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How do languages organize sound systems to create words, and how do they combine small meaningful units to make larger complex words? Students will get hands-on experience discovering patterns in many languages, and will gain an understanding of how these patterns may be shaped by the cognitive properties of speakers and listeners.
How is it that when you encounter a new word, you immediately know if it sounds “good” in your native language? How come that a word that sounds good in one language doesn’t sound okay in another? Do some (all? a few? most?) languages follow particular sound patterns to make and avoid various word shapes? These are just a few questions we will be trying to answer in our endeavour to figure out what phonological knowledge is (and does).In the sections on phonology, you will learn about the sound patterns of languages and how phonetic contrasts can be used to distinguish words. Languages differ from one another in what phonetic contrasts they use for this purpose, and you will be invited to solve problems from a variety of languages illustrating these differences in behaviour. You will apply concepts learned, like phonemes, allophones and alternation, to data sets. You will notice that while languages differ phonologically, there are also strong tendencies that apply in most if not all languages, so we will look at how phonological theory aims to account for such tendencies. In the morphology section, you will be introduced to linguistic morphology and word formation and the study of the internal structure of words.
As a student in this course you will acquire skills in problem solving, argumentation, written expression and morphological and phonological analysis. By the end of the course you should be able to identify certain morphological and phonological patterns and some of the influencing factors.
This course will provide students with an opportunity to develop the Graduate Attributes specified below:
Critically competent in a core academic discipline of their award
Students know and can critically evaluate and, where applicable, apply this knowledge to topics/issues within their majoring subject.
Any 15 points at any level from LING.
Students must attend one activity from each section.
Library portalThe course outline is available on LEARN (only for students enrolled in this course).
Domestic fee $799.00
International fee $3,600.00
* All fees are inclusive of NZ GST or any equivalent overseas tax, and do not include any programme level discount or additional course-related expenses.
For further information see
Language, Social and Political Sciences