2023-2024 / LGER0226-1

English synchronic linguistics c: Cognitive and functional linguistic approaches


30h Th

Number of credits

 Master in modern languages and literatures : German, Dutch and English (120 ECTS)5 crédits 
 Master in modern languages and literatures : general (120 ECTS)5 crédits 
 Master in modern languages and literatures : German, Dutch and English (60 ECTS)5 crédits 
 Master in modern languages and literatures : general (60 ECTS)5 crédits 


An Van Linden

Language(s) of instruction

English language

Organisation and examination

Teaching in the second semester


Schedule online

Units courses prerequisite and corequisite

Prerequisite or corequisite units are presented within each program

Learning unit contents

This course approaches a number of topics in English linguistics from a cognitive and functional perspective, as opposed to a formal or generative approach. It discusses the main tenets of cognitive and functional theoretical frameworks as well as the methods they adopt in studying languages. The topics in English linguistics covered include noun incorporation (e.g. crowd-surfing), modality as expressed by patterns with nouns (e.g. there's no chance/doubt that ...), and pseudo-coordination (e.g. They went and submitted the paper late!). The course will also familiarize students with finding relevant scientific sources and with how to engage with the existing literature on a specific topic.

Learning outcomes of the learning unit

  • Insight into linguistic theoretical frameworks and the methods they rely on, with a focus on functional and cognitive frameworks
  • Introduction into heuristics for English linguistics
  • Deeper understanding of the domain of valence-changing mechanisms (e.g. noun incorporation), modality and clause-combining, and a number of analytical problems related to these

Prerequisite knowledge and skills

Very good knowledge of English; English Language 1 & 2; English linguistics 1 & 2

Planned learning activities and teaching methods

The course involves interactive seminars in which students will discuss corpus data, read scientific articles, and eventually carry out a corpus study or a literature review themselves. We will also use the flipped-classroom method.

Mode of delivery (face to face, distance learning, hybrid learning)

Face-to-face seminars.

Recommended or required readings

All teaching materials will be made available on eCampus.

Exam(s) in session

Any session

- In-person

oral exam

Written work / report

Additional information:

Students will have to prepare a research paper, based either on a literature review or a corpus study on a topic of their choice. They will have to relate the topic meaningfully to cognitive and/or functional approaches. They will have to report on their findings in both an oral presentation and a research paper. This paper integrates feedback from teacher and peers, and relates its findings to the existing literature. Expected length: 5,000-8,000 words, excluding references. More precisely, grades will be given as follows:

  • oral presentation: 5/20
  • research paper: 15/20
The oral presentation will take place during class hours; the research article is due on the first day of the May exam period.

Work placement(s)

Organisational remarks and main changes to the course


Teacher in charge of the course :
An Van linden Département de Langues et littératures modernes Place Cockerill, 3-5 B-4000 Liège Tel. 04 366 53 60 E-mail: an.vanlinden@uliege.be
Office: A2/6/16

Association of one or more MOOCs