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Topics in A-Syntax  

IGRA 08: Topics in Syntax

Thursdays 11.15-12.45, SR H1 5.16, Beethovenstraße 15

Within the generative framework, structural positions are traditionally distinguished as being A(rgument) vs. A-bar. The former are positions that can be occupied by arguments, thus can be assigned a theta-role; the latter form an Elsewhere or negative category, denoting positions that are not A positions. This binary division has major implications for operations in syntax and the rules that apply to them: e.g. movement (A movement is typically bounded within finite clauses, while A-bar movement is not), Case assignment (only available for A positions), argument structure, agreement, and binding, among others.

This course will focus on the syntax of A positions. We will examine a series of dependencies that affect and involve A positions, such as:

  • phi-agreement

  • case

  • argument-structure

  • control

  • (hyper-)raising

  • EPP

  • object shift

  • passivization

  • binding

  • certain types of scrambling

We will also look at some recent works that call into question the status (A vs. A-bar) of certain types of syntactic operation and suggest that a hybrid approach may be called for.

Required Readings: 
  • Bhatt, Rajesh. 2016. Minimalist Approaches to the Syntax of South Asian Languages. The Language and Linguistics of South Asia. Eds. Hans Henrich Hock & Elena Bashir. De Gruyter, Mouton.

  •  Bhatt, Rajesh and Stefan Keine. 2018. A secondary crossover effect in Hindi-Urdu. Talk given at FASAL 8. Wichita State University. 

  • Collins, Chris. A smuggling approach to the passive in English. Syntax 8: 2, 81-120. 

  • Deal, Amy Rose. 2017. Covert hyperraising to object. Proceedings of NELS 47. Eds. Andrew Lamont & Katerina Tetzloff. 

  • Halpert, Claire. To Appear. Raising, unphased. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory. 

  • Hartman, Jeremy. 2011b. (Non-)intervention in A-movement: some cross-constructional and cross-linguistic consequences. Linguistic Variation 11.2: 121-148. 

  • Hicks, Glyn. 2009. Tough-constructions and their derivation. Linguistic Inquiry 40:4, 535-566.

  • Keine, Stefan. To Appear. Selective Opacity. Linguistic Inquiry. 

  • McFadden, Thomas. The position of morphological case in the derivation. University of Pennsylvania Dissertation. 

  • Polinsky, Maria. 2013. Raising and control. The Cambridge Handbook of Comparative Syntax, 577-606. Ed. Marcel den Dikken. Cambridge University Press. 

  • Salzmann, Martin. 2017. Prolepsis. The Wiley Blackwell Companion to Syntax. 2nd Edition. Eds. Martin Everaert and Henk C. van Riemsdijk.  

  • Sigurðsson, Halldór Ármann. On the new passive. Syntax 14:2, 148-178. 

  • Van Urk, Coppe. 2015. A uniform syntax for phrasal movement: A case study of Dinka Bor. MIT Dissertation. 

  • Vikner, Sten. 1994. Scandinavian object shift and West Germanic scrambling. Studies on Scrambling. Eds. Norbert Corver & Henk van Riemsdijk, 487-517. Mouton de Gruyter, Berlin


Additional Readings:

  • Bobaljik, Jonathan. 2002. A-Chains at the PF-Interface: Copies and `Covert' movement. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 20: 197-267. 

  • Bruening, Benjamin. To Appear. Passive do so. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory. 

  • Cable, Seth. 2012. The optionality of movement and EPP in Dholuo. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 30: 651-697. 

  • Chomsky, Noam. 1981. Lectures on Government and Binding. Mouton de Gruyter. Berlin. 

  • Fox, Danny. 1999. Reconstruction, binding theory, and the interpretation of chains. Linguistic Inquiry 30: 2, 157-196. 

  • Fleisher, Nicholas. 2013. On the absence of scope reconstruction in tough-subject A-chains. Linguistic Inquiry 44:2, 321-332.

  • Keine, Stefan. 2017. Case vs. positions in the locality of A-movement. University of Southern California. 

  • Longenbaugh, Nick. 2017. Composite A/A' movement: evidence from tough movement. 

  • Polinsky, Maria and Eric Potsdam. 2013. Diagnosing covert A-movement. Diagnosing Syntax, eds. Lisa Cheng & Norbert Corver.

  • Postal, Paul. 1974. On raising. MIT Press. Cambridge, MA. 

  • Safir, Ken. To Appear. The A-A'-distinction as an epiphenomenon. Linguistic Inquiry. 

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