Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2024 to 2025
Autumn Term 6 15 (7.5) Samuel D'Elia checkmark-circle


The aim of this module is to advance students' knowledge of syntactic theory. As such, the course will expand upon a number of key topics from a broad range of issues introduced in the pre-requisite module, such as binding, the syntax of questions and relative clauses and theta theory. We will also examine the interfaces between syntax and other core areas of linguistic inquiry (semantics/pragmatics/morphology) by focusing on topics such as quantification, ellipsis, and anaphora. Relevant theoretical work will be outlined and discussed and students will have the opportunity to develop their skills in syntactic analysis and argumentation by investigating several empirical phenomena from a wide range of languages. They will also be encouraged to evaluate theoretical claims in the light of the observations drawn. As such, the module will equip students with the theoretical and methodological tools required in the specialised modules and will highlight the crucial role of description in supporting and testing theoretical claims.


Contact hours

Total Contact Hours: 20
Private Study Hours: 130
Total Study Hours: 150

Method of assessment

Main assessment methods
• Technical Assignment 1 (750 words) – 25%
• Technical Assignment 2 (750 words) – 25%
• Technical Assignment 3 (750 words) – 50%

Reassessment methods
• Reassessment Instrument: 100% Coursework

Indicative reading

The University is committed to ensuring that core reading materials are in accessible electronic format in line with the Kent Inclusive Practices. The most up to date reading list for each module can be found on the university's reading list pages:

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

The intended subject specific learning outcomes.

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
1 Demonstrate systematic and detailed understanding of the central areas of syntactic thought, as well as the fundamentals of empirical enquiry;
2 Demonstrate the skill of constructing phrase-structure markers, the purpose of which is to provide an advanced and comprehensive representation of syntactic
constituency and operations;
3 Demonstrate advanced-level understanding of the theory and methods that will enable students to develop lines of argument and conduct theoretically informed cross-
linguistic analyses of data in a broad variety of contexts;
4 Demonstrate their capacity for critical thought, their ability to express these thoughts accurately, to devise and sustain complex and nuanced arguments, to solve complex
problems and to analyse cross-linguistic data;
5 Assess the extent to which the linguistic theory they have been working with can both describe and explain the syntactic properties of the data they have been presented
with in detail and with cogency, displaying high-level conceptual understanding.

The intended generic learning outcomes.

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:
1 Communicate the results of study and work accurately, with well-structured and coherent arguments in an effective and fluent manner;
2 Demonstrate the ability to work individually;
3 Make use of high-level secondary and primary sources.


  1. Credit level 6. Higher level module usually taken in Stage 3 of an undergraduate degree.
  2. ECTS credits are recognised throughout the EU and allow you to transfer credit easily from one university to another.
  3. The named convenor is the convenor for the current academic session.
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