Module Catalogue 2019/20

SML1019 : Introduction to Linguistics

  • Offered for Year: 2019/20
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Damien Hall
  • Lecturer: Dr Carol Fehringer, Professor Ian MacKenzie
  • Owning School: Modern Languages
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 1 Credit Value: 10
Semester 2 Credit Value: 10
ECTS Credits: 10.0
Pre Requisites
Pre Requisite Comment


Co Requisites
Co Requisite Comment

Students are required to be taking the Level B language module(s) appropriate to their degree and stage.


In consonance with the overall aims of the degrees offered in the SML, this module aims to provide students with a broad-based introduction to linguistics using data mainly from French, German, and Spanish. It provides a basic introduction to the scientific study of human language. Students will be introduced to the description of French, German, or Spanish, especially to phonetic transcription and some basic tools for the description of the respective sound system, word structure and sentence structure. In Semester 2 more general topics such as sociolinguistics and historical linguistics will be explored.

Outline Of Syllabus

Lectures and seminars alternate
Topics: phonetics
historical linguistics
sociolinguistics: language contact
sociolinguistics: language variation

Learning Outcomes

Intended Knowledge Outcomes

At the end of the course, students should have gained a basic knowledge of:
The various sub-branches of linguistics:
• phonetics and phonology;
• morphology;
• syntax;
• semantics;
• historical linguistics
• sociolinguistics
• language acquisition
Students will apply some of this knowledge to the linguistics of French, German or Spanish.

Intended Skill Outcomes

At the end of the module students should be able to:
• use phonetic / phonemic transcription in the language(s) of their choice and use the standard reference works;
• perform simple phonological, morphological, syntactic and lexical analyses in the language(s) of their choice and use the standard reference works;
• take notes effectively in lectures, from journals, electronic sources and secondary material;
• write an appropriately documented and organized analysis of specific problems;
• use a standard format (the Harvard or author-date system) for footnotes and references.

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture72:0014:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching161:0016:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesDrop-in/surgery41:004:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study1166:00166:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

General linguistics concepts are introduced in lectures which are then applied to French, German and Spanish in seminars. The seminars give the students the opportunity to examine the linguistic structure of their chosen language through regular exercises, discussion and group work.

Reading Lists

Assessment Methods

The format of resits will be determined by the Board of Examiners

Description Length Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written Examination1202A70N/A
Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Written exercise1M30Class test
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Written exercise1MPractice transcription
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The written in-class test will assess factual and technical knowledge, while the final examination will also assess analytical skills and self-expression. The overall assessment package aims to ensure both subject-specific knowledge development and the consolidation of core transferrable skills.

The formative assessment is a practice transcription in Semester 1.


Past Exam Papers

General Notes


Disclaimer: The information contained within the Module Catalogue relates to the 2019/20 academic year. In accordance with University Terms and Conditions, the University makes all reasonable efforts to deliver the modules as described. Modules may be amended on an annual basis to take account of changing staff expertise, developments in the discipline, the requirements of external bodies and partners, and student feedback. Module information for the 2020/21 entry will be published here in early-April 2019. Queries about information in the Module Catalogue should in the first instance be addressed to your School Office.