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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences : Language Sciences

Undergraduate Course: LEL2A: Linguistic Theory and the Structure of English (LASC08017)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Course typeStandard AvailabilityAvailable to all students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 2 Undergraduate) Credits20
Home subject areaLanguage Sciences Other subject areaNone
Course website None Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionThe course explores the linguistic structure of Modern English in relation to central issues in linguistic theory. There are three blocks of teaching covering the phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics of English:
1. Phonology: introduces the idea of 'phonological theory' within the broader context of the study of linguistic structure. Lectures will present some of the central and largely 'theory-neutral' concepts in phonological analysis - contrast; naturalness; derivation vs. representation, constituency structure etc. - and identify some structural analogies found elsewhere in linguistic structure, as well as some interactions of phonology with morphology and syntax.
2. Morphology: explores some central aspects of the morphological structure of words. Drawing on conceptual parallelism of the 'X-eme vs. allo-X' kind, lectures will scrutinize some of the traditional elements of morphological analysis and then move on to structural analogies such as constituency structure, headedness etc. as well as to interactions of the morphology with the phonology, syntax and semantics.
3. Syntax/Semantics: presents both syntactic and semantic properties of certain major constructions in English in such a way that students are exposed both to general theoretical concerns as well as certain specific theoretical approaches to the phenomena. Topics to be explored include: argument realisation and verb semantics; the structure and interpretation of noun phrases, including nominal modification and relative clauses; functional categories and their syntax; passivisation; finite and non-finite complementation; tense, aspect, mood and the English auxiliary system; and interrogatives.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: Linguistics & English Language 1 (LASC08015)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should usually have at least 1 introductory level Language Science course at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this) for entry to this course. We will only consider University/College level courses.
Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?Yes
Course Delivery Information
Delivery period: 2013/14 Semester 1, Available to all students (SV1) Learn enabled:  Yes Quota:  None
Web Timetable Web Timetable
Course Start Date 16/09/2013
Breakdown of Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 33, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 9, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 154 )
Additional Notes
Breakdown of Assessment Methods (Further Info) Written Exam 60 %, Coursework 40 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S1 (December)LEL2A2:00
Resit Exam Diet (August)LEL2A Resit2:00
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
After taking this course, students should:
- Understand the structure of the phonological system of English and the theoretical issues that arise in its description and analysis;
- Understand the way that words are structured in English and other languages and the relations between morphology, phonology, syntax and semantics;
- Have an understanding of the syntactic structure and semantic interpretation of major constructions in English and the foundations of syntactic and semantic analysis;
- Be able to objectively analyse grammatical phenomena in English and other languages;
- Be able to critically assess different theoretical analyses of particular constructions.
Assessment Information
Essay (1,500 words) on phonology, morphology, and lexical semantics (40%).
Written exam (2 hours) with Multiple Choice Questions on all aspects of the course and essay on Syntax/semantics (60%)
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus Not entered
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list A. Carstairs-McCarthy (2002) An Introduction to English Morphology.
Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
D. A. Cruse (2000) Meaning in Language: An Introduction to Semantics and Pragmatics. Oxford, Oxford University Press.
H. J. Giegerich (1992) English phonology: an introduction. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
R. Hogg & C. B. McCully (1987) Metrical phonology: a coursebook. Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press.
R. Huddleston & G. K. Pullum The Cambridge Grammar of English. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
K. Kearns (2000) Semantics. London, Palgrave.
Lass, Roger (1984) Phonology: an introduction to basic concepts. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
J. C. Wells (1982) Accents of English. Vol. 2: The British Isles. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserProf Nikolas Gisborne
Tel: (0131 6)50 3600
Course secretaryMs Rebecca Thomas
Tel: (0131 6)50 3602
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