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LIN4740 - Linguistic Theory

12 points, SCA Band 1, 0.250 EFTSL

Undergraduate Faculty of Arts

Leader: Dr Keith Allan


Clayton First semester 2007 (Day)


Review and discussion of theoretical approaches to the analysis of language and communication, drawing on issues in phonology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, discourse analysis and sociolinguistics.


Upon completion of this subject students should be familiar with ideas about what language is, in order to evaluate traditional, structuralist, transformational-generative, functionalist, and cognitive theories of grammar; know the history of language analysis: the ancient, medieval, and post-Renaissance conceptions of grammar that compose the western classical tradition to which modern linguistics owes a very clear debt; distinguish the philosophical school of grammar which gave rise to modern theoretical linguistics, from the pedagogical school which has given rise to applied linguistics; show how modern linguistics developed from investigations into the origins and interrelations of Indo-European languages to merge with a mushrooming interest in the non-Indo-European languages of Native Americans and the peoples of former European colonies in Africa and Asia; recognise the contribution played in the development of modern linguistics by technological advances in the twentieth century; evaluate competing philosophies of current linguistics: functionalist, conceptualist, cognitive, and realist.


Research essay (4000 words): 40%
Class participation and exercises (4500 words): 60%

Contact hours

3 hours per week