Topics in the acquisition of syntax 2012 2013

Level: Intermediate: 3rd year BA students and 1st year MA students

Semester: Spring 2013

Brief description. This course of lectures offers an overview of current theoretical issues and main empirical findings in generative research on the acquisition of syntax. Though the main aim is to offer a picture of research in first language acquisition (FLA) by typically developing children in a monolingual context, the lectures will also include a comparison with second language learning (SLL) as well as with language acquisition by children who are language impaired.

Prerequisite: Language and Mind (or permission from tutor)

Main topics

Access to Universal Grammar in FLA and in SLL

The acquisition of functional categories

The acquisition of verb movement

The acquisition of subjects

The acquisition of relative clauses

The acquisition of wh-questions

Readings

There is a textbook for this course of lectures (also available in electronic format at http://ebooks.unibuc.ro/filologie/avram/index.htm) but we will also be discussing other relevant papers and book chapters, which you will be required to read.

Assessment

For 3rd year students, grades will be based on class attendance and participation, and a final exam, as follows:

Class attendance and participation: 20%

Final exam: 80%

For MA students, grades will be based on class attendance and participation, a question squib and a final exam, as follows:

Class attendance and participation: 20%

Question squib: 30%

Final exam: 50%

Question squib: Students are required to choose one paper from the reading list (with the tutor’s approval) and present (in writing) one to three specific questions arising from this paper. The questions can target: (i) the relevance of the data; (ii) the methodology, i.e. the experiments described in the papers; (iii) the validity of the conclusions, etc. Ideal squib length is 2/3 A4 pages double-spaced. The squib has to present the background (i.e. the aim of the reviewed paper, framework, conclusions) and provide examples and references.

Maximum number of students:

3rd year students - 25 

MA students - 15

PLEASE do NOT choose this elective if you think you cannot attend classes regularly!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pagină actualizată la 12 Februarie 2013.