Elements of Linguistics 4101-5SEJO
The principal aim of the course “Elements of linguistics” is to acquaint the student with the theory as well as descriptive and analytic practice of contemporary linguistics, focusing primarily on the 19th and 20th centuries. The course provides an overview of selected schools, approaches, controversies and applications. Theoretical issues are illustrated with language data taken mainly from English and Polish.
Students familiarize themselves with the basic terms and conceptual categories in linguistics, beginning with general concepts like language and grammar. A variety of research traditions and theoretical frameworks are outlined (including the model of generative grammar). The internal components of the grammar are characterized in some detail, followed by a presentation of some grammatical interfaces as well as interdisciplinary links between linguistics and other disciplines (e.g. sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics). The crucial role of the fundamental linguistic dichotomies is emphasized and explained (such as form and function, synchrony vs diachrony). Elements of theoretical knowledge are used in practical problem solving (analytic tasks). It is demonstrated how linguistic knowledge and skills may be employed in other scholarly and scientific disciplines as well as in everyday life (e.g. applications of computational linguistics).
The course covers the following major topics:
- General terms and concepts in linguistics:
language, grammar, linguistics, language universals, the origins of language, etc.
- Morphology as a grammatical component and a linguistic discipline:
morpheme, morph and allomorph, types of morphemes, classification of morphological processes, inflection and derivation, principal conceptual categories encoded morphologically, the interfaces between morphology, the lexicon, and other components of the grammar
- Syntax as a grammatical component and a linguistic discipline:
traditional syntactic concepts and categories, an outline of generative syntax (phrase structure, transformations), subcategorization, recursiveness, syntactic typology
- Semantics as a grammatical component and a linguistic discipline:
lexical semantics vs. the meaning of phrases and sentences, types of semantic relations in the lexicon (synonymy, antonymy, hyponymy, etc.), semantic properties, thematic roles, predicate-argument structures, metaphor, idioms, semiotics, pragmatics
- Phonology as a grammatical component and a linguistic discipline:
differences between phonology and phonetics, theories and definitions of the phoneme, phoneme vs. allophone, the concept of phonological contrast, distinctive features, types of phonological processes and rules, phonotactics, syllable structure, prosodic phenomena
- Recapitulation: major schools and approaches in modern linguistics
- Social aspects of language:
variation in language (sociolinguistics), dialect and idiolect (dialectology), style, slang, jargon
- Historical linguistics:
synchrony vs. diachrony, the development of historical linguistics in the past centuries, the concept of language change, diachronic processes and tendencies in phonology and the other components of the grammar (with examples from English), borrowing and other types of change in the lexicon, genetic classification of languages
- Language acquisition (ontogenesis of speech):
theories and methods in first language acquisition, periodization, evolution of particular structures and skills (lexical, phonological, syntactic, etc.), specificity of second language acquisition
- Elements of neurolinguistics and psycholinguistics:
human language and the brain, evolution of language, psycholinguistic models of language processing
- Natural language and computer science (computational linguistics):
computer models of language processing, computer-assisted applications, language and Artificial Intelligence.
- Revision and recapitulation.
Type of course
K_W01 has structured theoretical and practical knowledge concerning the basics of linguistic science
K_W02 knows the basic terms and concepts of linguistics
K_W17 understands the role of linguistics in interpersonal communication
The graduate is able to:
K_U01 search, analyse, evaluate, select and use information, using a variety of sources and methods
K_U03 undertake critical evaluation and qualitative analysis of foreign language teaching in terms of theoretical linguistics, and diagnose the needs of every learner concerning their linguistic competences
K_U07 assess the suitability of a variety of methods, procedures and best practices, and select and apply, in foreign language teaching, an approach which is most appropriate from the viewpoint of linguistics
K_U14 use their theoretical linguistic knowledge to plan a language teaching course and program suitable for a full range of pupils' needs
K_U16 formulate and test hypotheses connected with simple implementation of linguistics in foreign language teaching
K_U18 use technical language and express their thoughts clearly and coherently, using a variety of channels and techniques to discuss teacher issues from a theoretical standpoint, using their linguistic knowledge
K_U21 speak and write consistently and precisely in Polish and English on topics related to educational matters, using findings from the field of linguistics
The graduate is prepared to:
K_K02 critically reflect on the level of their skills and knowledge, constantly develop professionally and personally, self-assess their competences, improve their skills, plan their development and training
K_K07 correctly identify the priorities for the implementation of specified tasks
K_K08 correctly identify and resolve dilemmas associated with the teaching profession
Grades and learning outcomes:
2 - ndst
The student does not have elementary linguistic knowledge.
The student is unable to make a link between basic linguistic concepts and language data.
The student is unwilling or unable to reflect on and improve the level of their skills and knowledge.
3 (+) - dst (+)
The student has elementary linguistic knowledge.
The student is able to make a link between basic linguistic concepts and language data.
The student is able and willing to reflect on and improve the level of their skills and knowledge.
4 (+) - db (+)
The student has fairly systematic knowledge of linguistics.
The student is able to make a link between basic linguistic concepts and language data as well as elements of linguistic theory.
The student is able and willing to reflect on and improve considerably the level of their skills and knowledge.
5 (!) - bdb (!)
The student has systematic and profound knowledge of linguistics.
The student is able to make a link between basic linguistic concepts and language data as well as elements of language history and theory.
The student is able and willing to reflect on and improve considerably the level of their skills and knowledge in the field of linguistics.
- Fromkin, V., Rodman, R., An Introduction to Language
- Blake, B., All About Language
- O’Grady, W., Dobrovolsky, M., Katamba, F., Contemporary Linguistics. An Introduction
- Radford, A., Atkinson, M., Britain, D., Clahsen, H., Spencer, A., Linguistics. An Introduction.
- Sapir, E., Language
Plus a selection of Internet resources.
Information on level of this course, year of study and semester when the course unit is delivered, types and amount of class hours - can be found in course structure diagrams of apropriate study programmes. This course is related to the following study programmes:
- Teaching Foreign Languages, English, French (2nd subject), full time studies, first cycle programme
- Teaching foreign languages: English, 2nd subj. teaching 'history and social studies'
- Teaching Foreign Languages, English, German (2nd subject), full-time, first-cycle studies
Additional information (registration calendar, class conductors, localization and schedules of classes), might be available in the USOSweb system: