Léa Nash and Maria Polinsky: Introduction to Syntax

How do people put words into sentences? How does a naïve speaker of a language know what is right and what is wrong in their language? These are core questions that syntacticians seek to answer. This course presents the basic concepts of modern syntactic theory and focuses on the construction of a rigorous model of sentence structure. The main emphasis in this course is on giving the students skills needed to do syntax on their own. You will learn terminology, facts, and the machinery required for a particular theory of syntax, but more importantly, you will be introduced to syntactic argumentation and the basics of theory construction. The empirical data used in the course come primarily from English, but we will also bring in data from Georgian and other languages.

Tree practice

Day 1.handout

Days 4-5.Movement