Postgraduate Course: Current Issues in Morphology (MSc) (LASC11102)
|School||School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences
||College||College of Humanities and Social Science
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||The 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.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
||Other requirements|| None
Information for Visiting Students
|High Demand Course?
Course Delivery Information
|Not being delivered|
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
- read current primary literature on morphology, in particular on the morphology-syntax interface
- formulate and evaluate analyses of linguistic data in the light of theoretical proposals
- reason critically and identify and solve problems
- independently formulate and test hypotheses
- compare and evaluate competing hypotheses and theories
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
|Additional Class Delivery Information
||Attend all lectures as scheduled
|Course organiser||Dr Peter Ackema
Tel: (0131 6)50 3495
|Course secretary||Miss Toni Noble
Tel: (0131 6)51 3188