INTRODUCTION
TO THE COURSE
DAY 1, Aug. 27, 2012
Introduction to Syntax
ANTH 3590/7590
Harry Howard
Tulane University
OBJECTIVES
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The purpose of this course is to introduce you to
the philosophy and techniques of syntactic
analysis as developed by Noam Chomsky and his
followers.
 No knowledge of linguistics is presupposed, nor
does one have to be adept at the kind of
grammatical analysis taught in English classes.
 You do not even have to ‘speak right’.
 Everybody has a grammar in his or her head
which is worthy of study.

ANTH3590/7590, Harry Howard, Tulane
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OUTCOMES
For you to demonstrate your understanding of
syntactic analysis, you will perform the following
tasks:

ANTH3590/7590, Harry Howard, Tulane

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
Take a quiz almost every Monday. [(11-1) * 7.5% = 75%]
Present a project on the final exam day. [25%]
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QUIZZES [(11-1) * 7.5% = 75%]
The quizzes are on Mondays, except where
indicated, during the first 10 minutes of class,
covering the material since the previous Monday.
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ANTH3590/7590, Harry Howard, Tulane
No make-up quizzes will be given, but I will
automatically drop your lowest grade.
 If you notify me by email ahead of time of a scheduled
absence, I will not hold it against you.

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FINAL PROJECT [25%]
The project is to be presented to the class on the
final exam day, Mon, Dec 17, 8am-12.



The topic is anything that interests you about syntax.
You may do it in a group, but everyone in the group gets
the same grade.
We will talk more about this half-way through the
semester.
ANTH3590/7590, Harry Howard, Tulane

8/27/12

You CANNOT leave town before then!
Tell your parents NOW!
 You are hereby warned.
 Do not tell me at the end of the semester that your
parents bought you a ticket home without knowing.

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YOU MAY ALSO OPTIONALLY VOLUNTEER FOR AN
ELECTROPHYSIOLOGICAL EXPERIMENT. [UP TO 3%
EXTRA CREDIT]
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CLASS PARTICIPATION
There is no credit for class participation …

Why no class participation?




but I will change a Y- into a X+ if I notice you
participating in class.
ANTH3590/7590, Harry Howard, Tulane

8/27/12

I will post my PowerPoint presentation to the course
website after every class.
I will record myself and post the recordings as mp3s to
the course website.
http://www.tulane.edu/~howard/ANTH3590/
We will work out many of the exercises on the
board, but I have no way of reproducing that
electronically.
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CODE OF ACADEMIC INTEGRITY
ANTH3590/7590, Harry Howard, Tulane

“The integrity of Newcomb-Tulane College is based on the
absolute honesty of the entire community in all academic
endeavors. As part of the Tulane University community, students
have certain responsibilities regarding work that forms the basis
for the evaluation of their academic achievement. Students are
expected to be familiar with these responsibilities at all times. No
member of the university community should tolerate any form of
academic dishonesty, because the scholarly community of the
university depends on the willingness of both instructors and
students to uphold the Code of Academic Conduct. When a
violation of the Code of Academic Conduct is observed it is the
duty of every member of the academic community who has
evidence of the violation to take action. Students should take
steps to uphold the code by reporting any suspected offense to the
instructor or the associate dean of the college. Students should
under no circumstances tolerate any form of academic
dishonesty.”
For further information, point your browser at
http://college.tulane.edu/honorcode.htm.
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
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STUDENTS WITH DISABILITIES
Students with disabilities who need academic
accommodation should:

ANTH3590/7590, Harry Howard, Tulane

8/27/12

Contact and register with the Office of Disability
Services (ODS). For more information, visit the ODS
website at http://erc.tulane.edu/disability/.
Bring official notice to me from the ODS indicating that
you need academic accommodation. This should be done
before the first quiz.
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SCHEDULE
Textbook: Andrew Radford (2009) English
Sentence Structure.
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ANTH3590/7590, Harry Howard, Tulane
You should come to class having read and mulled
over the pages listed for that day in the schedule.
 We will cover 10 to 15 pages a day.

There may be supplementary readings,
distributed as pdf files on Blackboard.
 Any changes to the schedule will be made to
http://www.tulane.edu/~howard/ANTH3590/.

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ELECTRONIC COMMUNICATIONS
will send you e-mail on a regular basis –
you must check your e-mail on a regular
basis!
ANTH3590/7590, Harry Howard, Tulane

8/27/12
I
If you want to use a non-Tulane address, email me a message to that effect from the
address.
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ANTH3590/7590, Harry Howard, Tulane
WHO WE ARE
ME
8/27/12
Prof. Harry Howard
 howard at tulane dot edu
 862-3417 (voice mail 24 hours a day)
 Newcomb Hall 322-D
 Office hours: MW 1-2, T 4-5 & by appointment

ANTH3590/7590, Harry Howard, Tulane
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WHO ARE YOU?
Everyone interview a person sitting near you to
find out:
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ANTH3590/7590, Harry Howard, Tulane
His or her name and major
 Where he or she is from
 What he or she knows about linguistics
 What language he or she knows

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The study of word order. Its unit of study is
bigger than a single word, but smaller than a text.
That is to say, it is concerned with individual
sentences.
ANTH3590/7590, Harry Howard, Tulane
WHAT IS SYNTAX?
DESCRIBE THIS IMAGE IN A SENTENCE
ANTH3590/7590, Harry Howard, Tulane
Mary
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John
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HOW WORD ORDER CAN VARY
MaryAg JohnPa kissed
• SOV; Latin, Turkish, Japanese;
45%
kissed MaryAg JohnPa
• VSO; Hebrew, Irish, Arabic; 9%
kissed JohnPa MaryAg
• VOS; Fijian, Malagasy; 3%
JohnPa kissed MaryAg
• OVS; Tamil; 1%
JohnPa MaryAg kissed
• OSV; Jamamadí, Warao, Xavante;
0%
ANTH3590/7590, Harry Howard, Tulane
• SVO; English; 42%
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MaryAg kissed JohnPa
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A FUNDAMENTAL QUESTION
What do the world’s languages have in common?

How do the world’s languages differ?
In the linear order of these elements.
 In the words that are used for them.


One of the goals of syntax is to come up with a
theory that explains what all languages have in
common and how they differ.

ANTH3590/7590, Harry Howard, Tulane
Their sentences can be analyzed in terms of subject,
verb, and (direct) object.
 Nouns can be analyzed as Agents or Patients.

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This theory is known as Universal Grammar.
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MAYBE HUMAN GRAMMAR (HG) WOULD
E.T. Grammar (ETG)
ANTH3590/7590, Harry Howard, Tulane
Blue Whale Grammar (BWG)
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Chimpanzee
Grammar (CG)
Dolphin
Grammar (DG)
BE A BETTER TERM
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ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF SYNTAX
Continuing with our previous concept, let’s turn
it into a (direct) question …
2.
Mary is kissing John.
Is Mary kissing John?
Notice that the auxiliary verb is appears to move
in front of Mary to form the question, a
phenomenon often referred to as subjectauxiliary inversion (SAI).
 Now let’s turn to indirect questions:

3.
4.
5.
6.
I wonder if Mary is kissing John. (no SAI)
I wonder whether Mary is kissing John. (no SAI)
**I wonder if is Mary kissing John. (bad with SAI)
*I wonder is Mary kissing John. (bad with SAI)
ANTH3590/7590, Harry Howard, Tulane
1.
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LOOK AT HOW MUCH YOU KNOW

Another is to explain why some sentences are
good while others are bad.

To do so, we will need a theory of how grammar
works, which again is known as Universal Grammar.
ANTH3590/7590, Harry Howard, Tulane
Thus your knowledge of English grammar is tacit or
implicit.
 One goal of syntax is to make this knowledge explicit.

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You know that (1-4) are ‘good’ or grammatical
sentences of English.
 You know that (5-6) are ‘bad’ or ungrammatical
sentences of English.
 You may not be able to verbalize this knowledge,
however.

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Go over vocabulary in bold face
ANTH3590/7590, Harry Howard, Tulane
§1.2 Traditional grammar
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UG, FL
Radford §1.3 - §1.5
ANTH3590/7590, Harry Howard, Tulane
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