By the end of the course, students should:
1. Have gained an understanding of syntax as an autonomous component of the grammar.
2. Be able to identify the object of study of syntax.
3. Distinguish between syntactic forms and functions, through empirical validation.
4. Have become familiar with constituent analysis as a tool for achieving generalisations about sentence structure.
5. Be able to identify the relationships between the lexicon and the syntax.
6. Have become familiar with the typology of verbal predicates.
7. Have developed an understanding of movement as a tool for the analysis of dependency relations in simple and complex sentences.
8. Have developed an understanding of non-derivational dependency relations.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Maria Alexandra Moreira de Jesus Fieis e Melo


Weekly - 4

Total - 168

Teaching language



Available soon


Carnie, Andrew (2006). Syntax: A Generative Introduction (second edition). Blackwell.
Duarte, Inês (2000). Língua Portuguesa. Instrumentos de Análise. Lisboa: Universidade Aberta.
Eliseu, André (2008). Sintaxe do Português. Lisboa: Caminho.
Haegeman, Liliane (2006). Thinking Syntactically: A Guide to Argumentation and Analysis. Blackwell.
Mateus, Maria Helena, Ana Maria Brito, Inês Duarte & Isabel Hub Faria (2003). Gramática da Língua Portuguesa. Lisboa: Caminho.
Raposo, E. (1992). Teoria da Gramática. A Faculdade da Linguagem. Lisboa: Caminho.

Teaching method

a) Lectures
(b) Practical classes: practice exercises, problem resolution

Evaluation method

(a) Short written assignments(30%), (b) In-class activities(20%), (c) Written test covering the whole of the syllabus (50%)

Subject matter

1. The object of study of syntax.
2. Lexicon and syntax - subcategorisation, semantic selection and argument structure.
3. Immediate constituent analysis and grammatical relations - identification of constituents, identification of categories, and syntactic functions.
4. Lexical and functional structure - the internal structure of phrases: X-bar theory; functional structure (verb movement, subject movement, simple and complex sentences (complementation and subordination)).
5. Typology of verbal predicates - auxiliary and main verbs; transitive, unergative, unaccusative, predicative and object predicative verbs.
6. Basic and derived structures - A-Movement (passive, unaccusative, and Raising constructions) and A-bar movement (interrogative and relative constructions).
7. Referential dependencies and Binding - the distribution of anaphors, pronouns and referential expressions.


Programs where the course is taught: