Credit points: 15

Subject outline

The world's extraordinary linguistic diversity is under threat, and the sustainability of the many smaller languages of the world is an urgent issue. Examining the great diversity of human language will make you aware of the extent of global linguistic diversity and the breadth of diversity in syntactic structures. Deeper knowledge of the complex interactions expressed by linguistic diversity will assist you to understand the challenges facing the sustainability of our existing linguistic diversity. You will learn about the relationship between the continuation of linguistic diversity and the sustainability of human cultural diversity, and the responsibility that linguists have to respect and preserve linguistic diversity. You will learn the skills needed to describe the syntactic structures of languages and thus help contribute to sustaining linguistic diversity. This subject addresses La Trobe's Sustainability Thinking Essential. You will gain a deep appreciation of how the choices we make affect natural, economic, social, political and cultural systems-now and in the future.

SchoolHumanities and Social Sciences

Credit points15

Subject Co-ordinatorStephen Morey

Available to Study Abroad/Exchange StudentsYes

Subject year levelYear Level 3 - UG

Available as ElectiveYes

Learning ActivitiesExercises, Online quizzes, Seminar participation

Capstone subjectYes

Subject particulars

Subject rules

PrerequisitesLIN1IML AND LIN2SOL


Incompatible subjectsLIN3SYN

Equivalent subjectsN/A

Quota Management StrategyN/A

Quota-conditions or rulesN/A

Special conditionsCore subject at third-year for linguistics in the Bachelor of Arts

Minimum credit point requirementN/A

Assumed knowledgeN/A

Learning resources

Introduction to the Languages of the World

Resource TypeBook

Resource RequirementRecommended

AuthorAnatole Lyovin, Brett Kessler, and William Leben.



PublisherOxford University Press


Chapter/article titleN/A



Other descriptionN/A

Source locationN/A

Understanding Syntax

Resource TypeBook

Resource RequirementPrescribed

AuthorMaggie Tallerman.





Chapter/article titleN/A



Other descriptionN/A

Source locationN/A

Career Ready


Work-based learningNo

Self sourced or Uni sourcedN/A

Entire subject or partial subjectN/A

Total hours/days requiredN/A

Location of WBL activity (region)N/A

WBL addtional requirementsN/A

Graduate capabilities & intended learning outcomes

Graduate Capabilities

COMMUNICATION - Communicating and Influencing
INQUIRY AND ANALYSIS - Creativity and Innovation
INQUIRY AND ANALYSIS - Critical Thinking and Problem Solving
INQUIRY AND ANALYSIS - Research and Evidence-Based Inquiry
PERSONAL AND PROFESSIONAL - Ethical and Social Responsibility

Intended Learning Outcomes

01. Apply relevant metalanguage of morphology and syntax in the analysis of data
02. Recognise and describe in writing the diversity in major and small languages from different families
03. Discuss and demonstrate understanding of how the complex interactions between natural, economic, social, political and cultural systems are evident in language usage and maintenance
04. Analyse the structure of unfamiliar languages and identify elements and their functions in language in short exercises
05. Research and explore a linguistic issue in detail and prepare a written account
06. Understand and explain issues of language maintenance, documentation and revitalization in terms of community needs (current and future generations and how choices affect the public good (diversity in addition to the well being of future generations

Subject options

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Start date between: and    Key dates

Melbourne (Bundoora), 2021, Semester 1, Day


Online enrolmentYes

Maximum enrolment sizeN/A

Subject Instance Co-ordinatorStephen Morey

Class requirements

Lecture/SeminarWeek: 10 - 22
One 2.00 hours lecture/seminar per week on weekdays during the day from week 10 to week 22 and delivered via face-to-face.

TutorialWeek: 10 - 22
One 1.00 hour tutorial per week on weekdays during the day from week 10 to week 22 and delivered via face-to-face.


Assessment elementCommentsCategoryContributionHurdle% ILO*

Weekly Homework (800 words) Weekly exercises testing the student's knowledge of language data

N/AOtherIndividualNo20 SILO1, SILO2, SILO4

Essay / Assignment 1 (800 words) Analysis of one particular linguistic feature with some additional analysis relating to the sustainability of language diversity

N/AAssignmentIndividualNo20 SILO1, SILO2, SILO3, SILO5, SILO6

Essay / Assignment 2 (800 words) Writing a 'sketch grammar' analysis of some language data provided to the students

N/AAssignmentIndividualNo20 SILO1, SILO2, SILO3, SILO4, SILO6

Take home examination (2000 words equivalent) A series of questions relating to data analysis, and some questions that will relate to sustainability.

N/AOther written examIndividualNo40 SILO1, SILO2, SILO4