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Class at Faculty of Arts |


Topics of lectures and seminars:

1. Introduction into syntax (the concepts of sentence, clause, phrase; the relations of predication, complementation and modification); declarative and interrogative sentences (the relation between sentence type and discourse function)

2. Imperative, exclamative and optative sentences

3. Verb valency, English clause patterns

4. English counterparts of Czech subjectless verbal sentences; nonverbal sentences in English and Czech

5. Clause elements and their semantic roles: the subject; concord between subject and verb

6. Syntax and semantics of complementation by object(s): direct, indirect and prepositional object

7. Adverbials: adjuncts, disjuncts and conjuncts

8. Noun modifiers: pre- and postmodification, apposition, subject modification by verbless adverbial clause

9. Compound and complex sentence; classification of subordinate clauses

10. Nominal content clauses: dependent declarative clauses

11. Nominal content clauses: dependent interrogative and imperative clauses

12. Relative clauses (adjectival and nominal)

13. Adverbial clauses


A course of English syntax dealing with basic syntactic concepts and structures. A general introduction into the study of syntax (definition of the sentence as the basic unit of this level, the concepts of predication, complementation and modification) is followed by a description of the simple sentence defined formally according to the sentence type and functionally according to the respective discourse functions. Clause elements are described with respect to their constitutive or optional character, their semantic roles, and forms of realization. The treatment of clause patterns is based on the valency of the verb, and instantiates the relations between clause patterns and sentence types. Special attention is paid to English counterparts of Czech subjectless sentences and sentences with nonverbal predicates. The description of the multiple sentence concentrates on the relations between the clauses (parataxis and hypotaxis) and on the classification of subordinate clauses. The account of English syntax is presented against the background of Czech.

While the lectures present theoretical aspects of syntactic phenomena, including differences in their treatment between English and Czech grammars, in seminars students apply the acquired theoretical knowledge to syntactic analysis of concrete language material, broaden it, and hence develop the ability to perform syntactic analysis by themselves. In connection with particular topics, the lecturers recommend additional secondary literature. Throughout the course students collect material for a final seminar paper presenting a description and syntactic analysis of authentic examples of simple and multiple sentences.

The subject is concluded with a comprehensive examination covering both syntax, and morphology I and II. The examination has a written part (a test from morphology and syntax) and an oral part (questions from both these levels of the English grammatical system).

Study programmes