Introduction to Syntax

Description

This course is an introduction to the principles of syntax and to the basic concepts underlying theories of grammar. We will look at the structure of phrases, clauses and sentences, and at the functional relationship between parts of phrases and clauses, such as subject and object. We will also briefly introduce several major competing theories of grammar. The course concentrates on the basic concepts and methods of syntactic analysis, and focuses on the practical analysis and description of a wide range of phenomena from a variety of languages.

Availability

Callaghan Campus

  • Semester 1 - 2015

WebLearn GradSchool

  • Semester 1 - 2015

Learning Outcomes

1. An understanding of grammatical diversity across languages;

2. Practical skills in the analysis of language data;

3. Skills in linguistic analysis;

4. Research and general information literacy skills;

5. An understanding of nature of grammatical relations such as subject and object and semantic functions such as agent and patient;

6. An understanding of the ways languages encode grammatical relations;

7. An understanding of the structural characteristics of phrases and clauses;

8. An understanding of the formal representation of phrase structure;

9. An understanding of intermediate levels in phrase structure;

10. An understanding of the basic concepts underlying two competing theories of grammar

Content

This course is an introduction to the basic concepts and methods of syntactic analysis and description and the foundation principles of grammatical theory. It concentrates on practical analysis and description of a wide range of phenomena from a variety of languages and their place in grammatical theory. Topics to be covered include:

  1. Word classes and phrasal categories;
  2. The principles of constituent structure in two competing theoretical approaches;
  3. Word order and clause structure;
  4. Writing phrase structure grammar;
  5. Major clause types, including declarative, interrogative and imperative clauses and clauses with non-verbal predicates;
  6. Multi-clausal constructions, including complement clauses and relative clauses;
  7. Intermediate levels of structure, including basic X-bar syntax;
  8. The principles of argument structure in two competing theoretical approaches;
  9. Grammatical functions such as subject and object, including the interaction of syntax and morphology;
  10. Semantic functions such as agent and patient, including the interaction of syntax and semantics.

Assumed Knowledge

LING6910 or equivalent

Assessment Items

Written Assignment: Take Home Assignments

Presentation: Seminar Presentation

Essay: Essay

Contact Hours

Lecture

Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term

Seminar

Face to Face On Campus 1 hour(s) per Week for Full Term