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SEL2231 : Linguistic Controversies (Inactive)

  • Inactive for Year: 2023/24
  • Module Leader(s): Dr Gabriel Martinez Vera
  • Owning School: English Lit, Language & Linguistics
  • Teaching Location: Newcastle City Campus
Semester 2 Credit Value: 20
ECTS Credits: 10.0


In this module, we will look at a number of debates and controversies in linguistics, focusing on one or more specific areas of study. This will give us a chance to analyse the nature of linguistic argumentation and the sometimes less-than-straightforward relation between data and analysis. We will also discuss some of the fundamental views of linguistic structure and function that underlie specific pieces of research, and try to identify commonalities and differences between different camps. In addition, we will consider the extent to which technological and methodological innovations can sometimes help resolve controversies.

Outline Of Syllabus

Topics to be covered will include: examples of current controversies in linguistics; the types of reasoning found in discussion of controversies in the literature; the extent to which data can be suitable or unsuitable for certain types of analysis; examples of recent advances in technology and methodology that can help resolve old controversies (and sometimes create new ones).

Teaching Methods

Teaching Activities
Category Activity Number Length Student Hours Comment
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesLecture112:0022:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyAssessment preparation and completion150:0050:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyDirected research and reading130:0030:00N/A
Scheduled Learning And Teaching ActivitiesSmall group teaching111:0011:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyProject work130:0030:00N/A
Guided Independent StudyIndependent study157:0057:00N/A
Teaching Rationale And Relationship

Lectures will impart knowledge of linguistic controversies in one or more fields within linguistics and of the methods that can be used to analyse them. The small group teaching will be used to consolidate this knowledge and to practice critical analysis of primary materials.

Assessment Methods

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

Other Assessment
Description Semester When Set Percentage Comment
Essay2A602500 words
Report2M401000 words
Formative Assessments
Description Semester When Set Comment
Written exercise2M500-word written exercise
Assessment Rationale And Relationship

The mid-term report will be literature-based, requiring close analysis of a linguistic controversy and the argumentation used in it. The final essay will give students an opportunity to show their understanding of all the material taught and to apply it to one or more case-studies.

Reading Lists