Issues in Linguistic Research

Subject LING40002 (2015)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2015.

Credit Points: 12.5
Level: 4 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2015:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 02-Mar-2015 to 31-May-2015
Assessment Period End 26-Jun-2015
Last date to Self-Enrol 13-Mar-2015
Census Date 31-Mar-2015
Last date to Withdraw without fail 08-May-2015

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 1 x 2 hour seminar per week
Total Time Commitment:

Total of 170 hours.





Recommended Background Knowledge:

If not admitted to Honours or PG Diploma in Linguistics and Applied Linguistics, students must contact the subject coordinator prior to enrolling in the subject.

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 Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of 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:


Dr Barbara Kelly


Subject Overview:

This subject takes a broad and historically based view of some of the great topics that have preoccupied thinkers in linguistics, and how they interrelate, by juxtaposing the history of ideas on each of a dozen topics with relevant contemporary debates. Topics to be covered include defining properties of language, sign and system, arbitrariness versus constraints on the system, the role of typology, the role of formal modelling of language systems, linguistic relativity, synchrony versus diachrony, linguistics as a science, the linguistic system and the community of usersm, the boundaries of the language system, functionalism, adaptation and evolution of language systems. categories, classical and otherwise, and language, mind and brain.

Learning Outcomes:
  • see how the great questions and puzzles of the present are shaped by the historical concerns of the past.
  • understand how developments in one field are built on those of another.
  • read and understand ideas as formulated by their original discoverers sympathetically, but critically.
  • have a broad overview of, and be able to articulate, the great questions in the field of linguistics.

Class presentation and write up (1500 words equivalent) during semester: 30%. Discussant for topics during semester 10% (500 words equivalent). Written paper of 3000 words due at the end of semester: 60%.

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 subject reader 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:
  • develop their skills in research.
  • develop their skills in critical thinking and analysis.
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Linguistics and Applied Linguistics

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