• The origins of language
• The natural and physical sound source
• The genetic source
• Animal and human language
• Cultural transmission
• The barest rudiments of language
• A brief introduction to theoretical grammars, e.g. Generative and systemic-functional grammars.
• The development of writing
• Types of writing
• Introduction to phonology and phonetics
• Places of articulation
• The English phonemic alphabet and relevant features, English-wise, of the IPA
• The sound patterns/ Phones and allophones/ Minimal pairs and syllable clusters
• Introduction to Lexis/ Etymology, coinage, borrowing
• Blending, clipping, prefixes and suffixes
• Introduction to Morphology
• Problems in morphological description
• Phrases and sentences: traditional grammar
• The prescriptive and descriptive approaches
• Syntax and generative grammar
WEEK 8 MID TERM
• Introduction to discourse analysis and pragmatics
• Cohesion and the use of text-forming devices
• Pragmatic theories
• The definition of context and its role in the interpretation of discourse
• Knowledge structures and the representation of background knowledge
• Organizational principles guiding discourse,
• Semantics: conceptual and associative meaning
• Agent and theme
• Location, source and goal
• Language and the brain
• First language acquisition
• Second language acquisition/ learning
• Critical dicussions on:
• John Locke: "Why do infants begin to talk?"
• Lenneberg: Biological fousndations of language.
• Saussure: Language as social fact.
Week 14 Critical dicussions cont....
• Chomsky: Language as innate and universal human attribute; beyond behaviourism.
• Piaget: Language as product of cognitive development.
• Halliday: Language as functional outcome of social interaction.
• Gestures and sign languages
• Language and regional variation
Week 16 FINAL EXAM
The aim of this module is to examine in detail specific areas of linguistic analysis relevant to language teaching. The module will provide students with an overview of key concepts, terms and models in the following areas, and relate these to syllabus, methodology, materials and other aspects of the second language curriculum. The module consists of an in-depth study of lexis, morphology, syntax, discourse analysis, and phonology.
Course Learning Outcomes
On successful completion of the course students will be able to understand:
• The historical and theoretical bases for different approaches to the study of language, including the contribution of key figures such as Chomsky, Saussure, Piaget, Lenneberg, Whorf, Halliday, and others
• Key areas of controversy in modern linguistic thought
• Debates over the degree to which language is innate, an evolutionary inheritance;
• The significance of debates around the idea of a "critical period" for language acquisition
• Various competing approaches to the question of how languages are learned (with a concentration in this module on first language acquisition),
• The degree to which language is a peculiar type of knowledge or else is analogous to other cognitive achievements
• The degree to which language and thought may be seen as interdependent
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