|SCIENTIFIC DISCIPLINARY SECTOR||L-LIN/21|
The syntax of Russian: a formal analysis.
36 hrs, 6 credits.
The class will offer a description of some morpho-syntactic features of Russian, with subsequent discussion of related theoretical issues. The discussion will be set in the framework of a formal approach to natural languages and thus the course will serve also as an introduction to the basics of generative grammar. However, the topics dealt with in the course will also have a learning-oriented side in offering a better understanding of some constructions of Russian.
This course aims at offering an in-depth description of some morphosyntactic structures of contemporary standard Russian, highlighting their distinctive features. On the basis of this first descriptive level we will proceed to an analysis of the structural properties of Russian and to an examination of the theoretical problems connected to some of its syntactic peculiarities. The proposed approach is framed in a formal conceptualizatoin of the analysis of natural languages, therefore the course will also provide an elementary introduction to the principles of generative grammar. The topics covered in the course will also be of practical interest for the purpose of a more effective learning of Russian at an advanced level.
A basic knowledge of the morphosyntactic structures of Russian. Familiarity with the basics of linguistic analysis (parts of speech, predicate, agreement, case, etc ..., being able to distinguish between the phonological, morphological, syntactic levels).
The course content will be delivered via classroom lectures (36 hours), with the support of Aulaweb.
Along with the presentation of the theory by the teacher, students are requested to participate in the discussion by thinking and "experimenting" on linguistic examples that are relevant for the topic.
Linguistics: what is language? Natural languages, the Faculty of Language and the architecture of grammar.
Contemporary Standard Russian: its position within Slavic, diachronic overview, typology.
Russian syntax. The verb and its arguments, thematic structure. The VP and the basic clausal structure. The noun phrase, its arguments and its extended structure, the DP. The clause, types of clauses. Non-nominative subjects. Information structure: Topic-Comment relations and syntactic structures. Case: case government and case alternations. The typological features of Russian and related theoretical issues.
The program for both attending and non-attending students is the same.
The course will be taught on the basis of Bailyn (2012) and Fici Giusti, Gebert & Signorini (1991).
Additional books that will be of use for reference are Donati (2008), D'Alessandro (2020), Graffi (1994), Graffi & Scalise (2008), Jackendoff (1998) (see references below).
Readings: research articles on specific topics will be distributed in class or made available in Aulaweb course page.
Office hours: Thursdays, from 15:00 hrs, after Russian Linguistics classes. Students are kindly requested to agree an appointment beforehand, via email.
The final exam entails a co-operative discussion of the topics dealt with during the classes: every student will be assigned a sentence in Russian and will be requested to propose a syntactic analysis for it. 20-30 minutes will be given for analysing the sentence, thereaftere everyone will present his/her own analysis and discuss it with the instructor and with his/her peers.
The second part of the exam of a question on the topics related to the aspect and meaning of the verb in Russian (for example: what is a causative predicate?) and finally a grade will be assigned by the instructor on the basis of the discussion of the analysis and of the answer to the question.
The exam may be taken in Italian, Russian or English.
The instructur will assess the student's ability to carry out her/his own analysis on the basis of the topics presented in the course. Comparisons with other other languages, including the student's own intuitions about her/his native language(s) will be be positively evaluated. See also "Exam descripton"
Students certified with SLD, disabilities or other special education needs are advised to contact the instructor at the beginning of the course, in order to agree on teaching and exam methods that, in compliance with the course learning outcomes, take into account individual learning methods and provide suitable compensatory tools.