Description | Reviews | Instructors Materials | Web Only Chapters | Errata | Ordering Info | Table of Contents


Andrew Carnie’s bestselling textbook on syntax has guided thousands of students through the discipline of theoretical syntax; retaining its popularity due to its combination of straightforward language, comprehensive coverage, and numerous exercises. In this third edition, topics have been updated, new exercises added, and the online resources have been expanded.

    • Supported by expanded online student and instructor resources at, including extra chapters on HPSG, LFG and time-saving materials for lecturers, including problem sets, PowerPoint slides, and an instructors’ manual
    • Features new chapters on ellipsis, auxiliaries, and non-configurational languages
    • Covers topics including phrase structure, the lexicon, Case theory, movement, covert movement, locality conditions, VP shells, and control
    • Accompanied by a new optional workbook, available separately, of sample problem sets which are designed to give students greater experience of analyzing syntactic structure (New and original problem sets in the textbook continue to be in the text without answers)

ISBN: 978-0-470-65531-3

Previous editions
English First Edition (2002)
English Second Edition (2006)
Korean First edition (2003)
Korean Second edition (2007)


From the back cover of the third edition:

“Deeply informed, lucid and careful, this revision of the outstanding original carries the student from core concepts to topics at the borders of inquiry. A most valuable contribution.” – Noam Chomsky, Institute Professor (retired), Dept. of Linguistics and Philosophy, MIT

“This truly excellent textbook competently guides students to understand not just the basics of generative syntax but also richness of universals and parametric variation in a clear and thought-provoking way.” – Ken Hiraiwa, Department of English, Meiji Gakuin University

From the back cover of the First and Second Edition

"From first-hand experience, Carnie's book provides a highly readable and engaging initiation into the mindset and preoccupations of current syntactic theory. It is useful in tying the cognitive implciations and the background of current Chomskyan work together with the increasing cross-linguistic emphasis in syntax. The problem sets alone were extremely appreciated by my undergraduates." Professor Mark Baltin, New York University (1st edition)

"This book is a perfect example of how sophisticated syntactc concepts can be presetned in a genuinely reader-friendly way. The syntax student is led carefully through argumentaiton to current syntactic theory and at the end has a clear understanding not only of the whats of syntax but also the whys." Professor Lisa deMena Travis, McGill University. (1st edition)

“Andrew Carnie's Syntax quickly became the standard textbook in generative syntax because it was neither overly technical nor artificially simple. The second edition is substantially better and more complete. The original discussion is expanded and there are a number of new chapters on advanced topics like raising and control, and the book continues to include chapters that introduce alternative theories like LFG and HPSG. To my mind, this is by far the best choice on the market today.” Peter Cole, University of Delaware (2nd edition)

Published Reviews of the First Edition:

Published Reviews of the Second Edition:

Instructor's Materials

  • You may only use these materials if you are an instructor of a class using the book as a required or recommended text and have a verifiable order for 5 or more books with Wiley -Blackwell or a bookstore.
  • I will NOT give the materials to students or people doing self study, sorry! Please purchase the workbook instead.
  • There are separate passwords for opening the instructor's page and for unzipping the files. You must email me to get the files.

Web-Only Chapters

The following chapters were part of the first and second editions. Due to length considerations, they are now only available as web-only downloadable chapters in the third edition



Ordering Information:

Table of Contents

  • Table of Contents & Front Matter & Acknowledgments
  • Part 1: Preliminaries
    • Chapter 1 Introduction
    • Chapter 2 Parts of Speech
    • Chapter 3 Constituency
    • Chapter 4 Structural relations
    • Chapter 5 Binding theory
  • Part 2: The Base
    • Chapter 6 X-bar theory
    • Chapter 7 CP, TP, DP
    • Chapter 8 The Lexicon
    • Chapter 9 Auxiliaries and Functional Categories
  • Part 3: Movement
    • Chapter 10 Head to Head Movement
    • Chapter 11 DP Movement
    • Chapter 12 Wh-Movement and Locality Constraints
    • Chapter 13 A Unified theory of Movement
  • Part 4: Advanced Topics
    • Chapter 14 Expanded VPs
    • Chapter 15 Raising, Control and Empty Categories
    • Chapter 16 Ellipsis
    • Chapter 17 Advanced topics in Binding
    • Chapter 18 Polysynthesis, Scrambling and Non-configurationality
    • Conclusions and Directions for further Study
  • Part 5: Alternatives (available on the web for download only)
  • References
  • Index
Description | Reviews | Instructors Materials | Errata | Ordering Info | Table of Contents