Study Abroad and Exchanges



SEL2084 : The Syntax of the World's Languages

Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


To introduce students to the concepts and categories found in the syntax of the world's languages; to develop students' knowledge of the syntactic variation exhibited by the languages of the world, as well as its limits; to introduce students to syntactic analysis and syntactic argumentation utilizing non-English data.

Outline Of Syllabus

Weeks 1-11: Revision of word classes and constituent structure. Simple and complex sentences. Introduction to heads and dependents. Head-marking and dependent-marking languages. Coding strategies: case, word order and agreement. Valency-changing operations. Configurationality. The properties of polysynthetic languages.

Week 12: Surgeries for language sketch

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture112:0022:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion145:0045:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading165:0065:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching121:0012:00N/A
Guided Independent StudySkills practice110:0010:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesWorkshops21:002:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyStudent-led group activity120:0020:00inc. 10 hours directed groupwork
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study124:0024:00N/A
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
SEL8029Introduction to Cross-Linguistic Syntax
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures introduce concepts and topics, give definitions and explanations, and outline the formalisms and skills to be practised and their rationale.

Seminars practice exercises, allow student feedback, and discuss issues arising from the lectures, in smaller groups. Also time to discuss any outstanding problems.

The workshops in week 12 give advice about the analysis of data and presentation of results.

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise2M40practical exercises and short written answers
Written exercise2A60practical exercises and short written answers
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Prob solv exercises2MN/A
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

2 sets of practical exercises and short written answers to be submitted in typescript over the course of the module (2 separate submissions). First assessment to be worth 40% of total; second assessment to be worth 60% of total.

To assess the student's practical skills in problem-solving and linguistic analysis utilizing data from English and other languages, and to assess understanding of the concepts and issues covered. Additionally, to assess the clarity, conciseness and coherence of the student's written English.

Reading Lists