photo of  non-syntactic island

Linguistics/General 225: Topics in Syntax           Spring 2011            UCSD
Prof. Grant Goodall

Work in syntax over the last 50 years has revealed a class of phenomena in which an element at the left periphery of the clause is related to a gap within the clause. This relation is of interest because on the one hand, it is remarkably free (there sometimes appears to be no principled limit on the possible distance between the two elements), while on the other hand, it is subject to certain restrictions (not all configurations for the two elements appear to be possible). Much of this research has been discussed in terms of islands: areas of the sentence in which gaps are not possible, or at least degraded. In this course we will explore how best to analyze island phenomena, with an emphasis on the various approaches that you are likely to encounter in the literature. As time permits, we will also touch upon some non-island constraints, such as the that-trace effect, for additional perspective.

Goals The main goals of the course are to give you:
- An overview of major current approaches to island phenomena.

- Experience in creating and evaluating arguments for an analysis, especially in the context of competing analyses from different components within or outside of the grammar.

- An opportunity to develop a research project related to the themes of the course.
Requirements Attendance and participation (20%): Most of this class will be devoted to reading articles from the recent literature and discussing them, so it is essential that you do the reading, attend class, and participate in discussions.

Discussion of reading (30%): You will lead the class discussion for one article during the quarter. To do this, you will prepare an overview of the paper’s main claims and arguments (in the form of a handout or slides) and you will review these for us in class. You will also guide the discussion as we evaluate the paper, compare it to others that we have read, and discuss its implications for future research.

Research project (50%): You will write a short research paper or research proposal that is related to the themes of this course. This paper/proposal should fit comfortably within your broader research trajectory (i.e. it should move you along towards developing a comps paper, qualifying, or completing your dissertation). You will present a preview of your project to the class in Week 10.





Discussion leaderHandouts/Slides

March 29 Ross 1967

March 31 Goodluck & Rochemont 1992

April 5 Szabolcsi, A. and M. den Dikken 2002

April 7 No class. Will need to be rescheduled.

April 12 Stepanov, A. (2007)
April 14 Jurka, Nakao & Omaki 2011

April 19 Sturgeon, A, Polinsky M, Gallo C G, Kravtchenko E, Koula V, Medova L.  In Press.   Tara

April 21 Chomsky, Noam (2008) 
interim summary

April 26 Erteschik-Shir, N. 2007 (excerpts) Bethany
April 28 Culicover, P. and R. Jackendoff (2005) (excerpts: pp. 301-338, 473-491) Ryan

May 3 Goldberg, A. 2007 (excerpts) Gary
May 5 Truswell, R. 2007 Dave

May 10 Kluender 2004
interim summary
May 12 Phillips 2006 Dan

May 17 Hofmeister & Sag 2010 Boyoung
May 19 Sprouse, Wagers & Phillips 2010

May 24 Kush, Omaki & Hornstein, in press Emily

May 26 that-trace effect

May 31 student presentations
April 7 session will be made up in this week

June 2 student presentations

Bibliography (readings for discussion plus others of interest)
Historical antecedents / Overview
Boeckx, Cedric (2007). Islands. Language and Linguistics Compass 2/1: 151–167.
Goodluck, Helen and Michael Rochemont, 1992. Introduction to Island Constraints: theory, acquisition, and processing, H. Goodluck & M.S. Rochemont (eds). Pp. 1--33. Kluwer.

Ross, J. 1967. Constraints on variables in syntax. Cambridge, MA: MIT dissertation.
Szabolcsi, A. 2006. Strong and weak islands. In Martin Everaert and Henkvan Riemsdijk, eds, The Blackwell Companion to Syntax. Mouton de Gruyter.
Szabolcsi, A. and M. den Dikken (2002).  Islands.  In Lisa Cheng and Rint Sybesma, eds., The Second GLOT State-of-the-Article Book, Mouton de Gruyter (2002)
Chomsky, Noam (2008). "On Phases". I9n Freidin, Robert; Otero, Carlos P.; Zubizarreta, Maria Luisa. Foundational Issues in Linguistic Theory. Essays in Honor of Jean-Roger Vergnaud. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press. pp. 133–166
Fox, Danny, and David Pesetsky (2005). Cyclic linearization. Theoretical Linguistics.
Jurka, J. 2010. The importance of being a complement: CED effects revisited. Doctoral Dissertation, University of Maryland.
Jurka, Johannes, Chizuru Nakao, and Akira Omaki. It's not the end of the CED as we know it. Proceedings of the 28th West Coast Conference on
Formal Linguistics, ed. Mary Byram Washburn et al., 124-132. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Proceedings Project.   
Kush, Omaki, Hornstein in press

Nunes, J. and J. Uriagereka. 2000. Cyclicity and extraction domains. Syntax 3, 20–43.
Rizzi Luigi (2002). Locality and Left Periphery. In Belletti, A., ed. (2002) Structures and Beyond. The Cartography of Syntactic Structures, vol. 3, OUP
Sag, Ivan A.. (2010). English filler-gap constructions. Language, Volume 86, Number 3, September 2010, pp. 486-545.
Stepanov, A. (2007). The End of CED? Minimalism and Extraction Domains, Syntax, 10, 80-126.
Sturgeon, A, Polinsky M, Gallo C G, Kravtchenko E, Koula V, Medova L.  In Press.  Subject islands are different. FASL.
Szabolcsi A. and F. Zwarts. 1993. Weak islands and an algebraic semantics of scope taking. Natural Language Semantics 1(3).235-284.
Truswell, R. 2007. Extraction from adjuncts and the structure of events. Lingua 117.1355–1377.
Deane, P. 1991. Limits to attention: a cognitive theory of island phenomena. Cognitive Linguistics 2.1-63.
Hawkins, J. A. 1999. Processing complexity and filler-gap dependencies across grammars. Language 75.244-285.
Hofmeister, P. and I. A. Sag. 2010. Cognitive constraints and island effects. Language 86.
Kluender, R. 1998. On the distinction between strong and weak islands: a processing perspective. Syntax and Semantics 29:The Limits of Syntax.241-279.
Kluender, R. 2004. Are subject islands subject to a processing account? Proceedings of the West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics 23, ed. by V. Chand, A. Kelleher, A. J. Rodriguez, and B. Schmeiser, 101–125. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press.
Phillips, C. (2006). The real-time status of island phenomena. Language 82, 795-823.
Sprouse, Wagers, Phillips. A test of the relation between working memory capacity and syntactic island effects
Information structure
Erteschik-Shir, N. 1973. On the nature of island constriaints. Cambridge, MA: MIT dissertation.
Erteschik-Shir, N. 2007. Information structure: The syntax-discourse interface. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Goldberg, A. 2007. Constructions at work. Oxford University Press.
Culicover, P. and R. Jackendoff (2005). Simpler Syntax. Oxford University Press.    
that-trace effect
Bouma, G. Malouf, R. Sag, I. A. (2001). Satisfying Constraints on Extraction and Adjunction Natural Language and Linguistic Theory, 19: 1,  pages 1-65
Kandybowicz, J. (2006). Comptrace Effects Explained Away. In Donald Baumer, David Montero and Michael Scanlon (eds.), Proceedings of the 25th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics, 220–228. Somerville, MA: Cascadilla Press.
Rizzi, L. and U. Shlonsky (2007). Strategies of subject extraction. In GÄRTNER, H. M. & SAUERLAND, U. (eds.). Interfaces + Recursion = Language? Chomsky's Minimalism and the View from Syntax-Semantics. Berlin, Mouton de Gruyter. (co-author: Luigi Rizzi). Pp. 115-160.