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Linguistics 5: English Sentence Structure and Word Formation


Admission requirements

Pass mark for Linguistics 3 (or similar course).


This course focuses on the structure of English words (morphology) and the structure of English sentences (syntax) and on how these two are connected. We will analyze the ways in which the building blocks of words (morphemes) can combine, as well as the rules that allow us to combine words into phrases and phrases into sentences. In addition, we will investigate the interaction between English morphology and syntax (e.g. in passives) as well as cases where the boundary between morphology and syntax is unclear (e.g. in complex verbs such as the phrasal verb). We will discuss a number of generative theoretical analyses for the morphosyntactic phenomena examined.

Course objectives

  • Knowledge of relevant morphological and syntactic terminology

  • Knowledge of a number of generative theoretical analyses for the syntax-morphology interface

  • Insight into the morphology and syntax of English

  • The ability to analyse morphological and syntactic structure

  • The ability to formulate morphological and syntactic arguments


The timetable is available on the BA English website

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar (2 hours p/w)

Course Load

The course load of this course is 280 hours.

  • Time spent on attending the seminars: 26 hours

  • Time for studying the compulsory literature: 164 hours

  • Time for preparing the exams: 90 hours

Assessment method


Two written exams and a written assignment.


  • Research proposal and essay (800 words): 30%

  • Participation and (group) presentation: 10%

  • End-of-term written exam: 60%

  • Taking part in a group presentation is a pre-requisite for taking the written exam.


Resit written exam and/or re-write essay.


Attendance is compulsory. Missing more than two tutorials means that students will be excluded from the tutorials. Unauthorized absence also applies to being unprepared, not participating and/or not bringing the relevant course materials to class.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.


Blackboard will be used for:

  • study materials (course programme, essay: guidelines and topics, etc.)

  • course-related announcements

Reading list

  • Lieber, Rochelle. 2015. Introducing Morphology (2nd revised edition). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (selected chapters)

  • Additional reading (to be announced).


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available on the website

NB: First year students will be enrolled by the coordinator of studies.

Students other than from the BA English language and culture cannot take this course.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte

Registration Contractonderwijs


Please contact Student administration van Eyckhof for questions.

The coordinator of studies is Else van Dijk