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

Spring 2008

SPN 383M • Fundamental Issues in Spanish Syntax

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
48425 TTh
2:00 PM-3:30 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 Event Phrase 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

Grading Policy

The final grade will be computed as follows: 1. Participation 15 2 Review tests (2; In-class) 10 3. Exams (2; Take-home essays) 25 4. Small project (Presentation) 10 5. Research Project (Presentation+paper) 30 6. Homework exercises 10 TOTAL 100


TEXTBOOKS/CLASS MATERIALS 1. Recommended textbooks: There is no required text for this course; the reading materials come from various sources. However, there are three textbooks the lecture will closely follow: 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 3. Bibliography (Partial): Possible references for Research Projects. Casielles-Suearez, Eugenia 2004. The Syntax-Information Structure Interface: Evidence from Spanish and English. London: Routledge de Miguel, Elena and Fernández Lagunilla, Marina. 2000. El operador aspectual se. Revista Española de Lingüística 30: 13-43. De Monte, Violeta. 1995. "Dative Alternation." Probus 7: 6-30. Dowty, David. 1991. Thematic proto-roles and argument selection. Language 67: 547-619. Franco, Jon. 1993. Object Agreement. Ph.D dissertation, University of Southern California. Grimshaw, Jane. 1990. Argument Structure. MIT Press. Gutiérrez Bravo, Rodrigo. 2002. Structural Markedness and Syntactic Structure: A Study of Word order and the Left Periphery in Mexican Spanish. Ph.D. Dissertation, University of California, Santa Cruz. Revised version published in 2005 by Routledge. Kempchinsky, Paula. 1991. On the characterization of a class of ditransitive verbs in Spanish, in H.Campos and F. Martínez-Gill (eds.), Current Studies in Spanish Linguistics. Washington D.C.: Georgetown University Press. PP. 201-240. ______________. 1992. The Spanish Possessive Dative Construction, in P. Hirshchbüler and K. Koerner (eds.), Romance Languages and Modern Linguistic Theory. PP. 123-134. Amsterdam: John Benjamins. Levin, Beth and Malka Rappaport Hovav. 1995. Unaccusativity: At the Syntax-Lexical Semantics Interface. Campridge, Mass.: MIT Press. Masullo, Pascual 1993. Incorporation and Case Theory in Spanish: A Crosslinguistic Perspective. Ph.D dissertation, University of Washington. McCready, Eric. and Chiyo Nishida. (To appear in 2007) Reflexive Intransitives in Spanish and Event Semantics in in Event Structures in Linguistic Form and Interpretation, Johannes Dölling & Tatjana Heyde-Zybatow (eds.) Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. To appear in February 2007. pp. 5-30. Monachesi, Paola. 1999. A Lexical Approach to Italian Cliticization. Stanford: CSLI Publications. Ordoñez, Francisco and Estela Treviño. 1999. ''Left Dislocated Subjects and the Pro-drop Parameter: A Case Study of Spanish''. Lingua. 107. 39-68. Parodi, Claudia. 1991. Aspects in the Syntax of Spanish Psych Verbs. Ph.D dissertation, UCLA. Sanz, Monserrat. 2000. Events and Predication. Amsterdam:John Benjamins. Smith, Carlota. 1997. The Parameter of Aspect, 2nd edition. Dordrecht: Kluwer. Sorace, Antonella. 2000. Gadients in auxiliary selection with intranstive verbs. Language 76: 859-890. Suñer, Margatirta 1988. The Role of Agreement in Clitic-doubled Constructions. NLLT 6: 391-434. Tenny, Carol and James Pustejovsky (eds.) 2000. Events as grammatical objects. Stanford: CSLI Publications. Uriagereka, Juan. 1995. Aspects of the syntax of clitic placement in Western Romance. LI 26: 79-123. Van Valin, Robert. 1990. Semantic Parameters of Split Intransitive. Language 66: 221-260. Wehrli, Eric. 1986. On some properties of French clitic se. In Syntax and Semantics, H. Borer (ed.), 263-284. London:Academic Press. Zagona, Karen. 1996. Compositionality of Aspect: Evidence from Spanish Aspectual se,in Parodi et al (eds.), Aspects of Romance Linguistics. Amsterdam:John Benjamins. PP. 476-488.


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