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

Spring 2009

SPN 383N • Spanish Generative Syntax

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
47425 W
2:00 PM-5:00 PM
MEZ 1.104

Course Description

Chomsky's Principles and Parameters and Minimalist theory are applied to the description of Spanish as a Pro-drop language. The structural features of the language derive by general principles operating on the system of agreements, rather than by construction-specific rules. Binding principles that define the use of pronouns account for Spanish null pronouns, which are identified by subject agreement affixes and object clitics. Inflectional affixes require Verb-movement, and this affects the form of verbal complements, in particular, clausal ones. Distribution and Case-marking of que, word-order in wh-clauses, control and obviation phenomena, Exceptional Case-marking, as well as clitic pronoun movement, follow from V-movement. The Pro-drop property also relates to the occurrence of reflexives in passive, middle-voice and impersonal sentences, as well as to the lexical preference for Dative-assigning verbs, such as alegrar, gustar, enojar, etc.

Grading Policy

1 mid-term exam (40% course grade), and 1 term paper (60% course grade).


TEXTBOOKS AND/OR CLASS MATERIALS: Zagona, Karen. 2002. The Syntax of Spanish. 2nd. Part. Cambridge University Press. Radford, Andrew. 1997. Syntax: a Minimalist Introduction. Cambridge University Press. Additional required readings: Ausín, Adolfo and Marcela Depiante. 2000. "On the syntax of parecer ('to seem') with and without experiencer". Hispanic Linguistics at the Turn of the Millennium, ed. by Campos, Héctor, et al. 155-170. Bosque, Ignacio. 1994. La negación y el PCV. Gramática del Español, ed. de Violeta Demonte. 167-199. Publicaciones de NRFH, El Colegio de México. Contreras, Heles. 1996. Sobre la distribución de los sintagmas nominales no predicativos sin determinante. El Sustantivo sin Determinación: la Ausencia de Determinante en la Lengua Española, ed. de Ignacio Bosque. 141-168. Madrid: Visor Libros. Demonte, Violeta. 1995. Dative alternation in Spanish. Probus 7, 5-30. Di Tulio, Angela. 2004. Los verbos psicológicos y la estatividad. Realizaciones del español. Cuadernos de Lingüística XI, ed. by Fábregas, Antonio and M. E. Simoni. 23-42. Instituto Universitario Ortega y Gasset, Madrid. Franco, Jon. 1990. Towards a typology of psych-verbs: evidence from Spanish. MITWPL 12. 46-92. Montrul, Slvina. 1996. Clitic-doubled dative subjects in Spanish. Grammatical theory and Romance languages: Selected Papers from the 25th Linguistic Symposium on Romance Languages (LSRL XXV), ed. by Zagona, Karen. John Benjamins, Amsterdam. 183-195. Suñer, Margarita. 1988. The role of agreement in clitic-doubled constructions. NLLT 6. 391-434. Torrego, Esther. 1996. Experiencers and raising verbs. Current Issues in Comparative Grammar, ed. by Freidin, Robert. 101-121. Kluwer Academic Publishers. Zubizarreta, María-Luisa. 1994. El orden de palabras en español y el caso nominativo. Gramática del Español, ed. de V. Demonte. 21-49. Publicaciones de NRFH.


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