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SEL3046 : English Grammar through Time (Inactive)

  • Inactive for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr William van der Wurff
  • Owning School: English Lit, Language & Linguistics
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


The aim of this module is for students to acquire a good knowledge of the main changes that have affected the grammar of English during its history. This will include an understanding of the mechanisms by which these changes have come about and their possible causes. Students will also learn how to collect data for the study of grammatical change in English and to critically assess and evaluate current research in the field.

Outline Of Syllabus

The themes to be covered in the lectures (further discussed/applied in the seminars) will include changes in the structure of NPs, the elements in the verb group, the forms of clausal constituents such as subjects and objects, word order and subordinate clauses, as well as various practical and theoretical issues involved in the study of such changes. There will be some discussion of developments in grammar at medieval stages of the language (Old and Middle English), but there will be a stronger focus on changes in more recent times (the period 1500-today).

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion153:0053:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture221:0022:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading184:0084:00N/A
Guided Independent StudySkills practice110:0010:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching111:0011:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study120:0020:00N/A
Jointly Taught With
Code Title
SEL8329Diachronic Syntax
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

The lectures will introduce the material listed under the Knowledge Outcomes. In the seminars, this material will be further discussed and illustrated with reference to actual texts and published studies of such texts, contributing further to the Knowledge Outcomes and practising the Skills Outcomes.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise1M50N/A
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

Rationale will be detailed in the module handbook.

Reading Lists