Advanced syntax: Verb phrases (9 hours)

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Module overview

Now that you've learned about the basics of syntactic analysis, we will use some of those concepts to further examine a specific issue in syntax: the structure of verb phrases. We will see that there is hidden structure within a verb phrase, which can be revealed by linguistic tests. By the end of the module, hopefully you will be able to do the following things:

Module instructions

This module includes eight 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. Pre-reflection (5 minutes)
  2. Background concepts (25 minutes)
  3. Syntactic differences between main verbs and auxiliary verbs:
  4. The Inflectional Phrase (2 hours)
  5. Main verbs and auxiliary verbs in French (2 hours)
  6. Bringing it all together: verbs and the IP in Chinese (3 hours)

Suggested discussion topics/activities

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