Faculty of Arts

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2013 only. For students planning to study the unit, please refer to the unit indexes in the the current edition of the Handbook. If you have any queries contact the managing faculty for your course or area of study.

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6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

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FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitLinguistics
OfferedClayton First semester 2013 (Day)
Clayton First semester 2013 (Off-campus)
Coordinator(s)Prof Kate Burridge


Previously coded LIN1010


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.


On successfully completing this subject students should be able to:

  1. Demonstrate an understanding of what linguistics is and what linguists do.

  1. Identify and describe the nature of human language.

  1. Discuss and analyse different varieties of language and language use.

  1. Identify and analyse the ways in which language changes.

  1. Observe and be sensitive to issues arising in linguistic interaction.

  1. Explain the major processes of language acquisition.

  1. Critically evaluate attitudes to language.


Written work: 50% (2500 words)
Class participation/online discussion: 10%
2 hours Exam: 40%

Chief examiner(s)

Contact hours

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

This unit applies to the following area(s) of study