Linguistics 460-2: Syntactic Analysis

Northwestern University
Spring 2004
MW 2-3.30
Linguistics Classroom


Prof. Chris Kennedy (
Department of Linguistics, Room 19
491-8054 (t), 491-3770 (f)
Office hours after class or by appointment

Course Description

This course provides an introduction to issues and problems in the syntax of anaphoric dependencies. We begin with an overview of the `classic' Binding Theory, then move to more recent analyses and attempts to ground BT in semantic and pragmatic principles. We will then look at the interaction of principles of anaphora and principles of movement, focusing on crossover and reconstruction effects.


1. As in winter quarter, you will develop a language journal. You may either continue working on the language you started working on, or you can start from scratch with a new language. (I would recommend the former.) Your journal entries are due no later than the beginning of the fourth, seventh, and tenth weeks, and should address the following topics:

2. You should choose two of the assigned or optional articles, and write 2-3 page critical summaries of them, due before we discuss the articles in class. Your summaries should describe the central proposals of the articles and the arguments in favor of these proposals, and you should add your own critical assessments of the arguments, claims, data, etc. Please let me know which articles you want to write summaries of by the beginning of the second week of class.

3. Finally, you must write a research paper on any topic in syntax or the syntax-semantics interface. Everyone will present their research during a `syntax workshop' at the end of the quarter.

The Plan

The readings for the course will be made available on the course website in pdf format when possible, and in the Linguistics Department office for copying. The italicized readings are not required, but are either `classic' papers on the relevant topics, or are good starting points for further reading/research.

  1. March 29-31
    C-command and disjoint reference (Reinhart 1981, Lasnik 1976, Langacker 1969)

  2. April 5-7
    Towards a system of binding constraints (Chomsky 1981, pp. 183-230; Huang 1983)

  3. April 12-14
    The Knowledge of Language system (Chomsky 1986, pp. 160-220)

  4. April 19-21
    A `pragmatic' reanalysis of Condition C effects (Reinhart 1983)
    The innateness of binding and coreference (Grodzinsky and Reinhart 1993)

  5. April 28
    Reflexivity (Reinhart and Reuland 1993)

  6. May 3-5
    Reflexivity (Reinhart and Reuland 1993)
    An opposing view (Lidz 2001)

  7. May 10-12
    Reconstruction effects (Lebeaux 1992; Heycock 1995; Huang 1993)

  8. May 17-19
    The copy theory of movement (Fox 1999, 2002; Sauerland 2004)

  9. May 24-26
    Crossover (Higginbotham 1980; Postal 1993; Higginbotham 1983; Koopman and Sportiche 1982; Buering 2004)

  10. May 31 - June 2