LING 819 Seminar in Syntactic Theory:
Possible and Impossible Structures
Fall 2011


Tentative Schedule



Readings (portions of the following; details to come)

Aug 31-Sept 14

From Phrase Structure Grammars to X-bar theory, tree-pruning, graph-theoretic versus set-theoretic approaches, coordination

Ross 67 (Ch.3), 69; Perlmutter 71 (Ch.5); Chomsky 81 (2.5 and 2.8; and pp. 303-306); Kupin 78; Lasnik&Uriagereka Structure (esp. pp. 14-22)

Sept 21

Top-down phrase structures: hierarchy and linear order; recursion in the base vs. generalized transofrmations; X-bar theory

Chomsky 65 (pp.123-127, 132-136; Chomsky 95 (pp. 334-341) Chomsky 70 (esp. pp.210-213); Jackendoff 77 (pp.14-55)

[Optional further info: Lasnik on the cycle; Lasnik on Levels]

Sept 28

X-bar theory cont'd; bottom-up phrase structures: Bare Phrase Structure

Chomsky 86 (pp.2-6), Pollock 89 (pp.383-384, 396-407); Bobaljik & Jonas 96 (pp. 195-203), Chomsky Bare Phrase Structure (pp. 61-79)

Oct 5-12

The Linear Correspondence Axiom;
The relationship between linear order and hierarchy

Kayne 94 (pp.3-12), 09 (pp.4-5); Guimarães 00; McCawley 68 (pp.243-253); Higginbotham 83; Chomsky 1995 (pp.334-340)

Oct 19-26

Specifiers and adjuncts; Implications of theories of phrase structure for the EPP and successive cyclic movement

Hoekstra 91 (pp.20-29); Starke 04; Lasnik EPP HO; Lasnik 01b, 03, 01a; Epstein & Seely 06 (pp.48-71)
(Optional: Lasnik 99) (Supplemental: Fox and Pesetsky on linearization)

Nov. 2

EPP continued. 


Nov 9

EPP continued
Specifier-head agreement vs. Agree

Boeckx 09 
Handout on Spec-head vs. Agree

Nov 16

No class  
Baggett Lecture


Nov 23

Thanksgiving – no class


Nov 30

Cartography, universal functional sequence

Rizzi 97, Cinque 99, Cinque and Rizzi 08, Shlonsky 10; Cartography HO

Dec 7

Configurationality issues

Hale 83; Configurationality HO

Dec 12

PAPERS DUE (by e-mail) BY NOON


3 :00-5:30
Seminar Room 1108B MMH

Howard Lasnik and Terje Lohndal, instructors

Course description

The goal of this seminar is to discuss various issues in phrase structure that have played an important role in generative grammar. In particular, we will consider theories of possible and impossible structures. We will focus on topics such as tree-pruning, hierarchy and linear order, X-bar theory, Bare Phrase Structure, the Linear Correspondence Axiom, specifiers and adjuncts, specifier-head agreement versus Agree, the relationship between cartography and minimalism and configurationality. The focus will be on what distinguishes the various approaches from each other and how they make different predictions about possible structures.