Dynamic Syntax (Masters)
- Course Code:
- Unit value:
- Taught in:
- Term 2
Dynamic Syntax is a formal model of utterance description which tries to articulate and substantiate the claim that humans’ knowledge of language is essentially their ability to parse spoken language in context. DS provides an explicit model of how hearers build incrementally (that is, from ‘left to right’) a semantic representation (an interpretation) from the information provided by the words they encounter and from contextual information. From this perspective, knowledge of language is not so much ‘knowing that’ (‘competence’) but ‘knowing how’ (‘performance’), which leads to a number of challenges to current thinking about syntax. At the end of the course, students will be familiar with the model of Dynamic Syntax and will be able to critically asses analyses of different linguistic phenomena formulated in it. They will be able to relate empirical evidence to linguistic argumentation, and are encouraged to think of syntax as part of a wider cognitive claim about humans’ knowledge of languages.
Objectives and learning outcomes of the course
At the end of the course, students will be familiar with the model of Dynamic Syntax and will be able to critically assess analyses of different linguistic phenomena formulated in it. They will be able to relate empirical evidence to linguistic argumentation, and to understand and construct wider arguments about the nature of syntax and human language more widely, based on different theoretical approaches to linguistics.
A total of 11 weeks teaching with 3 hours classroom contact per week.
Method of assessment
One essay of 5,000 words to be submitted on day 1, Term 3 (100%).
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