Undergraduate Course: LEL2A: Linguistic Theory and the Structure of English (LASC08017)
|School||School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences
||College||College of Humanities and Social Science
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 8 (Year 2 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||This course presents a detailed discussion of aspects of the structure of Modern English in relation to some core elements of linguistic theory.
The course explores the linguistic structure of Modern English in relation to some central issues in linguistic theory. The teaching is organised thematically, covering the phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics of English as the principal components of linguistic structure.
1. Phonology: introduces the idea of ┐phonological theory┐ within the broader context of the study of linguistic structure. Lectures will consider some of the key characteristics of the phonology of English and will present some of the central concepts in phonological analysis: contrast; naturalness; derivation vs. representation; segmental and prosodic structure (features, syllables and feet); and the idea that phonology needs multiple levels of analysis (for example, at an underlying and surface level), and ways of mapping between them (such as phonological rules).
2. Morphology: explores some central aspects of the morphological structure of words. Drawing on the conceptual parallelism of the 'X-eme vs. allo-X' kind (phoneme/allophone, morpheme/allomorph, ┐), 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 the basic phenomena of syntax and semantics, specific theoretical approaches to their description, and certain general theoretical concerns. Topics to be explored include: tense, aspect, mood, and auxiliaries; heads and subcategorisation; argument realization; the structure and interpretation of noun phrases, including nominal modification and relative clauses; minor categories (determinative, subordinator, coordinator) and their syntax; passive constructions; finite and non-finite complementation; and clause types (declaratives, interrogatives, imperatives, exclamatives).
Information for Visiting Students
|Pre-requisites||Visiting 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. Relevant courses will be courses in Linguistics as an academic discipline. Courses that describe aspects of a given language as part of a Modern Foreign Languages degree will typically not provide students with an adequate background.
This course may not be taken together with LASC08016 A Brief Introduction to Language.
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Academic year 2017/18, Available to all students (SV1)
|Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info)
Lecture Hours 33,
Seminar/Tutorial Hours 9,
Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4,
Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours
|Assessment (Further Info)
|Additional Information (Assessment)
||Essay (1,500 words) on phonology and morphology (40%).
Written exam (2 hours) with multiple-choice questions on all aspects of the course and essay questions on syntax/semantics (60%).
||Hours & Minutes
|Main Exam Diet S1 (December)||LEL2A||2:00|
|Resit Exam Diet (August)||LEL2A Resit||2:00|
| 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.
|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.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
|Course organiser||Prof Heinz Giegerich
Tel: (0131 6)50 3595
|Course secretary||Ms Susan Hermiston
Tel: (0131 6)50 3440