problems with disambiguating THAT on MOR tier as complementizer, relative pronoun and demonstrative pronoun

Brian MacWhinney macw at cmu.edu
Wed Jul 25 17:40:37 EDT 2018


Dear Jeanine,
    Regarding your second question about calculating the varieties of "that", you want 
freq +sm;that cat.cha
which gives me this output
>From file <cat.cha>
Speaker: *CAT:
  1 pro:dem|that
  6 pro:rel|that
------------------------------
    2  Total number of different item types used
    7  Total number of items (tokens)
0.286  Type/Token ratio

This is because one of the two cases of pro:dem|that was fixed by my change to POSTMORTEM, but the other was not yet fixed until we can add the "not" feature.
However, you can see that this FREQ command with +sm;that is working. For further details on this, just type freq +sm to see all the types of options.

By the way, I imagine you are familiar with sentences such as "That is to say that that that that comes after that that that is last is not that that."

--Brian

> On Jul 25, 2018, at 2:47 AM, Jeanine Treffers-Daller <jeanine.daller07 at gmail.com> wrote:
> 
> Dear Leonid and colleagues
> We have come across a problem with the mor tier:
> On the mor tier the word THAT is coded as pro:rel regardless of its actual grammatical role.  I have seen that the MOR manual on the CHILDES website also contains examples with the same mistakes so wondered if this could be addressed. These are the three uses of "that" in our stories:
> 
> 1: that used as a subordinate conjunction (complementizer) as in “he saw that the cat…” Should the code on the mor tier be "conj:sub|that"?
> 2: that used as a demonstrative pronoun  as in “that was delicious” : code "pro:dem|that"?
> 3: that used as a relative pronoun as in “a playful cat that saw a butterfly”. This is coded correctly as "pro:rel|that" on the mor tier.
>  
> I have manually changed this on the mor tier in the attachment "cat.mor.pst.cha" but have also attached the original file with the errors. We  have 1000 children telling these stories so doing all this manually is a bit difficult.
> 
> A second question related to the above is whether we can disambiguate these three types of "that" when we count types on the mor tier. If we run "freq +sm;*,o% @" we get a list of types but the three types of "that" are counted as one type. We'd like to be able to differentiate between these three in our count of types. Is there any way to do this? Thanks a lot for your help!
> best wishes
> Jeanine Treffers-Daller
> 
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> <cat.cha><catERROR.mor.pst.cha><cat.mor.pst.cex>

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