversation, executive directives, laws, story telling, and inferences. Sentences typically occur within the context of some kind of a specific variety of discourse, and this context conditions the functioning of the sentence. How this occurs will be the topic of the next chapter.


Noun Phrase Alarm Call Definite Description Subject Term Mass Noun 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2003

Authors and Affiliations

  • D. S. Clarke
    • 1
  1. 1.Southern Illinois UniversityCarbondaleUSA

Personalised recommendations