Generative Syntax

Professor Caroline Heycock talking

Generative Syntax with Professor Caroline Heycock is a series of eleven videos, and was created for the School of Linguistics and English Language at the University of Edinburgh.

The videos are used in classes at the University and are designed to complement use of the free online textbook “Syntax of Natural Language” by Santorini and Kroch.


Go to the full playlist for ‘Generative Syntax with Prof. Caroline Heycock’

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Generative Syntax 1.1: Prescriptive and Descriptive Rules – looks at the difference between prescriptive and descriptive grammar rules.

Generative Syntax 1.2: On Constituency – shows how sentences are more than just strings of words.

Generative Syntax 1.3: Constituent Recursion – shows how constituents can contain constituents of the same type.

Generative Syntax 2.1: Substituting Constituents – looks at how substitution can be a diagnostic for constituency.

Generative Syntax 2.2: Moving Constituents – demonstrates another way to diagnose constituency: moving the words in question.

Generative Syntax 2.3: It-Clefts and Constituency – Prof Heycock looks at how it-clefts can be used to confirm constituency.

Generative Syntax 4.1: The X-bar Schema –  explains how phrase structure can be generalised through the X-bar schema.

Generative Syntax 4.2-4.4: Sentence Structure – looks at movement, the VP-internal subject hypothesis and adjunction.

Generative Syntax 5.1 – Noun Phrases – shows some similarities between the structure of noun phrases and that of sentences.

Generative Syntax 5.2 – The DP Hypothesis – looks at the idea that what are traditionally thought of as noun phrases are actually phrases headed by determiners.

Generative Syntax 6.1 – Wh- Interrogatives – shows how wh-words form interrogatives.