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Syntax: Current Issues


Admission requirements

Basic knowledge of syntax (e.g., the equivalent of syntax 1 and syntax 2 in the BA linguistics programme)


This course brings the students updated to the current issues within the Minimalist Program of syntactic theory. The course is divided into 4 bloks, each for three weeks. The first blok starts with an overview of the government and binding framework, bridging the technical implementations to the implementations withint the Minimalist Program. The second to the fourth block investigate current discussions in the Minimalist Program, starting with argument structure, agreement and Case, the structure of features, movement (head vs. phrasal), locality, linearization, functional architecture, and the notion of phases.

Course objectives

  1. Students learn the basics of the Minimalist framework of syntax, in comparison with the government and binding framework.
  2. Students learn the basics of argumentation within syntactic theory.
  3. Students are familiarize with the current issues within the Minimalist Program.
  4. Students are capable to discussing certain linguistic phenomena using the tools within the Minimalist Program.


The timetable is available on the MA Linguistics website

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar

Course Load

Total course load EC x 28 hours= hours

  • Lectures: 4 x 13 = 52 hours

  • Study of compulsory literature: 13 x 10 = 130 hours

  • Presentation: 5 hours

  • Assignment(s): 38 hours

  • Squib/short paper: 55 hours

Assessment Method

  • Assignments: 30%

  • Presentation: 10%

  • Squib (short paper): 60%


This course is supported by Blackboard.

Reading list

Minimalist Syntax, the essential readings, 2007, edited by Zeljko Boskovic and Howard Lasnik. Blackwell Publishing.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available in [English]) and Dutch

Students other than MA Linguistics need permission from the coordinator of studies before enrolling.


Please contact Student administration van Eyckhof for questions.