Structure - LL833

Location Term Level Credits (ECTS) Current Convenor 2019-20
(version 2)
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7 15 (7.5) DR L Bailey







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.


This module appears in:

Contact hours

Total contact hours: 20


This module is core for students studying on the MA in Linguistics and the MA in Applied Linguistics with TESOL.

Method of assessment

Data-based task 1 - 25%;
Data-based task 2 - 25%;
Essay (2000 words) - 50%

Indicative reading

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

Students will demonstrate an understanding of the central areas of linguistic theory, as well as the basics of empirical enquiry;
Students will develop the skill of using analytic techniques, the purpose of which is to provide a comprehensive representation of linguistic structure and operations;
Students will develop lines of argument and conduct theoretically informed cross-linguistic analyses of data;
Students will develop their capacity for critical thought and their ability to express these thoughts accurately to others through workshop discussions, pair work and presentations;
Students will be able to 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.

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