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LING2220 – Syntax

2020 – Session 1, Weekday attendance, North Ryde

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, any references to assessment tasks and on-campus delivery may no longer be up-to-date on this page.

Students should consult iLearn for revised unit information.

Find out more about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and potential impacts on staff and students

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff
Iain Giblin
Margaret Wood
Credit points Credit points
Prerequisites Prerequisites
LING110 or LING111 or LING1111
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description
This unit is an introduction to syntactic theory from the perspective of Chomsky's Universal Grammar. It introduces important grammatical phenomena and demonstrates how these phenomena can be studied in a systematic theoretical manner. Students will learn about the grammatical principles that constitute human languages and acquire the ability to analyse phrases and sentences using these principles.

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at https://students.mq.edu.au/important-dates

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  • ULO1: apply diagnostic tests to identify structural features of natural langauge syntax
  • ULO2: read and draw syntax trees and apply syntactic transformations
  • ULO3: apply the scientific method to test hypotheses about the structure of English and other languages
  • ULO4: explain arguments for and against the theory of Universal Grammar
  • ULO5: research and explain a topic of study in syntax

Assessment Tasks

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Assessment details are no longer provided here as a result of changes due to the Coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

Students should consult iLearn for revised unit information.

Find out more about the Coronavirus (COVID-19) and potential impacts on staff and students

General Assessment Information

General Assessment Information

  • It is a requirement in this unit that students sit the final exam. Students who do not sit the final exam will receive a grade of FA.

Late Submissions Policy

  • Late submissions without an extension will receive a penalty of 3% of the total mark available for the assessment task per day including weekend days and public holidays. (Note: this is 3% of the total marks possible for the task – NOT 3% of the marks the student received. For example, if an assessment task is worth 100 marks and a student is two days late the mark for the task is reduced by 6 marks.)
  • Late submission of an assessment task without an extension will not be accepted at all after the date on which marked assessment tasks have been released to the rest of the class. Any student with unsubmitted work at this date will receive a mark of 0 for the assessment task.
  • Extensions will only be given in special circumstances, and can be requested by completing the Special Consideration request at ask.mq.edu.au and providing the requisite supporting documentation.
  • Extensions that will result in submissions after the assessment task has been returned to the class will require a separate assessment task to be completed at the unit convenor's discretion.
  • For more information on Special Consideration, see the university website https://students.mq.edu.au/study/my-study-program/special-consideration\
  • If a student fails the unit due to non-submission of an assignment or non-attendance at an exam, an FA grade will be applied in accordance with the University's Assessment Policy.
  • Unit convenors have the discretion to determine whether or not students should fail a unit on the basis of lateness penalties alone if other learning outcomes of the unit have been met.

Additional Assessment information

In-class quizzes will take place during the tutorials in week 4 and week 9.

Problem sets will be posted 2 weeks before the due date.

Delivery and Resources

Coronavirus (COVID-19) Update

Any references to on-campus delivery below may no longer be relevant due to COVID-19.

Please check here for updated delivery information: https://ask.mq.edu.au/account/pub/display/unit_status


Carnie, A. (2013), Syntax: A Generative Introduction (3rd edition). Wiley-Blackwell.

Carnie, A. (2013), The Syntax Workbook: A Companion to Carnie's Syntax. Wiley-Blackwell.

Students should purchase the hardcopy version of the textbook. Students will be allowed to take the published hardcopy of the textbook into the final examination. Electronic, photocopied, or printed versions (other than the published hardcopy itself) of the textbook will not be permitted in the final examination.

Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central (https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policy-central). Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Students seeking more policy resources can visit the Student Policy Gateway (https://students.mq.edu.au/support/study/student-policy-gateway). It is your one-stop-shop for the key policies you need to know about throughout your undergraduate student journey.

If you would like to see all the policies relevant to Learning and Teaching visit Policy Central (https://staff.mq.edu.au/work/strategy-planning-and-governance/university-policies-and-procedures/policy-central).

Student Code of Conduct

Macquarie University students have a responsibility to be familiar with the Student Code of Conduct: https://students.mq.edu.au/study/getting-started/student-conduct​


Results published on platform other than eStudent, (eg. iLearn, Coursera etc.) or released directly by your Unit Convenor, are not confirmed as they are subject to final approval by the University. Once approved, final results will be sent to your student email address and will be made available in eStudent. For more information visit ask.mq.edu.au or if you are a Global MBA student contact globalmba.support@mq.edu.au

Student Support

Macquarie University provides a range of support services for students. For details, visit http://students.mq.edu.au/support/

Learning Skills

Learning Skills (mq.edu.au/learningskills) provides academic writing resources and study strategies to help you improve your marks and take control of your study.

The Library provides online and face to face support to help you find and use relevant information resources. 

Student Enquiry Service

For all student enquiries, visit Student Connect at ask.mq.edu.au

If you are a Global MBA student contact globalmba.support@mq.edu.au

Equity Support

Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Service who can provide appropriate help with any issues that arise during their studies.

IT Help

For help with University computer systems and technology, visit http://www.mq.edu.au/about_us/offices_and_units/information_technology/help/

When using the University's IT, you must adhere to the Acceptable Use of IT Resources Policy. The policy applies to all who connect to the MQ network including students.