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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 Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 8 (Year 2 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course presents a detailed discussion of aspects of the structure of Modern English in relation to some core elements of linguistic theory.
Course description 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: presents syntactic properties of major constructions in English, including a thorough grounding in syntactic structure. Topics to be explored include: X'-bar ; tree-structure modelling; lexical and functional heads; subcategorisation and complementation; complements and adjuncts; tense, mood, aspect, negation; finite and non-finite complementation; Raising, passives, and middles; the internal structure of noun phrases, including nominal modification and relative clauses; direct and indirect questions.

4. Semantics: develops a logical analysis of core grammatical structures in English, including predicate-argument relations, quantification, adverbial modification, and modality.

Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: ( Linguistics and English Language 1A (LASC08022) AND Linguistics and English Language 1B (LASC08023)) OR Informatics 1 - Cognitive Science (INFR08020)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have at least 1 introductory level Language Science course at grade B or above 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.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2019/20, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  0
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
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 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 55 %, Coursework 45 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Essay (1,500 words) on the first part of the course (40%).
Completion of exercises on Learn (5%)
Written exam (2 hours) with multiple-choice questions and longer-answer questions on all aspects of the course (55%).

Feedback Not entered
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S1 (December)2:00
Resit Exam Diet (August)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Understand the structure of the phonological system of English and the theoretical issues that arise in its description and analysis.
  2. Understand the way that words are structured in English and other languages and the relations between morphology, phonology, syntax and semantics.
  3. Have an understanding of the foundations of syntactic and semantic analysis.
  4. Be able to parse any English sentence, and objectively analyse grammatical phenomena in English and other languages.
  5. Be able to critically assess different theoretical analyses of particular constructions
Reading List
Bauer, Laurie. 2003. Introducting Linguistic Morphology (2nd edition; 1st edn. 1988). Edinburgh: EUP.
Carr, Philip. 2013. English Phonetics and Phonology: An Introduction (make sure you use this, the 2nd, edition). Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
Carstairs-McCarthy, Andrew. 2018. An Introduction to English Morphology (2nd edition; 1st edn. 2002). Edinburgh: EUP.
Cruse, Alan. 2000. Meaning in Language: An Introduction to Semantics and Pragmatics. Oxford: OUP.
Giegerich, Heinz. 1992. English Phonology: An Introduction. Cambridge: CUP.
Hayes, Bruce. 2009. Introductory Phonology. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell.
Kearns. Kate. 2000. Semantics. London: Palgrave.
Plag, Ingo. 2019. Word-Formation in English (2nd edition). Cambridge: CUP.

Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserProf Bettelou Los
Tel: (0131 6)51 1842
Course secretaryMs Susan Hermiston
Tel: (0131 6)50 3440
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