Nominal and Clause

Syntax Seminar | Ling 229 | Spring 2012
Tuesday & Thursday, 2-3:45 | The Cave

Amy Rose Deal

Course Description

This seminar is devoted to possessive relationships and their syntactic expression. We will focus on three major ways of expressing possession: complex nominals, the verb have, and various types of external possession. What sorts of syntactic structures are in play in different types of possessives? How is the variation we find constrained by Universal Grammar? What, ultimately, are the syntactic and semantic primitives which make it possible to talk about possession in the way that we do?

Weekly schedule (Subject to evolution)

Week Topic Readings Handouts
1 Introduction to nominal possessives.
The least contentious syntax.
The least contentious semantics.
Barker 1995, chapters 1 and 2
Abney 1987, chapter 2
Tuesday: syntax of the English prenominal possessive
Thursday: an ambiguous semantics for the prenominal possessive?
Part 1. Types of nominal possessives.
2 Types of nominal possessives in English. Partee and Borschev 2003
Lyons 1986*
Munn 1995*
*=Sara, Yasu, Adam
Tuesday: is D-poss ambiguous? Return of the raising analysis
Thursday: SC/YI/AM on Lyons and Munn
3 Nominal possessives cross-linguistically, part I. Szabolcsi 1994
Delsing 1998
Cardinaletti 1998*
*=Peter, Adam
Tuesday: steps toward a typology of possessives
Thursday: Delsing's world (of possessives in Germanic) | AM/PF on Cardinaletti
4 Nominal possessives cross-linguistically, part II.
Guest lecture: Matt Tucker
Yang 2005, chapter 5
Toivonen 2000*
*=Clara, Anna
Tuesday: Possessive constructions in Mandarin
Thursday: CS-A/AG on Toivonen | Tucker on the Semitic construct state
5 Interim conclusions: how many types of nominal possessives?
Guest lecture: Boris Harizanov
(Note: No class 5/3) Tuesday: Nominal possessives: themes and puzzles | Harizanov on possessives in Bulgarian
Part 2. Clausal possessives with have
6 Have: atom or portmanteau? Kayne 1993
Freeze 1992*
*=Yasu, Matt, Peter
Tuesday: HAVE and BE in clausal possession
Thursday: YI/MO/PF on Freeze
7 More on the analysis of clausal having
Guest lecture: Jorge Hankamer

Boneh and Sichel 2010*
*=Anna, Sara
Tuesday: HAVE and BE in Nez Perce
Thursday: SC/AG on Boneh and Sichel
Part 3. External possession
8 A'-extraction and left branch islands Szabolcsi 1984
Gavruseva 2000
Haegeman 2004*
*=Taylor, Matt
Tuesday: Variation in left branch extraction
Thursday: MO/TB on Haegeman
9 A-movement, possessor raising Landau 1999
Deal 2012
Lee-Schoenfeld 2006*
*=Bern, Nate
Tuesday: Possessor raising
Thursday: Hebrew possessor datives
10 Possessor binding Baker 1999*
Hole 2005**
Hole 2009**
*=Bern, Karl, Taylor
**=Karl, Nate, Clara
Tuesday: BS/NA on Lee-Schoenfeld
Thursday: TB/KD/BS on Baker | CSA on Hole 2005 | NA/KD on Hole 2009
11 Conclusions and remaining questions (none) Tuesday: Conclusions and open questions

Student contributions

Enrolled students will present articles twice over the course of the term, in pairs or triples.
Students will also write original research papers.

Course resources