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Advanced Syntax - LAN00079M

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  • Department: Language and Linguistic Science
  • Module co-ordinator: Prof. George Tsoulas
  • Credit value: 10 credits
  • Credit level: M
  • Academic year of delivery: 2021-22
    • See module specification for other years: 2022-23

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching period
A Autumn Term 2021-22

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 datasets 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

Subject content:

By the end of this module, students will:

  • Have a good working knowledge of current minimalist syntactic theory
  • Appreciate the two basic types of syntactic principles, namely Economy principles and interface principles
  • Establish syntactic generalisations based on different types of data
  • Develop an explanatory account of relevant generalisations using th two types of principles mentioned above but focusing more on the syntax/semantics interface
  • Evaluate competing explanatory accounts of syntactic generalisations

Academic and graduate skills:

In addition to acquiring subject-specific skills and knowledge, students who finish this module will also be able to:

  • argue more convincingly for their position in debates using empirical data
  • present themselves better in writing and speech
  • critically evaluate research papers based both on their logical structure and empirical grounding



Task Length % of module mark
Essay 2000 Words
N/A 100

Special assessment rules



Task Length % of module mark
Essay 2000 Words
N/A 100

Module feedback

Written feedback on formative assessment 2 weeks after submission.

Indicative reading

The following list of readings is indicative. Other readings may also be added, or substituted.

  • Chomsky, N., with Lasnik, H. (1995). The theory of principles and parameters. In Chomsky N. The minimalist programme, pp. 13–127.. Cambridge MA: MIT Press.
  • Ramchand, G., & Reiss, C. (Eds.). (2007). The Oxford handbook of linguistic interfaces. Oxford University Press.
  • Roberts, I. (Ed.). (2017). The Oxford Handbook of Universal Grammar. Oxford University Press.
  • Sauerland, U., & Gärtner, H. M. (Eds.). (2007). Interfaces+ recursion= language?: Chomsky's minimalism and the view from syntax-semantics (Vol. 89). Walter de Gruyter.

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.