LING 3016 - Morphology and Syntax

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2020

Morphology deals with the internal structure of words and their meaningful parts. Syntax is concerned with sentence structure ? how words are combined together to form phrases, phrases combined together to form larger phrases, clauses and sentences, and how clauses are combined together to form complex sentences. Together, morphology and syntax comprise the core of the grammar of a language. Since grammar is no longer a major focus in schools, most students have little understanding of even the most basic notions such as being able to identify parts of speech, or understanding how large constructions are composed out of smaller units. Being able to identify constituents and agreement constraints will help students to improve and correct their academic writing. The course will be practical in focus and will teach students essential skills for the linguistic description and analysis of a language. Along with Phonology, this course is essential for all linguistics students and language teachers (English or otherwise).

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code LING 3016
    Course Morphology and Syntax
    Coordinating Unit Linguistics
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites At least 6 units of Level II undergraduate study
    Incompatible LING 2046
    Assessment 3 x Data analysis task 18% each, Plan for research report (300 word) 10%, Research report (1500-2000 word) 36%
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Ian Green

    This course is taught by Dr Ian Green in 2020.
    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.

    Lectures: 1.10 till 3pm Wednesdays

    Tutorials: Thursdays at 8am OR Thursdays at 5pm
  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    This course aims to:
    • Develop understandings of the nature of human language and identify differences with other systems of communication
    • Develop understanding of the structure of language, specifically its morphological subsystems
    • Develop understanding of morphophonemic processes in language.
    • Develop understanding of the lexicon and lexical categories (ie parts of speech).
    • Develop understanding of compositionality, constituency and dependency relations.Develop understanding linguistic typology with regard to morphology and syntax.
    • Develop understanding about grammatical relations and their expression.
    • Develop understanding of both lexical and derivational valence and their implications for argument structure.
    • Develop understanding of a variety of complex sentence phenomena.
    • Develop in students the ability to undertake grammatical analysis of unfamiliar languages, and an awareness of the range of coding phenomena encountered.

    After successfully completing this course, students should be able to:

    1. Use the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) to transcribe and interpret transcriptions of unfamiliar languages

    2. Undertake a morphological analysis to identify the morphemes and allomorphs in any given language.

    3. Identify constituent structure at an advanced level.

    4. Establish and justify the lexical and grammatical categories for any given language.

    5. Articulate understandings of the nature of language.

    6. Undertake linguistic descriptive investigation of a known or unknown language through primary observation.

    7. Write a coherent and logically argued review of a published grammar of an unfamiliar language, demonstrating a familiarity with widely used terminology and technical issues involved.

    8. Confidently approach analysis of a data set drawn from an unknown language.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    Career and leadership readiness
    • technology savvy
    • professional and, where relevant, fully accredited
    • forward thinking and well informed
    • tested and validated by work based experiences
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    1, 2, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
    6, 7, 8
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources
    Course text book: Thomas E Payne, 2006, Exploring Language structure: a Student's Guide. Cambridge University Press.
    Recommended Resources
    Mark Aronoff & Kirsten Fudeman, 2005, What is morphology? Malden: Blackwell.

    Laurie Bauer, 2003, Introducing linguistic morphology. Georgetown University Press.

    Andrew Carnie, 2007, Syntax: a generative introduction. Second edition. Blackwell Publishing.

    Nigel Fabb, 2005, Sentence structure. London: Routledge.

    Nicola Grandi & Livia Körtvélyessy (2015) Edinburgh Handbook of Evaluative Morphology. Edinburgh University Press.

    Martin Haspelmath & Andrea Sims, 2010, Understanding morphology, 2nd edition. Abingdon: Routledge

    Paul Kroeger, 2005, Analyzing grammar: an introduction. Cambridge University Press.

    Stephen Levinson, 1983, Pragmatics. Cambridge University Press.

    Robert M Millar (rev & ed), 2015, Trask’s historical linguistics, 3rd edition. Abingdon: Routledge

    Steven Pinker, 1994, The language instinct. London: Allen Lane

    Steven Pinker, 1999, Words and rules: the ingredients of language. London: Weidenfeld & Nicolson.

    Maggie Tallerman, 2015, Understanding syntax, Fourth Edition. Abingdon: Routledge
    Online Learning
    On-Line Resource: World Atlas of Linguistic Structures (WALS) 
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    No information currently available.


    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    1 x 2-hour lecture/workshop per week (x12) 24 hours
    1 x 1-hour tutorial per week (x10) 10 hours
    4 hours Practicals/Reading per week (x12) 48 hours
    4 hours Assignment Preparation per week (x12)                48 hours
    2 hours Research per week (X 13) 26 hours
    TOTAL 156 hours
    Learning Activities Summary

    Please note that this is a guide only, and fuller details will be given during the semester.

    Week 1 (Wed.4th March)
    Introduction to Morphology & Syntax. (no tutorials in Week 1)
    Course Requirements.
    World Atlas of Linguistic Structures (WALS)

    Week 2 (Wed.11th March)
    Morphological Processes
    Conceptual Categories

    Week 3 (Wed. 18th March)
    Morphological Processes (ctd)
    Semitic Morphology

    Week 4 (25th March)

    Week 5 (1st April)
    Word Classes (Parts of Speech)

    Week 6 (8th April)


    Week 7 (29th April)
    Syntax: Constituent Structure

    Week 8 (6th May)

    Week 9 (13th May)
    Historical Syntax

    Week 10 (20th May)
    Grammatical Relations

    Week 11 (27th May)
    Voice and Valency

    Week 12 (3rd June)
    Multi-Clause Constructions

    Week 13 (Date TBA)
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    Tutorials will focus on problems and practical application of linguistic analytical techniques. Some of these problems will be done in pairs or small groups.
  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Linguistic Practical #1     Formative/
    20% 27 March 1, 2, 8
    Linguistic Practical #2 Formative/
    20% 20 April 2, 4, 8
    Linguistic Practical #3 Formative/
    20% 15 May 3, 8
    Grammar Review Summative 20% 5 June 7, 8
    Test Summative 20% Week 13 TBA 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 8

    Due to the current COVID-19 situation modified arrangements have been made to assessments to facilitate remote learning and teaching. Assessment details provided here reflect recent updates.

    To support the changes to teaching, the following revisions to assessment have been made:-

    Assignment One
    Your mark for this assignment may not necessarily be taken into account in calculating your final grade, in the event that it would have a negative impact on your overall score.

    However, you must still submit the assignment by the due date (or the date of the extension, if one has been granted), and you must attempt to answer all questions and explain your thinking.

    In addition, if we do exclude this assignment from your overall score you may be required to complete a short catch-up assignment/test at a negotiated time later in the semester, to demonstrate that you have mastered this component of the course.

    End of Semester Test (Week 13)
    This will now be an on-line on-demand test, to be downloaded & completed within your own chosen 72 hour period within Week 13.
    Assessment Related Requirements
    • Attendance at lectures is an essential component of the course. Many lectures will include short exercises for completion during the lecture. These will be self-corrected.
    • Attendance at tutorials is compulsory and will count towards the final mark.
    • All assessment components must be completed to qualify for a final result.
    Assessment Detail
    Linguistic Practicals
    Linguistic practical assignments will be distributed in lectures and tutorials. Further detail to be advised.

    Practical #1 - Morphology
    Practical #2 - Parts of Speech (Word Classes)
    Practical #3 - Syntactic Analysis
    Practical #4 - Grammar Review

    The test will cover a number of set chapters of your textbook and the content of the lectures. No books, dictionaries or notes can be used for the test
    1. All assignments to be submitted via MyUni/Canvas by midday on the due date.

    2. Ensure that your Tutorial Group, Level (II or III), Course Title, Assignment Title & Topic appear on the cover sheet.

    3. All assignments must be in grammatical English.

    4. Practicals may be hand-written legibly. Typed assignments must be double-spaced with a minimum 10 font.

    5. Always keep a copy of your work. (Just occasionally things do go astray)

    6. Assignments submitted late require a doctor’s certificate, counsellor’s certificate or similar proof/documentation.

    7. Extensions (normally up to one week) MUST be organised prior to the due date.

    8. Penalty with no extension is 2% per day up to 7 days (including weekends and holidays).

    9. Assignments submitted without an approved extension will not be accepted more than 7 days after the due date.
    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

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  • Policies & Guidelines
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