UCL Module Catalogue


Introduction To Generative Grammar B (PLIN0064)

Key information

Faculty of Brain Sciences
Teaching department
Division of Psychology and Language Sciences
Credit value

Alternative credit options

There are no alternative credit options available for this module.


This course complements PLIN0003. It introduces students to several properties of "mental grammar" (the system of rules that determines a speaker/hearer's language).

We ask what sort of knowledge must be attributed to someone who "knows a language" and begin to answer that question by developing some of the essential building blocks of natural language grammars. The aims of the course are: to introduce students to the scientific study of the structure of sentences; to analyse data sets and formulate appropriate generalisations that characterise them; to discover how such generalisations can be captured by abstract linguistic principles. The course builds on PLIN0003 to provide students with an overview of the current research programme in generative syntax. 

The main module objectives are:

To consolidate students' knowledge of the basic architecture of mental grammar; to introduce students to binding theory, hidden movement and quantifier scope; to take note of locality effects in the various modules of grammar introduced so far; to sharpen students' analytical skills through problem discovery and problem-solving exercises. At the end of the course, students will have a basic understanding of the grammatical mechanisms involved in simple declarative sentences and in questions. This should enable them to tackle intermediate work in syntax.

Module deliveries for 2020/21 academic year

Intended teaching term: Term 2     Undergraduate (FHEQ Level 4)

Teaching and assessment

Mode of study
Methods of assessment
50% Weekly Quizzes
50% Final Coursework
Mark scheme
Numeric Marks

Other information

Number of students on module in previous year
Module leader
Who to contact for more information

Last updated

This module description was last updated on 5th March 2020.