Course Meeting Times

Lectures: 1 session / week, 3 hours / session


From each set of readings, two (in most weeks) will be highlighted for presentation by students, either alone or in pairs (depending on enrollment). In addition, each student will write a research paper connected to the issues discussed in class and present his/her research during the final weeks of class.

Lecture 1: Approaches to Argument Structure: Projection vs. Construction

Lecture 2: Theta Roles, Decomposition, the External Argument, and the Object

Dowty, D. R. "Aspectual Classes of Verbs." Chap. 2 in Word Meaning and Montague Grammar. Dordrecht: D. Reidel, 1979, pp. 37-132.

Hale, K., and S. J. Keyser. "On Argument Structure and the Lexical Expression of Syntactic Relations." In The View from Building 20. Edited by K. Hale and S. J. Keyser. Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1993, pp. 53-109.

Jackendoff, R. Semantic Structures. Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1990, pp. 44-83.

Kratzer, A. "Severing the External Argument from its Verb." In Phrase Structure and the Lexicon. Edited by J. Rooryck and L. Zaring. Dordrecht: Kluwer Academic Publishers, pp. 109-137.

Levin, B. "Objecthood: An event structure perspective." CLS 35, vol. 1. (1999).

Parsons, T. Events in the Semantics of English: A Study in Subatomic Semantics. Cambridge: The MIT Press, 1990, pp. 68-126.

Lecture 3: Applicatives I - High and Low Applicatives, Possessor Dative, and the Japanese Passive

Pylkkänen, L. Introducing Arguments. 2002, chap. 2.

Student presentations:

Kubo, M. "Working Papers of the Department of Languages & Cultures." (University of Hokkaido). Japanese passives 23 (1992).
Landau, I. "Possessor Raising and the Structure of VP." Lingua 107 (1999): 1-37.

Optional reading:

Koizumi, M. "Secondary predicates." Journal of East Asian Linguistics 3 (1994): 25-79.

Lecture 4: Applicative Constructions/Double Objects II

Student presentations:

Marantz, A. "Implications of Asymmetries in Double Object Constructions." In Theoretical Aspects of Bantu Grammar 1. Edited by Sam. A. Mchombo. Stanford, CA: CSLI Publications, 1993, pp. 113-151.

Richards, Norvin. "An Idiomatic Argument for Lexical Decomposition." Linguistic Inquiry.

Optional readings:

Cuervo, Cristina. "Structural Asymmetries but Same Word Order: The Dative Alternation in Spanish." In Asymmetry in Grammar. Edited by A. M. di Sciullo. Amsterdam: Benjamins. (to appear)

McGinnis, Martha. "Object Asymmetries in a Phase Theory of Syntax." In Proceedings of the 2001 CLA Annual Conference. Edited by John T. Jensen and Gerard van Herk. Department of Linguistics, University of Ottawa: Cahiers Linguistiques d'Ottawa, 2002, pp. 133-144.

Lecture 5: Causatives I Syntactic Causative and the Role of the Causee

Pylkkänen. 2002, Chap. 3.

Student Presentation:

Alsina, A. "On the Argument Structure of Causatives." Linguistic Inquiry 23, 4 (1992): 517-557.

Miyagawa, S. "Causatives." In Handbook of Japanese Linguistics. Edited by N. Tsujiumra. Blackwell, 1999.

Optional Reading:

Ippolito, Michela. "Remarks on the Argument Structure of Romance Causatives." 2001. MIT ms.

Lecture 7: Causatives II Syntactic and Lexical Causatives

Pylkkänen. Chap. 3 (continued).

Student Presentations:

Fodor, J. "Three Reasons for Not Deriving 'Kill' from 'Cause to Die'." Linguistic Inquiry 1 (1970): 429-438.

Dubinsky, S., M. Lloret, and P. Newman. "Lexical and syntactic causatives in Oromo." Language 64 (1988).

Optional Reading:

Miyagawa, S. "(S)Ase as an Elsewhere Causative and the Syntactic Nature of Words." Journal of Japanese Linguistics 16 (1998).

Lecture 8: Roots and Alternations

Levin, Beth. English Verb Classes and Alternations: A Preliminary Investigation. Chicago: University of Chicago Press, Part One, 1993.

Student Presentations:

Arad, M. "Locality constraints on the interpretation of roots: the case of Hebrew denominal verbs." 2001. Ms.

Folli, Raffaella, and Heidi Harley. "Consuming Results in Italian & English: Flavors of v ." In Aspect. Edited by P. Kemchinsky and R. Slabakova. Kluwer. (to appear)

Lecture 9: Nominalizations

Marantz, A. "No Escape from Syntax: Don't Try Morphological Analysis in the Privacy of Your Own Lexicon." Edited by A. Dimitriadis, L. Siegel, et. al. University of Pennsylvania Working Papers in Linguistics 4.2 (1997): 201-225. Proceedings of the 21st Annual Penn Linguistics Colloquium.

Alexiadou, Artemis. Functional Structure in Nominals: Nominalization and Ergativity. Amsterdam: John Benjamins, 2001, chap. 1-3.

Fu, J. T. Roeper, and H. Borer. "The VP Within Nominalizations: Evidence from Adverbs and the VP Anaphor Do-So." Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 19, 3 (2001): 549-582.

Student Presentation:

Harley, H., and R. Noyer. "Mixed Nominalizations, Short Verb Movement and Object Shift in English." Proceedings of NELS 28. University of Massachusetts at Amherst, GLSA, 1998.

Hazout, Ilan. "Action Nominalizations and the Lexicalist Hypothesis." NLLT, 13 (1995): 355-04.

Lecture 10: Statives vs. Passives

Embick, David. "Remarks on the Structure of Resultative Participles in English." 2002. Upenn ms.

Kratzer, Angelika. "All Kinds of Passive Participles." 1998.

Student Presentation:

Dubinsky, Stanley, and Sylvester Ron Simango. "Passive and Stative in Chichewa: Evidence for Modular Distinctions in Grammar." Language 72 (1996): 749-81.

Levin, B., and M. Rappaport. "The Formation of Adjectival Passives." Linguistic Inquiry 17 (1986): 623-661.


Pesetsky, David. Zero Syntax. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 1995, chap. 2.

Between lectures 10 and 11: Slippage and Student Presentations