Skip to Content

Modern Theories of Linguistics in the History of Human Sciences - LING701

Language, along with the night sky and the 'signs' of illness, has been one of the longest studied objects of human enquiry. This unit examines the contemporary theories produced in that sustained human effort. In particular, we investigate the claims that twentieth century linguistics makes to being a science; and we look closely at the current ways in which linguistic theories are extended by the techniques of twenty-first century sciences: genetics and evolutionary theory; language corpora; neurosciences and medicine; complexity and computational modelling; and electronic translation tools.

The unit gives prominence to scholars concerned with the special conditions that pertain to the study of sign systems, of syntax, and of meaning: for example, Saussure; Chomsky; and various theorists across disciplines who offer methodical accounts for the study of meaning. Students in the unit can choose a strand of specialisation in their readings and assignments: one can choose by the level of language (from phonetics up to context), by the orientation to theory (eg, functionalist, structuralist, generative, or other), and by era (1900-1950, 1950- 2010, or classical and other). All students will be encouraged to place their own research interests in the context of historical developments in the subject.

Credit Points: 4
When Offered:

S1 Day - Session 1, North Ryde, Day

Staff Contact(s): Associate Professor David Butt, Dr Annabelle Lukin

Admission to MRes Prerequisite Information


NCCW(s): LING402
Unit Designation(s):
Assessed As: Graded
Offered By:

Department of Linguistics

Faculty of Human Sciences

Course structures, including unit offerings, are subject to change.
Need help? Ask us.