Jun 30, 2022  
2021-2022 Cal State East Bay Catalog 
2021-2022 Cal State East Bay Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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ENGL 450 - Current Theories in Formal Grammar

Units: 4
Introduction to current theories in the study of formal grammar.

Equivalent Quarter Course: ENGL 4010.
Possible Instructional Methods: Entirely On-ground.
Grading: A-F grading only.
Student Learning Outcomes - Upon successful completion of this course students will be able to:

  1. a) Able to describe the syntactic structure of an English sentence in terms of its component words and phrases; b) identify English word categories such as noun, main verb, auxiliary verb, adjective, adverb, determiner, preposition, etc.; c) identify English phrasal categories like noun phrase, verb phrase, adjective phrase, adverb phrase, prepositional phrase, etc.; and d) apply diagnostic constituent tests to find out whether a given sequence of words in English is a phrasal constituent of a given category or not.
  2. a) Abel to examine the formal properties of phrase structure rules and nature of word and phrasal categories; b) identify the dominance and precedence relations between constituents within a phrase structure, and demonstrate how the dominance relation can be used to define the concept of C-command which plays an important role in the description of numerous syntactic and semantic phenomena and issues; c) demonstrate how a finite recursive set of phrase structure rules can generate an infinite number of sentences, and d) demonstrate how both word categories and phrasal categories can be described by using such category features as [± N], [± V], [± AUX], [± M], etc.
  3. a) Able to create and develop empirical evidence and arguments for the existence of a nominal constituent which is larger than the noun but smaller than the noun phrase; b) identify the difference between post-nominal complement prepositional phrases and post-nominal adjunct prepositional phrases by using empirical evidence and arguments; c) identify the difference between prenominal complement noun phrases and prenominal attributive noun phrases by using empirical evidence and arguments.
  4. a) Able to demonstrate how the X-bar analysis of the noun phrase can be extended to the analysis of the verb phrase, the adjective phrase, the adverb phrase, the prepositional phrases, etc.; b) describe the uniformity across lexical and phrasal categories in terms of the internal constituent structure of phrases; and c) Use category variables to generalize the categorical rules to generate sentence structures.
  5. a) Able to divide clauses into finite clauses and nonfinite clauses by examining the constituent structure of clauses; b) explain why a finite clause that lacks an overt complementizer (i.e. subordinate conjunction) should be analyzed as a S-bar constituent in which the complementizer position is left empty; and c) demonstrate how the S-bar analysis of the finite clause can be extended to the analysis of the internal structure of all types of clauses by presenting empirical evidence and arguments.

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