Available in 2018

Course handbook


The course studies language processing and hemispheric specialisation; competing views of the language acquisition process (e.g. cognitivist, nativist, relativist and connectionist); the relationship between language development and the development of other cognitive capacities; and universals of language development.

Availability2018 Course Timetables


  • Semester 1 - 2018

Learning outcomes

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

1. demonstrate an understanding of competing theories of language acquisition.

2. demonstrate an understanding of the neurological bases of language processing.

3. demonstrate an understanding of the nature of language acquisition universals.

4. demonstrate advanced presentational skills relevant to specialist studies in Linguistics.

5. demonstrate advanced research and general information literacy skills


  1. Main theories of first language acquisition: behaviorist approaches to language acquisition; Piaget's constructivism; Chomsky's Universal Grammar; connectionism; Whorfian relativism.
  2. The neurological base of language: brain lateralisation; left hemispheric dominance; maturational constraints on language acquisition; language pathology; bilingualism
  3. Evidence about the innateness of language: animal communication; developmental aspects of language; linguistic research into the acquisition of language universals
  4. The lexicon and the brain: aspects of the acquisition of the lexicon; lexical storage and retrieval.

Assumed knowledge

LING1111 or equivalent

Assessment items

Quiz: Quiz (x 2)

Essay: Essay

Presentation: Poster presentation

Contact hours



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