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Module QXL-2204:

Module Facts

Run by School of Languages, Literatures, Linguistics and Media

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 1

Organiser: Dr Eirini Sanoudaki

Overall aims and purpose

This module builds on what students have learned in QXL1117 in the core areas of morphology and syntax from a descriptive and a theoretical standpoint. The module presents the students with topics and data analysis in the fields of morphology and syntax, beginning with a review of terms and terminology. Topics and data analysis include: grammatical categories, morphological mapping, the nature of the morpho-syntactic interface, theoretical syntax, constituent structure and grammatical relations. The knowledge and skills acquired in this module will be essential for a number of other modules and/or projects.

Course content

This module provides an intermediate level framework in which to both study and apply key ideas, terms and concepts on the fields of morphology and syntax. There are two goals for this course. The first goal is to introduce students to more advanced ideas and principles central to the study of both morphology and syntax. The second goal is to provide students with the tools to apply the terms and principles to data / problem sets in order to conduct morphological and /or syntactical analysis. The lectures will provide students with the “big picture”, i.e. central ideas are summarized, important terms and principles defined and theoretical implications outlined. In the tutorials, students discuss key elements in detail and reflect on theoretical implications and apply the knowledge gained to cross linguistic examples and/or data sets.

The following are representative topics:
1: Review: Introduction, word structure, types of morphemes.
2: Productivity, Inflectional morphology.
3: Morphological mappings of grammatical function.
4: Grammatical relations.
5: Dependency relations.
6: Constituent structure.
7: Theories of syntax.

Assessment Criteria


Student has achieved the minimum acceptable standard of understanding and/or knowledge in all the learning outcomes. Student can demonstrate a minimum level of understanding of the basic concepts and be able to apply them to data with some degree of accuracy.


Student has achieved a better-than-average standard of understanding and/or knowledge in all learning outcomes, and has a clear and accurate understanding of concepts; ability to apply concepts to data critically and thoughtfully; evidence of wide reading and clear and accurate reference to source materials; free from misunderstanding and errors of content; free from irrelevant material.


Student has achieved a thorough standard of understanding and/or knowledge in all learning outcomes; or student has demonstrated an exceptional level of achievement in one or more learning outcomes together with a good overall standard: student has achieved a thorough understanding of the subject, both in terms of content and theory; student is able to apply concepts clearly and accurately; substantial evidence of critical and original thought and analysis; clear, logical argument; high level of communicative competence; free from irrelevant material and errors of spelling and punctuation; evidence of extensive reading beyond basic texts and clear and accurate references to source material.

Learning outcomes

  1. Students will know what the central questions in the study of morphology and syntax are.

  2. Students will know how to critically evaluate empirical studies.

  3. Students will understand and be able to discuss what research methods are commonly used in the study of morphology and syntax

  4. Students will understand and be able to present and discuss key facts, concepts, ideas and approaches relating to the study of both morphology and syntax and how these two domains interact and impact one another.

  5. Students will understand the nature of theoretical linguistics in the fields of morphology and syntax and the contribution that theoretical proposals make to our understanding of human language.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
Data Analysis 40
Online Test 60

Teaching and Learning Strategy


Students are encouraged to see the lecturer on a one-to-one basis during published office hours (or by appointment) to discuss issues with the module content, seek clarification on topics and discussions, and discuss feedback on assessments and class exercises.

Private study

Directed Reading - students are given required reading each week (of about 2 hours) on the topic of that week's lecture.


One 2-hour lecture per fortnight (over both semesters)


Monthly 1-hour tutorials (over both semesters)

Private study

In their own time, students will be expected to do further reading, go through materials covered in class and do further research on the topics, and prepare assignments.


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Teamwork - Able to constructively cooperate with others on a common task, and/or be part of a day-to-day working team

Subject specific skills

  • Writing & scholarly conventions - students will be able to present data, argumentation, findings and references in written form in keeping with the conventions current in language science and English language studies.
  • Analysis & interpretation skills - students will be able to analyse, interpret data accurately, and draw appropriate conclusions based on the application of appropriate analytic and theoretical frameworks available in linguistics and English language studies.
  • Evaluation & reflection - students will be able to critically evaluate a particular position, viewpoint or argument in relation to a specific area of investigation. They will be able to reflect on the efficacy of a particular approach, practice or performance, and moderate these as a consequence in order to achieve specific goals.
  • Fluency, confidence and proficiency in the use of English -students will demonstrate their ability and proficiency to use and understand and instruct others in English in a range of academic and classroom contexts.
  • Effective communication - students will develop the ability to communicate effectively, appropriately and confidently, in a range of contexts, to different audience types, and making use of a range of supporting materials
  • Learning to learn - students will learn to reflect, modify and improve their learning strategies
  • Awareness of and appreciation for linguistic and cultural differences - students will develop an awareness of and an appreciation for the range and nature of linguistic and cultural diversity
  • Knowledge of the nature of language origins, change and use - students will demonstrate familiarity with phenomena and findings relating to the nature of language origins, the way language changes, and factors involved in and affecting language use.
  • Understanding of the nature and organization of language - students will demonstrate familiarity with observations and findings relating to various aspects of linguistic phenomena and organization.
  • Proficiency in the use of English in reading, writing, speaking and/or listening - students will demonstrate proficiency in their ability to use and understand English in a range of different contexts and via different media.


Resource implications for students


Talis Reading list

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: