LINGUIST 401: Introduction to Syntax
Hasbrouck 109, TTh 1.00-2.15
What syntactic properties are shared by all natural languages?
What syntactic properties distinguish them? What do we know when we know a language?
What are syntactic properties? How do we construct a theory of syntax?
This course aims to equip students with the ability to address these questions
in a precise and informed way. The topics include those that are central to a proper
understanding of syntax: phrase structure, movement, grammatical relations, case,
complementation, anaphora, and long-distance movement.
Linguist 201 (Introduction to Linguistics) or the consent of the instructor
- participation in class, in e-mail, or during my office hours (10%)
- regular homework assignments (roughly once a week) (40%)
- weekly written questions (20%)
- two take-home exams, the first assigned on October 9 and due on October 21
and the second assigned on December 4 and due on December 11.
Readings and Required Text
I will occasionally distribute
short, compulsory reading assignments through the website.
Syntax: A Generative Introduction, 2nd edition, Andrew Carnie,
Blackwell Publishing, 2007. (ISBN 0-4051-3384-8)
(ordered at UMass Textbook Annex).
- : Basic Questions, Implicit Knowledge, Sep. 2
Reading: Ch. 1 of the textbook
- [2-5]: The Atoms: Words and Syntactic Categories, Sep. 4, 9, 11, 16
Reading: Ch. 2 of the textbook
- [6-9]: Phrase Structure Rules and Trees, Sep. 18, 23, 25, 30
Reading: Ch. 3 of the textbook
- [10-11]: Ambiguity and Structural Relations, Oct. 2, 7
Reading: Ch. 4 of the textbook
- [12-13]: Binding Theory, Oct. 9, 16
Reading: Ch. 5 of the textbook
- [14-18]: The internal structure of XPs, Oct. 21, 23, 28, and 30,
Reading: Chs. 6 and 7 of the textbook
- : Expletives and Theta Roles,
Reading: Ch. 8 of the textbook
- [20-21]: Head Movement,
Nov. 12, 13
Reading: Ch. 9 of the textbook
- [22-24]: DP Movement,
Nov. 18, 20, 25
Reading: Ch. 10 of the textbook
- [25-28]: Wh Movement,
Dec. 2, 4, 9, 11
Reading: Ch. 11 of the textbook
A weekly and standing assignment is that you have to submit a written question -
approximately a paragraph long - each week. The question can concern any aspect
of the material we have discussed in class. If your last name begins with A-M,
your question is due in class on Tuesday, and if your last name begins with
N-Z, on Thursday.
Some policies concerning assignments: hard copies of assignments must be submitted
in class on the assigned date. Late assignments will in general not be accepted.
You are welcome to collaborate on assignments but unless indicated otherwise,
you should submit individual assignments indicating who you collaborated with.
Challenge Problem Set 1 and 2, pgs. 31-32 of Ch. 1 of text book,
assigned September 2, due September 9
General Problem Set 2 and 5, pgs. 56-57 and 59 of Ch. 2 of text book,
assigned September 9, due September 16
General Problem Set 6 and 7, pgs. 59-60 of Ch. 2 of text book,
assigned September 16, due September 23
General Problem Set 1 and 2, pgs. 96-97 of Ch. 3 of text book,
assigned September 23, due September 30
General Problem Set 7 and 8, pgs. 99-100 of Ch. 3 of text book,
assigned September 30, due October 7
assigned October 9, due October 21
General Problem Set 3, pgs. 190-191, of Ch. 6 of text book,
assigned October 23, due October 30
General Problem Set 2, 3, and 4(e, h) on pgs. 214-215 of Ch. 7 of text book,
assigned Nov. 4, due Nov. 12
Assignment on do-support and TPs,
assigned Nov. 13, due Nov. 20
General Problem Set 6 on pg. 311 of Ch. 10 of text book,
assigned Nov. 20, due Nov. 25
Problem on long adjunct movement,
assigned Dec. 2, due Dec. 4
assigned Dec. 4, due by 2p.m., Dec. 12