The aim of this class is to reflect on the nature, the boundaries and the explanations of island constraints. It will have both a theoretical and an empirical/experimental stance, including 1) a survey of the theoretical proposals that have been made and their problems ; 2) an exploration of radically alternative proposals advocating processing difficulties or pragmatic oddities as the only factors explaining islands ; 3) the setting of some experimental guidelines on how to tease apart these factors.
Students taking the seminar will have a) to discuss a paper b) to present about an experiment to be: to pick up an island, an analysis and a language, and set up an experiment aiming at testing the predictions of that analysis. For that island effects on that language
The main text : Cedric Boeckx . 2012. Syntactic Islands, CUP.