Linguistics 222B:
Foundations of Syntactic Theory II

Filler-Gap Dependencies (Unbounded Dependency Constructions)

Winter 2011-2012

Course Description

This course is concerned with filler-gap dependencies (aka long-distance dependences, unbounded dependencies, and wh-movement) and their treatment in syntactic theories over the past forty years or so. The readings will be a small sample of the vast literature on this topic.

Constraints on fillers
  • Constraints on gap-containers
  • Generalizing constraints beyond filler-gap relations
  • Cross-language variation in filler-gap constructions
  • Are there silent pronouns (traces) in gap positions?
  • Does the region between filler and gap mediate (Swooping vs. Looping)?
  • Are fillers moved from gap positions?
  • Weak vs. strong islands
  • Semantic/pragmatic explanations for some constraints
  • Processing explanations for some constraints

    For a syllabus and further links relevant to class lecture and discussion, see below.

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    Syllabus (Dates are links)

    Jan 9
    Introduction to LDDs
    Jan 11
    Ross on Island Constraints. The A-over-A Principle.
    Jan 16
    Martin Luther King Day: No Class
    Jan 18
    The (Revised) Extended Standard
    Jan 23
    Cross-Language Variation 1: The Accessibility Hierarchy.
    Jan 25
    Taking Stock. Explaining Island Constraints
    Jan 30
    LDDs in GB 1
    Feb 1
    LDDs in GB 2
    Feb 6
    Cross-Language Variation 2: Sensitivity to Extraction Domains
    Feb 8
    LDDs in GPSG
    Feb 13
    Crossover Constraints
    Feb 15
    Parasitic Gaps
    Feb 20
    Presidents' Day: No Class
    Feb 22
    Evidence for Traces?
    Feb 27
    Feb 22
    Evidence for Traces?
    Mar 5
    LDDs in Categorial Grammar
    Mar 7
    LDDs in HPSG
    Mar 12
    Semantic/Pragmatic/Processing Factors
    Mar 14
    Processing Factors

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    Last Updated: Jan 9 2012