1 x 2-hour tutorial weekly
1 x 1-hour seminar weekly
Reflective piece, Tests
Topic description

This topic aims to provide students with a foundational knowledge of the functions and structure of language. It provides an overview of the major branches of linguistics and enables students to gain a general understanding of the ways in which language is studied, its formal properties and the ways it is used in society.

Educational aims

This topic aims to:

  • Provide students with general knowledge of the various branches of linguistics
  • Develop awareness of the functions and uses of language in society
  • Equip students with the basic tools to understand the formal properties of languages
Expected learning outcomes
On completion of this topic you will be expected to be able to:

  1. Distinguish diverse branches of linguistics
  2. Identify universal features of grammar
  3. Understand the reasons languages change and the ways they interact with each other
  4. Understand some main ways in which languages are acquired

Key dates and timetable

(1), (2)

Each class is numbered in brackets.
Where more than one class is offered, students normally attend only one.

Classes are held weekly unless otherwise indicated.


If you are enrolled for this topic, but all classes for one of the activities (eg tutorials) are full,
contact your College Office for assistance. Full classes frequently occur near the start of semester.

Students may still enrol in topics with full classes as more places will be made available as needed.

If this padlock appears next to an activity name (eg Lecture), then class registration is closed for this activity.

Class registration normally closes at the end of week 2 of each semester.

Classes in a stream are grouped so that the same students attend all classes in that stream.
Registration in the stream will result in registration in all classes.
  Unless otherwise advised, classes are not held during semester breaks or on public holidays.