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Jill Robbins, Chair 150 W 21st Street, Stop B3700, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4936

Spring 2007

SPN 381N • Fundamental Issues of Spanish Syntax

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
47990 MW
4:30 PM-6:00 PM
BEN 1.118

Course Description

The objective of this course is to examine how modern syntactic theory deals with some fundamental issues of Spanish syntax and to evaluate its empirical and explanatory adequacy. This course also gives a solid theoretical foundation to those who wish to work in the second language acquisition of Spanish syntax. Although we primarily look at the generative framework, we will also compare it with alternative frameworks such as HPSG on certain issues with time permitting. The course is organized as follows:

1. Introduction: Representation of syntactic structure 1.1 Mental Lexicon 1.2 Syntactic Structure of Sentences: Lexical Projection vs. Functional Projections Complements vs. Adjuncts 2. Issue ONE: Representation of syntactic functions 2.1 Subject (Null-subject, VP-internal Hypothesis) 2.2 Object Distribution of Clitics, CL/DP pairs, and DPs Indirect Object 3. Issue TWO: Inflection 3.1 Agreement/Cross-referencing 3.2 Tense and Aspect 4. Issue THREE: Lexicon-to-syntax mapping 4.1 Passive 4.2 Split intransitivity (Unaccusative/Unergative Contrast) 4.3 Inversion (Pych Verbs) 5. Issue FOUR: Clitic se 5.1 Unified analysis of se 5.2 Transitive/Intransitive alternation 5.3 Aspectual se and Eventualities 6. Issue FIVE: Complementation with a special reference to non-finite clauses 6.1 Finite vs. Non-finte clauses 6.2 Control vs. Raising 6.3 ECM vs. Control 6.4 Causative 7. Issue FIVE: Information articulation and syntax (Time permitting)

Grading Policy

The final grade will be computed as follows: 1. Participation 15 2. Review Quizzes (2-3; In-class) 15 3. Mid-term Exams (2; Take-home) 30 4. Research Project (Presentation+paper) 20 5. Small Project 10 6. Homework 10 TOTAL 100


1. Recommended textbooks: There is no required text for this course; the reading materials come from various sources. However, there are three textbooks I will heavily rely on: a. Carnie, Andrew. 2006. Syntax: A Generative Introduction. London: Blackwell. b. Radford, Andrew 2004. Minimalist Syntax. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press. c. Zagona, Karen. 2002. Syntax of Spanish. Cambridege, UK: Cambridge University Press. 2. Hand-outs with analytical problems prepared by Instructor


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