Department of Global and Interdisciplinary Studies

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LIN300ZA(言語学 / Linguistics 300)
Syntactic Theory


Class code etc
Faculty/Graduate school Department of Global and Interdisciplinary Studies
Attached documents
Year 2022
Class code A6339,A6533
Previous Class code
Previous Class title (Language in the Mind I)
Term 春学期授業/Spring
Day/Period 火3/Tue.3
Class Type
Campus 市ヶ谷 / Ichigaya
Classroom name 各学部・研究科等の時間割等で確認
Grade 3~4
Credit(s) 2
Open Program
Open Program (Notes)
Global Open Program
Interdepartmental class taking system for Academic Achievers
Interdepartmental class taking system for Academic Achievers (Notes) 制度ウェブサイトの3.科目別の注意事項 (1) GIS主催科目の履修上の注意を参照すること。
Class taught by instructors with practical experience
Urban Design CP
Diversity CP
Learning for the Future CP
Carbon Neutral CP
Chiyoda Campus Consortium
Duplicate Subjects Taken Under Previous Class Title ×
Category (commenced 2024 onwards)
Category (commenced 2020-2023)
Category (commenced 2016-2019)

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Outline and objectives

The study of syntax (in particular that of English) via investigation and experiment.


Two goals. First, an insight into the nature of syntax. Secondly, a better grasp of how to go about understanding any phenomena that at first seem baffling, or in other words the acquisition of some aspects of scientific method via the careful examination of language.

Which item of the diploma policy will be obtained by taking this class?

Will be able to gain “DP 1”, “DP 2”, and “DP 4”.

Default language used in class

英語 / English

Method(s)(学期の途中で変更になる場合には、別途提示します。 /If the Method(s) is changed, we will announce the details of any changes. )

We use a textbook that does not presuppose a knowledge of linguistics but does assume that the reader has an intellectual curiosity and an appetite for language-related exercises and real thinking. This will be very much a “300-level” course, or anyway a course for thinking adults.

Students both submit work for assignments and get comments on this work via “Hoppii”.

Active learning in class (Group discussion, Debate.etc.)

あり / Yes

Fieldwork in class

なし / No


授業形態/methods of teaching:対面/face to face



Linguistics and syntax reintroduced

2[対面/face to face]:Phrase Structure Rules

Sentence-generation rules; phrase structure rules; tree diagrams

3[対面/face to face]:Hypothesized Grammars

Grammars as hypothesized by linguists; testing hypothesized grammars

4[対面/face to face]:Comparing Rules and Theories

Comparing rules that have different implications; comparing grammars that seem to have the same implications

5[対面/face to face]:Constituency

What constituency is and how to test for it

6[対面/face to face]:Trees and Tree Relations; Category

Syntactic trees; proforms; antecedents; c-command; categories of words (parts of speech) and of phrases, and category determination

7[対面/face to face]:Revising Grammars

Refresher in logic; experimentation; bug-fixing and refinements

8[対面/face to face]:Introducing the Lexicon; Features, Heads and Phrases

The categorial and the subcategorial; features and feature inheritance; exocentric phrases; theta-roles; modification

9[対面/face to face]:Complements and Adjuncts

Diagnostics for, and complications in, the distinction between complements and adjuncts

10[対面/face to face]:Complement Sentences (i)

Embedded sentences; the complementizers that and whether; clauses versus sentences

11[対面/face to face]:Complement Sentences (ii)

Finiteness and the Tense feature; TP and CP

12[対面/face to face]:Invisible Lexical Items

Hidden subjects; dummy subjects; thematic structure

13[対面/face to face]:Noun Phrase Structure

Noun phrases with quasi-objects and subjects; N-bar and noun complements and modifiers/adjuncts

14[対面/face to face]:X-bar Theory

Preposition phrase modifiers and P-bar; generalizing across T-bar, N-bar, and P-bar for an abstract X-bar; implications of X-bar for language acquisition

Work to be done outside of class (preparation, etc.)

Reading with maximum concentration (without background music or other distractions), hard thinking, doing the various exercises, and probably also discussion with classmates of the content and exercises. Allow two hours a week for this. Also, weekly assignments, which consolidate what has been covered in class. An assignment might, as an example, ask students to think through the implications of two candidate syntax trees (diagrams of constituent structure) for the same one sentence, and thus to point out why one of the candidates should be discarded. Allow two hours a week for the assignment too.


Richard K Larson, Grammar as Science (Cambridge, MA: MIT Press, 2010; ISBN 978-0-262-51303-6)


No additional reading is required.

Grading criteria

Work done for assignments: 100%

Changes following student comments

Dropping the section on formal arguments, dropping the exercises-only weeks, and evaluating by weekly assignments alone. This frees up a lot of class time: we can slow down in some places but nevertheless cover a considerable amount of material.

Others makes each class slideshow available to anyone, anywhere.
● Though the course has no formal prerequisite, students will need an interest in language and an appetite for a rigorous approach and for hard thinking.