1. Handbook
  2. Subjects
  3. Researching Language
  4. Print

Researching Language (ARTS90015)

Graduate courseworkPoints: 6.25On Campus (Parkville)

You’re viewing the 2019 Handbook:
Or view archived Handbooks


Year of offer2019
Subject levelGraduate coursework
Subject codeARTS90015
Semester 1
FeesSubject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date

This subject introduces a range of fundamental theories of the nature of language and approaches to the analysis of its structure and use. The way we will do this is to critically examine 6 sets of readings representing current issues, debates or opposing points of view; to make explicit their theoretical backgrounds and assumptions, how this affects the course of their arguments, and what counts as ‘evidence’. Many of these sets of articles represent a conflict between ‘emic’ (abstract, ‘insider’ knowledge) and ‘etic’ (observable, measurable) approaches; an opposition which is pervasive across linguistics and applied linguistics. We will examine readings by important thinkers in the field including Chomsky, Blommaert, Selinker, Pinker & Prince. All materials will be made available through LMS. Students are encouraged to begin reading early.

Intended learning outcomes

On successful completion of this subject students should be able to:

  • demonstrate the ability to critically discuss a range of fundamental theories of the nature of language and approaches to the analysis of its structure and use;
  • have an enhanced awareness of the range of contemporary scholarship in their discipline or interdisciplinary area;
  • demonstrate an ability to reflect on, critically evaluate and synthesise the contemporary research literatures relevant to their thesis topic;
  • formulate and present the research proposal for their confirmation; and
  • articulate the range of problems, concepts and theories relevant to their thesis and field of study.

Eligibility and requirements





Non-allowed subjects

Code Name Teaching period Credit Points
MULT90039 2019

Core participation requirements

The University of Melbourne is committed to providing students with reasonable adjustments to assessment and participation under the Disability Standards for Education (2005), and the Assessment and Results Policy (MPF1326). Students are expected to meet the core participation requirements for their course. These can be viewed under Entry and Participation Requirements for the course outlines in the Handbook.

Further details on how to seek academic adjustments can be found on the Student Equity and Disability Support website: http://services.unimelb.edu.au/student-equity/home


Additional details

  • A 2,500-word essay (80%), due during the examination period.
  • In-class seminar activity (20%), due throughout the semester.
  • Hurdle: Students are required to attend a minimum of 80% of classes in order to pass this subject and regular class participation is expected.

Dates & times

  • Semester 1
    Principal coordinatorBrett Baker
    Mode of deliveryOn Campus — Parkville
    Contact hoursTotal 12 hours: 6 x 2 hour seminars, taught fortnightly
    Total time commitment85 hours
    Teaching period 4 March 2019 to 2 June 2019
    Last self-enrol date15 March 2019
    Census date31 March 2019
    Last date to withdraw without fail10 May 2019
    Assessment period ends28 June 2019

    Semester 1 contact information

Time commitment details

85 hours

Further information

  • Texts

    Prescribed texts

    De Saussure, F. Course in General Linguistics

    Whorf, B.L. Language, Thought and Reality

    Labov, W. Sociolinguistic Patterns

    Duranti, A. and C. Goodwin (Eds) Re-thinking Context

    Blommaert, J. Discourse

  • Available through the Community Access Program

    About the Community Access Program (CAP)

    This subject is available through the Community Access Program (also called Single Subject Studies) which allows you to enrol in single subjects offered by the University of Melbourne, without the commitment required to complete a whole degree.

    Entry requirements including prerequisites may apply. Please refer to the CAP applications page for further information.

    Additional information for this subject

    Subject coordinator approval required

Last updated: 7 June 2019