LING 1101 - Foundations of Linguistics

North Terrace Campus - Semester 1 - 2017

Linguistics is the study of human language, its nature, its origins and its uses. This course will give students an overview of the field of modern linguistics and basic skills in linguistic analysis. Foundations of Linguistics develops understandings of the various subsystems of language including phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics and the lexicon. It also investigates how languages are learned and how they change over time. As language is involved in a large number of human activities, linguistics contributes to many other fields of inquiry, including anthropology, psychology, philosophy, law and the natural sciences.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code LING 1101
    Course Foundations of Linguistics
    Coordinating Unit Linguistics
    Term Semester 1
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 3
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange Y
    Assessment 1000 word essay, 4 practicals, test
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Associate Professor Rob Amery

    Course Coordinater: Dr Rob AMERY

    Napier Building, Rm 910.                                               

    Tel: 8313 3924                                     

    e-mail:   (emails read regularly)


    Dr Rob AMERY,  Dr Mark Clendon & Dr Margareta Rebelos

    Tel: 83133924 (Rob)


    Ms Sarah Mitchell

    Napier 912a Tuesday pm; Thursdays

    Tel: 8313 6092


    Dr Isabel O'Keeffe

    Napier 912a  Fridays

    Tel: 8313 6092

    e-mail:  (emails read regularly)

    Student Consultations:

    Rob: Tuesday 11am in Napier 910 (83133924)
    Sarah: Tuesday 3pm in Napier 912a (83136092)
    Isabel: Friday 11am in Napier 912a (83136092)


    Subject Librarian

    Ms Helen Attar, Barr Smith Library



    Course Timetable

    The full timetable of all activities for this course can be accessed from Course Planner.


    Tuesday: 2.10pm till 3pm Napier G04 Lecture Theatre.

    Wednesday: 2.10pm till 3pm Napier G04 Lecture Theatre.


    Changes will be posted on the noticeboard outside Napier, Room 910/911.

    Tute #1: 3.10 pm Thursday Napier, 144 Teaching Room (Sarah)

    Tute #3 4.10 pm Tuesday Barr Smith South, 1062, Teaching Room (Sarah)

    Tute #4: 5.10 pm Tuesday Horace Lamb, 422, Teaching Room (Sarah)

    Tute #5: 9.10 am Friday Napier, 144, Teaching Room (Isabel)

    Tute #6: 10.10 am Friday Napier, 144, Teaching Room (Isabel)

    There will be no tutorials in Week 1 and Week 7 (ANZAC Day Week)

    Attendance at tutorials is compulsory and will count towards the final mark.
  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1 Be able to use the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) to transcribe English
    2 Understand the relationship between written and spoken language (ie the relationship
    between sound and spelling)
    3 Perform a phonemic analysis to determine the phonemes and allophones of any given
    4 Perform a morphological analysis to identify the morphemes and allomorphs in any given
    5 Identify basic constituent structure.
    6 Articulate understandings of the nature of language.
    7 Understand the difference between the abilities of machines and the brain to process
    8 Undertake an investigation through primary observation.
    9 Write a coherent and logically argued essay drawing on a range of perspectives and
    source material in answer to a question posed.
    10 Confidently approach analysis of a data set drawn from an unknown language.
    University Graduate Attributes

    This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attribute(s) specified below:

    University Graduate Attribute Course Learning Outcome(s)
    Deep discipline knowledge
    • informed and infused by cutting edge research, scaffolded throughout their program of studies
    • acquired from personal interaction with research active educators, from year 1
    • accredited or validated against national or international standards (for relevant programs)
    1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
    Critical thinking and problem solving
    • steeped in research methods and rigor
    • based on empirical evidence and the scientific approach to knowledge development
    • demonstrated through appropriate and relevant assessment
    1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10
    Teamwork and communication skills
    • developed from, with, and via the SGDE
    • honed through assessment and practice throughout the program of studies
    • encouraged and valued in all aspects of learning
    1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 9, 10
    Intercultural and ethical competency
    • adept at operating in other cultures
    • comfortable with different nationalities and social contexts
    • able to determine and contribute to desirable social outcomes
    • demonstrated by study abroad or with an understanding of indigenous knowledges
    6, 8, 9
    Self-awareness and emotional intelligence
    • a capacity for self-reflection and a willingness to engage in self-appraisal
    • open to objective and constructive feedback from supervisors and peers
    • able to negotiate difficult social situations, defuse conflict and engage positively in purposeful debate
    6, 7, 8, 9
  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources

    Course text book:

    Fromkin, Victoria, Robert Rodman, Nina Hyams, Mengistu Amberber, Felicity Cox & Rosalind Thornton (2015) An Introduction to Language. Australia and New Zealand 8th Edition. Cengage Learning, South Melbourne.  (includes access to e-resource)

    Available at Unibooks.

    Recommended Resources
    Highly Recommended:

    ·          Burridge, Kate & Tonya N. Stebbins (2016) For the Love of Language: an introduction to linguistics. Cambridge University

    ·          McGregor, William (2010) Linguistics: an Introduction. Continuum.

    Yule, G.  (2006) The Study of Language (Third Edition).  Cambridge University Press: Cambridge.

    ·          Comrie, B. (1981)  Language universals and linguistic typology. Blackwell Publishers: Oxford. [BSL 415 C738l] (2 copies in BSL)

    ·          Lakoff, G. & Johnson, M. (1980) Metaphors We Live By. University of Chicago Press: Chicago. [BSL 401 L192m] (7 copies in BSL)

    ·          Lightbown, P. (1999) How Languages are Learned. Oxford University Press: Oxford. [BSL 401.93 L723h] (3 copies in BSL)

    ·          Beebe, L. M. (ed.) Issues in Second Language Acquisition: Multiple Perspectives. Newbury House Publishers: New York. [BSL 404.2019 B414i] (2 copies in BSL)


    Some More Good Books:

    ·          Parkvall, M. (2006) Limits of Language. Battlebridge Publications: London.

    ·          Crystal, D. (1997) The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language 2nd Edition. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge. [BSL 403 C957c.2]

    ·          Burling, R. (1970) Man’s Many Voices. Language in Its Cultural Context.  Holt,
    Rinehart & Winston, Inc: New York.

    ·          Crowley, T., Lynch, J., Siegel, J. & Piau, J. (1995) The design of language: an introduction to descriptive linguistics. Longman Paul: Auckland. [BSL 410 C953d]

    ·          Finegan, E., Besnier, N., Blair, D., & Collins, P. (1992) Language: Its Structure and Use. (Australian Edition). Harcourt Brace Jovanovich: Sydney.

    Online Learning


    Online Resources:

    Linguistics – Research:

    Barr Smith Library:

    Finding Articles (BSL):

    Linguistics & Databases (BSL) :

    Dictionaries online: Oxford English Dictionary online (free access through BSL website):

    World Atlas of Linguistic Structures (WALS):

    Academic and other Student Resources:

    ITS student support:

    Academic Learning and Language:

    Student Centre with links to resources:

    International students:


  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes
    Lectures supported by problem-solving tutorials developing material covered in lectures.


    The information below is provided as a guide to assist students in engaging appropriately with the course requirements.

    2 x 1-hour lecture/workshop (or equivalent) per week 24 hours per semester
    1 x 1-hour tutorial (or equivalent) per week
    (No tutorials in Weeks 1 and 5
    10 hours per semester
    4 hours reading per week 48 hours per semester
    4 hours assignment preparation per week 48 hours per semester
    2 hours research per week 26 hours per semester
    TOTAL WORKLOAD 156 hours per semester
    Learning Activities Summary

    Please note that this is a guide only, and fuller details will be given during the semester.

    Lecture Lecture Theme
    Week 1 Orientation. What is language? Design Features
    Week 2 Language and the Brain
    Week 3 Morphology: the structure of words
    Week 4 Syntax: the stucture of the sentence
    Week 5 Semantics and Pragmatics: all about meaning
    Week 6 Phonetics: the sounds of language


    Week 7 Phonology: the sound patterns of language
    Week 8 Language Acquisition
    Week 9 Language Processing: humans and computers
    Week 10 Typology and Language Universals: languages of the world
    Week 11 Language Change.
    Week 12 The Origins of Writing
    Week 13 Test
    Small Group Discovery Experience
    Tutorials in weeks 3-8 in particular will focus on problems and practical application of linguistic analytical techniques. Some of these problems will be done in pairs or small groups (eg phonetic transcription).

  • Assessment

    The University's policy on Assessment for Coursework Programs is based on the following four principles:

    1. Assessment must encourage and reinforce learning.
    2. Assessment must enable robust and fair judgements about student performance.
    3. Assessment practices must be fair and equitable to students and give them the opportunity to demonstrate what they have learned.
    4. Assessment must maintain academic standards.

    Assessment Summary
    Assessment Task Task Type Weighting Learning Outcome
    Linguistic Practical #1 Formative and summative 10% 1, 2
    Linguistic Practical #2 Formative and summative 10% 3, 10
    Linguistic  Practical #3 Formative and summative 10% 4, 10
    Linguistic  Practical #4 Formative and summative 10% 5, 10
    1000 word essay Formative and summative 30% 8, 9
    Test Formative and summative 25% 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 10
    Assessment Related Requirements

    ·          Attendance at lectures is an essential component of the course. Some lectures will include
    short exercises for completion during the lecture. These will be self-corrected.

    ·          Attendance at tutorials is compulsory and will count towards the final mark.

    ·          All assessment components must be completed to qualify for a final result.

    Assessment Detail

    Linguistic Practicals

    These will be distributed in lectures or tutorials.

    Practical #1 – Morphology Problem

    Practical #2 – Syntax and Semantics Problem

    Practical #3 – Phonetic Transcription will be undertaken in class (tutorials)

    Practical #4 – Phonemics Problem

    Essay Topics - TBA


    Be sure to draw on reputable published print-based references, though of course you may complement these with sources accessed from the internet (eg on-line journals), popular press or other ephemeral material. Avoid reference to Wikipedia and other unverified and questionable material on the web. Essays will need to be based on not more than 50% internet sources.


    The test will cover a number of set chapters of your textbook and the content of the
    lectures. No books, dictionaries or notes can be used for this test.


    All practical assignments are to be handed in, date-stamped, with a signed cover sheet
    attached, to the School Office, Napier, Level 7. (Linguistics cover sheets
    available from the School Office). Essays are to be submitted via MyUni.

    Ensure that your Tutor’s Name, Tutorial Group, Course Title and Assignment Title &
    Topic appear on the cover sheet.

    All practical assignments are to be submitted in hard copy. (Please do not e-mail

    All assignments must be in grammatical English.

    Practicals may be hand-written legibly. Typed assignments must be double-spaced with a
    minimum 10 font.

    Always keep a copy of your work. (Just occasionally things do go astray)

    Assignments submitted late require a doctor’s certificate, counsellor’s certificate or
    similar proof/documentation.

    Extensions (normally up to one week) may be negotiated through the Course Coordinator, but
    this MUST be organised prior to the due date.

    Penalty with no extension is 2% per day up to 10 working days.

    Course Grading

    Grades for your performance in this course will be awarded in accordance with the following scheme:

    M10 (Coursework Mark Scheme)
    Grade Mark Description
    FNS   Fail No Submission
    F 1-49 Fail
    P 50-64 Pass
    C 65-74 Credit
    D 75-84 Distinction
    HD 85-100 High Distinction
    CN   Continuing
    NFE   No Formal Examination
    RP   Result Pending

    Further details of the grades/results can be obtained from Examinations.

    Grade Descriptors are available which provide a general guide to the standard of work that is expected at each grade level. More information at Assessment for Coursework Programs.

    Final results for this course will be made available through Access Adelaide.

  • Student Feedback

    The University places a high priority on approaches to learning and teaching that enhance the student experience. Feedback is sought from students in a variety of ways including on-going engagement with staff, the use of online discussion boards and the use of Student Experience of Learning and Teaching (SELT) surveys as well as GOS surveys and Program reviews.

    SELTs are an important source of information to inform individual teaching practice, decisions about teaching duties, and course and program curriculum design. They enable the University to assess how effectively its learning environments and teaching practices facilitate student engagement and learning outcomes. Under the current SELT Policy ( course SELTs are mandated and must be conducted at the conclusion of each term/semester/trimester for every course offering. Feedback on issues raised through course SELT surveys is made available to enrolled students through various resources (e.g. MyUni). In addition aggregated course SELT data is available.

  • Student Support
  • Policies & Guidelines
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