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Syntax, Semantics and Pragmatics

First-year Syntax

Syntax 1
Syntax 1 is an introduction to basic goals and methods of current syntactic theory through a detailed analysis of a range of phenomena, with emphasis on argumentation and empirical justification. Major topics include phrase structure and constituency, selection and subcategorization, argument structure, case, voice, expletives, and raising and control structures. (Fall)

Syntax 2
The primary focus of Syntax 2 is the syntax of long distance dependencies: empirical properties cross-linguistically, theoretical analysis, and implications for the theory of grammar. Topics to be covered include the syntax of questions and relative clauses; island constraints; crossover; parasitic gaps; superiority; resumptive pronouns; wh-in-situ and multiple wh-movement; Logical Form and quantifier raising. (Winter)

Syntax 3
Syntax 3 is a continuation of Syntax 1 and 2, with special emphasis on issues of the morphology-syntax interface. (Spring)

First-year Semantics and Pragmatics

Introduction to the pragmatics of natural language and its relation to basic semantic and syntactic theory. Topics will include speech acts, implicature, presupposition, and the incrementation of context. (Fall)

Semantics 1
This is the first of two courses in formal semantics, designed to introduce students to the core empirical phenomena of natural language semantics and to familiarize them with the analytical tools involved in the investigation of this domain. The focus of this class is truth-conditional meaning and the compositional interpretation of phrases and sentences. Students will develop skills in semantic analysis and argumentation by investigating several empirical phenomena (including argument structure, modification, quantification, ellipsis, variable binding and anaphora) and constructing a theoretical framework for understanding and explaining their semantic properties. (Winter)

Semantics 2
Semantics 2 is a continuation of Semantics 1, with focuses on the interfaces with syntax and pragmatics. Topics include temporal and aspectual operators in an event semantics with times, as well as type-shifting, partitivity, and crosslinguistic variation in NP-quantification. We also discuss negative polarity, scalarity, and free choice phenomena with modality, as well as scope, indefinites, choice functions, and the semantics of questions. (Spring)