Level of study Third/Final year
Credit value 20
Pre-requisite modules You must have completed at least two years of appropriate study in this discipline. Compulsory module for final year SH English Language programme.
The aim of this course is to provide you with a sound overview of the development of linguistic theory during the 20th century. It will assume a degree of familiarity with descriptive linguistic method, normally acquired in the first and second years of Language study. Under each of four thematically organised blocks, the course will cover the period from the latter part of the nineteenth century to the present day. The four blocks are: (a) Prescription and Description; (b) Linguistic Relativism; (c) Language and the mind; and (d) Meaning. Representative examples of key issues you may explore under each of these themes are: (a) the crucial role of Saussure in revolutionising linguistic method at the beginning of the century; (b) examination of the Sapir/Whorf hypothesis in the context of earlier comparative philology and later ethnographic linguistics; (c) a historical perspective on vocabulary and vocabulary storage in the brain; (d) overlap and differences in approach to meaning in linguistics and philosophy. The four thematic blocks are not fixed, but topics within blocks may vary in any year.