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Linguistics 2: The Syntax of English



This course is an introduction to the syntax (sentence structure) of Modern English. We will discuss the classification of words into syntactic categories, and how words can be combined into phrases and phrases into sentences. We will introduce the notion of constituent movement and we will also discuss the function of words and phrases in the sentence as well as different verb complementation types.

Teaching method

Two a one hour lectures per week and a two hour seminar per week.

Course objectives

Students have acquired insight into the grammatical structure of Modern English, and are familiar with some linguistic methods of analysis.

Required reading

  • Syllabus

  • N. Burton-Roberts (1997), Analysing sentences: An introduction to English syntax, 2nd edn. London: Longman.

  • D. Crystal (1995), Cambridge encyclopedia of the English language, Cambridge: C.U.P. (2nd edition 2003).

Test method

Three in-term quizzes (30%), final written exam (70%); if the average quiz mark is lower than the mark for the final written exam, the latter will count for 100%.

Time table

The timetable will be available from June 1st on the Internet.


English Department, P.N. van Eyckhof 4, room 102c. Phone: 071 527 2144, or by mail:


Students can register through U-twist before 15 July. After 15 July students can only register through the Departmental Office.


There will be a Blackboard site available.