Faculty of Arts

Undergraduate - Unit

This unit entry is for students who completed this unit in 2014 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

Refer to the specific census and withdrawal dates for the semester(s) in which this unit is offered, or view unit timetables.

FacultyFaculty of Arts
Organisational UnitLinguistics
OfferedClayton First semester 2014 (Day)
Coordinator(s)Dr Alice Gaby


Previously coded LIN3370


The size of Australia and its long history of human inhabitation have produced considerable linguistic diversity, although its languages generally share similar phonologies, cognate words, and recurrent patterns of meaning. In its overview of phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics, this unit will examine what structural features can be considered typical of Australian languages, and how/whether these can be related to typical features of Australian cultures. It will also examine the present sociolinguistic status of Australian aboriginal languages, bilingualism and the role of linguistics in language maintenance and revitalization.


Upon successful completion of this unit students will:

  1. Understand key features of the phonology, morphology, syntax, and semantics of Australian Aboriginal languages and be able to identify such features in a number of different Aboriginal languages.
  2. Be aware of some of the key theoretical issues regarding the structure of Aboriginal languages.
  3. Understand relevant sociolinguistic issues including language status, bilingualism and the role of linguistics in language maintenance and revival and the implication of these for language education and planning.

More generally students are expected to develop their abilities to:

  1. Read critically.
  2. Use analytic and interpretive skills in dealing with language data.
  3. Assess evidence supporting various theories and thereby evaluate these theories.
  4. Present logical, coherent arguments both orally and in writing.


Written work (3600 words): 80%
Class exercises and participation: 20%

Chief examiner(s)

Workload requirements

2 hours (1 x 2 hour seminar) per week

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


Two gateway units in Linguistics