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BA English Language and English Literature / Course details
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 theprincipal 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 (main and subordinate) and we consider how clauses join together to form different types of sentences.
This course assumes no previous knowledge of English grammar. Students mustbe able to read academic English to take this course.
Knowledge and understanding
Transferable skills and personal qualities
|Multiple-choice exam or online test||60%|
|Feedback method||Formative or Summative|
|In class feedback on tutorial exercises||Formative|
|Online feedback on mid-semester essay||Formative and summative|
|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|
|Assessment written exam||1.5|
|Independent study hours|
|Delia Bentley||Unit coordinator|
Enrolment procedure: Students must submit their dissertation topic proposal form to the discipline area Undergraduate Support Officer in June preceding the academic year in which they want to start work on their dissertation (normally the second year). It is expected that students will have already thought about a potential topic before beginning the course module. Only students who average at least 60% in their second year will be allowed to register for a dissertation (special provisions will be made for students who take first sits during the August resit period). Students are allowed to submit a first and reserve proposal, which must be clearly marked as such. Students have to specify a potential supervisor for each proposal. Each member of staff provides a list of areas in which they are willing to supervise. The course convenor will coordinate distribution of proposalsand allocation of supervisors. Staff consider the proposals they have received, and decide which of them they wish to accept, interviewing students if necessary. Students whose dissertation proposals are rejected will have to register for other course units.
In cases in which a supervisor has more than one student, there may be a group-work component to the course unit. Any such groups will normally be 3-6 students, who may meet to discuss research findings and review each other's work, under the guidance of their supervisor. Additionally, students will have one to one meetings with their supervisor.
Supervision by a member of staff as appropriate.