PL1LING1-Introduction to Linguistics

Module Provider: Clinical Language Sciences
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Terms in which taught: Spring term module
Non-modular pre-requisites: all Part 1 modules MSci Speech and language Therapy
Modules excluded:
Current from: 2018/9

Module Convenor: Mr Daniel Fryer


Type of module:

Summary module description:

This module aims to introduce basic theoretical concepts in the scientific study of language and its acquisition by monolingual and bilingual populations. Content includes morphology and syntax, semantics, pragmatics and socio-linguistics.


This module introduces students to basic theoretical concepts in linguistics, including grammar (morphology and syntax), socio-linguistics, semantics and pragmatics. It will introduce students to linguistic concepts that are necessary for their understanding of how language can be described, how its use may vary, how it is acquired (including bilingual acquisition) and how it can be impaired. Theoretical concepts will be applied to data from adults and children with typical and atypical language development. It will facilitate students' ability to identify patterns and use data to justify their analyses. The module will introduce students to the construction – both in terms of decision making and implementation - and interpretation of clinical tasks for the assessment of language impairments.

Assessable learning outcomes:

By the end of the module, the students should be able to:

  1. Describe the main morphological, syntactic, semantic and pragmatic properties of English sentences as well as how these are acquired by children (monolingual and bilingual)

  2. Outline how language varies in its use on the basis of social, cultural and/or individual factors and relate this to clinical practice

  3. Apply relevant concepts, notation and terminology in the description, analysis and interpretation of language data

  4. Use linguistic knowledge and terminology to construct an assessment for a client, including the rationale for, and details of administrative procedures and scoring

  5. Broadly distinguish between typical and atypical/impaired patterns of language data

Additional outcomes:

Outline content:

Language and symbol systems; the relevance of linguistics, its concepts and methods for speech and language therapy; language use; word (syntactic) categories; syntactic category tests and their application to typical and atypical language; morphology: inflection vs. derivation; thematic roles; argument structure; arguments vs. adjuncts; verbs; phrase structure and clinical applications; lexical and sentence meaning; lexical relations; pragmatics; discourse and conversation; social dimension of language; the role of family, gender

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:

The module uses a blended approach to teaching, including lectures, online resources and small group tutorials.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 20
Tutorials 10
Guided independent study 170
Total hours by term 200.00
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written assignment including essay 50
Set exercise 50

Summative assessment- Examinations:

Summative assessment- Coursework and in-class tests:

This is a task-based assignment that will involve the application of linguistic concepts to the analysis of data and the identification of patterns in the data. Students undertake the analysis of a given set of data (ca 1,200 words) and propose further assessment for which they design a task (1,200 words)

Set Exercise / Continuous assessment: Throughout the term, a test is undertaken through the University Virtual Learning Environment (i.e. Blackboard) which is set bi-weekly and covers the content.

Formative assessment methods:

Oral feedback for set exercises provided during tutorials

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convener will apply the following penalties for work submitted late:

  • where the piece of work is submitted after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for that piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day[1] (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at:
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Assessment requirements for a pass:

    40% overall

    Reassessment arrangements:

    Reassessment by August

    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):

    Last updated: 20 April 2018


    Things to do now