APLN 504: Syntax
(Fall 2014)
Class hours: Monday 5:30pm–8:00pm
Classroom: Bohn Hall 495
Dr. Longxing Wei
Schmitt Hall 240D
973- 655-7501
[email protected]
Office hours: Monday 1:00pm-2:00pm, 4:00pm-5:00pm
Thursday 4:00pm-5:00pm
Or by appointment
Required textbook: Haegeman, Liliane, 1994. Introduction to Government & Binding
Theory (Second edition). Blackwell Publishers.
Supplementary readings and natural language data problems.
Provided by the instructor.
Course description
This course offers an introduction to the version of generative syntax usually referred to
as Government and Binding (GB) Theory, which is commonly recognized as one of the
major schools in theoretical syntax. The course emphasizes the essential principles of GB
and its analytical methods for describing and explaining sentence structure at various
Course objectives
Upon completing the course, students should be able to:
1. read the primary literature and understand the major principles of GB;
2. analyze sentence structure at various levels;
3. explain syntactic solutions to natural language data problems.
Course requirements and policies
1. Exercises: a minimum of 8 exercise assignments. Late assignments are penalized one
letter grade for each weekday elapsed after the due date. All assignments must be
submitted as a condition for passing the course, even if too many days have elapsed for
the assignment to receive a passing grade.
2. Tests: a minimum of 3 tests. Students must be responsible for each test to be given on
the announced date. There is no make-up for the missing or deficient test. The missing
test is assigned a grade of F and counts toward the test average.
3. Exam: a final exam. There is no make-up for the final exam. The missing exam is
assigned a grade of F.
4. Students must be responsible for their absences and the sequential course work.
Evaluation and grading
The exercise assignment average, the test average, and each exam count toward the final
course grade. Failure to fulfill any of the course requirements will result in a final grade
of “F”. Class participation (in-class discussion, performance and activities) is included in
the evaluation of the student’s course work.
8 exercise assignments
3 tests
Final exam
Class participation
Exercises, tests, and exams are graded based on the following letter scale:
A 100-93, A- 92-90, B+ 89-86, B 85-83, B- 82-80, C+ 79-76, C 75-73, C- 72-70,
D+ 69-66, D 65-60, F 59-
Tentative weekly syllabus
Note: 1. Each exercise assignment is due on the class day of the following week.
2. If necessary, the instructor will select only certain sections or parts of a listed
chapter and announce them in advance.
3. The following schedule is subject to change with prior notice as class needs
Week 1 (Sept. 8)
Introduction: The Chomskian Perspective on Language Study
Week 2 (Sept. 15)
Introduction (continued)
Chapter 1: The Lexicon and Sentence Structure
Week 3 (Sept. 22)
Chapter 1 (continued)
Assignment 1
Week 4 (Sept. 29)
Chapter 2: Phrase Structure
Week 5 (Oct. 6)
Chapter 2 (continued)
Assignment 2
Test 1
Week 6 (Oct. 13)
Chapter 3: Case Theory
Week 7 (Oct. 20)
Chapter 3 (continued)
Assignment 3
Week 8 (Oct. 27)
Chapter 4: Anaphoric Relations and Overt NPs
Assignment 4
Test 2
Week 9 (Nov. 3)
Chapter 5: Non-overt Categories: Pro and Control
Assignment 5
Week 10 (Nov. 10)
Chapter 6: Transformations: NP-Movement
Assignment 6
Week 11 (Nov. 17)
Chapter 6 (continued)
Assignment 7
Week 12 (Nov. 24)
Chapter 7: WH-Movement
Assignment 8
Week 13 (Dec. 1)
Chapter 7 (continued)
Test 3
Week 14 (Dec. 8)
General review
Week 15 (Dec. 15)
Final exam
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