Syntax is the aspect of human language involved in building phrases out of words. How do words combine – like beads on a string? Are words the smallest building blocks of phrases? How can we make predictions about what is possible and impossible in these structures? This course aims to answer these questions while focusing on the methods linguists use to analyze natural language expressions. Explorations of some universal properties of language structures, as well as the ways in which those structures can vary.
Strong emphasis on building and testing hypotheses on the basis of both language data and foundational principles of the field.