Singapore University of Social Sciences

Fundamental Aspects of Language Structure

Fundamental Aspects of Language Structure (TSL501)


TSL 501 Fundamental Aspects of Language Structure provides students with insights into the key concepts of English grammar and morphology. These concepts are fundamental to an understanding of the salient features of the structure of the English language. Finally, the grammatical analysis of learner language and of local varieties of English is foregrounded and examined in relation to the issue of second language teaching.

Level: 5
Credit Units: 5
Presentation Pattern: EVERY JULY
E-Learning: BLENDED - Learning is done MAINLY online using interactive study materials in Canvas. Students receive guidance and support from online instructors via discussion forums and emails. This is supplemented with SOME face-to-face sessions. If the course has an exam component, this will be administered on-campus.


  • The nature of grammar: Descriptive vs. prescriptive grammar
  • The role of corpus linguistics in grammatical description
  • Morphological structure
  • Nouns and noun phrases
  • Verbs and verb phrases I: Tense and aspect
  • Verbs and verb phrases II: Modality and transitivity
  • Adjective, adverbs and prepositions
  • Clause and sentence structure I: Main clauses
  • Clause and sentence structure II: Subordinate clauses
  • Standard English and linguistic variation: Implications for language teaching
  • Learner English: Error analysis and interlanguage analysis
  • Analysing grammatical and lexical features in World Englishes

Learning Outcome

  • Differentiate between various morphological processes, including derivation and inflection
  • Discuss the form and function of different word classes and syntactic phrases
  • Examine the elements of clause and sentence structure
  • Analyse sentences and phrases in terms of their structure and grammaticality
  • Prepare an analysis of corpus data on lexical or grammatical structures
  • Appraise critically the issue of Standard English and its place in second language teaching
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