Hybrid Seminar: Quantitative Research in Syntax

Corpus example
Dr. Gabi Danon

Modern syntax often relies on data obtained from informal grammaticality judgments, meant to distinguish the sentences that our grammar allows us to generate from the ones that cannot be formed without violating principles of the grammar. However, grammaticality judgments may sometimes be unclear, gradient, or subject to considerable variation from speaker to speaker, and in such cases it has become increasingly common to make use of a variety of quantitative research methods. This seminar looks at a variety of syntactic phenomena with a focus on the insights gained by applying experimental or corpus-based research methods.

Some of the topics discussed involve choice between 2 or more competing structures for expressing roughly the same meaning; variation in subject-verb agreement triggered by a variety of factors; and subtle variation in acceptability in interrogative sentences. The seminar looks at these phenomena both from the point of view of the data itself - and how it is obtained; and from the point of view of what the complex patterns of variation and gradience mean for syntactic theory.

This is a hybrid seminar: Approximately half of the course involves face-to-face class meetings, and half is composed of a variety of weekly asynchronous activities available on the course website: Videos, forum discussions, reading and writing assignments, and more.

Last Updated Date : 20/01/2022