Seminar in Syntactic Theory: Syntax of Quantification
Spring 2010

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Readings for Jan.26-Feb.2    May (1977) thesis. Here's a kind of Reader's Digest version of the thesis, quoting all the passages I will be discussing, and adding a few notes of mine.
Supplementary readings: Chomsky (1976), which laid the conceptual foundations for May's theory.
-Excerpts on scope from Reinhart (1976): pp.73-75; pp. 190-196
-Ferro paper giving a discourse alternative to Chomsky's treatment of focus.
-Koopman and Sportiche "Variables and the Bijection Principle", one of the classic syntactic approaches to WCO
[There is now a folder in the pdf locker containing relevant readings, including, for background, McCawley's 1972 "A Program for Logic", which has some discussion of the Generative Semantics lowering approach to quantification; and Chapter 7 of Jackendoff's 1972 book, which outlines a non-tranformational theory of scope.]
Feb. 9   SNOW
Feb.16  A little more on WCO. Then May's major arguments for QR, especially including his treatment of 'inverse linking', clause-boundedness of scope, and Wh-Q interactions. Here's a little HO on Wh-Q interactions.
Feb.23  Review of May's 1977 discussions of clause-boundedness and Wh-Q interactions. For the latter, we will also proceed to May's 1985 discussion, pp.37-52 and 118-122 of Logical Form. Also take a look at Sloan's argument against May's account.
March 2 More on Wh-Q interactions. There is some discussion in Lasnik&Saito Move Alpha, pp. 150-156. Here's the Aguero-Bautista LI paper; here's his dissertation largely on this topic. And here's a handout of mine, 'A Family of Questions', which looks at a bunch of phenomena (including Wh-Q interactions) where a bound pronoun makes an embedded clause accessible to normally clause-mate processes. We will also begin looking at 'Q-Lowering', starting with the discussion in May's thesis, then proceeding to his book. Here's a HO on QL.
March 9 We will finish off 'family of questions' stuff and get deeply into Q-lowering. [We'll also talk about the presentation assignment and begin to schedule the presentations.]
March 23 Q-lowering. Look at the previously listed things and also Lebeaux's original article and his book, which develop the coherence/single tree condition crucial to many of the discussions of QL (and also to Aguero-Bautista's argument). This week or next, we'll start with ACD. Start with the classic article by Bouton; Sag's thesis pp. 45-50 and 79-81; and pp. 11-14 of May's book. Here's a handout on ACD. And here's a HO (from 611 last year) outlining the original argument, by Chomsky, for a limited version of Lebeaux's condition.
March 30 ACD.
Terje on Jacobson 2002.
April 6 Finish QL (finally); ACD. On the latter, a couple more things to look at are Baltin's article arguing that there is no ACD, and Larson and May's reply, and Fox's article on ACD and copy theory. And here's another HO from 611 last year outlining (and questioning) a Condition C asymmetry that Fox bases much of his argument on.
April 13 -Emphasis on ACD. Continue reading previous weeks' ACD material.
-Then Michael will be presenting. Look at this article: Szabolsci 1997. And here's a paper by Beghelli and Stowell closely related to the Szabolsci one.
April 20 OK, this time we should be able to get into ACD in depth.
And Ewan will be presenting a Sauerland and Elbourne paper with a slightly different take on the relation between scope and transformations.
April 27 We'll finish off ACD (fingers crossed).
And Brad will be discussing Catherine Anderson's thesis, an experimental study of scope ambiguity comprehension. Read Chapter 3.
May 4 Chris will be discussing Pietroski and Hornstein's 'Does every sentence like this contain a scope ambiguity?'
Finish off ACD?? (Fingers AND toes crossed.)
May 11 Bouton, Sag, Wyngaerd and Zwart, Baltin, Larson and May on ACD. Here's a ms. of the Wyngaerd and Zwart paper on Vehicle Change and ACD.
(by e-mail). This can be based on your presentation, but does not have to be.

Meeting time:

Tuesday 3:30-6:00
1108B 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
Thursday (until 4:00)

Course description

This course will examine many aspects of quantification that have been argued to be rooted in syntax. Among the topics will be: WH-Q interactions, as in "What did everyone buy for Mary"; 'Q-Lowering', as  in "Some politician is likely to address John's constituency"; 'Antecedent Contained Deletion', as in "John likes everyone Mary does"; 'Weak Crossover', as in "*His mother loves everyone". We will read some of the classic, and recent, literature on these topics and explore some new directions. Students will do a class presentation and write a term paper.