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Broad Curriculum Linguistics Options

BCLNG1: Language, the Individual and Society (Semester 1)

How do we acquire language? How are we to interpret the fact that language use varies according to geography, social class, gender and context? Why do languages die? What is the impact of immigration on language attitudes, language acquisition and language transmission? This module attempts to provide the beginnings of answers to such questions, as well as many others relating to language, the individual and society. In the process, a range of theories and evidence in the fields of linguistics, applied linguistics, sociolinguistics and psycholinguistics will be explored and tested.

BCLNG2: Language and the Mind (Semester 2)

Coordinator: Breffni O'Rourke

This survey module provides an introduction to key concepts and developments in modern linguistics, and in related areas of applied linguistics and psychology. Among the questions we consider are the following.

  • What are the essential components of language?
  • What are the basic linguistic categories and structures?
  • How do we analyse and describe speech sounds?
  • What are the universal features in the phonological, morphological and syntactic systems of language?
  • How does language convey meaning?
  • Is language unique to humans?
  • What are we to make of attempts to teach other animals to use language?
  • What are the social and linguistic mechanisms of language change over time?
  • How do we construct our interpretation of speech as we participate in conversations?
  • How do we acquire second and foreign languages?
  • Why do adults find languages so hard to learn?

The course complements the account of Language, the Individual and Society but assumes no previous study of linguistics.

Please note: you must apply for these modules online on the Broad Curriculum web page.

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