ATS2681 - Structure of English - 2017

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered.



Organisational Unit



Professor Kate Burridge

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2017 (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 and apply 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. Apply the notions covered in 1-2 to the analysis of 'real' texts, especially with the view to how information is structured in discourse.
  4. Know the key features that distinguish the main standard varieties of English from each other and from other important varieties.
  5. Know the key features that distinguish formal and informal usage.
  6. Know the key 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 to enable them to teach English grammar themselves.


Within semester assessment: 70% + Exam: 30%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

Chief examiner(s)

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study


Two gateway units in Linguistics