ELLiPs I: Introduction to Graduate Linguistic Theory



The Extended Learning in Linguistics for Postgraduates (ELLiPs) program is targeted at postgraduate researchers who are interested in developing their knowledge of linguistic theory. The Autumn semester training program offers workshops in Syntax, Semantics, and Phonology at an introductory graduate level. For more advanced graduate classes in these areas, see our Spring semester course page.

Workshops offered

This 6 week training program is designed to teach you about linguistic theory in three of the core areas of abstract linguistic representation: Syntax, Semantics, and Phonology.  Due to the intensive nature of this module, participating students are asked to register for exactly two of the three subject areas.

In this program, you will learn how to construct linguistic argumentation and to apply theories to cross-linguistic data in the two subject areas you choose. At the culmination of the course, you will write one 2,500 word paper for each of your two subject areas, and will receive (unassessed) feedback for this work.

ELLiPs I is set at an advanced undergraduate/introductory graduate level, and is designed to complement your main area of study. For instance, if your thesis proposal relates to syntax, you may have already taken numerous classes in syntactic theory. In this case, the Syntax portion of ELLiPs I would not necessarily teach you anything new, while the Phonology and Semantics areas could provide you with a more well-rounded perspective on your thesis research, or a new line of inquiry to pursue.

In order to help you make an informed decision about which subject areas are best for you, we have compiled a set of guidelines:

General guidelines for choosing two subject areas

  • See the subject specific information below for a list of pre-requisite topics for each subject area, which we expect students to be generally familiar with before undertaking this course. We have also included a list of possible topics that each subject area will cover.
    • If you have taken limited coursework (for example, only L1 Introduction to Linguistics) we recommend that you sit in on an undergraduate course before attending ELLiPs I.
    • If you have taken a Intermediate level course in an area (for example, Level 2 undergraduate Syntax, Semantics, or Phonology), then this course is ideal for you.
    •  If you have taken advanced courses in an area (for example, Level 3 undergraduate or PGT Syntax, Semantics, or Phonology), then you may find that you are already familiar with the material listed below, and would be better served to wait until the Spring, when ELLiPs II will offer advanced classes in Syntax, Semantics, and Phonology.

Click for subject area specific guidelines


When and Where

All workshops will take place on Fridays in the autumn term at Universities within the White Rose network.

Dates and locations of the workshops the 2016/7 academic year are:

  • 7 October, Sheffield
  • 14 October, York
  • 21 October, York
  • 28 October, York
  • 18 November, Sheffield
  • 25 November, Sheffield

Times for workshops will vary depending on which two subject areas you choose. Overall, ELLiPs lectures and seminars will run between 10 am and 4 pm on each Friday.

How to book – Click here to complete your booking application for ELLiPs I.

Travel expenses

All students should be able to claim expenses for travel from their home institution to the workshops. The method of claiming may vary depending on where you are a registered student. Instructions on how to claim will be included when your place on the workshop series is confirmed.

If you are instructed to claim directly from WRoCAH, please use the expenses claim form on our links page

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Prior to beginning ELLiPs I, students are expected have a working understanding of:

  • Constituency tests: Substitution, Ellipsis, Movement, Coordination
  • C-command
  • Lexical entries
  • C-selection and subcategorization
  • Head movement
  • Binding Theory
  • X-bar theory

ELLiPs I will cover some of the following topics (may change slightly from year to year):

  • Phrasal movement
  • Case
  • VP shells
  • Locality/phases
  • Syntax-phonology interface
  • Control

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Prior to beginning ELLiPs I, students are expected have a working understanding of:

  • Logical terms
  • Argument structure
  • Tree structures (basic level)
  • Movement and adjunction for QR
  • Previous experience with maths or logic may be helpful, but not necessary.

ELLiPs I will cover some of the following topics (may change slightly from year to year):

  • Predicate/propositional logic
  • Typed set theory
  • Lambda calculus
  • Generalised quantifiers
  • Monotonicity
  • Definiteness
  • Tense/aspect
  • Semantics of questions

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Prior to beginning ELLiPs I, students are expected have a working understanding of:

  • Phonemes and allophones, contrastive and complementary distributions
  • Rules and representations in the generative approach (underlying representations —> surface forms)
  • Distinctive features
  • Morpheme alternation
  • Phonological process: assimilation/dissimilation, deletion/insertion, lenition/fortition, reductions
  • Primary and secondary stress
  • Syllable structure
  • Weight and moras

ELLiPs I will cover some of the following topics (may change slightly from year to year):

  • Generative Phonology and Optimality Theory
  • Autosegmental-Metrical Theory (analysis of intonation)
  • Match Theory and the Syntax-Phonology Interface
  • Prosodic and Metrical Phonology
  • Phonetics-phonology interface
  • Lexical Phonology and Stratal Optimality Theory

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