LOT Winter School 2018

Cartography and explanation

Luigi Rizzi


University of Geneva


Course info

Level: intermediate - advanced

Course description:

Syntactic structures are complex objects. The cartography of syntactic structures is a project which focuses on structural complexity by drawing maps as precise and detailed as possible of syntactic configurations. The project has a large descriptive endeavor, which has led, over the last twenty years, to the discovery of numerous properties of syntactic structures: properties of ordering in the sequence of functional elements, properties of mutual incompatibility, and of freezing, among others. This important empirical dimension opens the issue of the explanation of the observed patterns, as it is unlikely that such complex properties may be directly encoded in UG: how can they be traced back to fundamental ingredients of syntactic computations? The search for explanation of cartographic properties may involve two fundamental components:

  • Interface principles, which may require particular arrangements of syntactic object for interpretive reasons;
  • Formal principles operating within the box of formal syntax (principles of locality, economy, labeling).

The course will discuss cases of both types of explanations of cartographic properties. In this perspective cartographic studies can be seen as generators of new empirical issues for syntactic theory, thus nourishing and renewing the empirical basis of theoretical syntax.

Day-to-day program

Monday: The cartography of syntactic structures: some ideas and results

Tuesday: The structure of the left periphery and the role of interface principles

Wednesday: Cartography and locality

Thursday: Freezing effects in criterial positions

Friday: The labeling algorithm and the explanation of freezing

Reading list

Course readings

Lecture 1:

Belletti, Adriana, ed. 2004. Structures and Beyond. The Cartography of Syntactic Structures, Volume 3. Vol. 3. Oxford University Press: New York.

Cinque, G., and L. Rizzi. 2010. The Cartography of Syntactic Structures, The Oxford Handbook of Linguistic Analysis, edited by B. Heine and H. Narrog. Oxford University Press, Oxford, New York, 2010, pp. 51-65.

Rizzi, L. 1997. The Fine Structure of the Left Periphery, in L. Haegeman, ed., Elements of Grammar, Kluwer, Dordrecht, 1997, pp.281-337.

Rizzi, L. and G. Cinque. (2016). “Functional categories and syntactic theory”, in Annual Review of Linguistics, 2, 2016, pp. 139-163.

Lecture 2:

Aboh, E., 2004. The Morphosyntax of Complement-Head Sequences: Clause Structure and Word Order Patterns in Kwa. New York: Oxford University Press.

Rizzi, L. and G. Bocci. (2015). “The left periphery of the clause – Primarily illustrated for Italian”, to appear in the Blackwell Companion to Syntax, II edition

Lecture 3:

Abels, K., 2012. “The Italian Periphery: A View from Locality”, Linguistic Inquiry, 43(2).

Haegeman, Liliane. 2013. Adverbial Clauses, Main Clause Phenomena, and Composition of the LeftPeriphery. The Cartography of Syntactic Structures, Vol. 8. New York: Oxford University Press.

Rizzi, L. 2013 Notes on Cartography and Further Explanation, Probus 25.1, 2013, 197-226.

Lecture 4:

Rizzi, L & U. Shlonsky,. 2007. Strategies of Subject Extraction, in Hans-Martin Gärtner and Uli Sauerland (eds). Interfaces + Recursion = Language? Chomsky's Minimalism and the View from Syntax-Semantics. Mouton de Gruyter, Berlin, Germany, 2007, pp. 115-160

Rizzi. L. 2014. Some Consequences of Criterial Freezing.” In P. Svenionius, ed., The Cartography of Syntactic Structures, Vol. 9, 19–54. New York: Oxford University Press. 2014.

Lecture 5:

Rizzi, L. Cartography, Criteria, and Labeling. 2015. in U. Shlonsky, ed., Beyond Functional Sequence- The Cartography of Syntactic Structures, Vol 10, Oxford University Press, New York, pp. 314-338. 2015.

Rizzi, L. 2015. Notes on Labeling and Subject Positions. in E. Di Domenico, C. Hamann, S. Matteini eds., Structures, strategies and beyond – Studies in honour of Adriana Belletti. John Benjamins, Amsterdam, 17-46.

Rizzi, L. 2016. Labeling, maximality, and the head – phrase distinction”. In The Linguistic Review, 2016.