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The Language Game: Why do we talk the way we do? (6 points)


Leader: Prof Kate Burridge

Clayton First semester 2004 (Day)

Synopsis: Human beings spend much of their time playing the language game small wonder Linguistics, the scientific investigation of language, is such a fast growing and important field of study. In this unit we examine aspects of this fascinating game in a systematic way. They include: the nature of the game (e.g. human versus animal communication, the structure of language); the players (e.g. language acquisition, language and thought); the game plan (e.g. strategies for interacting, politeness); variation in the game (e.g. social/regional varieties, jargon, slang); myths about the game (e.g. some languages are better/harder/more beautiful) and the changing game.

Assessment: 3 Short answer exercises (2500 words total): 50% + Class-participation; on-line discussion: 10% + Exam (2 hours/ 2000 word equivalent): 40%

Contact Hours: 3 hours (2 x 1 hour lectures and 1 tutorial) per week

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