What are pronouns made of and other topics in Nanosyntax

Michal Starke

In this class, we will discuss what modern syntactic trees look like and how they get interpreted (phonologically and conceptually). We will build on various modern trends such as cartography, remnant movement, structuralised semantics, etc. which have in common the observation that grammar becomes very fine-grained once we try to capture word-order phenomena beyond the basics in a principled way.

Related theoretical topics that are likely to come up concern the nature of syntactic features (privative? binary? always projected or can be missing?), the features that make a noun be a noun and a verb be a verb, what drives movement, the internal structure of the lexicon, etc.

We will get at these questions through various empirical phenomena, among which the internal structure of pronouns (maybe connecting to the issue of logophoric pronouns discussed in seminars by Sundaresan and Pearson), the nature of eventive nouns, the internal structure of -ING, etc.