Syntactic Theory

The details
Colchester Campus
Postgraduate: Level 7
Thursday 08 October 2020
Friday 18 December 2020
14 May 2020


Requisites for this module



Key module for

MA Q16012 English Language and Linguistics,
MA Q10012 Linguistics

Module description

This course is an introduction to syntactic theory and aims to understand the ways that we can understand syntactic variation in the languages of the world. For example, what determines why objects come before a verb in Japanese, but afterwards 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 introduction to syntactic thought, this course will explore various empirical and theoretical questions around syntactic structure.

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 half module, students should
a) Be familiar with syntactic structures that exist in the world’s languages
b) Have the ability to engage with original syntactic research, especially papers in a GB/Minimalist framework
c) Construct a syntactic analysis for linguistic data in English and other languages

Module information

No additional information available.

Learning and teaching methods

A two-hour lecture. The two-hour session will combine lecture in the first hour with group work on practical tasks.


This module does not appear to have any essential texts. To see non-essential items, please refer to the module's reading list.

Assessment items, weightings and deadlines

Coursework / exam Description Deadline Weighting
Coursework   Assessment 1     30% 
Coursework   Assessment 2    30% 
Coursework   Assessment 3    40% 

Overall assessment

Coursework Exam
100% 0%


Coursework Exam
100% 0%
Module supervisor and teaching staff
Dr Kyle Jerro, email: k.jerro@essex.ac.uk.
Kyle Jerro
Kyle Jerro, 4.125, 2286, k.jerro@essex.ac.uk



External examiner

Dr Louise Jane Mycock
University of Oxford
Associate Professor in Linguistics
Available via Moodle
Of 693 hours, 0 (0%) hours available to students:
693 hours not recorded due to service coverage or fault;
0 hours not recorded due to opt-out by lecturer(s).


Further information

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