School of Languages, Linguistics and Film

In a Word

Module code: LIN5212

Credits: 15.0
Semester: SEM2

  • Semester 2: Weeks 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12: Friday 11 am - 1 pm

Contact: Prof Hagit Borer
Overlap: None
Prerequisite: LIN4200 and LIN402

Words are the most natural, accessible units of our language, but when we attempt to make more explicit our knowledge and use of words, we are faced with many important questions. For instance, the average adult knows approximately 50,000 words but how is it possible for to learn so many words in a relatively short period of time? How do we extract words, with their specific meaning, from the acoustic jumble of speech? How do we know when 'strike' is a noun and when it is a verb? How do we know that 'transformationalize' is probably a word in English, even if we don't know what it means, but that 'transformize' is not? And how do young children learn all this? Based primarily on English, we will learn to assign structure to words; we will look at how their meaning interacts with context; and finally, at how children acquire words.

Connected course(s): UDF DATA
Assessment: 100.0% Coursework
Level: 5