Module delivery information

Location Term Level1 Credits (ECTS)2 Current Convenor3 2023 to 2024
Autumn Term 7 15 (7.5) Laura Bailey checkmark-circle


This course constitutes an in-depth introduction to syntax, focusing specifically on the question of what constitutes knowledge of language. By examining a core area of linguistic investigation (syntax), students will have the opportunity to explore the form and structure of the various kinds of linguistic knowledge speakers possess. The investigation will proceed from a theoretical as well as a descriptive perspective, and students will be encouraged to evaluate theoretical claims in the light of observations drawn from a wide range of languages. 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

• Data-based Task 1 – 25%
• Data-based Task 2 – 25%
• Essay (2,000 words) – 50%

Reassessment methods
• Reassessment Instrument: 100% Coursework

Indicative reading

Indicative Reading List

Carnie, A. (2006) Syntax: A Generative Introduction (2nd edn.). Oxford: Blackwell;
Haegeman, L. (2005). Thinking Syntactically: A Guide to Argumentation and Analysis. Oxford: Blackwell;
Isac, D and C Reiss (2013) I-Language: an introduction to Linguistics as Cognitive Science. Oxford: OUP;
Poole, G. (2011) Syntactic Theory (2nd edn.). New York: Palgrave

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 an understanding of the central areas of linguistic theory, as well as the basics of empirical enquiry;
2 Use analytic techniques, the purpose of which is to provide a comprehensive representation of linguistic structure and operations;
3 Develop lines of argument and conduct theoretically informed cross-linguistic analyses of data;
4 Demonstrate their capacity for critical thought and their ability to express these thoughts accurately to others through workshop discussions, pair work and presentations;
5 Assess the extent to which the linguistic theory they have been introduced to can both describe and explain the linguistic properties of the data they have been
presented, using data sheets given out in class.

The intended generic learning outcomes.
On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

1 Demonstrate confident and professional written and spoken fluency through presentations, and pair work;
2 Demonstrate efficient management skills through weekly preparatory reading, conducting informal data analyses during the term, and handing in assessments punctually.


  1. Credit level 7. Undergraduate or postgraduate masters level module.
  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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