ENGL 371 A: English Syntax

Spring 2013—George L Dillon
TuTh 10:30-12:20 SIG 224


Rodney Huddleston and Geoffrey K. Pullum, A Student's Introduction to English Grammar Cambridge UP, 2005.
—based on The Brute: The Cambridge Grammar of the English Language (2002), 1848 pages. Copy in the Reserve Collection in Suzzallo.
Marie-Catherine de Marneffe and Christopher D. Manning, "Stanford typed dependencies manual" (2008, 2012) (hndout)


For download:


Scope and Objectives:

The course provides the understanding necessary to teach English, and writing, in the schools. It focuses on the basic grammatical constructions of English and several approaches to describing and representing them. We will cover

We will use some of the on-line tools for automated POS tagging and graphing ("diagramming"). By the end of the course, you will be able to describe most of the major syntactic constructions of English in several ways. In addition, you will be able analyze the cohesion of sentences in connected text.

Written Work and Grading:

Written work will consist of one 3-4 page paper ("tagger project"), 2 midterms, and final. Selected exercises from the textbooks will be part of the class preparation and participation grade. Each of these will make up one-fifth of the final grade.

and Pullum
Supplemental Assignment due
Apr 2
Standard English C. 1 Conventions of IGE; pp. 9-10: Exs. 1-5
Apr 4
gram. v. semantic defs. of terms;
word v. lexeme;
functions (relations) /categories;
quick sketch of 8 POS
C. 2 Messy copy of cc.s 1&2 Word Classes
pp. 27-28: Exs 1-4,6;
Apr 9
Verb tense and inflection; Aspect;
auxiliaries; finite/non-finite clauses
C. 3
Verbs  (all secs.)

pp.60-61: Exs. 1-10 (odd)
Apr 11
Interpretation of Tenses, Aspect, Modals
C. 3 (cont)
  pp.61-62: Exs. 11-20 (odd)
Apr 15th
Clause: adjuncts and complements
Heads and Dependents
C. 4

Apr 17th Predicative Complements
Canonical clause structures
(Not SPOA!)
Graphing Gram Relations
C.4 (cont)
Dependency diagrams for 4:[29] and 4:[31]

pp. 80-81: Exs. 1-10 (odd)
Apr 23
Nouns, nominals, noun phrases
C. 5
Practice marking N's and NPs with Answer Key
1st midterm due [detailed]
Apr 25
Adjectives and Adverbs
Prepositional and clausal complements of adjectives
Preferred positions for adverbs in Aux
C. 6
pp. 125-28: 1-9 (odd)

Apr 30
C. 7
pp. 147-48: 1-10 (odd)
Tagger project assigned
May 2
Negation and scope
C. 8

p. 158: 1-4 (odd)
May 7
Clause type: asking, exclaiming, directing
C. 9

p. 175: 1-5 (odd)
Tagger project due
May 9
Subordination and content clauses
Interrogative clause complements of Nouns and Noun+Preps (COCA)
C. 10

pp. 181-82:1-7 (odd)
May 14
Relative Clauses
C. 11

pp. 193-4: 1-5 (odd)
2nd midterm due [detailed]
May 16 Grade and comparison C. 12
pp. 203: 1-5 (odd)
May 21
Non-finite and verbless clauses
C. 13
pp. 223-24: 1-7 (odd)
May 23
C. 14

p. 237: 1-7 (odd)
May 28
Information Packaging in clause:
C. 15
A science paper

May 30

Alternative orderings, focusing
C. 15(cont) Yodish pp. 261-263: 1-11 (odd)
June 4 Texture and Cohesion;
Analysis of prose text;
The Three Threads of Cohesion
Examples of Sentence ordering  

June 6
Usage and Licensing
Table of Adverbs in Auxiliary slots again Cohesion exercise due
Final Exam assigned.Final Exam assigned [detailed]
June 13
Final Exam due 5pm my office

Off. Hrs. 9:30 Tu,11:00 F
A404 Padelford
Last revised: 6/6/13