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Course Description

Lips painted with flags from around the world

The nature of language. An elementary survey of linguistic disciplines. Phonetics, morphology, syntax, semantics, language, and society.

Learning Outcomes

By the end of the course, the learner should be able to:

  1. Analyze and articulate general themes about the nature of human language, and how languages work;
  2. Discuss fundamental processes common to all languages related to the domains of morphology, syntax, phonetics, phonology, semantics, pragmatics, writing systems, and language in society;
  3. Describe how different human languages are, and yet how fundamentally similar they are in their structures;
  4. Apply findings in previous linguistic research to address real-world issues, and be able to discuss language issues in an informed way both to linguists and non-linguists;
  5. Identify and analyze language patterns, draw generalizations from a set of data, and make hypotheses to explain those patterns;
  6. Question popular beliefs and think critically about language and language myths and determine their validity;
  7. Outline your own beliefs about attitudes towards languages and how those influence the way language is used; and
  8. Analyze how language varies across speakers, over time, and across dialectal regions.

Course Topics

  • What is Language?
  • Morphology
  • Syntax
  • Semantics
  • Phonetics
  • Phonology
  • Language in Society


Assessment Item Weight
Unit Quizzes 20%
Assignment 1 (Morphology  & Syntax)  20%
Assignment 2 (Semantics & Phonetics)  20%
Assignment 3 (Language in Society)  20%
Discussion Forum Contributions (Units 1, 4, 7) 10%
Practice Problems (Units 2, 3, 5, 6) 8%
Academic Integrity Tutorial 2%
Total 100%




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*Course details are subject to change.


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