• Offered by School of Culture History and Language
  • ANU College ANU College of Asia and the Pacific
  • Course subject Linguistics
  • Areas of interest Linguistics and Applied Linguistics
  • Academic career UGRD
  • Mode of delivery In Person
  • Co-taught Course

Comparative study of a selected language family (to vary each year): features of the grammar of selected languages of the family; comparative phonology, morphology, syntax, vocabulary; reconstruction of aspects of the proto-language; subgrouping; language change and cultural history. Recent developments and current issues in the historical study of the language family. Methodological issues in describing language change, establishing genetic relation, and reconstructing language prehistory.

The course will serve both to initiate students into the descriptive and comparative study of a particular language family and to consolidate and advance their understanding of the principles of language change and the practice of linguistic reconstruction.

Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:

On successful completion of this course students should be able to:

  1. identify varieties of the language family based on aspects of their phonology, morphology, and syntax;
  2. assess arguments pertaining to the history and development of the varieties of the language family;
  3. explain the complex attitudes people have to varieties of the languages;
  4. analyse raw linguistic data;
  5. collaborate with other students in the selection and analysis of data for a project on a given variety;
  6. research, present and justify the results of your collaboration with other students with respect to the projects;
  7. reflect on and articulate how your own understanding of language variety and change have developed over the course of the semester.

Other Information

This is an advanced linguistic course focusing on the Austronesian (AN) language family, with a particular focus on its Oceanic subgroup. Austronesian is the world's largest language family in terms of geographical spread, spanning more than half the globe: from Madagascar to Easter Island, and from Taiwan to New Zealand. This vast and diverse language family is also one of the best documented. It includes both major world languages with millions of speakers, like Indonesian and Tagalog, and tiny Oceanic languages spoken on a remote island with only a couple of hundred speakers. During the course students will learn about features of the grammars of selected languages of the family; comparative phonology, morphology, syntax, vocabulary; reconstruction of aspects of the proto-language; language change and cultural history; and recent developments and current typological and theoretical issues in Austronesian linguistics.

This is a co-taught course. Any cap on enrolments in one course applies to both courses combined.

Indicative Assessment

one 2500-3000 word essay (30%), short critical summaries of 1000 words (20%), presentations (20%), problem sets (10%), group project (20%).

The ANU uses Turnitin to enhance student citation and referencing techniques, and to assess assignment submissions as a component of the University's approach to managing Academic Integrity. While the use of Turnitin is not mandatory, the ANU highly recommends Turnitin is used by both teaching staff and students. For additional information regarding Turnitin please visit the ANU Online website.


32 contact hours (lectures/tutorials) over the course of the semester.

Requisite and Incompatibility

To enrol in this course you must have successfully completed LING1001 or LING2001 and either LING1010 or LING2020 or LING2003. Alternatively you may gain permission of the Course Convener to enrol in this course. Incompatible with LING6508.




Tuition fees are for the academic year indicated at the top of the page.  

If you are a domestic graduate coursework or international student you will be required to pay tuition fees. Tuition fees are indexed annually. Further information for domestic and international students about tuition and other fees can be found at Fees.

Student Contribution Band:
Unit value:
6 units

If you are an undergraduate student and have been offered a Commonwealth supported place, your fees are set by the Australian Government for each course. At ANU 1 EFTSL is 48 units (normally 8 x 6-unit courses). You can find your student contribution amount for each course at Fees.  Where there is a unit range displayed for this course, not all unit options below may be available.

6.00 0.12500
Domestic fee paying students
Year Fee
2018 $2820
International fee paying students
Year Fee
2018 $4320
Note: Please note that fee information is for current year only.

Offerings, Dates and Class Summary Links

ANU utilises MyTimetable to enable students to view the timetable for their enrolled courses, browse, then self-allocate to small teaching activities / tutorials so they can better plan their time. Find out more on the Timetable webpage.

There are no current offerings for this course.

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