Universität Wien FIND

120049 PS Proseminar Linguistics 2 (2018S)

The syntactic structure of sentences in English: simplicity or complexity?

5.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 12 - Anglistik
Continuous assessment of course work

Details

max. 25 participants
Language: English

Lecturers

Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

The module will begin with an Introduction on Wednesday 11th April 18.00-20.00 when the intensive work involved in this module (particularly in the first section) will be explained and stressed.

While the first part of the module will cover major syntactic concepts (such as constituents, categories and functions, the noun phrase, the verb phrase, etc.) which should be familiar to students, the approach actively using tree diagrams will be quite new. This section covering the main clause will be taught as a block:

Wednesday 18th April: Burton-Roberts, chapters 1, 2 and 3
Friday 20th April: Burton-Roberts, chapters 4 and 5
Saturday 21st April: Burton-Roberts, chapters 6 and 7

After a break the following week, when students can catch up or get ahead, the module will proceed with the analysis of complex sentences

Wednesday 2nd May: Burton-Roberts, chapter 8
Wednesday 9th May: Burton-Roberts, chapter 9
Wednesday 16th May: Burton-Roberts, chapter 10

After a further break during the following two weeks, when students can catch up again, the module will proceed with the analysis of complex sentences in newspaper texts (available online), dealing with whatever type comes up in the articles by drawing tree diagrams to explain their complexity. Students will be assigned tasks for contribution in class.

Wednesday 6th June: newspaper analysis 1
Wednesday 13th June: newspaper analysis 2

The final two weeks will be devoted to student presentations. Each student will chose a particular type of embedded clause construction of which they will present tree-diagram analyses to explain their structure and complexity.

The written assignments may be based on the material used in oral presentations.

Please note that newspapers are being used solely as a source of contemporary data, with no intention to offer stylistic or critical discourse analyses.

Solutions to exercises not discussed in the textbook will be placed on the module’s Moodle and will be used in class. Students

Wednesday 11.04. 18:00 - 20:00 Raum 4 Anglistik UniCampus Hof 8 3E-EG-19
Wednesday 18.04. 18:00 - 20:00 Raum 4 Anglistik UniCampus Hof 8 3E-EG-19
Friday 20.04. 14:00 - 16:00 Seminarraum 6 Anglistik UniCampus Hof 8 3E-O1-22.A
Saturday 21.04. 10:00 - 12:00 Raum 4 Anglistik UniCampus Hof 8 3E-EG-19
Wednesday 02.05. 18:00 - 20:00 Raum 4 Anglistik UniCampus Hof 8 3E-EG-19
Wednesday 09.05. 18:00 - 20:00 Raum 4 Anglistik UniCampus Hof 8 3E-EG-19
Wednesday 16.05. 18:00 - 20:00 Raum 4 Anglistik UniCampus Hof 8 3E-EG-19
Wednesday 06.06. 18:00 - 20:00 Raum 4 Anglistik UniCampus Hof 8 3E-EG-19
Wednesday 13.06. 18:00 - 20:00 Raum 4 Anglistik UniCampus Hof 8 3E-EG-19
Wednesday 20.06. 18:00 - 20:00 Raum 4 Anglistik UniCampus Hof 8 3E-EG-19
Wednesday 27.06. 18:00 - 20:00 Raum 4 Anglistik UniCampus Hof 8 3E-EG-19

Information

Aims, contents and method of the course

In Vorlesungen which used as a set textbook English Grammar: An Introduction, by Peter Collins & Carmella Hollo, students were introduced to a description of the syntax of the English sentence. One chapter dealt with ‘subordination’. This module will deepen a student’s knowledge about embedded clauses by considering the processes by which clauses within clauses relate to each other structurally, and how it is the structuring between clauses which facilitates the conveyance of meaning. Whereas the structure of a main clause is relatively simple, the structure of a sentence with embedded clauses can be remarkably complex, as an analysis of such everyday day expressions such as the sell-by date or food to go will show. This deeper insight into clausal relationships will be reinforced by extensive use of tree diagrams. With a grasp of the analytic model carefully set out in the Burton-Roberts textbook and acquired through the completion of a great many tree diagrams, students will apply the analysis to complex sentences in newspaper articles and headlines to show how a seemingly innocent and easily-understood statement can be remarkably complex in structure, and to explain syntactically how this is so. By the end of this module, students will have acquired considerable skill in drawing tree diagrams and in explaining the nature of complex sentences in terms of syntactic processes.

Assessment and permitted materials

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Complete attendance (no absences!)
Completion of all of the many exercises in Burton-Roberts (no exceptions!)
Class Presentations on newspaper texts and individual constructions
Written assignment (handed in on time)

Assignment (and handing in on time) 60%
Class Presentation (on given date) (oral, with power point and/or handout) 25%
Attendance 15%

Examination topics

Reading list

Set text: Noel Burton-Roberts, Analysing Sentences (London, Routledge, Fourth Edition, 2016). Students will be required to own their own copy.

Association in the course directory

Studium: BA 612;
Code/Modul: BA06.1;
Lehrinhalt: 12-2044

Last modified: Fr 31.08.2018 08:42