SEnglish Generative Grammar

Credit points: 0
Contact hours: 30
Type: Lectures

Course Description

The course introduces the student to one of the most influential linguistic theories of our time: the generative theory of Noam Chomsky and his followers. The student will first familiarise him/herself with the major characteristics of the Chomskyan approach to language, including the basic terminology and methodology of generative grammar. This will be followed by a detailed discussion of the recent version of Chomskyan grammar, Principles and Parameters theory, with special emphasis on universal principles of sentence formation on the one hand, and language-specific rules on the other.

The course is intended primarily for students who wish to broaden their linguistic knowledge and gain a deeper insight into the structure of English and human language in general. It helps develop the ability to reflect on language in a meaningful and creative way, and provides a solid background for independent study of contemporary linguistic literature.

Course Requirements

Obligatory attendance of and active participation in class; weekly home assignments; a short in-class presentation on a chosen topic; final written examination.

Required Textbook

Haegeman, L. 1995. Introduction to Government & Binding Theory. Oxford, UK in Cambridge, Mass.: Blackwell.

Suggested Reading

Chomsky, N. 1989. Language and Problems of Knowledge. The Managua Lectures. Cambridge, Mass.: MIT Press.

Chomsky, N. 2000. New Horizons in the Study of Language & Mind. Cambridge: CUP.

Cook, V. in Newson, M. 1996. Chomsky’s Universal Grammar. Oxford, UK and Cambridge, Mass.: Blackwell.

Golden, M. 2000. Teorije opisnega jezikoslovja: I. Skladnja. Ljubljana: Filozofska fakulteta.

Newmeyer, F. 2005. Possible and Probable Languages. Oxford: OUP.

McGilvray, J. (ed.). 2005. The Cambridge Companion to Chomsky. Cambridge: CUP.

Pinker, S. 1995. The Language Instinct. New York: Harper and Collins.

Radford, R. 1997. Syntax. A Minimalist Introduction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Radford, R. 2004. Minimalist Syntax. Cambridge: CUP.