Exploring Linguistic Diversity

Subject LING30001 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

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

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2015:

Semester 2, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 27-Jul-2015 to 25-Oct-2015
Assessment Period End 20-Nov-2015
Last date to Self-Enrol 07-Aug-2015
Census Date 31-Aug-2015
Last date to Withdraw without fail 25-Sep-2015

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. There will be no tutorial in the first and last week of semester.
Total Time Commitment:

Total of 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.



Recommended Background Knowledge:


Non Allowed Subjects:


Core Participation Requirements:

For the purposes of considering request 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 Overview, Objectives, 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 the Disability Liaison Unit: http://www.services.unimelb.edu.au/disability/


Prof Lesley Stirling



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:

Students who complete this subject will:

  • Draw on and critically evaluate major controversies and debates concerning language origins, development and diversity
  • Position yourself within theoretical debates in LAL
  • Position yourself towards the broader implications of research in LAL for local, national, and international stakeholders and communities
  • Confidently deploy skills for the description, analysis and cross-linguistic comparison of the world's languages
  • Proficiently employ learning and research technologies as well as field-specific technologies
  • Attain advanced abilities in writing and other modalities
  • Consolidate your understanding of the diversity of the world’s languages and key issues in typological research
  • Lead collaborative activities to address complex tasks in diverse learning settings

  • Assignment 1 due throughout semester [25%]
  • Assignment 2 due throughout semester [25%]
  • Research project due at the end of semester [50%]

This subject has the following hurdle requirements:

  • Regular participation in tutorials is required with a minimum of 75% attendance.
  • All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.

Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per day and in-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked.

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
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Linguistics and Applied Linguistics

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