LING208: Language Acquisition and Language Origins
This course examines explanations of how we acquire our first language and how language evolved in humans. We bring psycholinguistics and theoretical linguistics together to describe and explain the processes a child goes through in learning their first language. We also look at issues such as second language acquisition in adults, animal communication systems, and experiments in teaching apes to use a human language.
The course is an introduction to language acquisition studies, psycholinguistics and theories of mind and language – looking particularly at the wide spectrum of different explanations for language acquisition.
Aims and objectives
The aim of the course is to provide students with a broad understanding of current thinking regarding the relationship between language and mind, an overview of the processes of first language acquisition, and knowledge of the current state of debates regarding the origin of language in human evolution.
- First Language Acquisition: data and theories
- Prerequisites for language learning
- Phonological development
- Word learning
- Syntactic development
- Pragmatic development
- Language impairments
- Language, brain and cognition
- Animal communication
- Language evolution
- Theories of language acquisition and evolution
Brooks & Kempe (2012). Language Development. BPS Blackwell.
Christiansen & Kirby (2003). Language Evolution. Oxford University Press.
|Terms taught||1 and 2|
|Prerequisites||At least one of the following at Part I: Linguistics, English Language, Psychology|
|Assessment||Essay (20%), plus research project (20%), plus exam (60%)|
(ERASMUS, JYA etc)
This course is available to visiting students (ERASMUS, JYA etc) as follows:
Full Year (October to June) - 8 semester credits or 16 ECTS credits
Michaelmas Only (October to December) - 4 semester credits or 8 ECTS credits
Please note that visiting students who are at Lancaster for the full academic year must register for the full course. The Michaelmas Only and Lent and Summer Only options are only available to part-year visiting students.
For further information contact contact Silke Brandt.