The University of Newcastle, Australia
Available in 2019

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 neurolinguistics, as based on the fundamental principles of structural analysis.

Availability2019 Course Timetables


  • Semester 2 - 2019

Learning outcomes

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

1. Apply basic principles of historical reconstruction.

2. Analyse language data in terms of phrase structure and argument structure.

3. Apply basic principles of typological classification.

4. Identify and classify semantic and pragmatic relations.

5. Describe the main areas of the brain associated with language.


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. Language in the brain.


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 (3 assignments @ 20% each - total 60%)

Formal Examination: Formal Examination - closed book examination (40%)

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