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LIN3510 - Structure of English

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: Prof Kate Burridge


Clayton First semester 2007 (Day)


The unit provides a step-by-step account of English grammar from the perspective of the theoretical insights of modern linguistics. It examines the most important English constructions and categories, compares the leading standard and near-standard varieties in these respects, discusses key differences of interpretation, and (briefly) relates language-specific facts and issues to language typology and universals.


Upon successful completion of this unit students will:

  1. Understand the key notions used in the analysis of contemporary English syntax.
  2. Understand the more important aspects of the relationship between syntax and meaning in English.
  3. Be able to apply the notions covered in 1-2 (and to use the relevant terms accurately) in the analysis of 'real' texts, especially with the view to how information is structured in discourse.
  4. Know the key syntactic (and syntactic-semantic) features that distinguish the main standard varieties of English from each other and from other important varieties.
  5. Know the key syntactic (etc.) features that distinguish formal and informal usage.
  6. Know the key syntactic (etc.) features that distinguish different occupational varieties (like Journalese, Legalese, Sports-Announcer Talk etc.).
  7. Be aware of the place of English in respect of the main parameters of syntactic typology.
  8. Have the basis for further study which would enable them to teach English grammar themselves.


Take-home exercise (2000 words equivalent): 40%
Take-home assignment (1000 words): 20%
Test (1500 words equivalent): 30%
Class participation: 10%
Third-year students will be invited to show a greater degree of theoretical sophistication in their assignments.

Contact hours

2 hours (1 x 2 hour seminar) per week


A second-year sequence in Linguistics.