Syntactic Theories

Course title: Syntactic Theories
Course coordinator: Irena Zovko Dinković, PhD, associate professor
Instructor: Irena Zovko Dinković, PhD, associate professor
Status: elective
ECTS credits: 6
Semester: 1st or 3rd (winter)
Enrollment requirements:

Objectives: To introduce the students to major syntactic theories and approaches from the beginning of the 20th century to the present, and teach them about various ways of syntactic analysis and representation, as well as claims and hypotheses on the structure of language in general. This will provide them with the opportunity to apply the acquired theoretical background to their own research and connect it on a broader level with other sciences.

Week by week schedule:

Week Topic
1. Introduction to the history of 20th century syntactic theories.
2. From Bloomfield to Chomsky. Early generative theories.
3. Chomsky’s Transformational Grammar. Standard Theory and Extended Standard Theory.
4. Generative Semantics. Optimality theories: Generalized Phrase Structure Grammar.
5. Head-driven Phrase Structure Grammar. Lexical Functional Grammar.
6. Government and Binding Theory and X’- theory. Minimalist Program.
7. Relational Grammar. Dependency Grammars.
8. Functional approaches to language analysis. The Prague Linguistic Circle.
9. Martinet’s Functional Syntax.
10. S. Dik’s Functional Grammar and Functional Discourse Grammar.
11. Systemic Functional Grammar.
12. Role and Reference Grammar. Emergent Grammar.
13. Cognitive Grammar.
14. Construction Grammar.
15. Final review and preparation for the exam.

Course description:
After each unit, the students solve a specific task in the seminar, which they check with the instructor. They are also expected to read at home the relevant parts of obligatory reading and other materials.

Course requirements:
Students should attend the classes regularly and actively participate in class and in solving the assignments. The last week of the course is dedicated to preparing students for the exam. The exam is written.

Obligatory reading (selected chapters and pages):
Brown, Keith & Miller, J. (ur.) (1996). Concise Encyclopedia of Syntactic Theories. Oxford – New York: Pergamon

Moravcsik, Edith (2006). An Introduction to Syntactic Theory. New York: Continuum

Newmeyer, Frederick (1986). Linguistic Theory in America (2. izd.). Orlando: Academic Press, Inc.

Matthews, Peter H. (1993). Grammatical Theory in the United States from Bloomfield to Chomsky. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press

Sag, Ivan, Wasow, Thomas & Bender, Emily (2003). Syntactic Theory: A Formal Introduction (2. izdanje). Chicago: CSLI Publications



Suggested reading:
Chomsky, Noam (1957). Syntactic Structures. Gravenhage: Mouton

Graffi, Giorgio (2001). 200 Years of Syntax: A Critical Survey. Amsterdam; Philadelphia: John Benjamins

Müller, Stefan (2016). Grammatical theory: From transformational grammar to constraint-based approaches. Berlin: Language Science Press

Poole, Geoffrey (2011). Syntactic Theory (2. izd.). Basingstoke: Palgrave Macmillan

Sells, Peter (1985). Lectures on Contemporary Syntactic Theories. Chicago: CSLI Publications

Pollock, Jean-Yves (1989). Verb Movement, Universal Grammar, and the Structure of IP. Linguistic Inquiry 20: 365-424

Nichols, Johanna (1984). Functional Theories of Grammar. Annual Review of Anthropology 13: 97–117.

Newmeyer, Frederick. (2001). The Prague School and North American functionalist approaches to syntax. Journal of Linguistics 37: 101 – 126

Dik, Simon C. (1991). Functional Grammar. U: F. Droste i J. Joseph (ur.), Linguistic theory and grammatical description. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins

Hengeveld, Kees & Mackenzie, J. Lachlan (2010), Functional Discourse Grammar. U: Bernd Heine i Heiko Narrog (ur.), The Oxford Handbook of Linguistic Analysis. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 367-400.

Halliday, M. A. K. (1984). A Short Introduction to Functional Grammar. London: Arnold

Van Valin, Robert D., Jr. & Randy LaPolla (1997). Syntax: Structure, meaning and function. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Langacker, Ronald W. (2008). Cognitive Grammar: A Basic Introduction. New York: Oxford University Press.

Goldberg, Adele. (1995) Constructions: A Construction Grammar Approach to Argument Structure. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.