Syntax - 1st semester


The main objectives of the unit are to enable the student to:
i) describe recent hypotheses on the functioning of the syntactic component in the framework of principles and parameters theory and identify variable and invariable aspects of the syntax of natural languages;
ii) relate aspects of syntax with other grammar components;
iii) develop theoretical argumentation based on empirical data, considering syntactic phenomena in different languages.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Ana Maria Lavadinho Madeira


Weekly - 3 letivas + 1 tutorial

Total - Available soon

Teaching language





Baltin, M. & C. Collins (eds) (2000) The Handbook of Contemporary Syntactic Theory. Wiley-Blackwell
Belletti, A. & L. Rizzi (1996) Parameters and Functional Heads. Essays in Comparative Syntax. OUP
Carnie, A. D. Siddiqi & Y. Sato (eds) (2014) The Routledge Handbook of Syntax. Routledge
Cinque, G. & R.S. Kayne (eds) (2005) The Oxford Handbook of Comparative Syntax. OUP
Culicover, P. (1997) Principles and Parameters: An Introduction to Syntactic Theory. OUP
den Dikken, M. (ed) (2013) The Cambridge Handbook of Generative Syntax. CUP
Fischer, S. & C. Gabriel (eds) 2016) Manual of Grammatical Interfaces in Romance. De Gruyter
Haegeman, L. (2006) Thinking Syntactically: A Guide to Argumentation and Analysis. Blackwell
Haegeman, L. (ed) (1997) The New Comparative Syntax. Longman
Martins, A. & E. Carrilho (eds) (2016) Manual de linguística portuguesa. De Gruyter
Roberts, I. (ed) (2007) Comparative Grammar. Routledge

Teaching method

The seminar includes expository classes, discussion of readings, and practical work that leads the student to verify theoretical hypotheses from linguistic data.

Evaluation method

(a) short problem-solving exercises (20%);
(b) written test (30%);
(c) individual written essay with a description and analysis of a particular topic (50%).

Subject matter

1. Principles and parameters theory: from government and binding to minimalismo
2. The architecture of the sentence.
3. Parameters and functional categories.
4. The interface between syntax and other grammatical modules.