Syntax A

Ling 221 | Fall 2014
Wednesday and Friday, 2-3:45

Amy Rose Deal


Course Description

This is the first course in the graduate syntax series. The overarching goal of the series (and this class) is to build familiarity with assumptions, results, active debates, and forms of argument in the contemporary research literature in syntax. Topics for discussion in this course include phrase structure, linearization, motivations for movement, subcategorization, subject/object asymmetries, DP licensing, agreement, case, null elements, raising and control. Skills to be emphasized include analysis of syntactic data, presentation and evaluation of arguments, critical reading, and choice of rhetorical structure for articles and conference abstracts.

Reading schedule (Subject to evolution)

Week Topic Readings discussed this week Homeworks due this week
0 Foundations of generative grammar. Components of a syntactic theory. Chomsky 1965, chapter 1 Assignment 1 (short)
1 Phrase structure.
X' syntax -- how much, and why?
Johnson 1997 Assignment 2 (short)
2 Merge, internal and external. Citko 2005 Assignment 3 part 1 (short)
3 Selection, subcategorization and the lexicon. Grimshaw 1979 Assignment 3 part 2 (long)
4 Case, thematic roles, and v. Alrenga 2005 Assignment 4 (long)
5 The operation Agree. Bhatt 2005 Assignment 5 (short)
6 Agree, expletives and unaccusativity. Deal 2009 Assignment 6 (long)
7 Expletives, passives and unaccusatives. Perlmutter 1978 Assignment 7 (short)
8 Case and agreement: what is the relationship? Baker and Vinokurova 2010 Assignment 8 (short)
9 Squib project presentations Assignment 9 (short)
10 Raising and control infinitivals.
Approaches to control.
Landau 2006
Polinsky and Potsdam 2002
Assignment 10 (long-ish)