Module Information

Module Identifier
Module Title
Academic Year
Intended for use in future years

Course Delivery



Assessment Type Assessment length / details Proportion
Semester Assessment Continuous Assessment: Assignment of 2, 000 words  40%
Semester Exam 2 Hours   Written exam.  60%

Learning Outcomes

At the end of this module, students should:

  • have developed an introductory understanding of linguistic structure on a descriptive level;
  • have become aware of the principles and methods of descriptive linguistics;
  • be able to apply all of the above to debates on language issues, especially in Education.

Brief description

Language is one of the main characteristics of humans, and the purpose of this module is to appreciate its properties. Applying modern Linguistics, the structure of language is described on an introductory basis, and the basic methods of analysing structure are explained. In the light of this, attitudes towards language can be discussed, including those based on correctness. This module complements interests in sociolinguistics and computational linguistics. It makes students aware of basic concepts of descriptive analysis which are relevant to more advanced and specialized modules at levels 2 and 3.


  • To promote an understanding of linguistic structure on a descriptive level.
  • To promote an understanding of the methods and principles of descriptive linguistic analysis.
  • To provide opportunities to practice and develop analytic skills.
  • To encourage the application of all of the above in debates on language issues in general but especially in Education.


Lectures are based on the following topics:

  • Language and knowledge of language
  • Accents and their sounds
  • Over the segments
  • Writing systems
  • Words and their classes
  • Combining words: phrases, sentences and linguistic creativity
  • Words and their meanings
  • Meaning and the wider context of language
  • Variation in linguistic structure
  • Human language and animal communication
Tutorials provide students with the opportunity to apply the principles and methods which are introduced in the lectures:

  • to additional data,
  • to issues relating to language, especially in Education.


This module is at CQFW Level 4