Issues in Linguistic Research

Subject LING40002 (2016)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2016.

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

This subject has the following teaching availabilities in 2016:

Semester 1, Parkville - Taught on campus.
Pre-teaching Period Start not applicable
Teaching Period 29-Feb-2016 to 29-May-2016
Assessment Period End 24-Jun-2016
Last date to Self-Enrol 11-Mar-2016
Census Date 31-Mar-2016
Last date to Withdraw without fail 06-May-2016

Timetable can be viewed here. For information about these dates, click here.
Time Commitment: Contact Hours: 24 hours- 1 x 2 hour seminar per week
Total Time Commitment:

170 hours

Prerequisites: None
Corequisites: None
Recommended Background Knowledge:

If not admitted to Honours or the Graduate Diploma in Arts (Advanced) in Linguistics and Applied Linguistics, students must contact the subject coordinator prior to enrolling in the subject.

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:


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:

On successful completion of this subject, students should:

  • appreciate 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 (500 words equivalent) during semester [10%]
  • Written paper of 3000 words due at the end of semester [60%]

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 subject reader will be made available

Breadth Options:

This subject is not available as a breadth subject.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:

Students who successfully complete this subject should have:

  • developed their skills in research;
  • developed their skills in critical thinking and analysis.
Related Majors/Minors/Specialisations: Graduate Certificate in Arts (Advanced) - Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Graduate Diploma in Arts (Advanced) - Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
PD-ARTS Linguistics and Applied Linguistics

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