Nyelvtudományi Intézet  > Szakcsoport  > Minikurzusok 2017



Szintaxis minikurzusok 2017




20. February


21. February


22. February


23. february


24. February


G. Ramchand G. Ramchand G. Ramchand G. Ramchand G. Ramchand  
14.00-15.00 J. Bobaljik J. Bobaljik J. Bobaljik J. Bobaljik    

Jonathan Bobaljik kurzusát a Nyelvészet az Oktatásban és a Kutatásban Alapítvány támogatja.

Gillian Ramchand kurzusa a Tempus Közalapítvány (EEA Financial Mechanism 2009-2014, HU08 Scholarship Programme, EGT/156/M2-0004) támogatásával valósul meg.  


Intensive special course / lecture series: Situations and Events and The English Auxiliary System


Teacher: Gillian Ramchand

Address: Department of Language and Culture, University of Tromsø the Arctic University of Norway

Email address: gillian.ramchand@uit.no


Location of Course: Research Institute for Linguistics, Hungarian Academy of Sciences

Dates: February 20-24, 2017

Time: 10:30-12:30


Course Title and Description:

Situations and Events and The English Auxiliary System

In this course, we will examine the semantics of situations and their properties, to build up a formal compositional account of the auxiliary structures of English.  But we will do so in a novel way, seeking to account for the typological ordering of verbal ingredients without stipulated syntactic templates.  The idea is to ground the orderings we find in the cognitive ontologies of the human linguistic interpretive device, thus exploring the possibility of a closer representational mapping between syntactic form and cognitive categories such as temporal vs. atemporal situational abstractions.  In doing so, we will have to build on the insights and analyses of the formal semantics tradition, but radically transform its building blocks. In addition to the desideratum of deriving auxiliary ordering, we will also aim for unified interpretations for the lexical ingredients such as the participle in –ing, the participle in ­–ed, and the helping verbs have, be and the English modals.

Day-to-day program:

Monday: Background to situations in semantics; linguistic typology and the verbal extended projection.

Tuesday: The progressive

Wednesday: The passive

Thursday: The perfect

Friday: Modal verbs and their flavours

Background Reading list:

Hallman, P. 2009. Instants and Intervals and the Event/State Distinction, ms. UCLA

*Kratzer, A. (1977). What “must” and “can” must and can mean. 

Linguistics and Philosophy 1 (1), 337–355.

Kratzer, A. 2014. Situations in natural language semantics. In E. Zalta (ed.) Stanford Encyclopedia of Philosophy.

Kratzer, A. 2000. Building Statives. In Proceedings of BLS. Pg 385-399.

Simons. M. 2005. Dividing things up : the semantics of or  and the modal/or interaction. Natural Language Semantics 13. Pp 271-316.

*Landman, F. (1992). The progressive. Natural Language Semantics 1(1).

*Parsons. T. 1990.  Events in the Semantics of English. MIT Press.

*Portner, P. 2003. The temporal semantics and modal pragmatics of the perfect. Linguistics and Philosophy 26. Pp 459-510.

Stowell, T. 2004. Tense and Modals. In J. Gueron and J. Lecarme (eds.). The Syntax of Tense and Aspect.  Pp 621-636.  Cambridge, MA : MIT Press

Werner, T. (2006). Future and nonfuture modal sentences. Natural Language Semantics 14 (3), 235–255. 

Assignment for Course Credit:

Write up a 5 page research project proposal based on any of the ideas presented in this course and a data problem or selected empirical ground from a language other than English.  You are to imagine you are applying for funding for a project or for a PhD research topic. You need to describe the theoretical problem, the background literature, the central research questions and the methodology to be used to tackle the problem.



Intensive special course / lecture series: Case and Agreement Dependencies


Teacher: Jonathan Bobaljik

Address: Department of Linguistics, University of Connecticut

E-mail address: jonathan.bobaljik@uconn.edu


Location of course: Research Institute for Linguistics, Hungarian Academy of Sciences

Dates: February 20-23, 2017

Time: 14:00-15:30


Course Title and Description:

Case and Agreement Dependencies

In this mini-course, we will reexamine recent advances in our understanding of case and agreement, with a particular emphasis on broad, cross-linguistic generalizations and patters that differ from the 'standard European' languages. Topics to be addressed will include:

(i) Dependent Case Theory (DCT, Marantz 1991, Baker 2015, and earlier antecedents - Comrie, Kibrik) as an alternative to the Vergnaud-Chomsky (LGB) theory of abstract Case. DCT treats case as a mechanism independent of nominal licensing, and independent of agreement, rejecting the "two sides of the same coin" view (Chomsky, Nichols). What is the evidence that bears on this alternative conception of case - how strong were the arguments for Chomsky-Vergnaud licensing?

(ii) Ergativity: the prevalent view of ergative case within the broadly LGB-Minimalist tradition is that ergative is a species of 'inherent', rather than structural case (Legate, Woolford). There is good evidence that this cannot be universally correct (Baker & Bobaljik, in press). Is there evidence that ergative is ever inherent?

(iii) Dixon (1994) and others have noted that case and agreement may mismatch in their alignment, but only in one way. Languages are well-attested with an ergative/absolutive case alignment but a nominative/accusative [=subject-object] agreement alignment, but the reverse is claimed not to occur. Bobaljik 2008 offers an account of this asymmetry (cf. Baker 2008) which crucially rejects the 'two-sides' view of case and agreement. We revisit that argument, arguing that the generalization survives despite subsequent challenges (Legate, Deal).

(iv) Case and agreement also differ in broad terms in the prevalence of active (Split S, Fluid S) alignments, far more robustly attested in  agreement patterns than in case patterns. The Dependent Case Theory  (DCT, Marantz 1991, Baker 2015), invoked in the account of (i), may predict this distribution. Under this perspective, agreement is a relationship between NPs and functional heads (thus an active pattern is  readily described), but case represents a relationship among NPs in a given domain. On this view, the absolute position of a single NP should play no role, thus an active pattern requires additional machinery. We offer a somewhat tentative exploration of ways in which even the best-described active case patterns show evidence of further complexity beneath surface appearances, consistent with the expectations of DCT.

Assignment for Course Credit:

The course requirement is attendance. Feel free to write up an essay related to the course and send it to Prof. Bobaljik; he will send you feedback and comments.






Elméleti nyelvészeti BA
Elméleti nyelvészet MA
kurzusok a szakon és a doktori programon