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Issues in the Syntax & Semantics Interface - LAN00068M

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  • Department: Language and Linguistic Science
  • Module co-ordinator: Prof. George Tsoulas
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2022-23

Module summary

This modules explores areas where the interplay between formal syntax and formal semantics is necessary in understanding the nature of empirical realities and for the understanding of the workings of both syntax and semantics

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Autumn Term 2022-23

Module aims

This module aims:

To provide students with an opportunity to discuss cutting edge research in core issues involving the interplay of syntax, semantics, and the lexicon.

To develop the students' ability to deal with higher complexity sets of data and develop a theoretically informed understanding of the issues and challenges that they raise.

To support independent research in formal generative syntax and semantics and the interface between them; one or two main themes will be chosen each year eg. nominals and events.

To develop specific research skills linked to abstract theoretical work (i.e. discover the connectedness of seemingly disparate ideas and go beyond binary branching reasoning)

Module learning outcomes

At the end of the module the students will:

- Know in depth the specific issues arising in the syntax and semantics of the areas chosen each year as the focus of the module.

- Be familiar with the primary literature in these areas.

- Be able to formulate theoretically relevant analyses of novel observations.

- Understand the value of theoretical argumentation in building a complete analysis


Task Length % of module mark
N/A 100

Special assessment rules


Additional assessment information

Formative work includes presentations (with handouts) and a proposal for the main essay.


Task Length % of module mark
N/A 100

Module feedback

Feedback on essay topic proposal, drafts of essays and seminar presentations will be provides in one-to-one meetings or in class in the case of presentations.

Indicative reading

Noam Chomsky: Three Factors in Language Design, Linguistic Inquiry 2005 36:1, 1-22

Gennaro Chierchia:  Logic in Grammar, OUP, 2013

Jessica Rett: The semantics of evaluativity, OUP 2015

George Tsoulas: The common syntax of Deixis and Affirmation, in: Order and structure in syntax I: Word order and syntactic structure, Language Science Press, Berlin, pp. 281-309.

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.