Undergraduate prospectus

Course Information

Advanced Language Structure and Meaning

Module summary

Module code: LING1032
Level: 6
Credits: 30
School: Liberal Arts and Sciences
Department: Humanities and Social Sciences
Module Coordinator(s): Maria Arche

Specification

Pre and co requisites

Ling 1007 Foundations of Linguistics or Ling1026 Meaning in Language

Aims

• To sharpen a scientific reflection on the properties of human language.
• To extend students’ knowledge in syntax and its relation to meaning.
• To expand crosslinguistic understanding
• To further prepare students for postgraduate study in linguistics and language acquisition
• To expand knowledge on functional features and projections
• To sharpen analytical skills and logical reasoning by examining complex linguistic issues where different factors interfere.
• To hone students’ ability to construct linguistic arguments and to analyse syntactic data within current theoretical frameworks.
• To become confident with the use of empirical research methods in Linguistics: use of native judgments and corpora.
• To become confident on how formal linguistic knowledge can inform applications.

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this course a student will be able to:
1 Analyse complex sets of data morpho-syntactically and semantically

2 Identify different kinds of features and syntactic projections in different languages

3 Describe linguistic data in technical terms

4 Identify morpho-syntactic differences across languages and their relation to meaning

5 Produce and assess hypotheses about language facts

6 Produce and assess hypotheses about language acquisition issues and other applications (e.g., translation)

Indicative content

• Perspectives on functional and lexical projections
• Language features
• Finiteness (tense, aspect, agreement).
• On word order: head movement, phrase movement
• On word order: topic and focus
• Language variation and acquisition
• Functional projections across languages: semantic and syntactic content
• Functional projections and acquisition
• A look at applications, e.g., translation

Teaching and learning activity

• Lectures
• Seminars: joint discussion students and lecturer
• Problem-sets
• Class presentations

Assessment

Portfolio problem set 1 - 25%
LO - 1-4
Pass mark - 40%
Questions on the formal analysis of language facts.

Portfolio problem set 2 - 25%
LO - 4-6
Pass mark - 40%
Questions on the formal analysis of language facts and their relation to the analysis of acquisition.

Exam - 50%
LO - 1-6
Pass mark - 40%
Questions on the formal analysis of language facts and their relation to the analysis of acquisition.

Nature of FORMATIVE assessment supporting student learning:
Portfolio of problem sets with questions of varied and increasing complexity and length.