LINGUIST 503: Intermediate Syntax

Spring 2006
Herter 107, TTh 9.30-10.45

Rajesh Bhatt
224 South College, 577-0797
Office Hours: M 3.00-5.00 or by appointment


This course is a continuation of LINGUIST 401: Introduction to Syntax and it addresses in greater detail the questions introduced in that course. What syntactic properties are shared by all natural languages? What syntactic properties distinguish them? What do we know when we know a language? This course aims to equip students with the ability to address these questions in a precise and informed way.
The course will have two parts. The first part of the course will provide an introduction to certain basic concepts of contemporary syntactic theory: A-movement ( simplex clauses, passivization, raising constructions and clausal complementation more generally) and A-bar-movement (wh-movement and relativization) and as part of this introduction motivate commonly-used syntactic diagnostic tools. The second part of this class will focus on a particular syntactico-semantic process: comparison. We will use our tools and basic understanding of syntax to explore the syntax of comparison. Comparison has both syntactic and semantic components and a proper investigation of it will lead us to add to our syntactic and especially our semantic toolkit.
The first part of the course will be mostly me lecturing but the second part will be very hands on. It will be arranged like a workshop. Each of you will adopt a language and will report on the comparative constructions found in your language. This means that you will make occasional presentations in class. This class satisfies a writing component and your report on comparative constructions in your language of choice will satisfy this requirement.

Part 1: Basics

Part 2: Case Study


Linguist 401 (Introduction to Linguistics) or the consent of the instructor


Supplementary Text

I will occasionally distribute short, compulsory reading assignments and post lectures online. In addition to these, there is a supplementary text:
Syntax: A Generative Introduction, Andrew Carnie, Blackwell Publishing, 2002. (ISBN 0-631-22544-7)