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LIN2430 - Psycholinguistics and Child Language Acquisition

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: Dr Anna Margetts


Not offered in 2007


This unit traces the development of child language from pre-speech to later stages of acquisition, including the development of communicative competence. It examines the development of the child's phonological, syntactic, morphological and semantic system and attempts to account for this development by considering various linguistic models and theories. The unit also investigates the comprehension and production of speech. Experimental evidence is examined in order to determine the psychological validity of the various models and theories which have been proposed to describe the process involved in comprehending and producing speech.


By the completion of this subject, students are expected to have developed

  1. a critical understanding of the process of language acquisition and the various theories which have developed to account for this acquisition
  2. a critical understanding of the mental processes of sentence comprehension and production and the various theories which have been developed to explain these processes.
More generally students are expected to develop
  1. critical reading skills
  2. analytic and interpretive skills in dealing with raw language data
  3. the ability to assess evidence supporting various theories and thereby evaluate these theories
  4. the ability to present logical, coherent arguments, both orally and in writing


Written research assignment (2750 words) 50%
Class test (2 hours): 40%
Class participation (equivalent 250 words): 10%

Contact hours

2 hours (1 x 2 hour seminar) per week


A first-year sequence in Linguistics.