Phrase Structure Rules

Phrase structure rules are ‘formulae’ that describe a given language’s syntax. Phrase structure rules break a natural language sentence down into its constituent parts (also known as syntactic categories. Phrase structure rules are usually of the form:

phrase structure formula

meaning that the constituent A is separated into the two sub-constituents B and C

E.g.

phrase structure for S

This means that a sentence ‘S’ is separated into the two sub-constituents NP and VP in the order shown. Sub-constituents that are optional within a constituent is indicated in brackets:

E.g.

phrase structure for NP

This means that an ‘NP’ may be separated into the sub-constituents DET, AP and N; and that they would appear in that order if they do.

Be Sociable, Share!

    Leave a Reply