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) 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.

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 2021; NS = non-standard teaching period

Note: Units that are indicated as N/A may be available in 2022 or 2023.

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 Phonetics and Phonology: the Sounds of the World's Languages
Prerequisites:
Either LING1002 Language as a Cognitive System
or
LING1102 Language as a Cognitive System,
or
LING1001 Language and Communication
or
LING1101 Language and Communication
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 Historical Linguistics: Language History and Language Change
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
S2 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
N/A LING3008 Sociolinguistic Variation
Prerequisites:
LING2003 Language, Culture and 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:
completion of at least 48 point of units and enrolment in the Political Science and International Relations major
or
the Linguistics major and approval by the unit coordinator
or
completion of 96 points of units and enrolment in the Business Management major
or
Enterprise and Innovation major
or
Global Business major. For students in the Creative Writing Studies Minor: completion of ENGL1501 Reading Creatively/Writing Creatively
and
ENGL2501 Creative Writing: Theory and Practice.
Incompatibility:
BUSN3348 Business Practicum
or
HUMA2901 Arts Practicum
or
POLS3326 Political Science Internship
or
WILG2201 Professional Experience Practicum
or
PARL3399 WA Parliamentary Research Program.

Choosing your degree-specific major

Specialised degrees – Bachelor of Advanced Computer Science (Honours), Bachelor of Automation and Robotics, Bachelor of Environmental Design, Bachelor of Music

You must satisfy the requirements of the degree-specific major in your degree before you complete your course.

Bachelor of Philosophy, Politics and Economics

This comprehensive degree does not require you to choose a degree-specific major.

General degrees

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. and Bachelor of Science courses, 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 .