autumn 2020
HIF-3010 Syntax I - 10 ECTS

Last changed 30.10.2020

Application deadline

Applicants from Nordic countries: 1 June for courses offered in the autumn semester and 1 December for courses offered in the spring semester.

Exchange students and Fulbright students: 15 April for courses offered in the autumn semester and 1 October for courses offered in the spring semester.

Type of course

This course is mandatory for students in the MA programme in Theoretical Linguistics, and elective for students in the MA programme in English Acquisition and Multilingualism. This course may be taken as a single course by students who qualify for admission to the MA programme in Theoretical Linguistics.

Admission requirements

Bachelor's degree (180 ECTS), or equivalent qualification, in a language or linguistics, or a degree combining linguistics and literature, with a minimum of 80 ECTS of concentrated work in linguistics and/or language. An average grade equivalent to C or better (in the concentrated work in linguistics and/or language, 80 ECTS) is required.

Application code 9371 Enkeltemner på masternivå (Nordic applicants).

Course content

This is a theoretical introduction to syntax. The course focuses on developing a theory of syntax by proposing, testing and modifying hypotheses. The ultimate goal is a universal theory which can account for both the similarities between and the differences across languages, thus comparison of data from several languages; especially the Germanic languages, will be a recurrent theme. The course starts with the basic building blocks of syntactic structure and the fundamental ways in which they can be combined. It then moves on to examine a series of syntactic phenomena, including basic constituency, selection, tense and verbal inflection, grammatical functions and case, thematic roles, clausal complementation and question formation. At each step along the way, the theory under development will be tested, expanded and revised to accommodate new data and insights.

Objectives of the course

The aim of the course is to enable students to work independently with the analysis of syntactic data. The students should be able to show thorough knowledge of the materials described in the course description. Students must also develop the skills for oral presentation and argumentation, as well as the skills necessary for group work and individual project work.

Language of instruction

Language of instruction and examination: English.

Teaching methods

Lectures, exercises, seminars, project work.

Quality assurance: All courses undergo a halfway evaluation once in a 2-year period at the masters level.


The following coursework requirements must be completed and approved in order to take the final exam: 

Coursework requirements: Students are required to hand in 6 homework assignments.

The exam will consist of: 

Assessment method: Term paper (5000 words) in WISEflow.

Performance in the course will be assessed on an A-F grades scale. Grades are A-E for passed and F for failed. A re-sit examination is offered in the event of an F grade. The deadline to register (in the Studentweb) for a re-sit examination is 15 January (for courses offered in the autumn semester) and 15 August (for courses offered in the spring semester). For the re-sit exam, the student may submit a revised version of his/her term paper within a given deadline.


Recommended reading/syllabus

Pensumliste for HIF-3010 Syntax I
  • About the course
  • Campus: Tromsø |
  • ECTS: 10
  • Course code: HIF-3010