Syntactic Theory


Welcome to ELLO's syntactic theory module. This module has reached a relatively stable form by now and is used in syntax introductions at the University of Göttingen. Nonetheless, we will continue improving the pages and keeping them up to date. So, don't hesitate to send us your comments and suggestions! The contact person for this module is Manfred Sailer,

Our module consists of three main topics:

  1. Traditional Grammar: a systematic look at major syntactic phenomena of English.
    This is an extension of the material covered in the Syntax part of the General Linguistics module.
  2. Government and Binding Theory (GB): perhaps the most widely used theoretical framework in linguistics. Knowledge of this framework is essential for everyone who would like to keep up with theorizing in modern syntax.
  3. Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar (HPSG): a further framework in theoretical linguistics, which is particularly popular for computational applications, lexicography.

Of course, there are many more syntactic theories around. We provide some pointers to other frameworks among the further links.

We hope you will enjoy this module!

The Göttingen ELLO-team.

The following video mentions a list of phenomena that we are going to discuss in syntax, such as subject-verb agreement, pronoun-antecedent agreement, ...

The video takes a normative view on grammar, which we do not share.

You can enter your comment on our module pages here.

Categories: Glossary

All modules of Selected Subfields are divided into 3 areas: focus and content, exercises and tools & extras. Note that under focus and content you find the core content, which contains a fixed compilation of content on the respective field of linguistics (this information e.g. is always covered in seminars/lectures on this topic), and the extended content which will be augmented from time to time with content that is more specific (hence not necessarily covered in a seminar/lecture on this topic.)
Use the various short texts and attached exercises in each module in addition to your textbooks and make use of our extensive annotated reading lists and tools to improve your knowledge according to your needs. All subfields in the area focus and content are linked to several exercises, designed for the respective topics in three degrees of difficulty. You can either work through the texts and attached exercises in the given order or you can move on directly to the area exercises to improve your skills where necessary.