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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2010 Postgraduate - Area of Study

Managing facultyFaculty of Arts
Offered bySchool of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics


Linguistics is the study of the structure and function of language and the uses of language in communication, including written, spoken and cyber contexts. Linguistics explores how languages differ and what they all share, and provides the techniques and principles to be adopted in the analysis and description of any given language. In addition, the linguistic study of language and language use in socio-cultural contexts contributes to our understanding of identities, social and cultural organisation, multiculturalism and multilingualism, institutions and power, as well as the creative functions of language in texts and discourses. Knowledge of linguistics is also central to the study of languages.

Linguistics also offers students of anthropology, mathematics, philosophy, sociology, engineering, psychology, law, and computer science, useful insights into the nature of language in their particular area of interest. Examples of the practical applications of linguistics include communications within organisations, communications interfaces with electronic systems, the preparation of materials for language teaching, the documentation of endangered languages, the development of language policies in government and education, and in the areas of business, professional and technical communication, tourism, intercultural communication and speech therapy.

The school accepts suitably qualified candidates for research degrees in linguistics. Monash staff in the linguistics program have expertise in a number of areas including:

  • anthropological linguistics
  • applied linguistics
  • Australian Aboriginal languages
  • Australian English
  • Austronesian languages
  • bilingualism and multilingualism
  • child language acquisition
  • cognitive linguistics
  • comparative and contrastive linguistics
  • computers in linguistic research
  • conversational analysis
  • cross-cultural communication
  • dialectology
  • discourse analysis
  • functional grammar
  • historical linguistics
  • language and discrimination
  • language description and documentation
  • language attitudes
  • language attrition
  • language contact
  • language ecology
  • language maintenance and shift
  • language planning and policy
  • language typology
  • literacy development
  • morphology and morphosyntax
  • new and other Englishes
  • phonetics (acoustic and articulatory)
  • phonology
  • politeness phenomena
  • pragmatics
  • prosody and meaning
  • second language acquisition
  • semantics
  • sociolinguistics
  • syntax.

In addition, there is close collaboration with linguists in other programs within the School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics who may have skills not represented within the linguistics program. Co-supervision can be arranged where it will be beneficial to a postgraduate student.

Refer also to the postgraduate area of study entries for applied linguistics, Chinese studies, English, English as an international language, French language, German studies, Hebrew, Hispanic studies, Indonesian language, interpreting and translation studies, Italian studies, Japanese language, Korean language, Slavic studies, Spanish and Latin American studies, Spanish language, translation studies, Ukrainian.

Relevant Courses

  • 3767 Graduate Certificate in Linguistics
  • 3768 Graduate Diploma in Linguistics
  • 0010 Postgraduate Diplomain Applied Linguistics
  • 3937 Postgraduate Diploma in Arts (Research)
  • 0017 Master of Applied Linguistics
  • 2846 Master of Arts by research and coursework
  • 2695 Master of Arts*
  • 0020 Doctor of Philosophy*

* By research.