Linguistics 310
Syntax
Fall 2013

Course goals This course involves an examination of the methods and argumentation used in syntactic analysis, both from a general point of view and from the perspective of generative grammar. Emphasis is placed on analyzing language data and on constructing and evaluating syntactic argumentation. Linguistic data will be drawn from English and other languages, and over the course of the semester, we will try to construct a model of (a fragment of) English syntax. Assignments, in-class exercises, and exams are designed to help students develop the skills used in syntactic argumentation.

Meeting time: TR, 2:30-3:45pm

Classroom: Ballantine (BH) 148

Credits: 3

Course prerequisites: L103, L303, or permission of instructor

Instructor: Markus Dickinson

Office: Memorial Hall (MM) 317

Phone: 856-2535

E-mail: md7@indiana.edu

Office hours:

M10am-11am
R 11am-noon
or by appointment

Assignments: There will be one assignment approximately every 2 weeks. These assignments give you the opportunity to work through language data and further explore the topics discussed in class.

Readings: There is a main required textbook we will use:

Some additional resources (posted on Oncourse as PDF/MS-Word files):

Note that some material will be presented and discussed only in class (alternate hypotheses to the readings, discussion on particular data sets, etc.)!

Grading: Grades will be based on:

Participation10%
Problem sets 42%(6@7% each)
Midterm 20%Tuesday, October 22, 2:30–3:45pm
Final 28%Tuesday, December 17, 2:45–4:45pm

Participation In-class activities will be relatively balanced between lectures and discussions, as we will be developing our thoughts on syntax together, based on the data we are examining. Since these activities will be closely connected with solving your take-home problem sets and your in-class exams, regular attendance and participation are crucial to your success in the class.

What you may (not) like: In this class, I am more concerned with you learning how to think syntactically and empirically than I am about deriving correct answers. Some of you will enjoy this; some of you would prefer having a set body of right & wrong knowledge. Just be forewarned that our hypotheses about syntax will change throughout the semester, and that’s a good thing.

Midterm & Final Exams The two exams for this course will be comprehensive. They will be in-class exams, and the format will be similar to that of the problem sets. A review session will be offered for each exam.

Problem Sets You will be given six problem sets throughout the semester, which will count for 42% of the course grade. (Tentative) due dates of the problem sets are given in the Schedule below. Homework assignments are due by the beginning of each class—please hand in a hard copy to me. You are welcome to consult with me before an assignment is due if you have any problem/question concerning it. You are also encouraged to work in groups, as long as you write up your answers in your own words. Typing is preferred, though it is not required; if you handwrite, you need to make it legible.

Course administration: For now, I plan on making the course notes/slides available on Oncourse, as well as problem sets and the additional readings. Look under Resources.

Academic Misconduct: Academic misconduct is not allowed in this course. The Indiana University Code of Student Rights, Responsibilities, and Conduct (http://dsa.indiana.edu/Code/) defines academic misconduct as “any activity that tends to undermine the academic integrity of the institution . . . Academic misconduct may involve human, hard-copy, or electronic resources . . . Academic misconduct includes, but is not limited to . . . cheating, fabrication, plagiarism, interference, violation of course rules, and facilitating academic misconduct” (II. G.1-6).

Students with Disabilities: Students who need an accommodation based on the impact of a disability should contact me to arrange an appointment as soon as possible to discuss the course format, to anticipate needs, and to explore potential accommodations.

I rely on Disability Services for Students for assistance in verifying the need for accommodations and developing accommodation strategies. Students who have not previously contacted Disability Services are encouraged to do so (812-855-7578; http://www.indiana.edu/~iubdss/).

(Tentative) Schedule

MonthDate

Topic

Readings

Assignments





Week 1
Grammar & Grammaticality
Aug. 27

Intro/What is Syntax?

29

Grammar as Knowledge

RL, 1–2; Sobin, ch. 1






Week 2
Building Blocks
Sep. 3

Part-of-speech / categories

Tallerman, p. 51–61; RL, 9

5

Grammar construction

RL, 3–5






Week 3
Basic Phrase Structure 1
10

Phrase structure rules & trees

12

Tree-drawing

PS #1 due





Week 4
Basic Phrase Structure 2
17

Structural ambiguity

19

Syntax of verbs

RL, 5






Week 5
Basic Phrase Structure 3
24

Theories & constituency

RL, 6–7; Huang, p. 15–20

26

C-command

RL, 8

PS #2 due





Week 6
Grammars
Oct. 1

Refining grammars

RL, 10

3

Argument construction

RL, 11–12






Week 7
The Lexicon
8

Subcategorization / Headedness

RL, 13–14; Tallerman, p. 95–106

10

Lexicalization

PS #3 due





Week 8
Complements, Adjuncts, & Review
15

Complements & Adjuncts

RL, 15–16

17

Midterm review






Week 9
Midterm, Complements, & Adjuncts
22

MIDTERM

Midterm
24

Complements & Adjuncts

Radford, p. 175–196






Week 10
Complements, Adjuncts, & Relations
29

Complements & Adjuncts

RL, 17–18

31

Grammatical relations






Week 11
Clauses
Nov. 5

Clause types / Sentences

RL, 19

7

Verbal phrases

RL, 20

PS #4 due





Week 12
Raising & control
12

Raising & control

RL, 21; Borsley, p. 157–159

14

NP structure

RL, 22






Week 13
Binding & X-bar Theory
19

Anaphor & Antecedent

PS #5 due
21

Binding Principles A, B,&C

Carnie, p. 138–144






Week 13.5ish
Spring Break
26

No class, Thanksgiving Break

28

No class, Thanksgiving Break






Week 14
Wh-questions
Dec. 3

Wh-questions

RL, 24–25

5

Topicalization

Radford, p. 530–533

PS #6 due





Week 15
Wh-questions
10

Wh-constraints

RL, 26–27; Borsley, p. 193–197

12

Final review






Week 16
Final
17

FINAL: Tuesday, December 17

2:45–4:45pm

Disclaimer This syllabus is subject to change. In fact, it probably will change, but all important changes will be in writing.