Basics of syntax (10 hours)

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Module overview

The goal of this module is for you to learn the fundamental concepts of syntax, which will then help you in the later syntax modules which will examine specific syntactic differences between languages. By the end of the module, hopefully you will be able to do the following things:

Module instructions

This module includes five tasks. For each task, you will need to read something and then answer some questions; some of these questions may require a long time to think about. These tasks are meant to be done in order (i.e., the intention is for you to not start one task until you have done the previous task; when this was taught via an LMS the later modules would be "locked" until the student completed the previous ones). To receive credit for completing this module, you must complete all the tasks at a satisfactory level of quality.

Next to each task I have written an estimate of how much time you might need to complete the task. This is, of course, a rough estimate, and the real time may be different for different students.

Module activities

  1. Grammaticality and acceptability (2 hours)
  2. Functional categories (1 hour)
  3. Constituency (4 hours)
  4. Structural ambiguity (1 hour)
  5. Basic phrase structure: heads, complements, and adjuncts (2 hours)

Suggested discussion topics/activities

by Stephen Politzer-Ahles. Last modified on 2021-04-23. CC-BY-4.0.