Grammar and its interfaces (5cr)

Master courses
Start / End: 
12/02/2021 - 28/05/2021
Fridays, 12:00 - 14:00
Online. Please email instructor for the link.

The goal is to make students familiar with the nature of the grammatical processes and syntactic representations that are relevant in two domains: the syntax-discourse interface and the lexicon-syntax interface. Accordingly, the course will have two parts: the first one will focus on the syntactic representations of discourse properties. In the second one an overview will be provided on how the construction of word meanings is to be related to syntax.

NB: this course will be taught both in English and Spanish.

Structure and Contents: 
Part I. Issues in the syntax-discourse interface (Prof. M. Lluïsa Hernanz). From IP to CP: the analysis of sentential periphery. The domain of CP. Focus projections: from assertion to emphasis. Topic projections. ForceP and subordination. ForceP and modality. Left periphery and sentential adverbs. 
Part II. Issues in the lexicon-syntax interface (Prof. Jaume Mateu). The structure of the meaning of words and its relation to syntax. Argument structure and event structure. Argument structure alternations. Lexicalization patterns. Syntactic and semantic properties of idioms
The presentation of topics will be combined with in-class discussion of papers and problems. 
NB: In case of sanitary emergency, the sessions will be adapted to an online format made available through the UAB’s virtual tools. Activities and class participation will be carried out through online platforms (e.g., Teams/Skype/Hangouts). Instructors will ensure that students are able to access these virtual tools, or will offer them feasible alternatives.   
Two short essays (about 7 pages) on a topic to be agreed upon between the students and professors. Class attendance and participation in the discussion of papers will also be taken into account.
Students will have to read various texts on the different topics covered by the course, using a list of “reading assignments” that will be provided at the beginning of the course. Some of these readings will be discussed in class.
Short essay (part I): 45%
Short essay (part II): 45%
Class attendance and participation in the discussion of papers: 10%
Reassessment: Students having obtained a final grade below 5 (range 3 - 4.9) can be reassessed by re-writing the final essay/s. If passed the final grade will be 5
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  • Bosque, Ignacio & Javier Gutiérrez-Rexach (2009). Fundamentos de sintaxis formal. Madrid: Akal.
  • Brucart, Josep.M. & M.Lluïsa Hernanz (2016): "Las posiciones sintácticas". In Ángel J. Gallego (ed.). Perspectivas de sintaxis formal. 33-109. Madrid: Akal.
  • Cinque, Guglielmo & Richard S. Kayne (eds.). (2005). The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Syntax. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
  • Corver, Norbert, Jeroen Van Craenenbroeck, William Harwood, Marko Hladnik, Sterre Leufkens, and Tanja Temmerman (eds.). (2019). The compositionality and syntactic flexibility of verbal idioms, Special Issue of Linguistics, volume 57, issue 4.  
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  • Levin, Beth & Malka Rappaport Hovav (2019). "Lexicalization patterns". In Robert Truswell (ed.). The Oxford Handbook of Event Structure. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Downloadable at 
  • Marantz, Alec (2013). “Verbal argument structure: Events and participants”. Lingua 130: 152-168.
  • Mateu, Jaume (2014). "Argument structure". In Andrew Carnie et al. (eds.). The Routledge Handbook of Syntax, 24-41. New York: Routledge.
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  • Ramchand, Gillian C. (2008). Verb Meaning and the Lexicon. A First Phase Syntax. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.
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  • Rizzi, Luigi (1997). “The Fine Structure of the Left Periphery”. In Liliane Haegeman (ed.). Elements of Grammar. Handbook in Generative Syntax. 281-337. Dordrecht: Kluwer.
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  • Wechsler, Stephen (2015). Word Meaning and Syntax: Approaches to the Interface. Oxford: Oxford University Press.  
  • Wiltschko, Martina (2014). The Universal Structure of Categories. Towards a Formal Typology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.