On Sat, Sep 24, 2011 at 7:42 PM, Gary Shannon <[log in to unmask]> wrote: [...] > Suppose instead the model is more like a template with some number of > slots that can be filled with the appropriate phrases: > > "the happy_____" (the happy clown) > "_____ went-to _____" (He went to the store.) > "____ prefer _____ to _____" (I prefer tacos to burritos.) > "____ give_____ to _____" (John gives the book to Mary.) > "_____ is_____as____ as _____" (This book is nearly as old as that one.) > > Then we can dispense with the whole notion of prefix vs infix vs > postfix and just deal with a catalog of templates. > > Parsing is then simply a matter of looking up in our mental data base > a template that matches the sentence in question, and pattern matching > is something at which the human brain has been shown to excel. That would go a good way towards explaining why root-template morphology works, and why sentences like "The horse jumped over the fence fell." are intuitively ungrammatical despite being syntactically well-formed. -l.