General information

Course type AMUPIE
Module title Linguistic theory: Syntax
Language English
Module lecturer prof. dr hab. Jacek Witkoś
Lecturer's email
Lecturer position Professor
Faculty Faculty of English
Semester 2024/2025 (summer)
Duration 45
USOS code 15-LTS-AMU-PIE-11




Module aim (aims)

(1)Transfer of information concerning the syntax of English phrases and clauses with reference to derivational rules and processes in the generative model of language. (2) Transfer of information concerning the morphology of English, as well as the process of morphological derivation. (3) Developing in the student synthetic and analytic skills required for describing syntactic structures and mastering of the necessary linguistic terminology. (4) Developing in the student of a descriptive approach to grammatical problems and acquisition of aspects of linguistic methodology. (5) Developing a critical approach to, and empirical verification of, theoretical proposals, as well developing skills required for comparative application of the generative model to other languages 

Pre-requisites in terms of knowledge, skills and social competences (where relevant)

General awareness of language problems and knowledge of descriptive grammar of another language (e.g. Polish) 


Week 1: Grammatical categories and the lexicon.  


Week 2: Lexicon and phrases  


Week 3: Internal structure of phrases in Universal Grammar   


Week 4: Phrases and parameters of word order  


Week 5: Internal structure of clauses and X-bar theory  


Week 6: Aspects of the distribution of anaphoric pronouns   


Week 7: Theta theory and the projection principle; syntax embraces the lexicon   


Week 8: Representing complex sentences in X-bar theory; consolidation   


Week 9: Precedence, dominance and c-command   


Week 10: Derivation of inflected verbs: verb raising vs. affix-hop  


Week 11: Movement, traces and nominal case  


Week 12: Deriving complex sentences: the passive and subject raising  


Week 13: Deriving complex sentences: interrogative constructions  


Week 14: Island effects and the Minimal Link Condition (MLC)   


Week 15: Movement rules; the MLC and revision  

Reading list

Carnie, Andrew. 2002. Syntax: A generative Introduction. Malden : Blackwell Publishing 

Huddleston, R & J. Pullum. 2002. A Student's Introduction to English Grammar. 

Morenberg, Max. 1997, 2002. Doing Grammar. OUP. 

O’Grady, W – M. Dobrovolsky – M. Aronoff. 1989, 1993. Contemporary Linguistics: An introduction. New York : St. Martin's Press. 

Radford, Andrew. 2004. Minimalist Syntax: Exploring the structure of English. CUP. 

Wardhaugh, Roland. 1995. Understanding English grammar: A linguistic approach. Cambridge: Blackwell. 

Olaf Koeneman, Radboud Universiteit Nijmegen & Hedde Zeijlstra 2017. Introducing Syntax. CUP.