LING 3020 - Perspectives on Language Variation & Change

North Terrace Campus - Semester 2 - 2019

This is the capstone course for the Linguistics Major. All languages vary internally in accordance with a range of parameters including the gender, age, social class, occupation, origins etc. of their speakers. Most languages have distinct regional and social varieties. They also vary according to the contexts in which they are used and the purposes for which they are employed. All living languages constantly change over time in response to innovations introduced by younger generations, technological change or contact with other languages or with other varieties of the same language. Drawing on descriptive and analytic skills developed during their undergraduate study of linguistics, students will undertake independent study of language variation and change, assembling their own body of data either through archival, library, internet research or field research. Students wishing to undertake research in the field will need to obtain ethics clearance in Semester 1 prior to enrolling in this course in Semester 2.

  • General Course Information
    Course Details
    Course Code LING 3020
    Course Perspectives on Language Variation & Change
    Coordinating Unit Linguistics
    Term Semester 2
    Level Undergraduate
    Location/s North Terrace Campus
    Units 6
    Contact Up to 3 hours per week face-to-face + up to 6 on-line activity (MOOCS)
    Available for Study Abroad and Exchange N
    Prerequisites At least 15 units of Linguistics Major courses
    Assumed Knowledge LING 1101, LING 1102
    Restrictions Available to students undertaking a Linguistics Major only
    Course Description This is the capstone course for the Linguistics Major. All languages vary internally in accordance with a range of parameters including the gender, age, social class, occupation, origins etc. of their speakers. Most languages have distinct regional and social varieties. They also vary according to the contexts in which they are used and the purposes for which they are employed. All living languages constantly change over time in response to innovations introduced by younger generations, technological change or contact with other languages or with other varieties of the same language. Drawing on descriptive and analytic skills developed during their undergraduate study of linguistics, students will undertake independent study of language variation and change, assembling their own body of data either through archival, library, internet research or field research. Students wishing to undertake research in the field will need to obtain ethics clearance in Semester 1 prior to enrolling in this course in Semester 2.
    Course Staff

    Course Coordinator: Dr Rob Amery

    Course Timetable

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

  • Learning Outcomes
    Course Learning Outcomes
    1. Understand the need for research ethics and complete an ethics clearance application
    2. Collect and assemble a body of linguistic data for analysis
    3. Understand the principles of sociolinguistic variation within a speech community
    4. Understand how and why languages change over time
    5. Apply the comparative method to a body of data drawn from a group of related languages
    6. Apply a variety of analytic methods and approaches to a body of language data
    7. Choose an appropriate method to analyse the body of data at hand
    8. Communicate findings orally and in written form




    University Graduate Attributes

    No information currently available.

  • Learning Resources
    Required Resources

    Course Textbooks
    Millar, Robert Mccoll; Trask, Larry (2015) Trask’s Historical Linguistics, Third Edition. Routledge, London. (available as e-book through
    BSL)

    Bowern, Claire. (2015) Linguistic Fieldwork: A Practical Guide. 2nd Edition. Palgrave MacMillan, Basingstoke, UK.

    Recommended Resources


    Highly Recommended:

    ·          Bowern, Claire. (2015) Linguistic Fieldwork: A Practical Guide. 2nd Edition. Palgrave MacMillan, Basingstoke, UK.

    ·          Crowley, Terry & Claire Bowern (2010) An Introduction to Historical Linguistics. 4th edition. Oxford University Press.

    ·          Campbell, Lyle (1998) Historical Linguistics: an introduction. MIT Press.

    ·          Trask, Larry (2013) Trask’s Historical Linguistics. 2nd edition. Routledge, Abingdon & New York.

    ·          Trudgill, Peter & Jack Chambers (2001) The Handbook of Language Variation and Change. Wiley Blackwell.

    ·          S. Bird and G. Simons (2003) “Seven dimensions of portability for language documentation and description.” Language 79:557-582.

    ·          N. Himmelmann (1998) “Documentary and descriptive linguistics." Linguistics 36:161-195.

    ·          Seifart, Frank, Geoffrey Haig, Nikolaus P. Himmelmann, Dagmar Jung, Anna Margetts and Paul Trilsbeek (eds) (2012) Potentials of Language Documentation Methods, Analyses and Utilization, Language Documentation & Conversation Special Publication No. 3. Honolulu: University of Hawaii Press.

    ·          Gippert, Jost & Nikolaus P. Himmelmann & Ulrike Mosel (eds). 2006. Essentials of language documentation.
    Trends in Linguistics, Studies and Monographs 178, Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter.

    ·          Healy, Alan (ed.) (1975) Language Learner’s Field Guide. Summer Institute of Linguistics, Ukarumpa, Papua & New Guinea.

    ·          Journal: Language Documentation and Conservation

     
    Some Introductory Linguistics Books:

    ·          Crystal, D. (2010) The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language 3rd Edition. Cambridge University Press: Cambridge. [BSL 403 C957c.2]

    ·          Clark, John, Yallop, Colin and Janet Fletcher (2007) An Introduction to Phonetics and Phonology 3rd edition Blackwell Publishing, Malden, Oxford and Carlton, Victoria.

    ·          Payne, Thomas E. (2006) Exploring Language Structure: A Student’s Guide. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

    ·          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.

    ·          Fromkin, Victoria, Robert Rodman, Nina Hyams, Mengistu Amberber, Felicity Cox & Rosalind Thornton (2018) An Introduction to Language. Australia and New Zealand 9th Edition. Cengage Learning, South Melbourne.

    ·          McGregor, W. B. (2009) Linguistics: An Introduction. Continuum: London.

    ·          Burridge Kate & Tonya N. Stebbins (2016) For the Love of Language: An Introduction to Linguistics. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge.

  • Learning & Teaching Activities
    Learning & Teaching Modes

    No information currently available.

    Workload

    No information currently available.

    Learning Activities Summary

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  • 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

    No information currently available.

    Assessment Detail
    1. Research Ethics Assignment
    Length: 1,000 words
    Due Date: 9 August

    Students will complete a research ethics application based upon a proposed investigation involving the collection of primary data through one or more of the following: conducting interviews, administering questionnaires, recording wordlists, elicited sentences, texts or conversations or conducting experiments.


    2. Linguistic Practical
    Length: 1,500 words
    Due Date: 30 August

    Apply the comparative method to a body of language data in order to reconstruct an earlier form of the language which might have given rise to the daughter languages under study.
    Identify the sound changes which have taken place in each of the languages.

    3. Oral Presentation and Write-up
    Length: 1,500 words
    Due Date: various (Weeks 8 to 12)

    Students will need to assemble or access a body of language data that reveals variation or change. This might be varieties of language which deviate from the standard in significant ways. Or it might be data from two or more closely related languages, or indeed a large number of languages spread across a particular region. Students will identify one or more research questions formulated to interrogate the data. Research questions may focus on one or more aspects of the language(s) including phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, lexicon, child language, special registers, regional or social dialects etc. Students will present the data corpus and discuss their research question(s), and their chosen approach to research and to analyse the data.


    4. Research Report
    LEngth: 5,000 words
    Due Date: 8 November

    On the basis of data obtained, students will analyse and describe in detail the variation present or the evidence for language change. They will prepare a comprehensive research report which addresses their chosen research question(s). The report will be informed not only by their chosen body of data, but also by the literature relating to the aspect(s) of language under investigation.

     





    Submission

    No information currently available.

    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.

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