## Fundamentals of Syntax

**Northwestern University, Fall 1997**

**Instructor**: Prof. Chris Kennedy

**Office**: 2016 Sheridan Rd., Rm. 12 (Linguistics Dept.)

**Phone**: 491-8054

**Email**: kennedy@ling.nwu.edu

**Office hours**: Tu 11.30-1.00, Th 10.00-11.30, or by appointment

**Course description**

The goal of this course is to introduce students to the fundamentals of recent work in theoretical syntax
and to place them in a position to pursue more advanced study in syntax and to provide a foundation for
their own research. No textbook will be used; instead, the course will proceed on the basis of class
discussions and weekly written assignments.

The assignments will take the form of short papers aimed towards explaining sets of problematic data
using, and extending, the set of assumptions adopted in class. Emphasis will be placed on providing
empirical justification for claims, strength of argumentation, and form and clarity. You are strongly
encouraged to work together in developing solutions to the problems on the assignments, with the
following two requirements:

(i) you should acknowledge your collaborators (i.e., say who you worked with), and

(ii) you **must** write up the assignments individually.

Selected readings from the primary research literature (3-5 in all) will be assigned, most in the second
half of the quarter.

Time permitting, the following topics will be covered in (roughly) the order laid out below.

- The basics of phrase structure (X-bar theory)
- The lexicon; types of lexical information; the interaction between the lexicon and the phrase structure system (the theory of selection).
- The basics of clausal architecture; functional and lexical categories.
- The basics of argument structure (theta theory); the notion of non-thematic position.
- Expletives and impersonal constructions; the "extended projection principle".
- Case theory
- Passive constructions
- Unaccusatives
- Raising and control (equi)
- General properties of A-movement
- Psych-predicates
- The "internal subject hypothesis" and the internal organization of VP
- Small clauses

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