ABSTRACT

The title of this chapter is deliberately rather ambiguous. By this point, the reader should be able to construct a basic syntactic description of a language, either a language that they speak well, or one for which they can find a native speaker consultant. Section 9.1 outlines the kinds of questions that the reader will need to investigate in order to write their own sketch of the syntax of a language. Section 9.2 provides a short case study of Welsh, illustrating how these questions could be answered. These sections, then, refer to asking questions about syntax in the most literal way. However, it is hoped that the discussion in the previous chapters has ignited some curiosity about the human language faculty more generally. Section 9.3 briefly outlines some issues and questions surrounding our syntactic abilities that are currently widely debated within linguistics. Section 9.4 looks at possible further directions to pursue in the study of syntax.