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    • Join Date: Dec 2009
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    Analysing ungrammatical sentences

    I read the threads in this section in a sort of awe, and perhaps when I have more time I will learn how to diagram sentences using the Reed-Kellog method.

    However, I was wondering what people's thoughts were about analysing/diagramming ungrammatical sentences.

    As part of an assignment, I have to analyse sentences spoken by a seven year old child with receptive/expressive language impairment. I will give some examples of the sentences here to show the kinds of ungrammatical utterances I mean.

    The context is part of an assessment where the assessor says a word, and the child must form an utterance using this word. These are all real utterances spoken by a child with language impairment.

    "Until you good won't go outside"

    "Unless you back I have to do this"

    "A dog is younger and two other dogs"

    I don't particularly want these to be analysed. I must ask my lecturer how to analyse these according the the methods we learn. But I just though it would be interesting, as the sentences being diagrammed here are often complex, perfectly structured ones.

  1. Frank Antonson's Avatar
    Senior Member
    English Teacher
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    • Join Date: Dec 2009
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    Re: Analysing ungrammatical sentences

    The only way I know of to deal with an "ungrammatical" sentence with Reed-Kellogg is to supply understood words until it be grammatical.
    I believe the omission of forms of the verb "to be" is quite common. Kondorosi and I considered that in Hungarian and Black English. Lack of an underlying syntax would indicate a very critical problem in the mind of the speaker of any language.
    Linguist Farmer

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