SEL8329 : Diachronic Syntax

Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


• To introduce students to the main syntactic developments in the history of the English language
• To give students a good understanding of mechanisms of syntactic change
• To enable students to critically evaluate diachronic syntactic studies
• To develop students' skills in carrying out independent syntactic analysis of historical texts and in using the analysis to assess the adequacy of theoretical concepts and categories
• To familiarise students with practical and theoretical issues arising in syntactic corpus work

Outline Of Syllabus

The lectures will introduce data and theories of syntactic change in English, and also demonstrate practical work with texts and digital corpora; the seminars will serve to further discuss these materials and practice the analysis of data in texts and corpora.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture241:0024:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion1104:00104:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading160:0060:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching121:0012:00N/A
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
SEL3046English Grammar through Time
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The lectures will introduce the material involving syntactic change in English and ideas concerning routes and reasons for syntactic change. In the seminars, this material will be further discussed and practiced using textual specimens and digital text corpora.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay1M402000 words
Essay1A602500 words
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The first essay will test students' ability to synthesise data and views on one specific syntactic change. The second essay will test their ability to produce a small-scale independent study of one change.

Reading Lists