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Module Reading List

Syntactic Theory, 2021/22, Semester 1
Diane Nelson
Tutor information is taken from the Module Catalogue

Linguistics and Phonetics

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Syntactic Theory   LING3030

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Reading list

Dr. Diane Nelson

The main core text for this module is:

Carnie, Andrew (2013) Syntax: A Generative Introduction (3rd edition). Blackwell. Available online.

Secondary texts:

Geoffrey Poole (2011) Syntactic theory. Palgrave (2nd edition). This is a good, solid P&P textbook.  

Liliane Haegeman (1994) Introduction to Government and Binding Theory (2nd ed). Basil Blackwell. Page number references given for the reading are for the second edition of this textbook. This older text is a very comprehensive introduction to Principles and Parameters and quite well explained, but tends to go off on tangents and some of the grammaticality judgements are dodgy.

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Supplementary reading (very few available online, sorry)

Principles & Parameters Textbooks

There are now many syntax textbooks on the market that cover Principles and Parameters theory. Each one has its own style. If you are struggling with the way Haegeman explains a particular aspect of the theory, then you should consult another text to see if another author explains it more clearly. Some starting points are given below.

Culicover, Peter (1997) Principles and parameters : an introduction to syntactic theory. Oxford University Press.

Larson, Richard K. (2010) Grammar as science ISBN: 9780262513036 (pbk.) : £33.95; 026251303X (pbk.) : £33.95. Cambridge: MIT Press.

Radford, Andrew (1988) Transformational grammar : a first course. Cambridge. A huge tome that nicely explains several key aspects of current syntactic theory (like X-Bar). A good reference for general grammar-related topics. (***Note: Andrew Radford’s Syntax : a minimalist introduction (1997) is not a good book to use as it assumes a different framework and will only make you confused).

Roberts, Ian (1997) Comparative Syntax. Arnold. A good, well-written textbook, but rather technical.

Other useful books (inc. general grammar, terminology, reference, etc)

Bauer, Laurie (2007). The linguistics student's handbook. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Chomsky, Noam (1981) Lectures on government and binding Foris. The original GB text, but be warned, Chomsky is notoriously difficult to read.

Pinker, Steven (1994) The Language Instinct. Morrow. Not required reading, but highly recommended. Lively and funny.

Tallerman, Maggie (2011) Understanding Syntax (3 rd edition). Hodder.

Trask, RL (1993) A dictionary of grammatical terms in linguistics. Routledge.

Linguistic inquiry.. The favourite journal of Chomskyan linguistics. This is the place to find the most up-to-date published articles. Lingua, Glossa. ISSN: 0017-1271Journal of Linguistics. ISSN: 0022-2267 and Natural language and linguistic theory. ISSN: 0167-806X are other good journals for the latest generative work.

This list was last updated on 16/09/2021