MRes Experimental Linguistics options
Year 1, Component 04
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Topics in Psycholinguistics
Why do speakers of English initially think that sentences like “The horse raced past the barn fell” are ungrammatical? Why are sentences like “The mouse the cat chased stole the cheese” more difficult to understand than “The mouse stole the cheese and the cat chased the mouse”? Learn about the principles of sentence and discourse processing that guide language understanding. Conduct experiments testing how speakers respond to structurally different types of sentences.
What do you know about semantics? Wish to understand this key component of modern linguistics? Study formal semantics, working on examples and exercises that use logic in the analysis of natural language semantics. Examine the main topics on word and sentence meaning in contemporary semantics.
What are the main phenomena of syntax and how can we describe and explain them? Study the properties of syntactic categories, subjects, complements and adjuncts, raising and control sentences, and long distance dependencies. Learn the importance of precise and explicit descriptions, of dealing with the full range of relevant data, and of accommodating different kinds of languages.
How does language change over time, vary across communities, and what do social alignments help explain about language variation and change? Explore the relationship between sociolinguistic theories and social groupings. Examine current sociolinguistic debates regarding language variation and change.
Language in Context: From Pragmatics to Conversation Analysis
The aim of this module is to develop your understanding of the theoretical foundations of pragmatics and conversation analysis. You will be introduced to the study of meaning and explore how what is said is not necessarily what is meant, by investigating aspects of utterance interpretation and of language use. By the end of the module, you will be familiar with a range of issues and debates in contemporary pragmatics and be able to apply your knowledge of these to a variety of problems in the investigation of language use in interaction.
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