Projects in Previous Years

2nd Semester 2007/08: Syntax in Optimality Theory

Henk Zeevat
If you are interested in this project, please contact Henk by e-mail.
Content. What is optimality theory (6 hrs), some proposals for syntax (4 hrs, Bresnan, Aissen, Lee, de Swart), syntax and semantics/pragmatics (3 hrs, Hendriks and De Hoop, Blutner, Zeevat), learning, evolution and change (3 hrs, Smolensky, Boersma, Jaeger, Hendriks and Spenader), processing (2 hrs, Karttunen, Zeevat), poetry (1 hrs, Golston and Riad), final discussion (1 hrs)
Course Material. Will be made available through
A preliminary listing is given below.
Participation. This project follows up on Formal Approaches to Grammar and all particpants of that course will be accepted. It is however possible to follow it without having done the first half, provided one has had some serious exposure to NL syntax.

Please write to if you intend to participate. Please indicate if you want to do a presentation (advised) and indicate your constraints on the time slot.

When and where. The course will be 4 per day during the week of June 9-13. As it is expected that you read the materials before the course (with the exception of the introduction) , there will not be time for much else during the week.
A small research paper on one of the topics, possibly following a presentation in the course (not required, but welcomed).
Orientation. Download the course notes of Reinhard Blutner: which will be the basis of the first 6 hours. This gives a good impression.
Preliminary Course Material.
  1. Course Notes:
  2. Joan Bresnan. ``Optimal Syntax.'' In Optimality Theory: Phonology, Syntax and Acquisition, edited by Joost Dekkers, Frank van der Leeuw and Jeroen van de Weijer, Oxford University Press.
  3. J. Aissen, 2003. Differential Object Marking: Iconicity vs. Economy. Natural Language and Linguistic Theory 21,435-483.