• Total units 48 Units
  • Areas of interest Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
  • Major code LING-MAJ
  • Academic career Undergraduate

Linguistics is the study of human language: how we use language to communicate, how languages vary and change over time, how meanings are expressed and can be described, how children and adults acquire language, communication differences across cultures, and much more. In this major, students have the opportunity to learn about the core branches of linguistics, including sound systems (phonetics and phonology), word and sentence structure (morphology and syntax), conversation and text structure (discourse), meaning (semantics), and language use in society (sociolinguistics). Students are exposed to data from a wide variety of languages and may do detailed work on a number of different languages and language families. Thorough training is given in linguistic theory and in both qualitative and quantitative research methods, which students apply to a variety of empirical problems.


Due to structural changes in the undergraduate program rules in 2012, the courses that make up the new 2012 majors may be different to the pre-2012 majors, and therefore some courses cannot be counted between majors.  Students are advised to contact the CASS Student Office if they are unsure about their Majors.


Learning outcomes

Graduates within the Linguistics Major will have the knowledge and skills to:

  • demonstrate an understanding of the nature of the structures found in all human languages
  • demonstrate an understanding of how people use languages to communicate, and of the role of language in human society
  • describe the most important sorts of variation found in human languages
  • make in-depth analysis in at least one linguistic sub-structure
  • evaluate popular beliefs and arguments concerning language use and language diversity
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This major requires the completion of 48 units, which must include:


6 units from completion of the following course(s):

Code Title Units
LING1001 Introduction to the Study of Language 6

A maximum of 6 units may come from completion of courses from the following list:

Code Title Units
LING1002 Language and Society 6
LING1021 Cross-Cultural Communication 6
AUST1001 Learning an Indigenous Australian Language 6

A minimum of 12 units must come from completion of courses from the following list:

Code Title Units
LING2003 Introduction to Syntax 6
LING2008 Semantics 6
LING2010 Sounds of the World's Languages: Phonetics and Phonology 6

A maximum of 18 units may come from completion of courses from the following list:

Code Title Units
ASIA2001 Language in Asia 6
ASIA2103 Language in Asia (L) 6
ASIA2308 Linguistic Histories in Asia and the Pacific 6
AUST2008 Learning an Indigenous Australian language 2 6
GERM2048 Spoken Interaction in German: Theory and Practice 6
INDN2101 The Shape of Indonesian: Its Structure and Development 6
  JPNS 2009: Japanese Lexicon
JPNS2019 Japanese Phonetics and Phonology 6
JPNS2024 Japanese Grammar and Expressions 6
  LANG 2103: Second Language Pragmatics
LING2005 Language Change and Linguistic Reconstruction 6
LING2013 Teaching Languages 6
LING2015 Language, Culture, Translation 6
LING2016 Language in Indigenous Australia 6
LING2017 Chinese Linguistics 6
LING2018 Languages in Contact 6
LING2020 Structure of English 6
LING2021 Cross Cultural Communication (L) 6
LING2022 Language Policy and Language Politics 6
LING2023 Dictionaries and Dictionary-Making 6
LING2027 Language and Society in Latin America 6
LING2028 Japanese Linguistics 6
LING2029 Assessing Language 6
LING2101 Second Language Acquisition 6
LING2104 The History of the English Language 6
LING2105 Language and the law: introduction to forensic linguistics 6
LING2106 Language and Social Interaction 6
PASI2010 Talking the Pacific: Melanesian pidgins and creoles in social context 6
  PASI 2020: Languages of the Pacific
PHIL2016 Philosophy of Language 6
PHIL2080 Logic 6
SPAN2601 The Sounds of Spanish 6
SPAN2602 The Structure of Spanish 6
SPAN2603 History of the Spanish language. A linguistic time travel 6
SPAN2604 Language variation across the Spanish-speaking world 6
HUMN2001 Digital Humanities: Theories and Projects 6

A minimum of 6 units must come from completion of courses from the following list:

Code Title Units
ARAB3003 Introductory Course to Arabic Linguistics 6
GERM3048 Spoken Interaction in German: Theory and Practice 6
JPNS3011 Language Variation and Change in the Japanese Archipelago 6
LANG3001 Translation across Languages: the translation of literary texts 6
LANG3002 Translation across Languages: specialised material 6
LANG3004 Language and Society in Latin America 6
LANG3005 Language and Identity in a European Context 6
LING3008 Study of A Language Family 6
LING3013 Issues in Advanced Japanese Linguistics 6
LING3107 Morphology 6
LING3021 Child Language Acquisition 6
LING3022 Seminar on Semantics 6
LING3025 Special Topics in Linguistics 6
LING3030 A comparative study of Austronesian languages 6
LING3031 Papuan Languages 6
LING3032 Advanced Forensic Linguistics: Forensic Voice and Text Comparison 6
LING3119 Phonological analysis 6
LING3126 Syntactic Theory 6
SPAN3031 Advanced Spanish Topics in Language and Linguistics 6
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