PLMFG-Foundations of Grammar

Module Provider: Clinical Language Sciences
Number of credits: 10 [5 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Autumn term module
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2019/0

Module Convenor: Dr Vesna Stojanovik


Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module introduces the main concepts in grammar, i.e. grammatical categories, inflectional/derivational morphology, phrase and clause structure, complex syntactic constructions and pragmatics. The module also introduces the goals of linguistics theory as presented in the theory of Universal Grammar, which aims to characterise formally the native speaker's knowledge of language and to explain language acquisition and language disorders.


To introduce grammatical concepts within the context of clinical linguistic data and to enable the students to analyse and interpret clinical linguistic data within the context of current syntactic theory. 

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module it is expected that the student will be able to:

• Analyse sentences at phrase and clause level;

• Critically understand principles and issues related to the goals of current syntactic theory;

• Discuss the formal criteria for identifying grammatical categories;

  • Represent phrase structure in the form of labelled trees and recognise structural ambiguity;

  • Understand X-bar theory of phrase structure grammar and its descriptive and explanatory advantages, i.e., its contribution to the language acquisition problem;

  • Understand theta theory and case theory and the motivation for the introduction of transformations in the grammar;

  • Apply grammatical concepts and terminology to clinical linguistic data. 

Additional outcomes:
The module also aims to encourage the development of oral communication skills through seminar participation and critical thinking skills through reading and interpreting relevant research papers.

Outline content:
The content is organised as follows: The general goals of the linguistic theory adopted are presented first so that the student is able to appreciate the larger context in which the descriptive details belong. This is followed by the presentation of traditional clause analysis and the introduction of the basic syntactic descriptive tools, i.e. categories, phrase structure, structural relations, X-bar syntax, the lexicon, theta-theory, and case-theory. Finally the motivation for the introduction of the device of transformations (movement rules) is given by examining the relationship between active and passive sentences. The technicalities are extensively illustrated and the contribution of these descriptive devices to the acquisition problem and clinical data is also discussed. The students are also introduced to Language Analysis Remediation and Screening Procedure (LARSP) profiling.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Two hour lecture once a week for 10 weeks, and 5 one-hour back up seminars based on prepared practical work.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 18
Seminars 2
Tutorials 5
Guided independent study: 75
Total hours by term 25
Total hours for module 100

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Class test administered by School 100

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:
A two-hour classroom test at the end of the Autumn term.

Formative assessment methods:

Mock test in week 7 (Autumn term) as well as through seminars and drop in surgeries. 

Penalties for late submission:
Penalties for late submission on this module are in accordance with the University policy. Please refer to page 5 of the Postgraduate Guide to Assessment for further information:

Assessment requirements for a pass:

Reassessment arrangements:
Reassessment by September.

Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
1) Required text books:
2) Specialist equipment or materials:
3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
4) Printing and binding:
5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

Last updated: 10 April 2019


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