The Weekly Newsletter of MIT Linguistics

24.956 Topics in syntax: Binding Theory and Beyond

Instructors: Sabine Iatridou & David Pesetsky
Time: Tuesday 2-5
Place: 32-D461
Course website: here

We are all familiar with the proposals crystallized by Chomsky in his 1981 book Lectures on Government and Binding that describe the manner in which syntactic structure interacts with anaphora: Binding Theory. In the three decades since that work, a number of researchers have rethought and reworked these proposals. This new research reflects recent advances in syntactic and semantic theory and responds to many new cross-linguistic discoveries.

In this seminar, we begin by surveying some of the more prominent and thorough efforts to rethink Binding Theory (especially Principles A and B), including recent books and book manuscripts by Safir, by Reuland, and by Rooryck & Vanden Wyngaerd. We will then turn to several topics that interact closely with Binding Theory, including the internal composition of pronouns, implicit arguments (and their interaction with passive), interactions with case, and control theory.