Available in 2018

Course handbook


This unit completes students' introduction to the study of language. It takes the languages of Australia and neighbouring areas as a database, and uses this database to illustrate the more advanced fundamental principles of structural analysis in language. The course examines typological variation and diachronic variation. It introduces the study of syntax, semantics, pragmatics, and language acquisition, as based on the fundamental principles of structural analysis.

Availability2018 Course Timetables


  • Semester 2 - 2018

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of the course students will be able to:

1. Discuss and apply basic principles of historical reconstruction.

2. Discuss and apply basic principles of typological classification.

3. Discuss the basic principles governing language change.

4. Analyse English sentences in terms of their constituent structure.

5. Apply the basic principles of Phrase Structure Grammar to write phrase structure rules for a set of language data.

6. Discuss the principles of argument structure and grammatical relations and recognise the main types of grammatical alignment.

7. Discuss the principles of semantics and recognise the main types of lexical semantic relations.

8. Discuss the basic principles of linguistic pragmatics.

9. Discuss the main stages in child language acquisition.


Topics to be covered in this course include:

  1. Languages of Australia and neighbouring regions.
  2. Historical and typological classification of languages.
  3. Principles of language change.
  4. Grammatical Relations, argument structure, and syntactic alignment
  5. Word-level semantics, clausal semantics, presupposition, entailment.
  6. Pragmatics of language in use - speech acts, conversational implicature.
  7. Stages in child language acquisition.


This course replaces LING1120. If you have successfully completed LING1120 you cannot enrol in this course.

Assumed knowledge


Assessment items

Written Assignment: Take Home Assignments

Formal Examination: Formal Examination - closed book examination

Contact hours



Face to Face On Campus 2 hour(s) per Week for Full Term


Face to Face On Campus 1 hour(s) per Week for Full Term

Tutorials commence in week 2