Grammar and its interfaces



This course presents the core grammatical topics that a theory of language must study at the morphology- and syntax-phonology interface and the syntax-semantics interface. It introduces some case studies that are specially relevant in theoretical and experimental linguistics. 

At the end of the course, students should be acquainted with: 

  • Current theoretical perspectives on the morphology- and syntax-phonology interface and the syntax-semantics interface.
  • An overview of some hot topics that are currently being investigated in formal approaches to these interfaces. 


1 Phonology and the mapping from lexical phonological structure to surface representation
2 The relations between morphology and phonology
3 Phonological effects in the selection of allomorphs
4 The syntax-phonology interface
5 Logical Form. Syntactic structures and semantic/conceptual structures
6 Reference and referential opacity
7 Reference to kinds and to other generic expressions
8 Weak definites
9 Negation and polarity


The assessment for this course will be based on two exams, each contributing 30% towards the final grade. The first exam will evaluate topics covered in teaching blocks 1-4, while the second exam will assess material covered in teaching blocks 5-9. These exams will require students to demonstrate not only a solid understanding of the course material, but also critical thinking and effective writing skills. Students will be expected to apply their knowledge to tackle novel empirical and analytical problems.

Furthermore, an additional 40% of the final grade will be allocated to the completion and presentation of exercises. This component aims to assess students’ ability to use their knowledge and apply it in new discussions, enhancing their overall learning experience.

Re-evaluation: In the event that a student receives a final grade below 5 (within the range of 3 - 4.9), they may opt for a re-evaluation via a single final exam if they intend to pass the course. Successful completion of this exam will result in a final grade of 5.


Examination-based assessment

Under exceptional and justified circumstances a single examination (100% of the grade) can be scheduled. 

Re-evaluation of this assessment can only be considered for students having failed with grades ranging from 3 to 4.9. The maximum final grade can only be 5.



Bach, E. (1989). Informal Lectures on Formal Semantics. Albany: SUNY Press.   Enllaç

Embick, David. 2010. Localism versus Globalism in Morphology and Phonology. Cambridge, MA: The MIT Press.

Espinal, M.T. (coord.), J. Macià, J. Mateu & J. Quer (2014). Semántica. Madrid: Akal.  Enllaç

Gutiérrez-Rexach, J. (2003). Semantics. Critical concepts and linguistics. 6 vols. London and New York: Routledge.

Gutiérrez-Rexach, J. (2016). Interfaces and domains of quantification. Ohio: Ohio State University Press.

Kearns, K. (2000, 2011). Semantics, New York: Palgrave.

Maienborn, C., K. von Heusinger & P. Portner (2011) (eds.). Semantics. An international handbook of natural language meaning; Volumes 1, 2 and 3. (HSK 33.1), Berlin, New York: Mouton de Gruyter.

McCarthy, John. 2008. Doing Optimality Theory: Applying Theory to Data. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.  Enllaç

Portner, P. & B. H. Partee (eds.) (2002). Formal semantics. The essential readings. Oxford: Blackwell.  Enllaç

Trommer, Jochen (ed.). 2012. The Morphology and Phonology of Exponence. Oxford: Oxford University Press.



Nevins, Andrew. 2011. Phonologically conditioned allomorph selection. In Marc van Oostendorp, Colin J. Ewen, Elizabeth Hume, Keren Rice (eds), The Blackwell Companion to Phonology, volume IV: Phonological Interfaces, 2357-2382. Oxford, Whiley-Blackwell.  Enllaç

Inkelas, Sharon. 2011. “The interaction between phonology and morphology”. In John Goldsmith, Jason Riggle & Alan C. L. Yu (eds.) The Handbook of Phonological Theory. 2nd edition, 68-102. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.  Enllaç