Linguistics major

Linguistics is the study of human language and is concerned with what all languages have in common as well as how individual languages differ from one another. In practice, linguists study how languages are structured, how they are learned and used, and how languages change through time. This major includes both fascinating theoretical research and practical field-orientated projects. You will have the opportunity to work on a variety of linguistic topics including grammatical descriptions and dictionaries of Australian Aboriginal languages, analysis of Australian English, Romance languages, the study of meaning in language and the relation between language and society. You do not need to know a second language or be 'good at languages' to excel in Linguistics. Many excellent linguists speak only one language—all you need is a healthy curiosity.

Outcomes

Students are able to (1) describe important issues in defining language, particularly in distinguishing between language and communication, and between language system and language use; (2) describe key focuses of, and key concepts in, core sub-areas of linguistics—phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, discourse analysis, semantics, pragmatics, sociolinguistics, and historical linguistics; (3) describe key features of currently contending significant theoretical approaches to language structure; (4) describe key features of major approaches to language use and variation in social and historical contexts; (5) present critical evaluation of the arguments used in a linguistic analysis formulated within a theoretical model; (6) using established criteria, evaluate alternative analyses of given language data; (7) identify and describe, using appropriate terminology and notation, basic structural patterns in data from a language, in the domains of phonology, grammar and lexicon; (8) demonstrate meta-linguistic knowledge of the basic structures and patterns of use of their own language; (9) propose analyses of structural patterns in language data within different theoretical models; (10) demonstrate knowledge of the diversity of structures across languages; and (11) find, critically interpret and synthesise the content of scholarly publications in Linguistics relevant to a particular topic.

Degree-specific major

Linguistics can be taken as a degree-specific major in the following degree courses:

BP001 Bachelor of Arts
BH005 Bachelor of Philosophy (Honours)

Overview of unit sequence

Linguistics is a degree-specific single major comprising:

  • two Level 1 units
  • three Level 2 units
  • three Level 3 units
Key to availability of units:
S1 = Semester 1; S2 = Semester 2; N/A = not available in 2018

Note: Units that are indicated as N/A may be available in 2019 or 2020.

Level 1

Degree-specific major units
Take all units (12 points):
Availability Unit code Unit name unit requirements
S1 LING1001 Language and Communication
Incompatibility:
LING1101 Language and Communication
S2 LING1002 Language as a Cognitive System
Incompatibility:
LING1102 Language as a Cognitive System

Level 2

Degree-specific major units
Take all units (18 points):
Availability Unit code Unit name unit requirements
S1 LING2001 Grammatical Theory: the Structure of Sentences
Prerequisites:
LING1001 Language and Communication
or
LING1101 Language and Communication
Incompatibility:
LING2202 Grammatical Theory (Syntax)
S1 LING2002 Phonetics and Phonology: the Sounds of the World's Languages
Prerequisites:
LING1002 Language as a Cognitive System
or
LING1102 Language as a Cognitive System
Incompatibility:
LING2201 Phonetics and Phonology
S2 LING2003 Language, Culture and Society
Prerequisites:
any Level 1 Linguistics unit
Incompatibility:
LING1103 Language, Culture and Society; LING2203 Language Variation and Change

Level 3

Degree-specific major units
Take unit(s) to the value of 18 points:
Availability Unit code Unit name unit requirements
N/A LING3001 Morphology: the Structure of Words
Prerequisites:
(LING2002 Phonetics and Phonology: the Sounds of the World's Languages
or
LING2201 Phonetics and Phonology) and [LING2001 Grammatical Theory: the Structure of Sentences
or
LING2202 Grammatical Theory (Syntax)]
S2 LING3002 Linguistic Typology: the Diversity of Languages
Prerequisites:
(LING2002 Phonetics and Phonology: the Sounds of the World's Languages
or
LING2201 Phonetics and Phonology) and [LING2001 Grammatical Theory: the Structure of Sentences
or
LING2202 Grammatical Theory (Syntax)]
S1 LING3003 Historical Linguistics: Language History and Language Change
Prerequisites:
(LING2002 Phonetics and Phonology: the Sounds of the World's Languages
or
LING2201 Phonetics and Phonology) and [LING2001 Grammatical Theory: the Structure of Sentences
or
LING2202 Grammatical Theory (Syntax)] and (LING2003 Language, Culture and Society
or
LING1103 Language, Culture and Society)
Incompatibility:
LING2203 Language Variation and Change
N/A LING3004 Pragmatics: Meaning in Use
Prerequisites:
[LING2001 Grammatical Theory: the Structure of Sentences
or
LING2202 Grammatical Theory (Syntax)] and (LING2003 Language, Culture and Society
or
LING1103 Language, Culture and Society)
Incompatibility:
LING3305 Semantics
S2 LING3005 Semantics: Meaning in Language
Prerequisites:
LING2001 Grammatical Theory: the Structure of Sentences
or
LING2202 Grammatical Theory (Syntax)
Incompatibility:
LING3305 Semantics
N/A LING3006 Topics in Linguistic Theory
Prerequisites:
(LING2002 Phonetics and Phonology: the Sounds of the World's Languages
or
LING2201 Phonetics and Phonology) and [LING2001 Grammatical Theory: the Structure of Sentences
or
LING2202 Grammatical Theory (Syntax)] and (LING2003 Language, Culture and Society
or
LING1103 Language, Culture and Society)
Incompatibility:
LING3306 Advanced Linguistic Theory
N/A LING3007 Linguistics of Australian Indigenous Languages
Prerequisites:
(LING2002 Phonetics and Phonology: the Sounds of the World's Languages
or
LING2201 Phonetics and Phonology) and [LING2001 Grammatical Theory: the Structure of Sentences
or
LING2202 Grammatical Theory (Syntax)] and (LING2003 Language, Culture and Society
or
LING1103 Language, Culture and Society)
Incompatibility:
LING3307 Australian Aboriginal Languages

Choosing your degree-specific major

You must satisfy the requirements of a degree-specific major before you complete your course. The flexible structure of an undergraduate course allows you to try out a number of different subjects to see what interests you before nominating your degree-specific major. You have the choice to either nominate your degree-specific major when you first enrol in the course or delay nominating it until your second year.

To plan the first year of your study without nominating a degree-specific major, you are advised to choose units that will pave the way to two or more degree-specific majors that are of interest to you. For examples of the choice of units available in first year, search the first-year study plans .

To fully understand the structure of an undergraduate course, read the course structure information and the Undergraduate Degree Course Rules.

The following example illustrates how the Linguistics degree-specific major can be included in the Bachelor of Arts course.

Example: Course Study Plan: CSP001-LINGO

There are more choices open to you. For more examples, search the study plans .

Choosing a second major

You also have the option to choose a second major from those available in the Bachelor of Arts, Bachelor of Biomedical Science, Bachelor of Commerce, Bachelor of Design Only available to re-enrolling students. or Bachelor of Science course, giving you the opportunity to pursue your interests no matter how different they are.

The following example illustrates how the Linguistics degree-specific major can be combined with a second major in the Bachelor of Arts course.

Example: Course Study Plan: CSP001-LINGO-Generic

For more examples of combinations of majors, search the study plans .

Linguistics can also be taken as a second major.

Second major

Linguistics can be taken as a second major in the following degree courses:

Overview of unit sequence

The Linguistics second major is a single major comprising:

  • two Level 1 units
  • three Level 2 units
  • three Level 3 units
Key to availability of units:
S1 = Semester 1; S2 = Semester 2; N/A = not available in 2018

Note: Units that are indicated as N/A may be available in 2019 or 2020.

Level 1

Second major units
Take all units (12 points):
Availability Unit code Unit name unit requirements
S1 LING1001 Language and Communication
Incompatibility:
LING1101 Language and Communication
S2 LING1002 Language as a Cognitive System
Incompatibility:
LING1102 Language as a Cognitive System

Level 2

Second major units
Take all units (18 points):
Availability Unit code Unit name unit requirements
S1 LING2001 Grammatical Theory: the Structure of Sentences
Prerequisites:
LING1001 Language and Communication
or
LING1101 Language and Communication
Incompatibility:
LING2202 Grammatical Theory (Syntax)
S1 LING2002 Phonetics and Phonology: the Sounds of the World's Languages
Prerequisites:
LING1002 Language as a Cognitive System
or
LING1102 Language as a Cognitive System
Incompatibility:
LING2201 Phonetics and Phonology
S2 LING2003 Language, Culture and Society
Prerequisites:
any Level 1 Linguistics unit
Incompatibility:
LING1103 Language, Culture and Society; LING2203 Language Variation and Change

Level 3

Second major units
Take unit(s) to the value of 18 points:
Availability Unit code Unit name unit requirements
N/A LING3001 Morphology: the Structure of Words
Prerequisites:
(LING2002 Phonetics and Phonology: the Sounds of the World's Languages
or
LING2201 Phonetics and Phonology) and [LING2001 Grammatical Theory: the Structure of Sentences
or
LING2202 Grammatical Theory (Syntax)]
S2 LING3002 Linguistic Typology: the Diversity of Languages
Prerequisites:
(LING2002 Phonetics and Phonology: the Sounds of the World's Languages
or
LING2201 Phonetics and Phonology) and [LING2001 Grammatical Theory: the Structure of Sentences
or
LING2202 Grammatical Theory (Syntax)]
S1 LING3003 Historical Linguistics: Language History and Language Change
Prerequisites:
(LING2002 Phonetics and Phonology: the Sounds of the World's Languages
or
LING2201 Phonetics and Phonology) and [LING2001 Grammatical Theory: the Structure of Sentences
or
LING2202 Grammatical Theory (Syntax)] and (LING2003 Language, Culture and Society
or
LING1103 Language, Culture and Society)
Incompatibility:
LING2203 Language Variation and Change
N/A LING3004 Pragmatics: Meaning in Use
Prerequisites:
[LING2001 Grammatical Theory: the Structure of Sentences
or
LING2202 Grammatical Theory (Syntax)] and (LING2003 Language, Culture and Society
or
LING1103 Language, Culture and Society)
Incompatibility:
LING3305 Semantics
S2 LING3005 Semantics: Meaning in Language
Prerequisites:
LING2001 Grammatical Theory: the Structure of Sentences
or
LING2202 Grammatical Theory (Syntax)
Incompatibility:
LING3305 Semantics
N/A LING3006 Topics in Linguistic Theory
Prerequisites:
(LING2002 Phonetics and Phonology: the Sounds of the World's Languages
or
LING2201 Phonetics and Phonology) and [LING2001 Grammatical Theory: the Structure of Sentences
or
LING2202 Grammatical Theory (Syntax)] and (LING2003 Language, Culture and Society
or
LING1103 Language, Culture and Society)
Incompatibility:
LING3306 Advanced Linguistic Theory
N/A LING3007 Linguistics of Australian Indigenous Languages
Prerequisites:
(LING2002 Phonetics and Phonology: the Sounds of the World's Languages
or
LING2201 Phonetics and Phonology) and [LING2001 Grammatical Theory: the Structure of Sentences
or
LING2202 Grammatical Theory (Syntax)] and (LING2003 Language, Culture and Society
or
LING1103 Language, Culture and Society)
Incompatibility:
LING3307 Australian Aboriginal Languages

Choosing a second major

The flexible structure of an undergraduate course allows you the option of including a second major. You have the choice to either nominate your second major when you first enrol in the course or delay it until your second year. For a major to be recorded on your academic record it must be nominated before the requirements of the course are completed.

To fully understand the structure of an undergraduate course, read the course structure information and the Undergraduate Degree Course Rules.

The following example illustrates how Linguistics can be included as a second major in an undergraduate degree course.

Example: Course Study Plan: CSPGeneric-DSMGeneric-LINGO

For more examples of combinations of majors, search the study plans .

Linguistics can also be taken as a degree-specific major.