Nyelvtudományi Intézet  > Szakcsoport  > Minikurzusok 2016



Szintaxis minikurzusok 2016





15. February


16. February


17. February


18. february Thursday

19. February








M. den Dikken

M. den Dikken

M. den Dikken

M. den Dikken

P. Caha








































P. Caha

P. Caha

P. Caha

P. Caha














Special course: On the subject of the subject / Az alany tárgyáról


instructor: Marcel den Dikken (DELG/ELTE & RIL/HAS)

contact hours: the course material corresponds to 2 hours per week

dates: Feb 15 to Feb 18 (the class will be held in the morning)

credits: 4 credits

course requirements: Students who wish to obtain credits for this course are required to write a conference abstract related to the material discussed in the course.


Course description:

Subjects are difficult to define, and their syntactic behaviour is hard to account for in a principled way. The trouble with subjects in the standard theory is so pervasive that it calls for a close look.

In the first part of this special course, the central players in the syntax of the subject and its vagaries are presented, with special emphasis on the principles-and-parameters approach to syntactic theory (Chomsky 1981 et seq.), and with an eye towards bringing the two key principles (the EPP and the ECP) together in a unified analysis (Chomsky 2014).

In the second part of the course, a new outlook on an integrated account of the restrictions imposed on subject dependencies will be developed. The approach has two main ingredients, both simple and conceptually anchored: a licensing condition on specifiers (with two specific instantiations, one for A–specifiers and the other for traces in specifier positions), and a definition of the Agree relation that models it as a downward-looking relation in the general case but allows it to search upwards under well-defined circumstances.

The course will presuppose a general familiarity with the generative approach to sentence structure, but will not require specific knowledge of the problems that are associated with the subject and its syntactic behaviour.

Projected Schedule: this is going to be a 4-day intensive course



Special course: Nanosyntax: what is it? / Haladó bevezetés a Nanoszintaxisba


instructor: Pavel Caha (Masaryk University, Brno, Czech Republic)

contact hours: the course material corresponds to 2 hours per week

dates: Feb 15 to Feb 19 (Feb 15 through Feb 18 the class starts at 14:00, on Feb 19 the class      takes place in the morning)

credits: 4 credits

course requirements: Students are expected to attend all classes. In addition, as a take-home exercise they should think about their native language and see if they can come up with an interesting case of a *A-B-A pattern (degree morphology, locatives/directionals, wh-morphology, ...), and how one could explain that pattern with the tools presented at the seminar.


Course description:

The course provides an introduction to a theory of the syntax-morphology interface called Nanosyntax. Two main features of the theory are: 1) a fine grained syntactic decomposition and 2) a post-syntactic spell-out procedure based on phrasal lexicalization. The course covers both the ‘ideology’ and ‘technology’: what are the new tools, how and when to use them, and why it is interesting to pursue this line of research.

Projected Schedule: this is going to be a 5-day intensive course

● Day 1: Phrasal spell-­out introduced

Contents: How does phrasal spell-­out work? What are its advantages?

Reading: STARKE 2009, 2011; CAHA 2009 CH.2, TARALDSEN 2009 (MCCAWLEY



● Day 2: *A-­B-­A

Contents: Syncretism as a new diagnostic in linguistics


CH. 2,  VANGSNES 2013)


● Day 3: Spell-­out driven movement

Contents: Phrasal spell-­out as a movement trigger



● Day 4: Diagnosing sub-­morphemic structure: ellipsis, concord

Contents: Is there really syntactic structure inside morphemes? How can we tell?

READING: CAHA 2013 (CAHA 2013)


● Day 5: Beyond *A-­B-­A

Contents: Complex morphological systems




All links go to open access sources; brackets indicate where these may slightly differ from the official version.

Bobaljik, Jonathan. 2012. Universals in Comparative Morphology: Suppletion,  superlatives, and the structure of words. MIT Press, Cambridge, Mass.

Caha, Pavel. 2009. The Nanosyntax of Case. Ph.D. thesis, CASTL, University of  Tromsø.

Caha, Pavel. 2010. The parameters of case marking and spell out driven movement. Linguistic variation yearbook 2010 10: 33–78.

Caha, Pavel. 2012. GEN.SG=NOM.PL: a mystery solved? Ms, CASTL, Tromsø.

Caha, Pavel. 2013. Czech numerals and no bundling. Ms, CASTL, Tromsø.

Caha, Pavel. 2013. Explaining the structure of case paradigms through the mechanisms of Nanosyntax. NLLT 31(4):1015-1066. ()

Caha, Pavel and Marina Pantcheva. 2012. Tools in Nanosyntax. Talk at CASTL Decennium, Tromso.

Cinque, Guglielmo. 2005. Deriving Greenberg’s universal 20 and its exceptions. Linguistic Inquiry 36: 315–332.

McCawley, James D. 1968. Lexical insertion in a transformational grammar without Deep Structure. In Papers from the fourth regional meeting of the  Chicago Linguistic Society, edited by B. J. Darden, C.-­‐J. N. Bailey, and A. Davidson.  University of Chicago, Chicago.

Pantcheva, Marina. 2010. The syntactic structure of locations, goals, and sources.  Linguitics 48: 1043–1081. ()

Pantcheva, Marina. 2011. Decomposing Path. The nanosyntax of directional expressions. Ph.D. thesis, CASTL, Tromsø.

Starke, Michal. 2009. Nanosyntax. A short primer to a new approach to language.  In Nordlyd 36: Special issue on Nanosyntax, edited by Peter Svenonius, Gillian Ramchand, Michal Starke, and Tarald Taraldsen, pp. 1–6. University of Tromsø, Tromsø.

Starke, Michal. 2011. Towards elegant parameters: Language variation reduces to the size of lexically stored trees. Transcipt from a talk at Barcelona Workshop on Linguistic Variation in the Minimalist Framework.

Taraldsen, Tarald. 2009. Lexicalizing number and gender in Lunigiana. In Nordlyd 36: Special issue on Nanosyntax, edited by Peter Svenonius, Gillian Ramchand, Michal Starke, and Tarald Taraldsen, pp. 113–127. University of Tromsø, Tromsø. Available at .

Taraldsen, Tarald. 2010. The nanosyntax of Nguni noun class prefixes and concords. Lingua 120 6: 1522 – 1548. (-- published version differs substantially)

Vangsnes, Øystein. 2013. Syncretism and functional expansion in Germanic wh-­expressions. Language Sciences 36: 47‒65.




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