Syntax II - LL526

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2019-20
Canterbury Autumn
View Timetable
6 15 (7.5)


Prerequisite: LING5190 – Syntax I





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.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

Total Contact Hours: 20

Method of assessment

13.1 Main assessment methods
• Technical Assignment 1 (750 words) – 25%
• Technical Assignment 2 (750 words) – 25%
• Technical Assignment 3 (1,500 words) – 50%

Indicative reading

Indicative Reading List:

Baltin, M. and Chris Collins (eds.). (2000). The Handbook of Contemporary Syntactic Theory. London: Wiley-Blackwell
Carnie, A. (2011). Modern Syntax: A Coursebook. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
den Dikken, M. (ed.). (2012). The Cambridge Handbook of Generative Syntax. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Hornstein, N., Jairo Nunes and Kleanthes K. Grohmann. (2005). Understanding Minimalism. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
Lasnik, H., Juan Uriagereka and Cedric Boeckx. (2005). A Course in Minimalist Syntax. Malden, MA: Blackwell

See the library reading list for this module (Canterbury)

Learning outcomes

On successfully completing the module students will be able to:

Demonstrate systematic and detailed understanding of the central areas of syntactic thought, as well as the fundamentals of empirical enquiry;
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;
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;
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;
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.

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