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Comparative Syntax & Syntactic Typology - LAN00067M

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  • Department: Language and Linguistic Science
  • Module co-ordinator: Prof. Giuseppe Longobardi
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2021-22

Module summary

The module will address the question whether in all or some languages there exists a dedicated and obligatory syntactic category to introduce nominal phrases even in the absence of visible articles or quantifiers. Then it will discuss the crosslinguistic feature composition of the position which hosts such elements.

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Autumn Term 2021-22

Module aims

This module links formal comparative syntax and syntactic typology. The module explores the formal underpinnings of typological generalisations focussing on the syntax of nominal constituents (DPs) and its interaction with features and movement rules.


Module learning outcomes

The students will achieve full awareness of the notions of:

levels of adequacy in linguistic theory

parametric variation in syntax with ambition to globality

the structural nature and semantic interpretation of of nominal arguments and their importance for syntactic theory



Task Length % of module mark
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
N/A 100

Module feedback

Students will meet individually with the module convenor at least two times after Week 6 and will discuss with him their work toward the writing of the final module essay

Indicative reading

1. Language as a natural object - Linguistics as a natural science

Cedric Boeckx, Massimo Piattelli-Palmarini

The Linguistic Review, 2005, 447-466


2. Toward a Unified Grammar of Reference,  

Giuseppe Longobardi

Zeitschrift für Sprachwissenschaft 24, 2005, 5-44.


Various other readings to be assigned during the module

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.