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Linguistics 2: The Syntax of English


Admission requirements



This course is an introduction to the sentence structure (or: syntax) of Present-day 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 Present-day English;

  • have some familiarity with methods of linguistic analysis.


See timetable English

Mode of instruction

2 one-hour lectures per week and 1 two-hour seminar per week.

Course Load

  • time spent on attending lectures and seminars: 52 hours

  • time for studying the compulsory literature: 104 hours

  • time to prepare for the exam and in-term quizzes: 120 hours

  • Tutoring/opportunity to inspect exam/quizzes: 4 hours.

Assessment method

3 in-term quizzes (30%); final written examination (70%). If the in-term quiz average is lower than the written examination mark, only the latter will be taken into account (100%).

If the final grade is 5 or less students may take the resit once and the mark of the resit will constitute 100% of the final grade.

Attendance is compulsory. Unauthorized absence will mean that you cannot take part in the relevant exam(s).


Blackboard will be used to provide students with an overview of current affairs, as well as specific information about (components of) the course.

Reading list

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

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


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

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte
Registration Contractonderwijs

Contact details English Language and Culture student administration, P.N. van Eyckhof 4, room 102C. Tel. 071 5272144; Coordinator of studies: Ms T.D. Obbens, MA, P.N. van Eyckhof 4, room 103C.