Approaches to Grammar (Q1074)

30 credits, Level 4

Spring teaching

This module introduces you to descriptive grammar. You will explore questions such as: what do speakers know about the grammar of their language, consciously and unconsciously? How can we use speakers' knowledge to uncover the 'hidden rules' of language? What is the internal structure of words and how can we go about grouping words into categories so that we can label them and describe their general properties? How are words grouped together within a sentence?  What sorts of tests can we use to uncover and describe this internal structure of sentences? What does it mean to describe something as 'subject' or 'object'?  What kinds of grammatical differences distinguish a statement from a question or a command?  What's the difference between verbs like 'must' and 'love'? How are complex noun phrases structured? How can we identify clauses inside sentences, and what are they doing there?

This module will provide you with an understanding of the way in which words and sentences are constructed, and will equip you with the skills to break sentences down into their constituent parts, to construct and test hypotheses, and to represent sentence structure by means of tree diagrams.  The module will be based on English and other languages. 


25%: Lecture
25%: Practical (Workshop)
50%: Seminar


50%: Coursework (Problem Set, Test)
50%: Examination (Unseen examination)

Contact hours and workload

We’re currently reviewing contact hours for modules and will update with further information as soon as it is available.

This module is running in the academic year 2019/20. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. It may become unavailable due to staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of such changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.