Linguistics 120: Introduction to Syntax

Grammatical constructions, primarily English, and their consequences for a general theory of language.
Practical experience in forming and testing linguistic hypotheses, reading, and constructing rules.

Time and location: MWF, 10:00-10:50 in Building 200, Room 303



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Instructor | TAs | Sections | General Information | Syllabus and Assignments | Assessment | Tribute to Ivan Sag ]


Instructor



Daniel Lassiter (danlassiter@stanford.edu)
Office: Margaret Jacks Hall (Bldg. 460), room 102.
Office hours: Monday and Wednesday 9-10AM, or book an appointment here. (Back to top of page)

TAs

For office hours, office location and phone, please check the TAs' homepages, where additional materials may also be available.



Timothy Dozat (tdozat@stanford.edu)
Office: Margaret Jacks Hall (Bldg. 460), room 122.
Office hours: Monday 4-5PM




Masoud Jasbi (masoudj@stanford.edu)
Office: Margaret Jacks Hall (Bldg. 460), room 30A.
Office hours: Wednesday, 11AM-12PM

Sections

Please note that there will be no section the first week of classes. Sections will begin in the second week.

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General Information

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Syllabus and Assignments

After each lecture, the slides used in class will be posted as lecture notes (in .pdf format).

                Monday Wednesday Friday
Week 1:
9/23-9/27
9/23
Introduction, organization [slides]
Reading: Ch. 1
9/25
Phrase structure grammar [slides]
Reading: Ch.2
9/27
Phrase structure grammar [cont.]
Reading: 3.1-3.3.4
HW1 due
Week 2:
9/30-10/4
9/30
Feature structures [slides]
No new reading: review 3.1-3.3.4
10/2
Head rules and trees [slides]
Reading: 3.3.5-3.7
10/4
Head rules and trees [cont.]
No new reading
HW2 due
Week 3:
10/7-10/11
10/7
Valence [slides]
Reading: 4.1-4.5
10/9
Agreement [slides]
Reading: 4.6-4.10
10/11
Semantics [slides]
Reading: 5.1-5.5
HW3 due
Week 4:
10/14-10/18
10/14
Modification, coordination [slides]
Reading: 5.5-5.9
10/16
How the grammar works [slides]
Reading: ch. 6
10/18
Cont.; binding intro [slides part a, b]
Reading: ch. 6
HW4 due
Week 5:
10/21-10/25
10/21
Binding [slides]
Reading: 7.1-7.5
10/23
Imperatives; the ARP
Reading: 7.6-7.9
10/25
Lexical types [slides]
Reading: 8.1-8.4
Midterm due
Week 6:
10/28-11/1
10/28
Lexical rules [slides]
Reading: 8.5-8.9
10/30
Grammar & processing [slides]
Reading: ch.9
11/1
Grammar & processing (cont.)
HW5 due
Week 7:
11/4-11/8
11/4
The passive construction [slides]
Reading: ch.10
11/6
Existentials [slides]
Reading: 11.1-11.3
11/8
Extraposition; idioms [slides]
Reading: 11.4-11.6
HW6 due
Week 8:
11/11-11/15
11/11
Raising [slides]
Reading: 12.1-12.3
11/13
Control [slides]
Reading: 12.4-12.7
11/15
Auxiliary verbs [slides]
Reading: 13.1-13.2
HW7 due
Week 9:
11/18-11/22
11/18
The NICE properties [slides]
Reading: 13.3-13.6
11/20
Long-distance dependencies [slides]
Reading: 14.1-14.4
11/22
Subject gaps; island constraints [slides]
Reading: 14.5-14.7
HW8 due
Week 10:
11/25-11/29
No Class: Thanksgiving
Week 11:
12/2-12/6
12/2
Flickinger: English Resource Grammar
Reading: Click here
12/4
Review
No reading
12/6
Gribanova: Cross-linguistic syntax
No reading
12/12, 5PM FINAL EXAM DUE ‐ 5PM

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Assessment

Workload, grading, etc.

There will be weekly problem sets, a midterm, and a final. The midterm and final will be take-home, open-book, and open notes. Students are strongly encouraged to discuss the weekly problem sets in groups, though each student must write up his/her homework individually. No group discussion of the midterm or final exams is permitted. The grading will be as follows: 50% for homeworks, 35% for the final, and 15% for the midterm. We allow about 2% adjustment for class or section participation.

Sections will be for the purpose of going over material from lectures and readings, covered in class, answering questions about the homework, and review. No new material (or at least none that you will be held responsible for) will be introduced in sections.

Notes

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Tribute to Ivan Sag

This course owes an enormous debt to Ivan Sag, intellectual giant, brilliant musician, and all-around wonderful person. Ivan was one of the originators of Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar, the theoretical framework on which this course is based, and made many other important contributions to the study of language and cognition as well. He co-wrote our textbook, taught this course many times, and even wrote the original version of this website. He is greatly missed.


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Last modified: 9/10/13
Design by Ivan Sag, modified and maintained by Dan Lassiter.
Problems with the site? Email Dan.