questions for the comprehensive examination in English linguistics
for AFN students
- Categories vs grammatical functions; their representation
- Rules & grammars: descriptive vs prescriptive
- The components of grammar & their interaction
- Design features of human language (vs other systems of communication)
- Grammaticality vs acceptability; competence vs performance
- E-language vs I-language; E-linguistics vs I-linguistics
- UG & the innateness hypothesis
- The role of experiments & medical cases in linguistics
- Variation & change at different levels of language structure
- Children's sounds/words/sentences
- Phonetics of English
The speech organs and their role in the articulation of English sounds.
Classification of sounds on an articulatory basis.
- The phonetic characteristics of English and Hungarian
Compare English and Hungarian with respect to the phonetic characteristics
of the two systems.
- Transcription and spelling
Systems of transcription for English and their theoretical and practical
problems. The relationship of spelling to sound, and the reasons for their
- Phonology and Phonetics
Allophones and phonemes, distribution, redundant and distinctive features,
underlying and surface representation, phonological rules.
- The English vowel system
Underlying elements (phonemes). Vocalic contrasts. The phonological
classification of English vowels. Vowel Reduction, tenseness/length, Vowel
- Predictability of tenseness/laxness of English vowels
Trisyllabic Laxness/Laxing, Closed Syllable Laxing/Shortening, Prevocalic
Tenseness, word-final open syllables
- English phonotactics
The syllable in English, syllabification, sonority. Phonotactics:
restrictions on onsets and codas, nuclei and rhymes.
- English word stress
Stress assignment rules (1ry & 2ry), their relation to morphology and
syntactic function (word class). Degrees of stress within the word. Stress
- English intonation
Tonality, tonicity, tone. Pitch contours. Neutral vs. nonneutral,
focusing, emphasis, contrast. Relationship with syntax.
- The role of morphology in English phonology
Structure dependence of phonological rules, strong-boundary and weak
boundary affixes and the English phonological rules sensitive to the
- X-bar Syntax
The notion of the head of a phrase. The distinction between specifiers, complements and adjuncts. The generality of the X-bar framework (CP/IP/DP). (Radford 1988; Haegeman 1994; Cook and Newson 1996, Newson 1997)
- The structure of the English Nominal Phrase
Complementation and modification within the NP. The distinction between post-head and pre-head modification. The determiner system. The DP hypothesis. (Radford 1997; Giorgi and Longobardi 1991; Newson 1997)
- The structure of the English Verb Phrase
The position of auxiliaries in the VP. The VP-internal subject hypothesis. The VP-shell Hypothesis (Radford 1997; Haegeman and Guéron 1999)
The difference between abstract Case and morphological case. The assignment of nominative and accusative Case. Exceptional Case marking constructions. Of-insertion with nouns and adjectives (Radford 1988, Haegeman and Guéron 1999)
- Noun Phrase Movement
The nature of NP movement in passive and raising structures. The role of Case in NP movement. NP traces as anaphors. (Radford 1988; Haegeman 1994; Cook and Newson 1996)
The nature of wh-movement in questions and relative clauses. Restrictions on wh-movement -- that-trace and strong crossover effects. Wh-traces as r-expressions. (Radford 1988; Haegeman 1994; Cook and Newson 1996)
- Head Movement
The nature of head movement in tensed clauses and questions. Restrictions on head movement -- the head movement constraint and relativised minimality. The difference between English auxiliary and main verbs and the interaction with negation and question formation. (Radford 1988; Haegeman 1994; Cook and Newson 1996)
The distribution of PRO. Subject and object control. The difference between control and raising structures. (Radford 1988; Haegeman and Guéron 1999)
- Relative Clauses
The role of wh-movement in forming relative clauses. Deletion of the wh-element. The distinction between restrictive and non-restricted relative clauses. (Radford 1988; Haegeman 1994)
- Binding Theory
The distribution of personal and reflexive pronouns. Principles A, B and C. The role of binding relationships in movement. (Radford 1988; Haegeman and Guéron 1999)
- Aarts, B. (1992). Small Clauses in English: The Nonverbal Types. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.
- Cook, V. and M. Newson (1996). Chomsky's Universal Grammar.Oxford: Blackwell.
- Giorgi, A. and G. Longobardi (1991). The Syntax of Noun Phrases.Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Haegeman, L. (1994). Introduction to Government and Binding Theory.2nd. edn. Oxford: Blackwell.
- Haegeman, Liliane and Jacqueline Guéron 1999 English Grammar: a generative perspective, Blackwell, Oxford.
- Newson, M. (1997). The Relationship Between Clause Structure and Phrase Structure: Course Reader. Available from http://www.ludens.elte.hu/~newson
- Radford, A. 1988. Transformational Grammar. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Radford, Andrew 1997 Syntactic theory and the structure of English, Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.