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Linguistics 2: The Syntax of English


Admission requirements



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.

Course objectives

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


The timetable will be available by June 1st at:

Mode of instruction

  • 2 one-hour lectures per week

  • 1 two-hour tutorial per week

Assessment 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%.


This course is supported by Blackboard.

Reading list

  • N. Burton-Roberts (2011), Analysing sentences: An introduction
    to English syntax
    , 3rd edn. Harlow Pearson.

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


Students should register through uSis. Exchange students cannot register through uSis, but must see the director of studies and register with her. If you have any questions, please contact the departmental office, tel. 071 5272144 or mail:

Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see the Study in Leiden website for information on how to apply.

Contact information

Departmental Office English Language and Culture, P.N. van Eyckhof 4, room 102C. Tel. 071 5272144; mail:
Studentcounsellor Bachelor: Ms. S.H.J. Bollen, P.N. van Eyckhof 4, room 103B.
Coordinator of Studies Master: Ms. K. van der Zeeuw-Filemon, P.N. van Eyckhof 4, room 103C.