LING 2015 - Morphology and Syntax

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2018

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 2015
    Course Morphology and Syntax
    Coordinating Unit Linguistics
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours a week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Prerequisites At least 12 units of Level I undergraduate study including LING 1101.
    Assessment Practical 1, 20%, Practical 2, 20%, Practical 3, 20%, Practical 4, 20%, Exam (1.5 hours) 20%
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Rob Amery

    Course Timetable

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

  • 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

    No information currently available.

  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources

    Course text book: Thomas E Payne, 2006, Exploring Language structure: a Student's Guide. Cambridge University Press.

    On-Line Resource
    : World Atlas of Linguistic Structures (WALS)

    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, Sentence structure. London: Routledge, 2005.

    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
  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    No information currently available.


    No information currently available.

    Learning Activities Summary

    No information currently available.

  • 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
    Assessment for this course will consist of four practical tasks and an end of semester test, worth 20% each.
    The practicals will consist of analysis of data sets drawn from a range of different languages. The analytical tasks will address various aspects of morphological and syntactic analysis.

    • Linguistic Practical #1 Due 17 August 2018
    • Linguistic Practical #2 Due 7 September 2018
    • Linguistic Practical #3 Due 28 September 2018
    • Linguistic Practical #4 Due 26 October 2018
    • Final Test on 1 November 2018
    Assessment Detail

    No information currently available.


    No information currently available.

    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

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    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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