Byron Ahn

Visiting Assistant Professor of Syntax (2014-15)

Byron Ahn
Email: byronahn@bu.edu
Web: http://www.byronahn.com
Office number: 111
Office address: 621 Commonwealth Ave. Boston, MA 02215

BA in Linguistics, Cornell University
MA and PhD in Linguistics, UCLA

In his research, Byron Ahn investigates the inner workings of the syntactic component of Language, as well as how syntax and phonology interact so as to give the prosodic structures we observe in the output. His theoretical analyses are grounded in empirical observations from syntactic, semantic, and phonological data from a variety of languages. This approach is encapsulated in his dissertation, which argues for a model of reflexive syntax (and semantics), with new evidence from observed prosodic patterns in English. Other past and ongoing research investigates grammatical voice (e.g., active, middle, passive), Tongan syntax-prosody, Japanese case marking, emphatic reflexives, phrasal stress, and yes/no question melodies.

Click HERE to see short videos in which Byron Ahn introduces himself and the courses he will be teaching.

Courses

Fall 2014

Course number Course title Section Instructor Days Time Room

CAS LX 522

Syntax I

A1 Ahn TR 9:30-11 CAS B18A
W 5-6 CAS B18A
Introduction to the logical structure and organization of language, and to generative theory. Application of principles of syntactic analysis to students' own and other languages through data-oriented problems from different language types. The Wednesday section meetings (also led by Byron Ahn) offer an opportunity for interactive discussions and practice before students work on their own. [Prereq: CAS LX 250 Introduction to Linguistics or consent of instructor.]
  • Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS.

CAS LX 523

Syntax II

A1 Ahn TR 11-12:30 CAS 323A
W 3-4 CAS 424
Investigation of a variety of syntactic patterns from a range of languages. Phenomena to be explored include: word order, subjects, passives, and reflexives. The second half of the course focuses on the relationship between syntax and phonology, considering, for example: syntactic vs. phonological phrases, phrasal stress, and phonological influences on syntax. Strong emphasis on reasoning abilities and forming logical arguments for or against possible analyses of the data. The Wednesday section meetings (also led by Byron Ahn) offer an opportunity for interactive discussions and practice before students work on their own. [Prereq: CAS LX 522 Syntax I or consent of instructor.]

Spring 2015

Course number Course title Section Instructor Days Time Room

CAS LX 500

Topics in Linguistics: Melodies of English (and some other languages)

A1 Ahn TR 3:30-5 TBA
W 3-4 TBA
Exploration and analysis of English melodic patterns. Students transcribe and even gather prosodic data (intonation, grouping, and prominence), using computer software and the ToBI framework. Comparisons of the English intonational system to systems of other languages of the world. [Prereq: CAS LX 510 Phonetics or consent of instructor]

CAS LX 522

Syntax I

A1 Ahn TR 12:30-2 TBA
W 4-5 TBA
Introduction to the logical structure and organization of language, and to generative theory. Application of principles of syntactic analysis to students' own and other languages through data-oriented problems from different language types. The Wednesday section meetings (also led by Byron Ahn) offer an opportunity for interactive discussions and practice before students work on their own. [Prereq: CAS LX 250 Introduction to Linguistics or consent of instructor.]
  • Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS.