ATS3668 - Descriptive syntax: Grammatical structure, typology and universals - 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



Dr Anna Margetts

Not offered in 2017


The unit provides an introduction to the grammatical phenomena found in simple and complex sentences in a wide range of languages and to the basic tools for their analysis and description. The unit combines the investigation of morpho-syntax with an enquiry into linguistic typology and universals. It introduces and evaluates different theoretical approaches to morpho-syntactic analysis.


On successfully completing the unit students should be able to:

  1. identify and describe morpho-syntactic phenomena in a variety of different languages;
  2. apply different theoretical approaches to the analysis of sentence structure using the relevant terminology;
  3. read and understand grammatical descriptions of languages and discussions of grammatical phenomena in the linguistic literature;
  4. identify cross-linguistic patterns in morpho-syntax and discuss claims of universality. More generally students are expected to develop their abilities to:

  5. read critically;
  6. use analytic and interpretive skills in dealing with language data;
  7. assess evidence supporting various theories and thereby evaluate these theories;
  8. present logical, coherent arguments both orally and in writing.


Within semester assessment: 75% + Exam: 25%

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


ATS1338 and ATS1339, and 12 credit points in Linguistics at level 2 units