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Monash University

Monash University Handbook 2010 Undergraduate - Area of Study

All areas of study information should be read in conjunction with the relevant course entry in the Handbook. The units listed for this area of study relate only to the 'Requirements' outlined in the Faculty of Arts component of any bachelors double degrees.

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


  • Also available via off-campus learning, though some later-year units may only be available in on-campus mode.


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 central to the study of languages (eg English, Australian Aboriginal languages, Chinese, French, German, Greek, Indonesian, Italian, Japanese, Korean, Russian, Spanish). Linguistics also offers students of anthropology, mathematics, philosophy, sociology, engineering, psychology, law, translation studies 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 first-year sequence provides students with an introduction to the nature of language, including the manner in which sounds are produced and represented (phonetics), the organisation and relationship of sounds in language (phonology), the forms and structures of words (morphology), the organisation of words in sentences (syntax), the analysis of meaning (semantics and pragmatics), language change (historical linguistics) and language variation and the uses of language in social contexts (sociolinguistics).

At second and third year levels, the areas of syntax, semantics, pragmatics, phonetics, phonology, and sociolinguistics are developed on a general and comparative basis and there are also units exploring varieties of English, historical and comparative linguistics, Aboriginal languages, Austronesian languages, discourse analysis, language and identity, psycholinguistics, first and second language acquisition, intercultural communication, endangered languages, multiliteracies in English and the structure of English.

Linguistics also offers a fourth-year honours program which combines coursework and a 24-point research thesis as the foundation for postgraduate research degrees.

Off-campus learning and online resource delivery

Several linguistics units are offered by off-campus learning or by a combination of online resources and face-to-face teaching contact. These units are usually available in the same semester as the on-campus delivery of the unit. The access to online resources and off-campus learning allows for flexibility, and face-to-face class commitments are kept to a minimum. Alternative arrangements include the use of the Monash portal and electronic group discussion programs. In addition to the online or print resources, students can access tutorial support by telephone, fax and email. The intention is that the flexible learning program should make linguistics units available to students whose work or other commitments make it difficult for them to attend regular classes on-campus. The following units can be undertaken on-campus, or through flexible mode using online resources: LIN1010, LIN1020, LIN2030/LIN3030, LIN2310/LIN3310, LIN2330/LIN3330 and LIN2570/LIN3570.

For more details on flexible learning units, contact the linguistics program or visit the website at

Study Abroad

Students may apply to study linguistics abroad. A list of exchange partner universities is available from the Study Abroad website at

Students should select a shortlist of suitable linguistics units from the exchange partner universities in which they are interested. Units to be taken abroad need to be approved by the linguistics program at Monash before the commencement of the trip. Please submit the unit titles (and synopsis if available), assessment details and total number of contact hours to Dr Anna Margetts at or contact the School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics at


First-year level

Students studying a sequence in linguistics must complete two units (12 points) from the following:

  • LIN1010 The language game: Why do we talk the way we do?*
  • LIN1020 Describing and analysing language and communication*

Second/Third-year level

Students studying a minor or major in linguistics must have completed the first-year sequence. In addition:

  • a minor requires completion of a further two units (12 points) from the units listed below
  • a major requires completion of a further six units (36 points) from the units listed below, including a minimum of one unit from each of the four groups. A minimum of three units must be taken at third year level.

Group 1 - Structure

Group 2 - Sound and meaning

Group 3 - Language and society

Group 4 - Applications

  • LIN2430/LIN3430 Psycholinguistics and child language acquisition
  • LIN2550/LIN3550 Second language acquisition and attrition
  • LIN2180/LIN3180 Computational linguistics: An introduction (previously Data management for linguistics)
  • LLC3010 The social context of language learning

Units not offered in 2010

Group 1:

  • LIN2070/LIN3070 Eastern Austronesian languages of Indonesia, East Timor and Oceania
  • LIN2090/LIN3090 Syntax: Grammatical structure, typology and universals

Group 2:

Group 3:

Group 4:

* These units are offered via off-campus learning.

Important major and minor information

Students completing a major are required to complete at least one unit from each of four groupings. Students completing studies entirely via off-campus learning can only complete a standard minor in linguistics. The units that are offered via off-campus (flexible) learning are starred (*).

Students are encouraged to discuss their course structure or any other matter related to their linguistics study with the relevant year coordinator.

Note: Students who major in linguistics are encouraged to gain the experience of learning a language other than their first language.

Relevant Courses


  • 2449 Diploma in Arts (Linguistics)


Single degrees

  • 0002 Bachelor of Arts
  • 3920 Bachelor of Arts - at Sunway
  • 1638 Bachelor of Arts as a Participant in the Dean's Scholars Program
  • 3907 Bachelor of Arts (English Language)
  • 3910 Bachelor of Arts (Global)
  • 1366 Bachelor of Arts (Languages)
  • 1275 Bachelor of Communication
  • 2476 Bachelor of Communication - at Sunway
  • 4042 Bachelor of Journalism
  • 0202 Bachelor of Letters
  • 0821 Bachelor of Music
  • 1144 Bachelor of Performing Arts

Double degrees

  • 3277 Bachelor of Aerospace Engineering and Bachelor of Arts
  • 0550 Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Business (Accounting)
  • 0553 Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Business (Banking and Finance)
  • 0555 Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Business (Management)
  • 0556 Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Business (Marketing)
  • 1807 Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Business and Commerce
  • 3912 Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Business Information Systems
  • 0542 Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Commerce
  • 2672 Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Computer Science
  • 0170 Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Economics
  • 1541 Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education-primary
  • 1641 Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Education-secondary
  • 3906 Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Information Technology and Systems
  • 0080 Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Laws
  • 3054 Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Music
  • 0530 Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Science
  • 3426 Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Social Work
  • 0002b Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Theology
  • 3779 Bachelor of Arts and Bachelor of Visual Arts
  • 1941 Bachelor of Business and Commerce and Bachelor of Communication
  • 3909 Bachelor of Communication and Bachelor of Information Technology and Systems
  • 1945 Bachelor of Communication and Diploma of Professional Writing
  • 0116 Bachelor of Engineering and Bachelor of Arts
  • 3281 Bachelor of Mechatronics Engineering and Bachelor of Arts