ATS1339 - Language and communication: Putting words together - 2019

6 points, SCA Band 1, 0.125 EFTSL

Undergraduate - Unit

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



Organisational Unit


Chief examiner(s)

Dr Simon Musgrave


Dr Simon Musgrave

Unit guides



  • Second semester 2019 (On-campus)


Structural patterns can be seen in various aspects of language and this unit introduces students to a toolkit for analysing some of them. Drawing on data from a range of languages, we concentrate on techniques and frameworks to analyse how words are built (morphology) and how we build larger units with words (syntax), and on some of the applications of these theoretical tools. Meaning emerges in context, so we also consider the role of cognitive and cultural constraints in shaping language forms, and the processes by which languages become standardised.


Upon successful completion of the unit, students should be able to:

  1. identify the structural building blocks of human language;
  2. describe how words can be grouped into classes, and how this can differ across language and cultures;
  3. analyse the structure of clauses and sentences in a range of languages;
  4. be aware of some cognitive and cultural factors which affect language structures and their interpretation;
  5. discuss the applications for knowledge gained in the unit in applied fields, such as language acquisition and forensic linguistics.


Within semester assessment: 70% + Exam: 30%

Workload requirements

Minimum total expected workload to achieve the learning outcomes for this unit is 144 hours per semester typically comprising a mixture of scheduled learning activities and independent study. A unit requires on average three/four hours of scheduled activities per week. Scheduled activities may include a combination of teacher directed learning, peer directed learning and online engagement.

See also Unit timetable information

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