The details
Colchester Campus
Undergraduate: Level 5
Thursday 08 October 2020
Friday 18 December 2020
15 May 2020


Requisites for this module



Key module for

BA QQ23 English Language and Literature,
BA QQ24 English Language and Literature (Including Foundation Year),
BA QQ32 English Language and Literature (Including Year Abroad),
BA QQ35 English Language and Literature (Including Placement Year),
BA RQ91 Modern Languages and Linguistics,
BA RQ98 Modern Languages and Linguistics (5 Years Including Foundation Year),
BA P510 Journalism and English Language,
BA P511 Journalism and English Language (Including Placement Year),
BA P512 Journalism and English Language (Including Year Abroad)

Module description

This course is an introduction to theoretical syntax, aiming to understand the ways that we can understand syntactic variation in the languages of the world. For example, we will explore questions like what determines why objects come before a verb in Japanese, but after the verb in English? Why do languages like Spanish and French put their question words at the beginning of a sentence, while others like Swahili leave them at the end? What rules out sentences like "herself likes pizza" in English? Using Chomsky's Government and Binding Theory as a means of providing an overview to modern syntactic thought, this course will analyse linguistic variation across languages.

Module aims

To provide an overview to syntactic phenomena and introduce students to engaging with syntactic analysis by the use of a particular syntactic framework (in this case, the Principles and Parameters approach). There is a further goal of giving students training in writing clear syntactic argumentation.

Module learning outcomes

On successful completion of this module, students should
a. Be familiar with the syntactic structures that exist in the world’s languages
b. Engage with the Principles and Parameters theoretical framework
c. Construct a syntactic analysis for linguistic data from English and other languages

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

A two-hour lecture.


  • Carnie, Andrew. (©2013) Syntax: a generative introduction, Chichester: Wiley-Blackwell. vol. 4

The above list is indicative of the essential reading for the course. The library makes provision for all reading list items, with digital provision where possible, and these resources are shared between students. Further reading can be obtained from this module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Coursework weighting
Coursework   Assignment 1   02/11/2020  33.33% 
Coursework   Assignment 2   23/11/2020  33.33% 
Coursework   Assignment 3   11/01/2021  33.33% 

Exam format definitions

  • Remote, open book: Your exam will take place remotely via an online learning platform. You may refer to any physical or electronic materials during the exam.
  • In-person, open book: Your exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer to any physical materials such as paper study notes or a textbook during the exam. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, open book (restricted): The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may refer only to specific physical materials such as a named textbook during the exam. Permitted materials will be specified by your department. Electronic devices may not be used in the exam.
  • In-person, closed book: The exam will take place on campus under invigilation. You may not refer to any physical materials or electronic devices during the exam. There may be times when a paper dictionary, for example, may be permitted in an otherwise closed book exam. Any exceptions will be specified by your department.

Your department will provide further guidance before your exams.

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Kyle Jerro, email: k.jerro@essex.ac.uk.
Dr. Kyle Jerro
Dr. Kyle Jerro, k.jerro@essex.ac.uk; Room 4.125



External examiner

Dr Christopher Lucas
University of London
Senior Lecturer in Arabic Linguistics
Available via Moodle
Of 601 hours, 0 (0%) hours available to students:
599 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
2 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information

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