Information Structure and the Syntax-Semantics Interface

Instructor(s): Robert Van Valin

The syntax-semantics interface encompasses many core grammatical phenomena, such as grammatical relations, voice, case marking, ellipsis, and binding, and there have been extensive theoretical debates over the best characterization of the interplay between syntax and semantics in such phenomena. In this course we will explore the possibility that information structure plays a role in these phenomena as well, potentially leading to new analyses and a new conceptualization. of the interface. The course will begin with an introduction to information structure and then go on to develop a model of the linking between syntax and semantics, in terms of which the above phenomena can be analyzed and the potential interaction with information structure investigated. Data from a typologically diverse set of languages will be considered. The course will primarily involve lectures, and it presupposes a basic background in grammatical analysis.

Introduction to syntax, introduction to semantics, or equivalents

Textbook (Available at CU Bookstore):
Title: Exploring the syntax-semantics interface
ISBN: 9780521010566
Author/Editor:Van Valin
Publisher: Cambridge University Press