SPR4106 – Syntax and Semantics in formal terms

Schedule, syllabus and examination date

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Course content

The course covers core topics in formal syntax and semantics. The major emphasis is on the use of methods rooted in logic and mathematics for analyzing key linguistic phenomena. Topics include, on the syntactic side, constituent structure, grammatical relations, unbounded dependencies, control and raising; on the semantic side, composition, truth conditions, model theory, quantification and definiteness. The syntax-semantics interface is a topic in its own right.

Learning outcome

Upon completing this course, students will be able to

•  analyze sentences in terms of their constituents and grammatical relations,

•  identify and provide well-founded analyses of non-local dependencies

•  explain how the meanings of sentences are built from the meanings of their constituents,

•  account for ambiguities and constraints on interpretation arising from quantificational and presuppositional items,

•  use the research literature in formal syntax and semantics in their master’s theses.


Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.

If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.

Admission to master programs in:

  • Informatics: Language and Communication
  • Antikk kultur og klassiske språk
  • Asia and Middle East Studies
  • European Languages
  • Nordiske studier
  • Lingvistikk


Recommended previous knowledge

Students will benefit from a knowledge of grammar and some experience with syntactic analysis.


The course is taught in weekly classes with 3 hours per week for 8 weeks, 24 hours in all.

The course has obligatory activities:

  • Attendance is obligatory at least 6 out of 8 seminars.
  • The students must hand in a first draft for both papers that will be a part of the portfolio by set deadlines. These drafts must fulfill the requirements set by the course teacher.
  • Read more about rules concerning valid excuses and how to apply for approved absences or postponements here.

All obligatory activities must be approved by the course teacher for the student to be able to take the exam.


Grades are determined on the basis of a portfolio consisting of two assignments the students have worked on throughout the semester.

Previously given exam assignments

Submit assignments in Inspera

You submit your assignment in the digital examination system Inspera. Read about how to submit assignments in Inspera.

Use of sources and citation

You should familiarize yourself with the rules that apply to the use of sources and citations. If you violate the rules, you may be suspected of cheating/attempted cheating.

Language of examination

You may submit your response in Norwegian, Swedish, Danish or English. If you would prefer to have the exam text in English, you may apply to the course administrators.

Grading scale

Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.

Explanations and appeals

Resit an examination

Withdrawal from an examination

It is possible to take the exam up to 3 times. If you withdraw from the exam after the deadline or during the exam, this will be counted as an examination attempt.

Special examination arrangements

Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.


The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.

Rapporter fra periodiske evalueringer

Facts about this course






Autumn 2019



Autumn 2019


Teaching language