Exploring Linguistic Diversity

Subject LING30001 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 25-Jul-2016 to 23-Oct-2016
Assessment Period End 18-Nov-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 05-Aug-2016
Census Date 31-Aug-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 23-Sep-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 34 hours- 2 x 1 hour lectures and 1 x 1 hour tutorial per week. There will be no tutorials in the first and last week of semester.
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours


Completion of at least 37.5 points in Linguistics and Applied Linguistics at second year. This subject is only available to students completing the final year of a major in Linguistics and Applied Linguistics, or those in the Graduate Diploma in Arts (Linguistics and Applied Linguistics) who have obtained approval from the subject coordinator.

Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: None
Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Student Support and Engagement Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Overview, Learning Outcomes, Assessment and Generic Skills sections of this entry.

It is University policy to take all reasonable steps to minimise the impact of disability upon academic study, and reasonable adjustments will be made to enhance a student's participation in the University's programs. Students who feel their disability may impact on meeting the requirements of this subject are encouraged to discuss this matter with a Faculty Student Adviser and Student Equity and Disability Support: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/disability


Prof Lesley Stirling


Email: lesleyfs@unimelb.edu.au

Subject Overview:

This subject explores the diversity and the essential characteristics of the world's languages. It draws on the concepts and methods that students have acquired in their linguistic studies so far to tackle a number of fundamental questions in linguistics: How much to languages differ? What factors underlie these differences? What descriptive systems and analytic tools do we need if we are to do justice to any human language we are interested in understanding and describing? What universals, if any, lie underneath the astounding differences in how languages are organized? How do linguistic systems evolve, and what forces shape the historical changes from one system to another? We will study these questions across a range of linguistic subsystems - e.g., phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, discourse - drawing on case studies from languages around the world and also on complementary evidence from related fields of study. Students will have the opportunity to explore current issues and debates and to address these within a specific language or set of languages.

Learning Outcomes:

On successful completion of this subject, students should:

  • be able to draw on and critically evaluate major controversies and debates concerning language origins, development and diversity;
  • be able to take a posision within theoretical debates in linguistics and applied linguistics;
  • be able take a position towards the broader implications of research in linguistics and applied linguistics for local, national, and international stakeholders and communities;
  • be able to confidently deploy skills for the description, analysis and cross-linguistic comparison of the world's languages;
  • have attained advanced abilities in writing and other modalities;
  • have consolidated understanding of the diversity of the world’s languages and key issues in typological research;
  • be able to lead collaborative activities to address complex tasks in diverse learning settings;
  • have proficiently employed learning and research technologies as well as field-specific technologies.
  • Assignment 1 (1000 words) due throughout semester [25%]
  • Assignment 2 (1000 words) due throughout semester [25%]
  • Research project (2000 words) due at the end of semester [50%]

Hurdle requirement: Students must attend a minimum of 75% of tutorials in order to pass this subject. All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Note: Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per working day. In-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked.

Prescribed Texts:

A package of readings will be available

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Links to further information: http://languages-linguistics.unimelb.edu.au/
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Graduate Certificate in Arts - Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Graduate Diploma in Arts - Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Linguistics and Applied Linguistics

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