Introduction to syntax

Syntax, in its most general sense, is the study of the structure of sentences in natural language. In this course, we will approach syntax from the perspective of generative transformational grammar, as pioneered through the work of Noam Chomsky, and developed over the past four decades. Our goals are three-fold. First, to understand the nature of language as viewed from the structural perspective, and to understand the sort of insight about language this perspective affords. Second, to understand the nature and application of certain empirical methods to theoretical hypotheses within linguistics. And third, to understand certain general principles or laws of language which can be elucidated from the structural perspective by the empirical methods. The material in the course primarily will be drawn from English, but occasional reference will be made to other languages (although no prior knowledge is presupposed).
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