- Code LING6040
- Unit Value 6 units
- 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, Asia Pacific Studies, Language Studies, Asia-Pacific Studies, Linguistics
This course is available for in-person and remote (online) learning. Remote (online) and in-person students participate together in the same class.
This course is an introduction to Austronesian languages, exploring the history, and the linguistic and socio-cultural-political diversity of the Austronesian world. 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 remote islands with only a couple of hundred speakers. During the course students will learn about the migration and dispersion of the Austronesian people and salient features characterising their languages, social organisations and cultures. Case studies are used to represent certain salient Austronesian features in relation to particular (sub)regions and societies to cover topics in Austronesian sound systems and grammars, writing systems, ritual language and religions, language contact and change, language ecology, the politics of language, language landscape and verbal arts.
Upon successful completion, students will have the knowledge and skills to:On successful completion of the course, students will have the skills and knowledge to:
1. Demonstrate an understanding of the basic terminology, concepts and issues of the field of linguistics and related fields as they pertain to the Austronesian languages;
2. Identify and discuss the salient linguistic and socio-cultural characteristics of the varieties of the Austronesian language family;
3. Assess the typical arguments pertaining to the history and typological properties of the varieties of Austronesian languages;
4. Analyse and compare linguistic systems, and related socio-cultural-political aspects based on concrete data;
5. Undertake guided research and analysis of data for a selected topic for a given project;
6. Present and justify the research results of the project with clarity and focus, both orally and in writing.
7. Evaluate the suitability of a particular simple theoretical framework for a given descriptive Austronesian project.
Indicative Assessment1. Two problem-sets illustrating linguistic analyses of concrete data (30%, LOs 1, 4), with 1-2 pages of data calling for 2-3 pages of analysis.
2. Research plan (5%; Los 4, 5,7)
3. A short critical summary of 1000 words of a journal article, which addresses a significant issue in Austronesian studies (5%; LOs 1,2,3).
4. A 15 minute oral presentation on a selected topic, possibly developed to become a research essay topic (10%; LOs 2,3,4, 6,7).
5. A research essay, 3000-3500 words, which can either be an original investigation and analysis of some aspect of an Austronesian language and culture, or a comparative study of a particular property across Austronesian languages/cultures (50%, including 15% draft, 5% peer-review report, and 30% final revised version; LOs 1,2,3,4,5,6,7).
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WorkloadThe workload consists of a total of around 10 hours per week for various activities: 3 contact hours (2 hours lectures and 1 hour tutorial) and around 7 hours for weekly readings, tutorial preparation, and assessment items (problem sets and term paper).
The lectures provide the students with the background knowledge and skills on the relevant weekly topics; the tutorials provide them with practical exercises and further discussions of topics and problems, issues and crucial points of the lectures. The students are expected to do all home assignments (usually in the form of problem sets and basic research), which are assessed to demonstrate their progress in learning and acquiring new knowledge and skills.
Requisite and Incompatibility
Prescribed TextsBlust, Robert. 2013. The Austronesian languages (the revised edition). Canberra: Asia-Pacific Linguistics
Preliminary ReadingAdelaar, Alexander. 2005. The Austronesian languages of Asia and Madagascar: A historical perspective. In The Austronesian languages of Asia and Madagascar, ed. by Alexander Adelaar and Nikolaus P. Himmelmann, 1-42. London and New York: Routledge.
Assumed KnowledgeThe course assumes some prior knowledge in linguistics.
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