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BA English Language and Spanish
Year of entry: 2021
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Course unit details:
English Word and Sentence Structure
|Unit level||Level 1|
|Teaching period(s)||Semester 1|
|Offered by||Linguistics & English Language|
|Available as a free choice unit?||Yes|
This course unit introduces students to the grammar of English words and sentences. We start by discussing the building blocks of words and the rules that are applied in the formation of English words. We draw a distinction between two processes which are involved in the formation of English words: inflection and derivation. The study of derivation allows us to discuss word families. We then consider the principal parts of speech, or lexical categories (noun, adjective, verb, adverb and preposition), with focus on their coding and behaviour in the English language. We then move on to compounds and we introduce the notion of head. After reading week, we learn to break down English clauses into meaningful units or constituents. This gives us an opportunity to return to lexical categories and to study the types of phrase which are built upon the major categories (noun phrase, adjective phrase, verb phrase, prepositional phrase). Subsequently, we introduce the difference between categories and functions. The study of the functions subject and object leads us to draw a distinction between active and passive voice. Finally, we discuss the different types of clause (mainand subordinate) and we consider how clauses join together to form different types of sentences.
The aim of this course unit is to introduce students to structural and functional properties of English words and sentences. Upon successful completion of the course unit students will have an understanding of the foundations of morphology and syntax as applied to the study of the English language
Knowledge and understanding
Upon successful completion of the course unit students will have an understanding of the foundations of morphology and syntax as applied to the study of the English language. They will have an appreciation of:
(a) the notions of word, morpheme, affix, root, derivation, inflection, head and compounding;
(b) the difference between categories and functions;
(c) a number of lexical categories and syntactic functions;
(e) main and subordinate clauses; (f) voice; (g) sentence types.
Students will acquire familiarity with linguistic argumentation. They will develop skills in problem-solving, constructing and refining an argument, recognising flaws in arguments, and assessing the merits of contrasting explanations, demonstrating problem-solving and data-gathering skills.
Students will enhance their competence in English grammar and their ability (a) to express themselves in a concise and clear manner and (b) to provide cogent evidence in support of an argument.
Transferable skills and personal qualities
Students should develop the skills required for successful self-directed study and learning, as well as appropriate time management skills. In the tutorials students will practise their team-working skills.
- The ability to explain and argue clearly and concisely will enhance the students¿ chances of success in job interviews and in the work environment.
|Feedback method||Formative or Summative|
|In class feedback on tutorial exercises||Formative|
|Online feedback on mid-semester essay||Formative|
|Face-to-face feedback on exam (if requested by individual students)||Summative|
- Aronoff, Mark and Fudeman, Kirsten Anne. 2005. What is morphology? Wiley-Blackwell.
- Borjars, Kersti and Burridge, Kate. 2010  Introducing English Grammar. London: Arnold. (Set text for syntax component of the course unit).
- Carstairs-McCarthy, Andrew. 2002. An Introduction to English Morphology. Words and Their Structure. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. (Set text for morphology component of the course unit).
- Coates, Richard. 1999. Word Structure. London: Routledge.
- Fábregas, Antonio and Scalise, Sergio. 2012. Morphology. From Data to Theories. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
- Haspelmath, Martin. 2002. Understanding Morphology. London: Arnold.
- Lieber, Rochelle. 2010. Introducing Morphology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
- Payne, T. 1997.Describing Morphosyntax. Cambridge University Press.
- Stump, Gregory. 1998. Inflection. In Andrew Spencer and Arnold M. Zwicky (eds). The Handbook of Morphology. Oxford; Blackwell, pp. 13-33.
- Tallerman, M. 2005. Understanding syntax. Hodder Arnold. 2nd edition.
|Scheduled activity hours|
|Independent study hours|
|Delia Bentley||Unit coordinator|