The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

Course announcement: 24.949/9.601 Language Acquisition

24.949/9.601 Graduate Language Acquisition this Fall
Instructor: Ken Wexler
Mondays 11 to 2, Linguistics seminar room

  • Lecture 1: Foundational Intro, the role of input, learning, nature of UG and development.
  • Lectures 2-4: The basic properties of early clause structure, finiteness, parameters of clauses, INFL, C, case, agreement, head-movement, raising of subjects, knowledge of morphology, necessity of copulas/aux, why are they omitted?, null-subjects, clitics, modality/negation, movement and its motivations. All of this developmental. Are the classical linguistic-theory (biolinguistic) approaches right, or can we get more than we thought from environmental/computational difficulties (e.g. Yang’s recent papers; in particular we should look at Legate and Yang and its critics).
  • Lecture 5: Deviance
  • Lectures 6,7: Argument-chains, phases, the role of derivation by phase, movement, passives, raising, unaccusatives, clefts, specificational sentences, tough-movement, control (complement and adjunct), control with promise, etc. “Smuggling” in theory and its relation to development and to empty operators, etc (see also lecture 8).
  • Lecture 8: Wh-Movement in Acquisition, questions, relative clauses, A-bar movement in general, etc.
  • Lecture 9/10/11: Semantics of determiners, quantification, scope, maximality, semantics of free relatives, information structure, relation to Theory of Mind experiments, Scalar Implicatures.
  • Lecture 12: Binding Theory.