Ans. In Linguistics, Immediate Constituent Analysis, popularly known as IC Analysis, is a method of sentence analysis. It was first mentioned by Leonard Bloomfield in his book ‘Language’ and further developed by Rulon Wells. The process reached a full blown strategy for analysing sentence structure in the early works of Noam Chomsky.
In IC Analysis, a sentence is divided up into major divisions or immediate constituents and these constituents are in turn divided into further immediate constituents and this process continues until irreducible constituents are reached (until each constituents consists of only one word or meaningful part of a word). The end result of IC Analysis is often presented in a visual diagrammatic forms that reveals the hierarchical immediate constituents structure of a sentence. For sentences whose structure is unusual, this diagramming may become excessively complex. In such cases, verbal description is used.
IC Analysis is a technique in analysing units or constituents which form a language unit such as – word cluster, phrase unit, clause unit or sentence unit. Each language unit assumed as units consist of two or more constituents directly form the units. For example, “The boy is smart”; this sentence can be divided into immediate constituents “the boy” and “is smart”. These in turn can be analysed into immediate constituents (the+boy) and (is+smart). Bloomfield does not give any special technique to detect immediate constituents rather appeals to native speaker’s intuition.
However, the following tree diagram analyses how a sentence can be divided to immediate constituents:
Figure : Tree diagram of IC Analysis.
This tree diagram illustrates the manner in which the entire sentence is divided first into the two immediate constituents “this tree” and “illustrates IC-analysis according to the constituency relation”; these two constituents are further divided into the immediate constituents “this” and “tree” and “illustrates IC-analysis” and “according to the constituency relation”.