SEL3005 : Language Origins and Evolution
- Offered for Year: 2018/19
- Module Leader(s): Professor Maggie Tallerman
- Owning School: English Lit, Language & Linguistics
- Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
|Semester 1 Credit Value:||20|
Aims: To examine recent theories of language origins and evolution from a linguistic perspective; to examine work on the physical evidence concerning the origins of language, especially from a linguistic perspective; to consider additional evidence from a biological, anthropological, neurological and palaeontological perspective.
Outline Of Syllabus
i. Human evolution and phylogeny in relation to language (weeks 1 – 4)
ii. Language-relevant changes to the brain and cognition in hominins (week 5)
iii. Communication and relevant cognitive skills in other species (week 6)
iv. The human speech modality and the development of sound systems (weeks 7 – 8)
v. The transition to language: Protolanguage and the evolution of syntax and morphology (weeks 9 – 11)
vi. Surgery on essay writing (week 12)
|Scheduled Learning And Teaching Activities||Lecture||11||2:00||22:00||N/A|
|Guided Independent Study||Assessment preparation and completion||1||47:00||47:00||N/A|
|Guided Independent Study||Directed research and reading||1||65:00||65:00||N/A|
|Scheduled Learning And Teaching Activities||Small group teaching||12||1:00||12:00||N/A|
|Guided Independent Study||Skills practice||1||10:00||10:00||N/A|
|Scheduled Learning And Teaching Activities||Workshops||2||1:00||2:00||N/A|
|Guided Independent Study||Student-led group activity||1||20:00||20:00||inc. 10 hours directed groupwork|
|Guided Independent Study||Independent study||1||22:00||22:00||N/A|
Jointly Taught With
Teaching Rationale And Relationship
Lectures introduce the relevant points of evolutionary biology as it pertains to language evolution, outline the main concepts and topics in evolutionary linguistics, give definitions and explanations, and discuss the primary hypotheses found in the evolutionary linguistics literature.
Seminars read and digest primary literature, outline the structure of arguments, allow student feedback, and discuss issues arising from the lectures, in smaller groups. Assignments will also be planned and developed in seminars.
Essay writing workshops give practical advice about presenting and constructing an argument, and writing cogently in a scientific discipline.
The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners
|Essay||1||M||Short formative essay of no more than two sides of typescript, taken from one of previous year's titles.|
Assessment Rationale And Relationship
The written assignment allows assessment of a student’s understanding of the concepts and issues covered, their grasp of the major hypotheses in the field, and their ability to argue cogently, clearly and concisely, including their ability to use correctly the technical terminology required in an evolutionary science.