Exploring Linguistic Diversity

Subject LING30001 (2010)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2010.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2010:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period not applicable
Assessment Period End not applicable
Last date to Self-Enrol not applicable
Census Date not applicable
Last date to Withdraw without fail not applicable

On campus

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 2 x 1-hour lectures and 1 x 1-hour tutorial per week.
Total Time Commitment: 3 contact hours/week, 5.5 additional hours/week. Total of 8.5 hours per week.
Prerequisites: 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).
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge: None
Non Allowed Subjects: Previously available as 175-405 Study of a Language Family. Students who have completed 175-405 are not eligible to enrol in this subject.
Core Participation Requirements: For the purposes of considering requests for Reasonable Adjustments under the Disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements for this entry.

The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website: http://www.services.unimelb.edu.au/disability/


Assoc Prof Lesley Stirling



Subject Overview:

This subject explores the diversity 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 do languages differ? What descriptive systems and analytic tools do we need if we are to do justice to any human language we are interested in learning and understanding? 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 language state to another? We will study these questions across all linguistic subsystems - phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, discourse - drawing on case studies from languages around the world. Groups of students will adopt a language they do not yet know, tracking it through the semester to see how it relates to the questions we will be studying. Where relevant we will illustrate problems through small fieldwork-type studies of languages spoken in Melbourne"s polyglot community.

Objectives: .
Assessment: Two data-oriented problems 50% (due during the semester) and a final case-study essay or project 50% (due end of semester). The final essay may, by arrangement, be undertaken in groups of up to three.
Prescribed Texts:

A package of readings will be available.

Recommended Texts:


Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • be able to decipher and master communicative systems very different from their own native system.
  • be able to communicate knowledge intelligibly and economically.
  • have highly developed skills in logical analysis and hypothesis-testing.
Related Course(s): Bachelor of Arts
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Cross Cultural Communication
English Language Studies
Linguistics && Applied Linguistics
Linguistics && Applied Linguistics Major
Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Linguistics and Applied Linguistics

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