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

Postgraduate Course: Current Issues in Morphology (MSc) (LASC11102)

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 11 (Postgraduate) Credits20
Home subject areaLanguage Sciences Other subject areaNone
Course website Please use Learn Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionThe relation of morphology to syntax is a topic of central interest in modern linguistics. It comprises several subtopics, such as the following.

* There seem to be many connections between the inflectional make-up of a language and its syntactic behaviour. Languages with rich verbal inflection tend to be able to drop subjects from sentences, while languages with poorer inflection tend not to do this. Languages with rich nominal inflection tend to have more word order possibilities than languages with poorer inflection. The question is to what extent such apparent connections hold up empirically, and why they would hold.

* The phenomenon of 'agreement', in which a relationship between two different elements in the sentence is expressed morphologically by adding a particular inflectional affix to one of the elements. Agreement seems to be conditioned by syntactic factors such as the relative position in the syntactic structure of the two elements and whether or not other particular elements intervene between the two. The question then is how morphological agreement inflection can be conditioned by syntax.

*There are indications that syntactic rules and principles cannot see inside complex words. Syntax will treat a complex verb like 'apolog-ize' just like it treats a simplex verb; it is claimed there are no syntactic rules that are sensitive to whether a word is complex or simplex, or that can manipulate the parts of a complex word separately. Exceptions of various sorts to this phenomenon of 'lexical integrity' have been claimed to occur however. The question is to what extent the phenomenon holds true, and why natural languages should show this behaviour.

The above are just a subset of the many ways in which morphology and syntax interact. The exact topics that will be discussed in the course can differ somewhat from year to year, but they will be related to this general topic.

The course will be taught by Dr Bethany Lochbihler.

Formative feedback event;
- Dr Lochbihler will be having a "feed forward" event in class discussing what the expectations for the essay/assessment are
- Dr Lochbihler plans on meeting with students individually if they wish to discuss their topics.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Information for Visiting Students
Displayed in Visiting Students Prospectus?No
Course Delivery Information
Delivery period: 2013/14 Semester 2, Available to all students (SV1) Learn enabled:  Yes Quota:  None
Web Timetable Web Timetable
Course Start Date 13/01/2014
Breakdown of Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 196 )
Additional Notes
Breakdown of Assessment Methods (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
No Exam Information
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
To be able to read current primary literature on morphology, in particular on the morphology-syntax interface; to formulate and evaluate analyses of linguistic data in the light of theoretical proposals; to reason critically; to identify and solve problems; to independently formulate and test hypotheses; and to compare and evaluate competing hypotheses and theories.
Assessment Information
Project work (approximately 4,000 words) on an approved topic (100%)

Assignment deadline: Monday 21st April by 12 noon
Word limit: 4000 words maximum
Return deadline: Tuesday 13th May 2014
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus Not entered
Transferable skills Not entered
Reading list Not entered
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Not entered
Keywordsmorphology, syntax
Course organiserDr Peter Ackema
Tel: (0131 6)50 3495
Course secretaryMiss Toni Noble
Tel: (0131 6)51 3188
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