LING20010 Syntax 2

Academic Year 2020/2021

This module deals with the uniform architecture of phrase structure across categories (X-bar Theory), the constraints on the representation of lexical information in phrase structure (Theta Theory), selected derivational processes (Head-movement) responsible for some aspects of cross-linguistic variation, and reference assignment to anaphors and pronouns (Binding Theory). The content is formal in nature and involves a substantial amount of abstraction aimed at capturing underlying patterns of distribution, the formulation of grammatical rules and the representation of phrases and sentences in the form of diagrams, in addition to related technical terminology.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

At the completion of the module, students should be able to
--recognise common architectural patterns across categories and phrases;
--represent phrase structure in the form of tree-diagrams using X-bar schema;
--analyse relationships between lexical and structural representations and related constraints;
--solve problems of distribution resulting from movement;
--use formalism as a means of representing and summarising information;
--evaluate evidence and argumentation in the process of constructing a language model.

Indicative Module Content:

X-bar Theory
X-bar Theory and functional categories
Theta Theory and thematic structures
Binding Theory

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours




Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
The module's teaching and learning rely heavily on in-lecture problem-sets and collective feedback on them.
Assessment is mostly based on problem-sets and takes the form of take-home assignments.
The module and its assessment will be delivered online via Brightspace. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Open Book Exam Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade
Assignment: Problem sets Week 12 n/a Graded No


Assignment: Problem sets Week 4 n/a Graded No


Assignment: Problem sets Week 8 n/a Graded No


Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Spring No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment
• Group/class feedback, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

Feedback on Week 4 Assignment provided in Week 6-7. Feedback on Week 10 Assignment provided in Week 12.

Title: Syntax: A Generative Introduction
Edition: Third, 2013
Author: Andrew Carnie
Publisher: Wiley-Blackwell
Name Role
Ms Rosemary Shannon Tutor