Studying online

There are now 2 possible online modes for units:

Units with modes Online timetabled and Online flexible are available for any student to self-enrol and study online.

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Unit Overview


Humans use language everyday. While naive views of language portray it as a tool used to communicate information, in reality, language defines and shapes communication as much as it serves it. As a result, language greatly contributes to shaping human groups and their organisation. Language indexes group identity, serves to structure society, feeds or resolves conflicts, and more.

This unit will tackle these questions from various disciplinary angles. These include anthropological linguistics, which tells us which aspects of language influence human social life and how; sociolinguistics, which analyses how variation can reflect and enact social groupings; as well as languages in contact between groups and the role of bilingualism -- the use of more than one language in society.

6 points
(see Timetable)
Semester 2UWA (Perth)Face to face
Details for undergraduate courses
  • Level 2 core unit in the Linguistics major sequence
  • Level 2 elective

Students are able to (1) demonstrate an understanding of the relationships between language and social structures or social life; (2) identify properties of human groups, interactions and behaviors that are influenced by linguistic practices and/or ideologies.; (3) describe key concepts in anthropological linguistics and/or sociolinguistics and/or language contact.; and (4) produce small-scale analyses of linguistic data based on methods and concepts presented in the unit..


Indicative assessments in this unit are as follows: (1) tutorial preparation and (2) assignments (at least one for each of the 3 modules). Further information is available in the unit outline.

Student may be offered supplementary assessment in this unit if they meet the eligibility criteria.

Unit Coordinator(s)
Dr Jessica Kruk
Unit rules
Successful completion of
LING1001 Language and Communication
and LING1002 Language as a Cognitive System
or 24 points in your chosen degree
LING1103 Language, Culture and Society.
LING2203 Language Variation and Change LING2003 Language, Culture and Society
Advisable prior study
Any level 1 Linguistics unit.
Contact hours
Up to 3 hours per week over 12 weeks.
  • The availability of units in Semester 1, 2, etc. was correct at the time of publication but may be subject to change.
  • All students are responsible for identifying when they need assistance to improve their academic learning, research, English language and numeracy skills; seeking out the services and resources available to help them; and applying what they learn. Students are encouraged to register for free online support through GETSmart; to help themselves to the extensive range of resources on UWA's STUDYSmarter website; and to participate in WRITESmart and (ma+hs)Smart drop-ins and workshops.
  • Unit readings, including any essential textbooks, are listed in the unit outline for each unit, one week prior the commencement of study. The unit outline will be available via the LMS and the UWA Handbook one week prior the commencement of study. Reading lists and essential textbooks are subject to change each semester. Information on essential textbooks will also be made available on the Essential Textbooks. This website is updated regularly in the lead up to semester so content may change. It is recommended that students purchase essential textbooks for convenience due to the frequency with which they will be required during the unit. A limited number of textbooks will be made available from the Library in print and will also be made available online wherever possible. Essential textbooks can be purchased from the commercial vendors to secure the best deal. The Student Guild can provide assistance on where to purchase books if required. Books can be purchased second hand at the Guild Secondhand bookshop (second floor, Guild Village), which is located on campus.
  • Contact hours provide an indication of the type and extent of in-class activities this unit may contain. The total amount of student work (including contact hours, assessment time, and self-study) will approximate 150 hours per 6 credit points.