questions for the comprehensive examination in English linguistics
for ANN students
- 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.
history of English
- The Indo-European languages
Proofs of relationship; branches; some characteristic vocalic and consonantal changes (e.g., Grimm's Law; centum vs. satem languages); PIE features surviving in PdE; question of original location of IE languages (how can one decide?)
- The Germanic languages
Branches (eastern, western, northern); Gothic; German: high and low (Old High German Consonant Shift); Ingavaeonic (North Sea Germanic); Scandinavian; emergence of written records of the major languages
- The vowels and consonants from OE to PdE
The vocalic system: umlaut; the Great Vowel Shift (a push or a drag chain, affected class of vowels); pre-R changes (breaking, broadening); Germanic stress vs. Romance stress and its relevance for the PdE system of stress; the consonant system: allophones vs. phonemes (grammaticalisation): e.g. distribution of fricatives; the pronunciation of `gh'; the velar nasal
- The nominal categories (nouns and adjectives)
Weak and strong nouns (basis of classification and its reflexes in PdE); definite (weak) and indefinite (strong) adjectival declension; synthetic (inflectional) vs. analytical tendencies (e.g. prepositional constructions): fusion vs. isolation in PdE; today`s irregular plurals; the genitive; pluralia/singularia tantum
- The verbal category from OE to PdE
Weak vs. strong verbs (basis of classification); was/were distinction; third person ending -th vs. -s; suppletivism; today`s irregular verbs (classes?); emergence of periphrastic verb forms and tenses; passive constructions; impersonal verbs and pleonastic subjects
- The pronoun system from OE to PdE
The OE case system and its PdE reflexes: him/her/me; PdE nominative vs. non-nominative cases; the use of prepositions; the birth of the definite article; gender (grammatical vs. natural); the you--thou problem; Scandinavian influence on the pronoun system (they); grammaticalisation (my/mine)
- The history of the English word-order
Main vs. subordinate clauses; English as a V2 language; subject-verb inversion vs. fronting/topicalisation (this school you will never leave vs. *this school will you never leave); do-support; order of constituents (auxiliary vs. main verbs, preposition + N, adjective + noun)
- Semantic and stylistic change
Slang and standardisation; amelioration and pejoration; narrowing and extension; homonyms vs. homophones vs. synonyms (basis of classification); Biblical translation as an example for such changes
- English word formation
Derivation and inflexion; bound vs. free forms; stem, marker (extensions), root (change in word formation processes: root vs. stem based); change of lexical words to suffixes (e.g., -ly, -dom, -ship); augments (dramatic); degree of opaque vs. transparent formations (school yard vs. strawberry vs. uncouth); some other means of deriving new lexemes (back-formation, clipping, etc.)
- Loanwords in English and their chronology
(vulgar/mediaeval) Latin; coastal (AN) French vs. Parisian (central) Old French; MoFrench vs. Latin (chandelier vs. candle); Scandinavian (skirt vs. shirt); popular loans vs. learned loans vs. inherited (native) forms; chronology of sound changes (both of English and that of source languages) as applied to loanwords (e.g., chief vs. chef vs. capital); doublets
- Lass, R. (1994). Old English (A historical linguistic companion). Cambridge: CUP.
- Mitchell, B. and Robins, H.R. (1980). A Guide to Old English. Oxford: Blackwell.
- Quirk, R. and Wrenn, C.L. (1989). An Old English Grammar. London: Routledge
- Burrow, J.A. and Turville-Petre, Th. (1992). A Book of Middle English. Oxford: Blackwell.
- Wright, J. and Wright, E. (1984). An Elementary Middle English Grammar. Oxford: Oxford UP.
- Barber, C. (1976). Early Modern English. Cambridge: CUP.
- Ekwall, E. (1975). History of English Sound and Morphology. Oxford: Blackwell.
- Matthews, P.H. (1974). Morphology: An Introduction to the Theory of Word-Structure. Cambridge: CUP.