Linguistics Department

Stephen M Wechsler


ProfessorPh.D., Stanford University

Stephen M Wechsler

Contact

Biography


Stephen Wechsler is a fellow of the Alma Cowden Madden Centennial Professorship in Linguistics.  He holds a PhD in Linguistics from Stanford University.  A specialist in syntax and semantics, his research focuses on three areas: self-reference and person systems; the interface between syntax and word meaning (‘argument structure’); and the interface between syntax and morphology (‘morphosyntax’).  His recent work in the first area investigates personal pronouns such as ‘you’ and ‘I’ from a multi-disciplinary perspective that includes developmental psychology, philosophy, and linguistics.  The second area is the subject of his 1995 book The Semantic Basis of Argument Structure, and a book in progress to be published by Oxford University Press.  His 2005 book The Many Faces of Agreement, coauthored with Larisa Zlatić, addresses grammatical agreement in person, number, and gender.  

 

Courses


LIN 372L • Syntax/Sem: Struc/Mean Utternc

40825 • Fall 2016
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM CLA 0.104

In this course we study the syntax and semantics of human language. Syntax is concerned with how words are combined to form sentences. Semantics is concerned with what those sentences mean, and how the meaning of a sentence is constructed from the meanings of the component words.  We will survey and analyze syntactic and semantic phenomena from a wide variety of the world's languages. This will reveal interesting patterns lurking within human languages, despite their sometimes chaotic surface appearance. We will also discover surprising similarities across seemingly diverse languages.  Textbook: Paul Kroeger 2005, 'Analyzing Grammar: An Introduction'.

Prerequisites: LIN 306 and upper division standing.

LIN 389S • Rsch In Syntax And Semantics

40895 • Fall 2016
Meets W 9:00AM-12:00PM CLA 4.710

The purpose of this course is to teach about and encourage graduate research in syntax and semantics.   Students and faculty give presentations of work in progress, past research and research proposals.  Matters of professionalism are also discussed, such as ethics, IRB clearance, preparing proposals and finding funding, applying for jobs and giving job talks, writing style, and identifying topics to work on.  In addition, we read and discuss dissertations, papers, and books, and host outside speakers.

LIN 373 • Syntactic Theory

40217 • Spring 2016
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM CLA 0.106

This course is an introduction to formal syntax, which refers to the use of a mathematically precise formalism to model the syntax of human languages.  Formulating precise models allows us to study the properties of particular human languages empirically, testing our theories against the challenge of new data.  The course will introduce students to Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar (HPSG).  In HPSG, the words of a language are equipped with information about the way they combine with other words and phrases and the meaning of the resulting combination.   The forms and meanings of the parts of a sentence are combined bit by bit until we derive a meaning for the whole sentence. The lexicon also encodes the systematic relations between word forms, such as voice alternations and derivational cognates.  Since HPSG is a complete, fully explicit framework for grammatical description, students will be able to grasp the workings of an entire language, from morphemes to words to sentences, including a formal semantic system for representing meaning.  This is a hands-on course in which we will tackle syntax puzzles of increasing complexity.  LIN 372L is not an official prerequisite, but it is recommended as background to this course.

Textbook: Ivan Sag, Thomas Wasow, and Emily Bender. 2003. Syntactic Theory: A Formal Introduction, 2nd Edition. Stanford: CSLI Publications.

Basis for grading:  Class participation (10%), Problem sets (60%), Tests (30%)

Prerequisites:  LIN 306

LIN 389S • Rsch In Syntax And Semantics

40280 • Spring 2016
Meets T 2:00PM-5:00PM CLA 4.710

The purpose of this course is to teach about and encourage graduate research in syntax and semantics.   Students and faculty give presentations of work in progress, past research and research proposals.  Matters of professionalism are also discussed, such as ethics, IRB clearance, preparing proposals and finding funding, applying for jobs and giving job talks, writing style, and identifying topics to work on.  In addition, we read and discuss dissertations, papers, and books, and host outside speakers.

LIN 350 • Word Meaning

40005 • Fall 2015
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM CLA 1.108

In this course we ask two questions:  What do words mean?  How does word meaning work?  We look at two fundamental properties of words: they tend to be polysemous (one word can have many senses) and vague (word meanings have fuzzy boundaries).   We look at the relations between words, such as synonymy, antonymy, and hyponymy. We consider the interface between word meaning and the syntactic system that combines words into sentences.  We explore the limits of formal grammar as a model of word meaning by considering normative aspects of word meaning.  We see how word meanings change over time.   Our survey of part-of-speech categories focuses on particular issues arising with each category.  Examples include the count noun versus mass noun distinction (nouns), aspectual structure (verbs), scalar structure (adjectives), and how motion events are represented in different languages (prepositions).

Grading will be based on a student’s successful completion of a series of individual and group research projects, culminating in a term paper.

Text:   Lexical Meaning by M. Lynne Murphy (2010, Cambridge University Press)

Prerequisites:  LIN 306 and LIN 372L

LIN 372L • Syntax/Sem: Struc/Mean Utternc

40040 • Fall 2015
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM CLA 0.106

In this course we study the syntax and semantics of human language. Syntax is concerned with how words are combined to form sentences. Semantics is concerned with what those sentences mean, and how the meaning of a sentence is constructed from the meanings of the component words.  We will survey and analyze syntactic and semantic phenomena from a wide variety of the world's languages. This will reveal interesting patterns lurking within human languages, despite their sometimes chaotic surface appearance. We will also discover surprising similarities across seemingly diverse languages.  Textbook: Paul Kroeger 2005, 'Analyzing Grammar: An Introduction'. Prerequisites: LIN 306 and upper division standing

LIN 360K • Intro To English Grammar

40090 • Spring 2015
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM MEZ 2.122

This course presents a systematic, formally precise survey of the syntax of English.  Students learn to take sentences apart and put them together, like dissecting and assembling the mechanism of a watch.  The main goal is to gain an understanding of how English grammar works.  In the process, students acquire the basic tools of syntactic analysis, which can be applied to any language.  In addition, understanding sentence structure will help students to improve their writing skills.  There are no prerequisites.

LIN 381L • Syntax II

41550 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM MEZ B0.302

This course will provide you with an understanding of the major syntactic phenomena, and the formal tools to analyze those phenomena and express theoretical claims.  We will learn the framework of Lexical-Functional Grammar (LFG), a lexicalist theory of syntax with no transformations. The framework is based on the factoring of grammatical description into categorial structure (phrase structure and morphology) and functional structure (subject, object, etc.), based on the observation that the languages of the world can vary widely in the former but are similar in the latter.

LIN 391 • Studies In English Grammar

41585 • Spring 2014
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:00PM BEN 1.106

We will survey the syntax of English, and some issues in the semanticinterpretation of English, with the two goals of (i) understanding thestructure of English syntax and (ii) acquiring the basic tools of syntacticanalysis, which can be applied to any language.

Required text:  C. L. Baker, English Syntax.

LIN 372L • Syntax/Sem: Struc/Mean Utternc

41360 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM JES A215A

In this course we study the syntax and semantics of human language. Syntaxis concerned with how words are combined to form sentences. Semantics isconcerned with what those sentences mean, and how the meaning of a sentenceis constructed from the meanings of the component words. We will survey andanalyze syntactic and semantic phenomena from a wide variety of the world slanguages. This will reveal interesting patterns lurking within humanlanguages, despite their sometimes chaotic surface appearance. We will alsodiscover surprising similarities across seemingly diverse languages.

Text Paul R. Kroeger 2005. Analyzing Grammar: An Introduction (CambridgeTextbooks in Linguistics) ISBN  0521016533

LIN 393S • Category Of Person

41433 • Fall 2013
Meets TTH 3:30PM-5:30PM CLA 4.710

First and second person pronouns are probably found in all languages of the world.  In this course we will address: person-number paradigms; logophoric pronouns; shifted indexical languages; conjunct-disjunct alignment systems; honorific pronouns; empathy-tracking with second person generics; the syntactic distribution of person agreement; and the acquisition of personal pronouns by children. We will seek to identify the deep connections between observations in these diverse realms. 

Prerequisites:  Syntax I; Semantics I (or permission of instructor) 

Requirements: Class discussion; presentations of readings; short writing assignments; and a term paper.

LIN 391 • Studies In English Grammar

41035 • Spring 2013
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM BEN 1.106

We will survey the syntax of English, and some issues in the semanticinterpretation of English, with the two goals of (i) understanding thestructure of English syntax and (ii) acquiring the basic tools of syntacticanalysis, which can be applied to any language.

Required text:  C. L. Baker, English Syntax.

T C 357 • What You And I Mean

43150 • Spring 2013
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM PAR 305

Description:

First and second person pronouns such as “I” and “you”, which are examples of indexical forms, have posed a profound puzzle for philosophers, linguists, and other scholars. It may seem obvious that these pronouns refer to the speaker and the hearer, respectively, but that answer turns out to be inadequate. This course takes a multi-disciplinary approach to this issue, involving material from philosophy, linguistics, and developmental psychology.

We start by reviewing some of the 20th century philosophical literature on two closely related issues: the problem of the essential indexical; and self-ascription (reference de se). We then turn to linguistic studies of personal pronoun systems from languages around the world, which have revealed mysterious and unexpected universal patterns. Next we establish some background in the concept of Theory of Mind, that is, our ability, as humans, to impute mental states to others. Finally, we consider pronoun use by normally developing children, and by children with autism.

Texts/Readings:

Part I. The philosophical problem of the essential indexical.

Frege, Gottlob. 1918. The Thought: a Logical Enquiry. Trans. A. M. and Marcelle Quinton. Philosophical Logic, Oxford University Press (1967): 17-38.

Perry, John. 1979. The problem of the essential indexical. Noûs 13: 3-21.

 

Part II. Self-ascription (reference de se)

Mitchell, Jonathan E. 1986. ‘Perspectivity at the linguistic level’. Ch. 1 of The formal semantics of point of view. PhD dissertation, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Richard, Mark. 1983. Direct reference and ascriptions of belief. Journal of Philosophical Logic 12, no. 4: 425-452.

Crimmins, Mark, and John Perry. 1989. The prince and the phone booth: reporting puzzling beliefs. The Journal of Philosophy: 685-711.

Crimmins, Mark. 1992. Talk about beliefs. MIT Press. (excerpt)

 

Part III. Linguistics of person marking in the world’s languages.

Bobaljik, Jonathan David. 2008. Missing Persons: A Case Study in Morphological Universals. The Linguistic Review 25: 203-230.

Cysouw, Michael. 2003. The Paradigmatic Structure of Person Marking. Oxford University Press. (excerpt)

 

Part IV. Theory of mind.

Premack, David, and Guy Woodruff. 1978. Does the chimpanzee have a theory of mind? The Behavioral and Brain Sciences 1, no. 4: 515-526.

Wimmer, H., and J. Perner. 1983. Beliefs about beliefs: Representation and constraining function of wrong beliefs in young children’s understanding of deception. Cognition 13: 103–128.

 

Part V. Pronoun use by children

Loveland, Katherine A. 1984. Learning about points of view: spatial perspective and the acquisition of 'I/you'. Journal of Child Language 11: 535-556.

Baron-Cohen, Simon, Alan M Leslie, and Uta Frith. 1985. Does the autistic child have a “theory of mind”? Cognition 21: 37–46.

Tager-Flusberg, Helen. 1994. Dissociations in Form and Function in the Acquisition of Language by Autistic Children. In Constraints on Language Acquisition: Studies of Atypical Children, ed. Helen Tager-Flusberg, 175-194. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

 

Assignments:

This course will be primarily based on guided discussion. In a typical class meeting, students will be presented with a list of discussion questions on the reading. We go around the room; the first student is asked to take the first question, with the option of passing to the next student. A student’s answer becomes the springboard for class discussion (40% of grade). (Some areas involving more specialized knowledge will be presented in a lecture format first.) Students will choose any three of the five Parts of the course (see above). They will write three short literature reviews, including also some original discussion, one on each chosen Part (2-3 pages each, 30% of grade). They will write a 10-15 page term paper requiring research beyond the required readings, in three stages: a brief proposal of their intended topic, which must be approved by me; a rough draft; and the final paper (30% of grade).

 

About the Professor:

Stephen Wechsleris an Associate Professor of Linguistics.  He holds a PhD in Linguistics from Stanford University.  A specialist in syntactic theory, his research focuses on two interface areas: the interface between syntax and word meaning (‘argument structure’); and the interface between syntax and morphology (‘morphosyntax’).  The first area is the subject of his 1995 book The Semantic Basis of Argument Structure.  His second book (The Many Faces of Agreement; with Larisa Zlati?, 2005) addresses morphosyntax, focusing on grammatical agreement in person, number, and gender.  His recent work in that area investigates personal pronouns such as ‘you’ and ‘I’ from a multi-disciplinary perspective that includes developmental psychology, philosophy, and linguistics.  He is also currently at work on a book-length overview of scholarship on word meaning and its relation to syntax (to be published by Oxford University Press).

 

LIN 372L • Syntax/Sem: Struc/Mean Utternc

40795 • Fall 2012
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM PAR 206

In this course we study the syntax and semantics of human language. Syntaxis concerned with how words are combined to form sentences. Semantics isconcerned with what those sentences mean, and how the meaning of a sentenceis constructed from the meanings of the component words. We will survey andanalyze syntactic and semantic phenomena from a wide variety of the world slanguages. This will reveal interesting patterns lurking within humanlanguages, despite their sometimes chaotic surface appearance. We will alsodiscover surprising similarities across seemingly diverse languages.

Text Paul R. Kroeger 2005. Analyzing Grammar: An Introduction (CambridgeTextbooks in Linguistics) ISBN  0521016533

LIN 393S • Word Meaning And Syntax

40890 • Fall 2012
Meets W 1:00PM-4:00PM PAR 305

The interface between word meaning and syntax poses someof the most important problems in contemporary grammatical theory.This course will approach the interface from both sides.  We beginwith the ancient puzzle of what a word means, learning about polysemy,vagueness, coercion, semantic roles, and various approaches toconcepts and word meaning.  Then we look at the mapping from thelexicon to the syntax, focusing on lexicalist and constructionisttheories.

Prerequisites:  Syntax I and II; Semantics I is recommended (can betaken concurrently)

Texts:  Readings from the literature.

LIN 381L • Syntax II

40860 • Spring 2012
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM PAR 210

This course will provide you with an understanding of the major syntactic phenomena, and the formal tools to analyze those phenomena and express theoretical claims.  We will learn the framework of Lexical-Functional Grammar (LFG), a lexicalist theory of syntax with no transformations. The framework is based on the factoring of grammatical description into categorial structure (phrase structure and morphology) and functional structure (subject, object, etc.), based on the observation that the languages of the world can vary widely in the former but are similar in the latter.

LIN 391 • Studies In English Grammar

40890 • Spring 2012
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM PAR 210

We will survey the syntax of English, and some issues in the semantic interpretation of English, with the two goals of (i) understanding the structure of English syntax and (ii) acquiring the basic tools of syntactic analysis, which can be applied to any language.

LIN 372L • Syntax/Sem: Struc/Mean Utternc

40735 • Fall 2011
Meets TTH 12:30PM-2:00PM GAR 1.126

In this course we study the syntax and semantics of human language. Syntax is concerned with how words are combined to form sentences. Semantics is concerned with what those sentences mean, and how the meaning of a sentence is constructed from the meanings of the component words. We will survey and analyze syntactic and semantic phenomena from a wide variety of the world s languages. This will reveal interesting patterns lurking within human languages, despite their sometimes chaotic surface appearance. We will also discover surprising similarities across seemingly diverse languages.

Text Paul R. Kroeger 2005. Analyzing Grammar: An Introduction (Cambridge Textbooks in Linguistics) ISBN  0521016533

LIN 393S • Indexicality & Self-Reference

40820 • Fall 2011
Meets TTH 9:30AM-11:00AM PAR 210

LIN 393S: Indexicality and Self-ReferenceIndexical (or deictic) forms are used to refer directly to people andthings in the speech context, instead of referring by means ofdescriptions.  The first and second person pronouns, such as 'I','we', 'you', and their equivalents in other languages, are examples ofindexical forms; and other indexical forms typically involve takingthe perspective of the speaker or hearer.  This course takes amulti-disciplinary approach to personal pronouns and other indexicalforms, seeking an account of them that does justice to the empiricalobservations arising from several disparate fields. 

The followingtopics will be addressed:

•    Universal patterns and typological variation in the person/numberparadigms of the world’s languages (Cysouw 2003, Bobaljik 2008,Wechsler 2010); interactions of person with various number systems(Harley and Ritter 2002; Siewierska 2004).

•    The semantics of indexicality; multiple indexing approaches (Kamp1971, Kaplan 1977).

•    Languages with different systems of spatial deixis (Hanks; Levinson).

•    Deferred reference, e.g. where ‘I’ refers not to the speaker, but tomembers of a group instantiated by the speaker (Nunberg 1993).

•    Languages with non-shifted indexicals where ‘I’ or ‘you’ can referto the speaker or hearer of a reported speech act rather than of theactual discourse (Schlenker; Anand).

•    Conjunct/disjunct alignment systems: verbal inflections aligningwith a first/non-first person distinction in statements, and asecond/non-second distinction in questions.

•    Point-of-view phenomena (Mitchell).

•    The philosophical literature on the problem of the ‘essentialindexical’ (Perry 1979) and self-reference (Wittgenstein, Shoemaker,Evans, Lewis, Richard).

•    Pronoun use by normally developing children (Chiat; Charney;Oshima-Takane) and by children with autism (Tager-Flusberg).  Along-noted symptom of childhood autism is the striking tendency toreverse first and second person pronouns (Kanner 1943, inter alia).

•    Personal pronouns in ASL and other signed languages (Meier).

•    The role of theory of mind (Tomasello).

Prerequisites:  Syntax I; Semantics I.

Requirements:  Class discussion; short writing assignments; and a term paper.

Texbook:  Readings from the literature

LIN 381L • Syntax II

41190 • Spring 2011
Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM PAR 310

This is an advanced course on the description and analysis of syntax.
The course includes an introduction to Lexical-Functional Grammar
(LFG), a lexicalist theory of syntax with no transformations. The
framework is based on the factoring of grammatical description into
categorial structure (phrase structure and morphology) and functional
structure, based on the observation that grammars vary widely in the
former but are similar in the latter. This makes LFG a good framework
for field description, as well as for studying typology and
universals. We will survey some major issues in syntax across a wide
variety of language types.

Texts
--Joan Bresnan 2000. Lexical Functional Syntax. Blackwell Press.
--Mary Dalrymple 2001. Lexical Functional Grammar (Syntax & Semantics
34). Academic Press.

LIN 391 • Studies In English Grammar

41225 • Spring 2011
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM JES A217A

We will survey the syntax of English, and some issues in the semantic
interpretation of English, with the two goals of (i) understanding the
structure of English syntax and (ii) acquiring the basic tools of syntactic
analysis, which can be applied to any language.
Texts
C. L. Baker, English Syntax.

LIN 372L • Syntax/Sem: Struc/Mean Utternc

40750 • Fall 2010
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM MEZ 2.124

Course Description


In this course we study the syntax and semantics of human language. Syntax
is concerned with how words are combined to form sentences. Semantics is
concerned with what those sentences mean, and how the meaning of a sentence
is constructed from the meanings of the component words. We will survey and
analyze syntactic and semantic phenomena from a wide variety of the world s
languages. This will reveal interesting patterns lurking within human
languages, despite their sometimes chaotic surface appearance. We will also
discover surprising similarities across seemingly diverse languages.

Text

Paul R. Kroeger 2005. Analyzing Grammar: An Introduction (Cambridge
Textbooks in Linguistics)
ISBN  0521016533

T C 357 • What You And I Mean

42895 • Fall 2010
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM CAL 419

Description:

First and second person pronouns such as “I” and “you”, which are examples of indexical forms, have posed a profound puzzle for philosophers, linguists, and other scholars. It may seem obvious that these pronouns refer to the speaker and the hearer, respectively, but that answer turns out to be inadequate. This course takes a multi-disciplinary approach to this issue, involving material from philosophy, linguistics, and developmental psychology.

We start by reviewing some of the 20th century philosophical literature on two closely related issues: the problem of the essential indexical; and self-ascription (reference de se). We then turn to linguistic studies of personal pronoun systems from languages around the world, which have revealed mysterious and unexpected universal patterns. Next we establish some background in the concept of Theory of Mind, that is, our ability, as humans, to impute mental states to others. Finally, we consider pronoun use by normally developing children, and by children with autism. See below for a reading list.

Texts/Readings:

Part I. The philosophical problem of the essential indexical.

Frege, Gottlob. 1918. The Thought: a Logical Enquiry. Trans. A. M. and Marcelle

         Quinton. Philosophical Logic, Oxford University Press (1967): 17-38.

Perry, John. 1979. The problem of the essential indexical. Noûs 13: 3-21.

Part II. Self-ascription (reference de se)

Mitchell, Jonathan E. 1986. ‘Perspectivity at the linguistic level’. Ch. 1 of The formal semantics of          point of view. PhD dissertation, University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

Richard, Mark. 1983. Direct reference and ascriptions of belief. Journal of Philosophical Logic 12,          no. 4: 425-452.

Crimmins, Mark, and John Perry. 1989. The prince and the phone booth: reporting

         puzzling beliefs. The Journal of Philosophy: 685-711.

Crimmins, Mark. 1992. Talk about beliefs. MIT Press. (excerpt)

Part III. Linguistics of person marking in the world’s languages.

Bobaljik, Jonathan David. 2008. Missing Persons: A Case Study in Morphological

         Universals. The Linguistic Review 25: 203-230.

Cysouw, Michael. 2003. The Paradigmatic Structure of Person Marking. Oxford

         University Press. (excerpt)

Part IV. Theory of mind.

Premack, David, and Guy Woodruff. 1978. Does the chimpanzee have a theory of mind? The          Behavioral and Brain Sciences 1, no. 4: 515-526.

Wimmer, H., and J. Perner. 1983. Beliefs about beliefs: Representation and constraining function of          wrong beliefs in young children’s understanding of deception. Cognition 13: 103–128.

Part V. Pronoun use by children 

Loveland, Katherine A. 1984. Learning about points of view: spatial perspective and the acquisition          of 'I/you'. Journal of Child Language 11: 535-556.

Baron-Cohen, Simon, Alan M Leslie, and Uta Frith. 1985. Does the autistic child have a “theory of          mind”? Cognition 21: 37–46.

Tager-Flusberg, Helen. 1994. Dissociations in Form and Function in the Acquisition of Language by          Autistic Children. In Constraints on Language Acquisition: Studies of Atypical Children, ed.          Helen Tager-Flusberg, 175-194. Hillsdale, NJ: Lawrence Erlbaum Associates.

Assignments:

This course will be primarily based on guided discussion. In a typical class meeting, students will be presented with a list of discussion questions on the reading. We go around the room; the first student is asked to take the first question, with the option of passing to the next student. A student’s answer becomes the springboard for class discussion (40% of grade). (Some areas involving more specialized knowledge will be presented in a lecture format first.) Students will choose any three of the five Parts of the course (see below). They will write three short literature reviews, including also some original discussion, one on each chosen Part (2-3 pages each, 30% of grade). They will write a 10-15 page term paper requiring research beyond the required readings, in three stages: a brief proposal of their intended topic, which must be approved by me; a rough draft; and the final paper (30% of grade).

About the Professor:

Stephen Wechsler is Associate Professor of Linguistics at UT, where he has served on the faculty since 1991. A specialist in syntactic theory, his two main research areas are the syntax-lexical semantics interface and morphosyntax, especially agreement and case. His first book, The Semantic Basis of Argument Structure (CSLI, 1995) addresses the first area, and his second book, The Many Faces of Agreement (coauthored with Larisa Zlatic•, CSLI, 2003) addresses the second area. His third book, tentatively titled The Syntax-Lexicon Interface (Oxford University Press, in progress) will return to the first area. He holds a BA in English from the University of California at Berkeley, and a PhD in Linguistics from Stanford University. When he is not doing linguistics, he is often riding his bike, playing the guitar, or doing figure drawing and portraits. 

LIN 372L • Syntax/Sem: Struc/Mean Utternc

41185 • Spring 2010
Meets MWF 1:00PM-2:00PM PAR 105

For detailed Course Schedule, download attachment.

LIN 381L • Syntax II

41220 • Spring 2010
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM JES A207A

For detailed Course Schedule, download attachment.

LIN 393S • Topics In Syntax And Semantics

41625 • Fall 2009
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM CAL 200

Description. The interface between syntax and word meaning is one of the most important issues in contemporary grammatical theory.  This course will approach the interface from both sides, beginning with the ancient puzzle of what a word means.  We will learn about polysemy, vagueness, coercion, semantic (thematic) roles, psychological approaches to concepts and word meaning, prototypes, lexical decomposition, conceptual structure, constructionism, lexicalism, diathesis alternations, and theories of the mapping from the lexicon to the syntax.  

Prerequisites:  Syntax I and II; Semantics I is recommended (can be taken concurrently)

Requirements.  Basis for grading indicated by percentages (plus/minus grades will be assigned for the final grade).

1. Class discussion (10%).  Questions, comments, discussion.  Very important part of a seminar!   
2. Occasional homework exercises (25%).
3. Presentation of one optional or obligatory reading (10%). Plan for 20 to 30 minutes; prepare a handout.
4. Informally propose a term paper topic, by email or in person.  Due Oct. 8.
5. Term Paper, written proposal (5%)  One to three pages (double spaced), with at least 3 references.  Due Oct. 15.
6. Term Paper, draft (10%).  Due Nov. 19.
7. Term Paper (30%).  Around 10-15 pages; at least 10 references.  Due Dec. 11.
8. Presentation of your term paper (10%).  These will be scheduled during the last few weeks of the semester.

Textbooks
•    Levin, Beth, and M. Rappaport-Hovav. 2005. Argument Realization. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.  (Not ordered at Coop Bookstore; please order a copy, e.g. from Amazon.com)

•    All other readings available through Blackboard (http://courses.utexas.edu)

Students with disabilities may request appropriate academic accommodations from the Division of Diversity and Community Engagement, Services for Students with Disabilities, 471-6259.
Outline

I. Word meaning I: polysemy, homophony, generality, and vagueness

For Tues., Sept. 1, read:
•    SLI Ch. 1 ‘The place of word meaning in generative syntax’
•    SLI Ch. 2 ‘Polysemy’
•    Apresjan, J. D. 1974. Regular Polysemy. Linguistics 142: 5-32.

(Optional: Cruse, D. A. (1995), 'Polysemy and related phenomena from a cognitive linguistic viewpoint', in P. Saint-Dizier and E. Viegas (eds.), Computational Lexical Semantics (Cambridge University Press), 33–49.)

II. Psychological approaches: Concepts, prototypes, exemplars

Ravin, Yael and Claudia Leacock 2000, ‘Polysemy: an overview.’ In Ravin, Y. and Leacock, C. (2000), Polysemy: Theoretical and Computational Approaches (Oxford University Press).

Murphy, Gregory L. 2002. The Big Book of Concepts. Cambridge: MIT Press:
•    Ch. 2 ‘Typicality and the Classical View of Categories’, in (Murphy 2002)
•    Ch. 3 ‘Theories’, in (Murphy 2002)
•    Ch. 11 ‘Word Meaning’, in (Murphy 2002)

III. Argument realization

Levin, B., and M. Rappaport-Hovav. 2005. Argument Realization. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Ch. 8 ‘Word meaning’, from Chierchia, G. and S. McConnell-Ginet. 2000. Meaning and grammar: an introduction to semantics: MIT Press Cambridge, MA, USA.

Other readings to be announced.

IV. Causative alternations

Haspelmath, Martin (1993), 'More on the typology of inchoative/causative verb alternations', Causatives and transitivity (Amsterdam: John Benjamins), 87-120.
Wechsler, Stephen 2007.  A diachronic account of English deverbal nominals.  Proceedings of the 26th West Coast Conference on Formal Linguistics, UC Berkeley, April 27, 2007.
Coppock, Elizabeth 2008. ‘The Causative Alternation’.  Unpublished manuscript.
Wechsler, Stephen 2008. ‘Causative Alternations.’ Unpublished manuscript.

Other readings to be announced.

LIN 381L • Syntax II

40610 • Spring 2009
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM GAR 2.104

This course will provide you with an understanding of the major syntactic phenomena, and the formal tools to analyze those phenomena and express theoretical claims.  We will learn the framework of Lexical-Functional Grammar (LFG), a lexicalist theory of syntax with no transformations. The framework is based on the factoring of grammatical description into categorial structure (phrase structure and morphology) and functional structure (subject, object, etc.), based on the observation that the languages of the world can vary widely in the former but are similar in the latter.

LIN 391 • Studies In English Grammar

40645 • Spring 2009
Meets MWF 2:00PM-3:00PM PAR 303

We will survey the syntax of English, and some issues in the semanticinterpretation of English, with the two goals of (i) understanding thestructure of English syntax and (ii) acquiring the basic tools of syntacticanalysis, which can be applied to any language.

Required text:  C. L. Baker, English Syntax.

LIN 381L • Syntax II

41690 • Spring 2008
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM GAR 2.104

This course will provide you with an understanding of the major syntactic phenomena, and the formal tools to analyze those phenomena and express theoretical claims.  We will learn the framework of Lexical-Functional Grammar (LFG), a lexicalist theory of syntax with no transformations. The framework is based on the factoring of grammatical description into categorial structure (phrase structure and morphology) and functional structure (subject, object, etc.), based on the observation that the languages of the world can vary widely in the former but are similar in the latter.

LIN 381L • Syntax II

41095 • Spring 2007
Meets MWF 9:00AM-10:00AM MEZ 1.204

This course will provide you with an understanding of the major syntactic phenomena, and the formal tools to analyze those phenomena and express theoretical claims.  We will learn the framework of Lexical-Functional Grammar (LFG), a lexicalist theory of syntax with no transformations. The framework is based on the factoring of grammatical description into categorial structure (phrase structure and morphology) and functional structure (subject, object, etc.), based on the observation that the languages of the world can vary widely in the former but are similar in the latter.

LIN 391 • Studies In English Grammar

41125 • Spring 2007
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM PAR 1

We will survey the syntax of English, and some issues in the semanticinterpretation of English, with the two goals of (i) understanding thestructure of English syntax and (ii) acquiring the basic tools of syntacticanalysis, which can be applied to any language.

Required text:  C. L. Baker, English Syntax.

LIN 373 • Intro To Syntactic Theory

40270 • Spring 2006
Meets MWF 11:00AM-12:00PM PAR 203

This course is an introduction to formal syntax, which refers to the use of a mathematically precise formalism to model the syntax of human languages.  Formulating precise models allows us to study the properties of particular human languages empirically, testing our theories against the challenge of new data.  The course will introduce students to Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar (HPSG).  In HPSG, the words of a language are equipped with information about the way they combine with other words and phrases and the meaning of the resulting combination.   The forms and meanings of the parts of a sentence are combined bit by bit until we derive a meaning for the whole sentence. The lexicon also encodes the systematic relations between word forms, such as voice alternations and derivational cognates.  Since HPSG is a complete, fully explicit framework for grammatical description, students will be able to grasp the workings of an entire language, from morphemes to words to sentences, including a formal semantic system for representing meaning.  This is a hands-on course in which we will tackle syntax puzzles of increasing complexity.  LIN 372L is not an official prerequisite, but it is recommended as background to this course.

Textbook: Ivan Sag, Thomas Wasow, and Emily Bender. 2003. Syntactic Theory: A Formal Introduction, 2nd Edition. Stanford: CSLI Publications.

Basis for grading:  Class participation (10%), Problem sets (60%), Tests (30%)

Prerequisites:  LIN 306

LIN 381L • Syntax II

40310 • Spring 2006
Meets MWF 9:00AM-10:00AM PAR 204

This course will provide you with an understanding of the major syntactic phenomena, and the formal tools to analyze those phenomena and express theoretical claims.  We will learn the framework of Lexical-Functional Grammar (LFG), a lexicalist theory of syntax with no transformations. The framework is based on the factoring of grammatical description into categorial structure (phrase structure and morphology) and functional structure (subject, object, etc.), based on the observation that the languages of the world can vary widely in the former but are similar in the latter.

LIN 391 • Studies In English Grammar

38810 • Spring 2005
Meets MWF 10:00AM-11:00AM JES A216A

We will survey the syntax of English, and some issues in the semanticinterpretation of English, with the two goals of (i) understanding thestructure of English syntax and (ii) acquiring the basic tools of syntacticanalysis, which can be applied to any language.

Required text:  C. L. Baker, English Syntax.

LIN S306 • Intro To The Study Of Language

86220 • Summer 2004
Meets MTWTHF 10:00AM-11:30AM PAR 203

This course will introduce you to linguistics, the scientific study of language. How are human languages structured? Do humans have an innate capacity for language? How do children learn language? How is adult language learning different? How did the languages of the world evolve? What are the differences between verbal and non-verbal communication? Is there a "universal grammar"? How diverse and different are the languages of the world? How much does "language endangerment" and language extinction around the world affect global cultural diversity? Should every country have one "official" language? Are standard languages preferable to regional dialects? In short, this class is about everything you always wanted to know about language, and maybe a few things you never even thought to ask


Texts
Fromkin, Rodman, & Hyams. An Introduction to Language. 9th edition ISBN: 978-1428263925

LIN 391 • Studies In English Grammar

38090 • Fall 2003
Meets TTH 11:00AM-12:30PM WEL 4.224

We will survey the syntax of English, and some issues in the semanticinterpretation of English, with the two goals of (i) understanding thestructure of English syntax and (ii) acquiring the basic tools of syntacticanalysis, which can be applied to any language.

Required text:  C. L. Baker, English Syntax.

LIN S306 • Intro To The Study Of Language

86445 • Summer 2002
Meets MTWTHF 10:00AM-11:30AM PAR 301

This course will introduce you to linguistics, the scientific study of language. How are human languages structured? Do humans have an innate capacity for language? How do children learn language? How is adult language learning different? How did the languages of the world evolve? What are the differences between verbal and non-verbal communication? Is there a "universal grammar"? How diverse and different are the languages of the world? How much does "language endangerment" and language extinction around the world affect global cultural diversity? Should every country have one "official" language? Are standard languages preferable to regional dialects? In short, this class is about everything you always wanted to know about language, and maybe a few things you never even thought to ask


Texts
Fromkin, Rodman, & Hyams. An Introduction to Language. 9th edition ISBN: 978-1428263925

LIN 391 • Studies In English Grammar

37045 • Spring 2002
Meets W 1:30PM-3:00PM SZB 526

We will survey the syntax of English, and some issues in the semanticinterpretation of English, with the two goals of (i) understanding thestructure of English syntax and (ii) acquiring the basic tools of syntacticanalysis, which can be applied to any language.

Required text:  C. L. Baker, English Syntax.

LIN W398R • Master's Report

85810 • Summer 2001

Preparation of a report to fulfill the requirement for the master's degree under the report option.

Prerequisite: Graduate standing in linguistics and consent of the graduate adviser.

Hour(s) to be arranged. Offered on the credit/no credit basis only.

LIN 373 • Intro To Cognitive Science-W

36465 • Spring 2000
Meets TTH 2:00PM-3:30PM PAR 206
(also listed as PHL 365)

This course is an introduction to formal syntax, which refers to the use of a mathematically precise formalism to model the syntax of human languages.  Formulating precise models allows us to study the properties of particular human languages empirically, testing our theories against the challenge of new data.  The course will introduce students to Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar (HPSG).  In HPSG, the words of a language are equipped with information about the way they combine with other words and phrases and the meaning of the resulting combination.   The forms and meanings of the parts of a sentence are combined bit by bit until we derive a meaning for the whole sentence. The lexicon also encodes the systematic relations between word forms, such as voice alternations and derivational cognates.  Since HPSG is a complete, fully explicit framework for grammatical description, students will be able to grasp the workings of an entire language, from morphemes to words to sentences, including a formal semantic system for representing meaning.  This is a hands-on course in which we will tackle syntax puzzles of increasing complexity.  LIN 372L is not an official prerequisite, but it is recommended as background to this course.

Textbook: Ivan Sag, Thomas Wasow, and Emily Bender. 2003. Syntactic Theory: A Formal Introduction, 2nd Edition. Stanford: CSLI Publications.

Basis for grading:  Class participation (10%), Problem sets (60%), Tests (30%)

Prerequisites:  LIN 306

Publications


Stephen Wechsler's publications list can be found here: https://sites.google.com/site/wechslerpublications/

Curriculum Vitae


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