As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m going to be speaking next week at the Popular Cultural Association National Conference here in Boston next week. If you’re interested in attending, I recommend checking out their site. I’ll be presenting once again about my work on visual language grammar.
Then, I’m almost more excited to say, that I’ll be teaching my stuff to the Syntactic Theory class that I’m a Teacher’s Assistant for here at Tufts since my professor is going to be out of town that day. My advisor is the teacher of the class, and since he pretty much helped invent modern syntactic and semantic theory, its been a thrill just being in the class let alone getting to teach a lecture or being the TA.
The course so far has aimed less at teaching the students how to do a particular theory of syntax (though it has done that a bit, advocating my advisor’s new theory of Simpler Syntax), but instead at teaching them how to be syntacticians. What are the choices to be made? How can you tell what theory is best and why? These are the questions I’m struggling with in my own work, so it’s been enlightening for me greatly as well. (Beyond this, I suppose my contribution just goes to make this course even more unique and weirder than the average university syntax class.)
In this spirit, I’m thinking that I’ll teach the class my basic theory of VL grammar, then just give them a whole bunch of the more wacky and interesting sequences I’ve found and see what they can do with them. And, since I enjoyed it so much, I’m going to include Tim Godek’s strip from today. Can you figure out what about it’s structure makes me like it so much?