Major Overview

Description

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) 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) explain 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.

Broadening guidelines

All students studying towards a Bachelor's Degree at UWA are required to Broaden their studies by completing a minimum of four units (24 points) of study outside their degree specific major. Broadening is your opportunity to explore other areas of interest, investigate new disciplines and knowledge paradigms and to shape your degree to suit your own aspirations and interests. Many of you will be able to undertake more than this minimum amount of broadening study and we encourage you to do so if this suits your aspirations. Over the next few months you will find here some broadening suggestions related to your degree-specific major. While we know that many students value guidance of this sort, these are only suggestions and students should not lose sight of the opportunity to explore that is afforded by your Broadening Choices. Advice can also be sought from your Allocated Student Advising Office.

Courses

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

Example Study Plan

See study plans for more information.

Units

Key to availability of units:
S1
Semester 1
S2
Semester 2
N/A
not available in 2023 – may be available in 2024 or 2025
NS
non-standard teaching period

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 Morphosyntax of the World's Languages
Prerequisites
LING1001 Language and Communication
or LING1101 Language and Communication
or LING1002 Language as a Cognitive System
or LING1102 Language as a Cognitive System
Incompatibility
LING2202 Grammatical Theory (Syntax)
S1 LING2002 The Sounds of the World's Languages
Prerequisites
Successful completion of
LING1002 Language as a Cognitive System (ID 891)
or Approval of Unit Coordinator
Incompatibility
LING2201 Phonetics and Phonology
S2 LING2008 How Language Shapes Society
Prerequisites
Completion of 24 points.
Incompatibility
LING1103 Language, Culture and Society.
LING2203 Language Variation and Change LING2003 Language, Culture and Society

Level 3

Degree-specific major units

Take unit(s) to the value of 18 points:

Availability Unit code Unit name unit requirements
S1 LING3003 Language Across Time
Prerequisites
(LING2002 Phonetics and Phonology: the Sounds of the World's Languages
or LING2201 Phonetics and Phonology)
Incompatibility
LING2203 Language Variation and Change
N/A 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 Morphosyntax of the World's Languages
or LING2001 Grammatical Theory: the Structure of Sentences
or LING2202 Grammatical Theory (Syntax))
Incompatibility
LING3306 Advanced Linguistic Theory
S2 LING3007 Linguistics of Australian Indigenous Languages
Prerequisites
LING1001 Language and Communication
and LING1002 Language as a Cognitive System,
or any Level 2 LING unit.
Please contact us for Special Approval requests.
Incompatibility
LING3307 Australian Aboriginal Languages
S2 LING3008 Sociolinguistic Variation
Prerequisites
Successful completion of
LING2008 How Language Shapes Society
Incompatibility
LING1103 Language, Culture and Society.
LING2203 Language Variation and Change, LING2003 Language, Culture and Society (taken prior to 2021)
NS, S1, S2 WILG3001 Professional Experience Practicum
Prerequisites
Successful completion of
48 points in your chosen degree and approval of the unit coordinator
and Enrolment in
Major(s) MJD-ECNPF Professional Economics
or MJD-LINGO Linguistics
or MJD-POLSC Political Science and International Relations
or MJD-BMGMT Business Management
or MJD-ENTIN Enterprise and Innovation
or MJD-GLBUS Global Business
or MJD-FINEC Financial Economics
or MJD-CRMDM Criminology and Criminal Justice
or MJD-BUSAN Business Analytics
or Minor(s) MNR-CRWRS Creative Writing Studies
Incompatibility
BUSN3348 Business Practicum
or HUMA2901 Arts Practicum
or POLS3326 Political Science Internship
or WILG2201 Professional Experience Practicum
or PARL3399 WA Parliamentary Research Program.