Week 1 9/15

Introduction to Syntax
Instructor: Claire Hsun-huei Chang 張郇慧
Office Hours: 2-4 Tue, 2-4 Thur and by appointment
Office: Research Bldg 0924
Tel: ext. 88186
Email: shchang@nccu.edu.tw
Course Description:
This course introduces basic concepts and issues which are essential in the description
of the syntactic structure of languages and with which formal syntactic theories are
concerned. Syntactic phenomena from a range of languages will be presented, though
emphasis would be on syntactic structures of English. Topics covered include phrase
structure rules, grammar and meaning, lexicon and grammar, and different types of
syntactic phenomena, such as relativization, reflexivization, causativization. Students
will be familiar with basic syntactic concepts, structures and develop a theory of
grammar and have opportunities to exercise syntactic analyses and argumentation.
Requirements: Attendance, in-class writing, exams, one syntax file on a particular
syntactic phenomenon
Reading: reading package
Grading: Attendance 15% In-class writing 20%
syntax file 25%
exams 40%
Week 1 9/20
Introduction: overview basic concepts in syntax
What is syntax? (Tallerman: Understanding syntax) 1-28
Week 2 9/27
Constituent structures
Basic concepts in syntax (Huddleston and Pullum, 20-33)
Week 3 10/4
Lexicon: Word classes
Form: words word classes and phrases (Aarts: English syntax) 23-49
Syntactic categories (O’Grady: The syntax files, 1-31)
Week 4 10/11 Grammatical categories
Grammatical categories and word classes (Brinton: The structure of
Modern English) 103-127
Week 5 10/18 Thematic roles and Grammatical process
Thematic roles (O’Grady, 33-41)
Week 6 10/25 Grammatical functions
Grammatical relations and transitivity (O’Grady, 43-69)
Week 7 11/1 Constituent structures and sentences
Test 1
Clauses and clause hierarchies (Aarts: English syntax, 50-65)
Week 8 11/8
Clauses I and II (Jim Miller: Introduction, 60-87)
Syntax file topic due
Week 9 11/15 Clauses: finiteness
Looking inside sentences (Tallerman, 63-89)
Week 10 11/22 Case
Case (O’Grady, 71-92)
Week 11 11/29 Agreement
Agreement (O’Grady, 94-108)
Week 12 12/6
Grammar and semantics: Tense and Aspect
Grammar and semantics (Jim Miller: Introduction, 143-151)
Week 13 12/13 Grammar and Semantics: Voice
Test 2
Voice (O’Grady, 110-138)
Passive voice (Jacobs: English syntax, 159-173)
Week 14 12/20 Syntactic structure: Topic, existential and cleft sentences
Information structure (Jacobs: English syntax, 149-158, 175-183)
Week 15 12/27 Wh-Questions
Wh-Questions (O’Grady, 173-184)
Week 16 1/3 Causativization
Causativization (O’Grady, 140-156)
Week 17 1/10 Relativization
Relativization (O’Grady, 158-171)
Week 18 1/17
Final Exam
Syntax file due
Aarts, Bas. 1997. English syntax and argumentation. New York : St. Martin's Press.
Berk, Lynn M. 1999. English syntax: from word to discourse. Oxford: Oxford
University Press.
Brinton, Laurel. 2000. The structure of Modern English: a linguistic introduction.
Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins Publishing Company.
Brown, Keith, and Jim Miller. 1991. Syntax: a linguistic introduction to sentence
structure. London and New York: Routledge.
Burton-Roberts, Noel. 1997. Analysing sentences : an introduction to English syntax.
London ; New York : Longman.
Celce-Murcia, Marianne, and Diane Larsen-Freeman. 1999. The grammar book: an
ESL/EFL Teacher's course. Second edition. Heinle & Heinle.
Ferris, D. Connor. 1993. The meaning of syntax : a study in the adjectives of English.
London, New York: Longman.
Givon, Talmy. 1993. English grammar: a function-based introduction. Amsterdam
Philadelphia: John Benjamins.
Huddleston, Rodney, and Geoffrey K. Pullum. 2002. The Cambridge grammar of the
English language. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Jacobs, Roderick. 1995. English Syntax: A Grammar for English Language
Professionals. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Matthews, P. H. 1981. Syntax. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
McCawley, James D. 1988. The syntactic phenomena of English. Chicago :
University of Chicago Press.
Miller, Jim. 2002. Introduction to English Syntax. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University
O’Grady, William. 2004. The Syntax Files: An introductory survey of basic syntactic
concepts and phenomena. University of Hawaii, ms.
Poole, Geoffrey. 2002. Syntactic Theory. Hampshire: Palgrave.
Tallerman, Maggie. 1998. Understanding syntax. London: Arnold.
Van Valin, Robert. 2001. Introduction to Syntax. Cambridge: Cambridge University