Syntactic Theory
Fall 2009

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IMPORTANT NOTICE: Contrary to what it says on Testudo, the class will meet in MMH 1108B (Tuesdays) and MMH 1401G (Thursdays).

Previous weeks

-Readings for Oct. 20
Case Theory and Theta Theory:

-Lasnik and Uriagereka
---EPP 1.9 (pp.27-29)
---PRO 2.2 (pp.48-50)
---Problems with the Case Filter 6.1 (pp.144-146)
-Chomsky (1995) Chapter 1:
---Lexicon 1.2 (pp.30-33)
---D-Structure 1.3.2 (pp. 50-64)
---Case 1.4.3 (pp.110-124)
--Lasnik (2008) "On the development of Case theory"
-Readings for Oct. 27 - Nov. 3
Binding Theory:
-Lasnik and Uriagereka  Chap. 2
-Chomsky (1995) Chap. 1, 1.4.2  (pp. 92-110)  [You might find it useful in the next couple of weeks to read this whole chapter.] 
-Lasnik, H. 1994. "Noam Chomsky on Anaphora"
-Handout summarizing the development of binding theory 1973-1986
->Review paper assignment  Due Thurs. Nov. 5
->HW #4 Due Nov. 17
->Squib assignment 'Proposal' due Dec. 1; squib due Dec. 15.
-Readings for Nov. 17-24
WH-Movement and Bounding Theory:
Subjacency handout
Lasnik and Saito 1992 Move Alpha  pp.69-75
ECP handout
Lasnik and Uriagereka  Chap. 4
->HW #5 Due Dec. 1
-Readings for Dec. 1-8
Chomsky (1995) section on Economy of Representation (150-154)
Chomsky (1995) section on Minimal Link Condition (294-297) and Attract/Move (297-299)
Rizzi (2001) "Relativized Minimality Effects"
Collins (2001) "Economy Conditions in Syntax"
Lasnik (2006) "Minimalism"
->Course evaluation site is open, Dec.1-13
-For Dec. 8 class: Handout on Case without Government
->Extra credit HW due Mon. Dec. 14 BY E-MAIL (I won't be on campus) : Make up a question about syntax and answer it (4 points)
->Squib assignment due Tues. Dec. 15 BY E-MAIL (I won't be on campus)


Tuesday 2:00-5:00
1108B MMH


Thursday 11:00-12:00
1401G MMH

Howard Lasnik, instructor

1106 Marie Mount Hall
<lasnik [AT] UMD [DOT] edu>
(301) 405-4929

Office hours:

Monday afternoons & evenings
Tuesday mornings
Wednesday mornings & afternoons (until 3:00)
Thursday afternoons (until 4:00)

Course description

Intensive introduction to transformational syntax

Subject matter
-The nature and source of syntactic knowledge
-Formalization of the infinitude of language
-Formalization of phrase structure
-Properties of syntactic transformations
-Syntactic information and lexical information
-The following phenomena will be examined in detail:
-English verbal morphology; main verbs vs. auxiliary verbs; development of theories of these phenomena over the years,
driven by considerations of explanatory adequacy. "Head movement"
-'Passive' and related phenomena, where an expression occurs in subject position but is 'understood' in another.
("John was arrested") "A-movement"
-Relationship between these phenomena and (abstract) nominal morphology. "Case theory"
-WH-movement and related phenomena ("Who did you see?") "A'-movement"
-Referential dependence, coreference, non-coreference. "Binding Theory"
-Locality constraints on A'-movement: islands; Subjacency; ECP

Course requirements

-5 sets of homework problems
-1 review paper summarizing and discussing the arguments of an article chosen from a list I will give you.
-1 'squib': a short paper outlining an interesting paradigm or phenomenon, and showing how it relates to some issue
or question of theoretical importance. The paper need not provide a solution for the problem it raises.
-Finally, I am aiming for a highly interactive class. To encourage this, I will count class participation toward your grade to some extent.


Required texts

-Chomsky 1957 Syntactic Structures
    Walter de Gruyter 978-3110172799
-Lasnik (with Depiante and Stepanov) 2000 Syntactic Structures Revisited
    MIT Press 978-0-262-62133-5  [See below for compilation of typo corrections]
-Chomsky 1995 The Minimalist Program (chapters 1 (and 2))
    MIT Press 978-0262531283

Recommended texts

-Chomsky 1965 Aspects of the Theory of Syntax (Chapter 1 and other selected portions)
     MIT Press 978-0-262-53007-1
-Chomsky 1981 Lectures on Government and Binding (selected portions)
     Walter de Gruyter 978-3110141313
-Lasnik and Uriagereka 1988 A Course in GB Syntax (selected portions)
     MIT Press 978-0-262-62060-4[[Currently out of print, but Amazon seems to have some copies; otherwise I will make the book available in the department pdf locker.]]
-Lasnik 1999 Minimalist Analysis (selected portions) Blackwell 978-0631210948