Germanic Languages | The Structure of Modern German
G551 | 2639 | Sprouse
Three credit hour course meets; 5:45-7:00, MW in BH 137.
The primary objective of this course is to introduce Germanic Studies
Department graduate students to the syntax of Modern German within the
framework of recent, mainstream generative theory (Chomsky's minimalist
program and the government-binding theory form which MP developed). Much of
the course will stress comparative issues, primarily relating to German and
English, but also bringing in material from other languages.
No specific background in linguistics will be assumed.
In order to gain a basic familiarity with contemporary syntactic theory, in
the first part of the course, we will work through Radford's (1997) textbook
Syntax: A Minimalist Introduction, heavily supplementing it, however, from
the perspective of German syntax. In a similar fashion, we will also use Cook
and Newson's (1996) textbook Chomsky's Universal Grammar: An Introduction (2nd
edition) for background on the government-binding theory.
In the second part of the course, we will turn to more detailed analyses of
German syntax. Our special topic for this offering of G551 will be the
morpho-syntax of argument structure ("valency"), voice, aspect, and causatives
During the first part of the course, students will prepare assignments (from
one of the textbooks and/or devised by the instructor) for most class
sessions, and a substantial portion of class time will be devoted to a
discussion of these assignments. In the second part of the course, the
instructor will supply study questions for the articles and book chapters
under discussion. (Copies of articles and book chapters assigned or suggested
will be available in BH 643.) Class attendance, preparation, and
participation are an integral part of the course. Over the course of the
semester, students will have four (4) written assignments to hand in.
Following an "almost final" exam, during the last couple of weeks each student
will give an in-class expos‚, which may then serve as the groundwork for the
(+) Cook, V.J. & Mark Newson. 1996. Chomsky's Universal Grammar: An
(+) Green, Georgia M. & Jerry L. Morgan. 1996. Practical Guide to Syntactic
(+) Radford, Andrew. 1997. Syntax: A minimalist introduction.