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Advanced Topics in Syntax & Semantics - LAN00003H

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  • Department: Language and Linguistic Science
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Norman Yeo
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2019-20

Related modules

Co-requisite modules

  • None

Prohibited combinations

  • None

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Spring Term 2019-20 to Summer Term 2019-20

Module aims

This module aims to support independent research in formal generative syntax and semantics by encouraging discussion with staff and peers engaged in related research.

Note that a Research Extension module can be taken alongside this module, for students who wish to write a dissertation.

Module learning outcomes

By the end of this module, students will typically be able to:

  • Plan, design, and carry out a research project in comparative syntax or comparative semantics with special focus on historical implications of proposed hypotheses and the application of historical-comparative methods to the study of parametric differences
  • Evaluate analytical literature from both the point of view of empirical coverage and that of theoretical coherence and formal elegance
  • Show familiarity with current proposals in generative syntax and semantics
  • Balance synchronic and diachronic explanations for the phenomena examined

Module content

The module will run seminar-style, with a focus on grammatical phenomena which have received analyses in terms of both syntax and semantics. Students will read papers which will be made available during the module according to the materials covered, and will be called upon to make presentations of parts of the papers. Part of each seminar meeting will be given over to summarisation of the key points and main implications of the analyses. One goal of the seminar is to illustrate the potential balances and trade-offs between syntactic and semantic analyses. Students will choose their topic for the final essay after the first eight weeks of classes.


Task Length % of module mark
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
N/A 100

Module feedback

Formative feedback

Feedback on oral presentations by groups of students.

Summative feedback

Written feedback within 20 working days.

Indicative reading

There are no assigned pre-readings for the module. Any of the further references suggested in Adger (2003) for syntax and Heim & Kratzer (1998) for semantics are potentially relevant. Specific module readings will be chosen on the basis of the preparation and interests of the students.

The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): changes to courses

The 2020/21 academic year will start in September. We aim to deliver as much face-to-face teaching as we can, supported by high quality online alternatives where we must.

Find details of the measures we're planning to protect our community.

Course changes for new students