Syntactic Theory
Fall 2012

 -Readings for Aug. 30 - Sept. 4We WILL be meeting Aug. 30.
Syntactic Structures Revisited to page 35; Syntactic Structures to page 33 [Please bring these 2 books to class]
Here's the Lasnik-Kupin article, which, among other things, introduces Reduced Phrase Markers. [Not required reading, just in case you're interested.]
-Readings for Sept. 11
Syntactic Structures Revisited to page 49
Syntactic Structures to page 48
-> HW 1, due Tuesday Sept. 11. [Homework revision policy.]
-Readings for Sept. 18
Syntactic Structures Revisited  to page 105
Syntactic Structures  Chapter 7
[Suggested readings: Syntactic Structures Ch. 6; Aspects of the Theory of Syntax, Ch. 1]
(-> HW1 revision due Sept. 18 , if you elect the option to re-do)
-> HW 2, due TuesdaySept. 25
-Readings for Sept. 25
Continue Sept. 18 readings and start the following:
Syntactic Structures Revisited  to page 165
A Course in GB Syntax  pp.1-5
-Readings for Oct. 2
Finish Sept. 25 readings (and here's my 1981 paper exploring the formal properties of Chomsky's early analysis of English verbal morphology, and suggesting revisions)
Start "Case and Passives" Handout
-Readings for Oct. 9
Finish "Case and Passives" Handout
[Suggested readings: Aspects of the Theory of Syntax, Ch.2, Section 4 and Ch.3; Grimshaw "Complement Selection and the Lexicon", which argues that we need both semantic selection and (syntactic) subcategorization.]
-Readings for Oct. 16
REALLY Finish "Case and Passives" Handout
[Here's the Vergnaud letter inventing Case theory, as recently published in Freidin and Lasnik, Syntax: Critical Concepts.]
-> HW 3 , due Tuesday Oct. 23
-Readings for Oct. 23
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
[And here's the Stowell article about 2 kinds of infinitives; info on Boskovic's book: Boskovic, Zeljko. 1997. The syntax of nonfinite complementation: An economy approach. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.]
-Readings for Oct. 30

-Continue the Oct. 23 readings
-Supplementary readings: HO on the development of Binding Theory from 1955 to the mid 1990's; "On two recent treatments of disjoint reference" (my article discussing the problems with the semantic intepretation of indexing relations)
(-> HW3 revision due Oct. 30, if you elect the option to re-do)
-> HW 4 , due Tuesday Nov. 13
-Readings for Nov. 13-26
WH-Movement and Bounding Theory:
Subjacency handout
'Brief Overview of Subjacency/Islands'
Lasnik and Uriagereka  Chap. 4
ECP handout
Lasnik and Saito 1992 Move Alpha  pp.70-75
[Rizzi's famous paper on Italian Wh-island violations. See especially the 2nd paragraph of fn. 25, the only part of the paper anyone still remembers.]
((CourseEvalUM Submissions Open Now Through December 12: Evaluation site. Now you get to turn the tables and grade me.))
->Squib assignment 'Proposal' due Nov. 27; squib due Dec. 12
-> HW 5 , due TuesdayDec. 4
-Readings for Dec. 4
Handout on Superiority and Relativized Minimality
Lasnik (2006) "Minimalism"
[And, not required at all, but if you are interested: My paper on formal and functional approaches to locality.] [For those interested, "Guess who?", Ross's classic paper on Sluicing}
->Readings for Dec. 11 TBA
(-> HW5 revision due Dec 11, if you elect the option to re-do)
-Dec. 12 10:00-11:30: Make-up class
(for session cancelled by Hurrican Sandy) [[In MMH 1401G - the small seminar room inside the main office complex]]
->Dec. 12  Squib due [Submit electronically. That way I can send you back comments after the semester ends, when I won't be here.]


Tuesday 2:00-5:00
1108B MMH


Thursday 11:00-12:00
1108B MMH

Howard Lasnik, instructor

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

Office hours:

Monday afternoons and evenings
Tuesday mornings
Wednesday mornings & afternoons

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 '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[[Now out of print; I will make the book available in the department pdf locker.]]
-Lasnik 1999 Minimalist Analysis (selected portions) Blackwell 978-0631210948