SOAS University of London

Department of Linguistics

Intermediate Syntax

Module Code:
Unit value:
Year of study:
Year 2
Taught in:
Term 1


Introduction to Grammatical Structure

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module

Learning outcomes for the course include: 

  • familiarity with the ideas and principles of generative grammar
  • a knowledge of the motivation for the basic architecture of LFG 
  • a basic knowledge of LFG analysis; an ability to use formal reasoning 
  • an ability to apply syntactic analysis to a range of languages


Total of 10 weeks teaching with 2 hours classroom contact per week.

Scope and syllabus

This course focuses on the principles of generative grammar and syntactic analysis, with a view to understanding the motivation for the framework of Lexical Functional Grammar (LFG) in particular. The course will have a strong empirical component using data from languages other than English, and will consider a variety of constructions from a cross-linguistic perspective. The course will also address some of the similarities and differences between LFG and other approaches to syntactic theory.

Method of assessment

One two-hour written examination taken in May/June (60%); data analysis exercise of 1,500 words to be submitted on Monday, week 7, term 1 (20%); data analysis exercise of 1,500 words to be submitted on Monday, week 1, term 2 (20%).

Suggested reading

  • Carnie, Andrew. 2007. Syntax. A Generative Introduction. 2nd Ed. Oxford: Blackwell Publishing.
  • Kroeger, Paul. 2004. Analysing Syntax. A Lexical-Functional Approach. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules