Study-Unit Description

Study-Unit Description


TITLE Language Typology and Universals

LEVEL 03 - Years 2, 3, 4 in Modular Undergraduate Course


DEPARTMENT Institute of Linguistics and Language Technology

DESCRIPTION Prerequisites:
LIN1070, LIN1080 or equivalent


This course is aimed at familiarising the student with research on language typology and with the study of language universals. The student needs to have a knowledge of basic linguistic terms and concepts.


The course presents an overview of the major differences (typology) and similarities (universality) among languages, in particular within the core areas of linguistic analysis, namely phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics. The concepts of type and universality in linguistics are discussed critically, and the linguistic evidence for language universals and language types found in the literature is explored in detail.

Reading List

- Comrie, B. 1981. Language Universals and Linguistic Typology. Chicago: Blackwell
- Croft, W. 1991. Universals and Typology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
- Greenberg, J. H., C. Fergusen, and E. Moravcsik. (eds.) 1978. Universals of Human Language. 4 volumes. Stanford, California: Stanford University Press
- Mallinson, G., and B. Blake. 1981. Linguistic Typology. Amsterdam: North-Holland
- Whaley, L. J. 1997. Introduction to Typology: The unity and diversity of language. London: Sage


Assessment Component/s Assessment Due Resit Availability Weighting
Assignment SEM1 Yes 100%


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The availability of optional units may be subject to timetabling constraints.
Units not attracting a sufficient number of registrations may be withdrawn without notice.
It should be noted that all the information in the description above applies to study-units available during the academic year 2021/2. It may be subject to change in subsequent years.