Romance linguistics

1. Course content.

This course will present a comparison of principal syntactic and phonological structures of French, Spanish, Italian, and other Romance languages and also contrast them with English. Some of the phenomena will include stress patterns, vowel and consonant shifts, pro-drop, inflection, inversion. The course presupposes some familiarity with Linguistics.

Prerequisits: 614: 201

2. Readings.

3. Course evaluation
Homeworks (5) 35%
Take-home tests (2) 30%
Final paper
    Final version
Class participation 10%

Class participation will be evaluated by written questions on readings. The questions will be posted on the web. In order to get full credit for class participation, you must hand in at least 10 sets of questions during the semester, each on the day the reading is discussed in class. For each reading, you need to answer only three questions.

Homework will be handed out on the date in the syllabus, to be returned one week later.

4. Sound advice

1. No late work without medical excuse.
2. Please read the policy on plagiarism
3. Always quote your sources.

5. E-mail

The course syllable will be posted  on the web( Additionally, there will be an email  distribution list to communicate any relevant course matters. Details will follow.

Weekly Calendar of Topics

Date and topic Readings, assingments
6  Introduction. Perspectives on the study of language Haegeman 3-21 
11 The Romance Languages. Historical perspective

13 The Romance Languages. Western Romance 

RL 1-6  Questions on readings

RL 6-13 Questions on readings

18 Eastern Romance. 

20 Review of phonology

RL 13-24 Questions on readings

Homework 1

25  The Latin system

27 Phonology of WR (I)

RL 81-90, 131-142 Questions on readings Homework 2

Date and topic Readings, assingments
2 Phonology of WR (II) 

4 Phonology of ER (I) 

RL 170-176 Questions on readings

RL 209-215 Questions on readings

9 Phonology of ER (II) Review 

11 Topics in Syntax Test 1

RL 279-285 Questions on readings
16 Clitics inWR (I)

18 Clitics in WR (II)

Haegeman 25-47  Questions on readings
RL 107-110 Questions on readings

Spencer 362-7 Questions on readings

23 Clitics in ER  RL 231-232, 291-292 Questions on readings
25 Pro-drop (I)

30 Pro-drop (II)

Haegeman 412-20 Questions on readings

Homeworks 3 and 4

Date and topic Readings, assingments
1 Portuguese Inflected infinitives

6 Inflected infinitives (II)

8  Unaccusativity (I)


Haegeman 298-305 Questions on readings

13 Unaccusativity (II) 

15 Unaccusativity (III)

 Final paper abstract
20 Bare nouns (I) 

22 No class

Contreras 25-49 Questions on readings  Homework 5


27 Bare nouns (II)
29 Test 2

Date and topic Readings, assingments
4 Presentations

6 Presentations 

11 Presentations

13 Review


Online Linguistic Resources

Finegan, E.  What Is 'Correct' Language?   Linguistic Society of America.

How to quote electronic sources

The Human Languages page

Linguist List  An electronic list with many Linguistic resources.

Linguistic Society of America

Department of Linguistics (Rutgers)

Department of Spanish and Portuguese (Rutgers)