Instructor(s): Irina Nikolaeva

The course is an introduction to syntactic typology, which studies the ways in which languages of world differ and are similar in their syntactic structure. Modern linguistics maintains that syntactic variations are not random: languages vary according to identifiable patterns and only a fraction of logically possible grammars is attested among the world's languages. We will discuss some of these patterns and identify the structural properties which can/cannot vary across languages. The topics include alignment and the differential expression of core arguments, valence alternations (e.g. causatives and applicatives), clause combining, the structure of relative clauses, words order typology and (non-) configurationality. We will also look at possible explanations suggested in different linguistic frameworks for the attested patterns of variation. The course will mainly be lecture-style, but data from a typologically wide range of languages will be brought to class and students are encouraged to participate in class discussions.

This introduction will require some familiarity with language structure. The prerequisite is a basic course in syntax.

Course ID:

Tue & Fri 8:30-10:15

Classroom: KOBL 300

Areas of Linguistics:
Syntax and Morphology
Semantics, Pragmatics and Discourse