English Syntax 2: The Sentence

Course title: English Syntax 2: The Sentence
Course coordinator
: Irena Zovko Dinković, PhD, associate professor
Instructors:
Irena Zovko Dinković, PhD, associate professor
Status:
mandatory
ECTS credits:
6
Semester:
4th (summer)
Enrollment requirements:
passed exam in Syntax 1: Word Classes
Objectives: to
introduce the students to the more complex aspects of sentence structure, for example, the argument structure of the predicate, complex and compound sentences, etc. as well as the semantic relationships among different parts of the sentence. Students also analyze different linguistic phenomena such as transitivity, aspect, ellipsis, etc., and compare them to the Croatian language.

Week by week schedule:

Week Topic
1. General information about the course. REVIEW OF MAJOR ISSUES FROM SYNTAX I COURSE. 
2. Dependency relations: heads and modifiers. Syntactic and semantic arguments of verbs. Exercises. (Miller, ch. 1 & 10; Burton-Roberts, 38-45; Van Valin, pp. 87-92) 
3. Position of arguments. Grammatical relations and meaning. Exercises. (Miller, ch. 11; Van Valin, pp. 22-26) 
4. REVIEW.
5. Behavioral properties of grammatical relations: subjects. Exercises. (Burton-Roberts, pp. 30-35; Miller, pp. 88-93; Van Valin, pp. 41-43) 
6. Behavioral properties of grammatical relations: direct and indirect objects. Other systems of grammatical relations. Exercises. (Van Valin, pp. 35-37, 59-62, 67-69, 70-78; Miller, pp. 93-99) 
7. Transitivity. Verb alternations. Exercises. (Miller, pp. 51-53; Burton-Roberts, pp. 81-91; Van Valin, 60-64) 
8. Tense and aspect. Exercises. (Miller, pp. 143-151).
9. VP in subordinate clauses. Exercises. (Longman). REVIEW
10. Mood and voice: active and passive. Exercises. (Miller, pp. 136-142, 151-154; Longman) 
11. Sentence types: questions and negation. Pro-forms and ellipsis. Exercises. (Burton-Roberts, pp. 141-145, 219-220; Miller, pp. 17; Longman)
12. Theme and rheme. Focus and topic. (Longman). REVIEW. 
13. Complex sentences. Relative clauses. Exercises. (Burton-Roberts, pp. 228-236; Miller, pp. 64-65; Van Valin, pp. 46-49). 
14. Raising constructions and coordinate constructions. Exercises. (Burton-Roberts, pp. 66-71; Van Valin, pp. 49-56; Miller, pp. 18) 
15. FINAL REVIEW. PREPARATION FOR THE EXAM.

 

Course description:
After each unit, the students solve a number of tasks in class, which they check with the instructor. They are also expected to read at home the relevant parts of obligatory reading and then solve the exercises and assignments that they are given as homework.

Course requirements:
Students should attend the classes regularly and actively participate in class. During the semester, there are two to three reviews. The last week of the course is dedicated to preparing  students for the exam. The exam is written.

Obligatory reading (selected chapters and pages):
– Greenbaum, Sidney, Randolph Quirk, Geoffrey Leech & Jan Svartvik (1990). A Student’s Grammar of the English Language, Harlow: Longman.
– Biber, Douglas, Susan Conrad, Geoffrey Leech (2002). Student Grammar of Spoken and Written English, Harlow: Longman.
– Van Valin, Robert D. Jr. (2001). An Introduction to Syntax, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
 
Suggested reading:
– Burton-Roberts, Noel (1997). Analysing Sentences: Introduction to English Syntax, Harlow: Longman.
– Miller, Jim (2001). An Introduction to English Syntax, Edinburgh:
Edinburgh University Press.
– Huddleston, Rodney & Geoffrey Pullum (2005). A Student’s Introduction to English Grammar, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.