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Throughout the 2021-22 academic year, we will be prioritising face to face teaching as part of a blended learning approach that builds on the lessons learned over the course of the Coronavirus pandemic. Teaching will vary between online and on-campus delivery through the year, and you should read guidance from the academic department for details of how this will work for a particular module. You can find out more about the University’s overall response to Coronavirus at: https://warwick.ac.uk/coronavirus.

ET118-30 Linguistics: Understanding Language

Department
Applied Linguistics
Level
Undergraduate Level 1
Module leader
Ellen Smith-Dennis
Credit value
30
Module duration
20 weeks
Assessment
50% coursework, 50% exam
Study location
University of Warwick main campus, Coventry
Introductory description

Understanding how language works will provide you with insights that can be used not only in your academic course but also in your future professional and personal life. This module will introduce you to how language is structured (morphology and syntax) and how it is used to construct meaning (semantics and pragmatics), to its sounds and sound patterns (phonetics and phonology) and written form. You’ll have the chance to explore examples from different languages and to develop practical analytical skills.

Module web page

Module aims

The module aims to introduce students to the study of formal linguistics and its main branches; familiarise them with the analysis of language, including its sounds (phonetics and phonology), structures (morphology and syntax) and meaning (semantics and pragmatics); introduce students to similarities and differences among languages; enable students to carry out some practical analysis of real language data.

Outline syllabus

This is an indicative module outline only to give an indication of the sort of topics that may be covered. Actual sessions held may differ.

Introduction to linguistics
phonetics
phonology
morphology
syntax
semantics
pragmatics
selected topics: e.g. writing systems of the world, psychology of language, language contact and multilingualism, language diversity and change

Learning outcomes

By the end of the module, students should be able to:

  • Upon successful completion of this course, students should have an understanding of linguistics. Students should then be able to: use disciplinary terminology to describe the sounds, sound patterns, morphology, syntax, and meaning of languages describe and discuss similarities and differences among languages apply their knowledge of linguistics to carry out practical analysis of language data, and justify this analysis with evidence transcribe and interpret language data with the International Phonetic Alphabet critically evaluate alternative analyses construct coherent lines of scientific argumentation
Indicative reading list

Ashby, P. (2013). Understanding phonetics. Routledge.
Baker, A. E. & Hengeveld, K. (2012) Linguistics. Oxford: Wiley Blackwell.
Braber, N., Cummings, L. and Morrish, L. (Eds.) (2015). Exploring language and linguistics. Cambridge: CUP.
Fromkin, V., Rodman, R. & Hyams, N. (2014). An Introduction to Language. (7th Edition). Andover: Cengage Learning.
Genetti, C. (Ed.) (2014) How languages work: An introduction to language and linguistics. Cambridge: CUP
Gussenhoven, C., & Jacobs, H. (2013). Understanding phonology. Routledge.
Haspelmath, M., & Sims, A. (2013). Understanding morphology. Routledge.
Löbner, S. (2013). Understanding semantics. Routledge.
Tallerman, M. (2014). Understanding syntax. Routledge.
Yule, G. (2014). The study of language. Fifth Edition. Cambridge: CUP.

View reading list on Talis Aspire

Interdisciplinary

The linguistic skills and knowledge that you acquire in this module will undoubtedly be transferred and applied in other modules where you study subfields of linguistics such as sociolinguistics and psycholinguistics, which are inherently interdisciplinary. Furthermore, the skills and knowledge you axquire will not only be invaluable in learning forgeign languages but also enhanced by the study of foreign languages.

International

Understanding how language works goes hand-in-hand with understanding how language works in social contexts locally, nationally and internationally. Through the study of semantics (meaning) and pragmatics (meaning in context), you will develop a better understanding of intercultural communication and, along with the study of the sounds and structures of the world's languages, you will develop a better appreciation for the human capacity for language and how it interacts with our cultures.

Subject specific skills

Demonstrate familiarity with the main concepts and terminology of formal linguistics
Demonstrate an ability to describe the sounds, sound systems, syntactical and morphological structures and meaning of language
Demonstrate the ability to analyse some language data and justify this analysis with evidence
Transcribe and interpret language data with the International Phonetic Alphabet

Transferable skills

Write up research-based work in a clear, informative and structured way
Communicate clearly in academic discussion and debates
Retrieve, evaluate critically and select relevant information to construct and support coherent lines of scientific argumentation
Demonstrate independence of thought and a degree of originality

Study time

Type Required
Lectures 18 sessions of 2 hours (12%)
Seminars 18 sessions of 1 hour (6%)
Other activity 6 hours (2%)
Private study 240 hours (80%)
Total 300 hours
Private study description

Reading subject materials
Homework tasks
Assignments
Revision

Other activity description

Revision sessions

Costs

No further costs have been identified for this module.

You do not need to pass all assessment components to pass the module.

Assessment group C2
Weighting Study time
Coursework 1 25%

Data-analysis/problem-solving questions

Coursework 2 25%

Data-analysis/problem-solving questions

Online Examination 50%

Unseen examination

~Platforms - AEP,Moodle


  • Online examination: No Answerbook required
Feedback on assessment

Written feedback on the assignments will be provided on one of the Centre's standard feedback sheets, designed to conform to Faculty regulations. This will include both summary and detailed feedback. Where appropriate, additional feedback may be provided via personal meetings with the tutor.

Past exam papers for ET118

Courses

This module is Core for:

  • Year 1 of ULNA-R1Q2 Undergraduate French Studies with Linguistics
  • Year 1 of ULNA-R1Q3 Undergraduate French and Linguistics
  • Year 1 of ULNA-R2Q2 Undergraduate German Studies with Linguistics
  • Year 1 of ULNA-R2Q3 Undergraduate German and Linguistics
  • Year 1 of ULNA-R4Q1 Undergraduate Hispanic Studies and Linguistics
  • Year 1 of ULNA-R4Q2 Undergraduate Hispanic Studies with Linguistics
  • Year 1 of ULNA-R3Q2 Undergraduate Italian Studies with Linguistics
  • Year 1 of ULNA-R3Q3 Undergraduate Italian and Linguistics
  • Year 1 of UETA-X3Q5 Undergraduate Language, Culture and Communication
  • Year 1 of UETA-X3Q8 Undergraduate Language, Culture and Communication (with Intercalated Year)
  • Year 1 of UETA-X3Q6 Undergraduate Language, Culture and Communication (with Year Abroad)
  • Year 1 of UETA-Q1A9 Undergraduate Linguistics with Arabic (with Intercalated Year)
  • Year 1 of UETA-Q2T6 Undergraduate Linguistics with Arabic (with Year Abroad)
  • Year 1 of UETA-Q1A7 Undergraduate Linguistics with Chinese (with Intercalated Year)
  • Year 1 of UETA-Q2T1 Undergraduate Linguistics with Chinese (with Year Abroad)
  • Year 1 of UETA-Q1A1 Undergraduate Linguistics with French (with Intercalated Year)
  • Year 1 of UETA-Q2R1 Undergraduate Linguistics with French (with Year Abroad)
  • Year 1 of UETA-Q1A2 Undergraduate Linguistics with German (with Intercalated Year)
  • Year 1 of UETA-Q2R2 Undergraduate Linguistics with German (with Year Abroad)
  • Year 1 of UETA-Q2R3 Undergraduate Linguistics with Italian (with Year Abroad)
  • Year 1 of UETA-Q1A3 Undergraduate Linguistics with Italian(with Intercalated Year)
  • Year 1 of UETA-Q1A8 Undergraduate Linguistics with Japanese (with Intercalated Year)
  • Year 1 of UETA-Q2T2 Undergraduate Linguistics with Japanese (with Year Abroad)
  • Year 1 of UETA-Q1A5 Undergraduate Linguistics with Portuguese (with Intercalated Year)
  • Year 1 of UETA-Q2R5 Undergraduate Linguistics with Portuguese (with Year Abroad)
  • Year 1 of UETA-Q1A6 Undergraduate Linguistics with Russian (with Intercalated Year)
  • Year 1 of UETA-Q2R7 Undergraduate Linguistics with Russian (with Year Abroad)
  • Year 1 of UETA-Q1A4 Undergraduate Linguistics with Spanish (with Intercalated Year)
  • Year 1 of UETA-Q2R4 Undergraduate Linguistics with Spanish (with Year Abroad)
  • Year 1 of ULNA-R9Q1 Undergraduate Modern Languages and Linguistics
  • Year 1 of UPSA-C802 Undergraduate Psychology with Linguistics
  • Year 1 of UETA-Q311 in English Language and Linguistics (with Intercalated year)

This module is Core optional for:

  • Year 1 of ULNA-R4Q1 Undergraduate Hispanic Studies and Linguistics
  • Year 1 of UPSA-C802 Undergraduate Psychology with Linguistics