Syntactic Theory
Fall 2008

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IMPORTANT NOTICE: Starting Oct. 23, the Thursday sessions will meet from 11:10-12:10.

Previous Weeks

-Readings for Oct. 21-28
Case Theory and Theta Theory:

-Lasnik and Uriagereka
EPP 1.9 (pp.27-29)
PRO 2.2 (pp.48-50)
Problems with the Case Filter 6.1 (pp.144-146)
- Chomsky (1995) Chapter 1
Case 1.4.3 (pp.110-124)
Lexicon 1.2 (pp.30-33)
Lasnik (2008) "On the development of Case theory"
Here's the McCloskey squib on expletives and agreement.
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
->HW#3 revision due
Oct. 28
->Review paper asignment  Due Nov. 6
-Readings for Nov. 4
Lasnik (1981) "On two recent treatments of disjoint reference"
[Here's the partial response to Gareth Evans I mentioned in class.]
->HW#4 Due Nov. 11
-Readings for Nov. 11
Subjacency handout
Lasnik and Saito 1992 Move Alpha  pp.69-75
ECP handout
Lasnik and Uriagereka  Chap. 4
Squib assignment One page 'proposal' due Tues. Nov. 25;
                              Paper due Thursday, December 4

HW#5 Due Dec. 2
[Here's the paper I mentioned on formal and functional approaches to locality of movement.]
[Here's a paper about EPP and successive cyclic A-movement.]
[Lasnik and Uriagereka 1988 has a discussion of parasitic gaps in Chapter 3.]
[Lasnik and Uriagereka 1988 has very brief discussions of tough-movement and of Weak Crossover in Chapter 6.]


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 & 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 review paper summarizing and discussing the arguments of an article chosen from a list I will give you.
-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[[Currently out of print, but Amazon seems to have some copies; otherwise I will make the book available in the department pdf locker.]]
-Lasnik 1999 Minimalist Analysis (selected portions) Blackwell 978-0631210948