Immediate constituent analysis

The IC analysis ( immediate constituent analysis) (also: Konstituentenanalyse ) is the analysis of the immediate constituents (immediate Constituents ) of a linguistic unit. She is a ( structuralist ) Method of decomposition ( segmentation ( linguistics ) ).

"The aim and result of Konstituentenanalyse is the decomposition of a linguistic expression into a hierarchically defined sequence of constituents. ".

The result of the IC analysis can be explained by a tree (for example, see below ) constitute or compounding by Indexed by phrase structure rules, by a box diagram ( phrase example).


The IC analysis developed in American structuralism, which is due to Leonard Bloomfield and his work "Language" ( 1933). A prerequisite for its development was an emerging interest in a dying Indian languages ​​. In addition, Bloomfield was based on the method of behaviorism, which is limited to the empirically observable, physically quantifiable behavior. The research goal was the accurate analysis and description of languages ​​which makes this line of research is also called descriptive linguistics. The structuralist approach, there are two basic operations based on: the decomposition of a linguistic continuum and the classification of the segments. The subunits determined by this method referred to Bloomfield as "immediate constituents" ( " immediate constituents " ), abbreviated IC.


IC analysis has been developed for the set of syntactic analysis, but is also used in the morphology of the distributional classification of morphemes and phonology analysis of syllables.

Syntax: set analysis

The segmentation of sentences is carried out by various syntactic tests, such as the replacement and displacement sample. If the expression to be analyzed can be moved freely in the sentence and can be replaced by a simpler expression, he is regarded as constituent. The next step is the classification of the constituents according to their function and category. See also: Konstituentengrammatik.

  • Example:

" Nada annoys the cat. "

" ( Nada ) ( annoys the cat). " > " Nada " can be replaced by, for example, they

" ( Nada ) (( annoyed ) ( the cat ) ). " > " Annoys " can be replaced by strokes eg

" ( Nada ) (( annoyed ) (( the ) ( cat ))). " > " Which " can be, for example, are replaced by their " cat " can be replaced by Puss eg

Noun phrase (subject) | verb phrase ( verb ) | noun phrase ( direct object )

Constituent structure

The analysis of the constituents is usually accompanied by the analysis of their structure and the relations in which they stand to each other. The different syntactic functions are assembled into a tree. On the basis of constituent structure can, for example, be shown that in the example sentence the predicate annoys a more immediate part of the sentence is the direct object as the cat, because the object is listed one level deeper than the predicate.

Morphology: word analysis

Morphemes ( morpheme ) are the smallest meaningful units of language that must be using the IC analysis to determine. In general, understanding words are the smallest meaningful units. Several examples ( eg " housing association " ), however, show that in words others words or morphemes may be included. These elements can not always be referred to as words, but are still involved in the meaning of the whole word. For example, changing the morpheme " - ness " in " forcefulness " an adjective to a noun. For this reason, words are decomposed to classify their constituents. The segmentation of words into morphemes linguistic expressions are decomposed into a hierarchically defined sequence. It is derived as the word has come about and the constituents according to their order in which they are incurred, divided into two parts (the principle of binarity ). This principle is so long taken place, as it goes, that is, until the word was segmented into its individual morphemes. It is considered that inflectional endings are always removed first. The constituents should be used in as many other environments for the formation of words be ( as large as possible distributional equivalence ). On the meaning of the whole word here is at least one constituent, of its meaning or grammatical function here, be involved. If the segmentation fully completed, the second step is the classification of the detected morphemes (see morphology (language) ).

Classification: ( 1) explicit derivation ( suffixation ) (2) bound, grammatical derivational ( 3) explicit derivation ( suffixation ) (4) bound, grammatical derivational ( 5) bound, lexical verb stem

Phonology: syllable analysis

Refer syllable phonology.