Linguistics 2


Linguistics 2 offers young linguists an opportunity to delve further into a variety of topics introduced in Linguistics 1, along with a few new areas of study and application of linguistic principles to new languages.  As in Ling 1, there is a balance between modules investigating the structure of language and others that describe how language is used.

For more information about our curriculum, please see the Student Handbook 2021.

The modules to be taught in 2021 are listed below:


Systemic Functional Linguistics

Lecturer: Ian Siebörger

This module teaches a deeper investigation of the grammatical aspects of the Systemic-Functional model of language, introduced in the Language in the Media module in first year.  In particular it includes:

  • an introduction to the Systemic-Functional model of context
  • more detailed analyses of the Ideational, Interpersonal and Textual metafunctions
  • clauses and clause structure
  • real-world applications of Systemic Functional Linguistics



Lecturer: Mark de Vos

This module builds on the Language Structures module in first year, and explores the following topics:

  • constituent structure
  • Relationships between constituents: Binding; C-command; Merge; Move; Agree.
  • clause structure and argument structure
  • Phrase structure and X-bar Theory
  • Cross-linguistic similarities and differences
  • A derivational (Minimalist) approach to syntactic structure


Lecturer: Tracy Probert

This module aims to increase your understanding of language acquisition, in particular second language acquisition and language learning. This module will expose you to theories and central arguments around second language acquisition. This module covers the following topics: 

  • theories on second language acquisition
  • the nature of learner language: second language analysis
  • comparing L1 and L2 acquisition
  • affective, social and cultural factors in L2 acquisition
  • bilingualism




Lecturer: Kelly Kilian

This module covers some of the following topics:

  • sociolinguistic concepts
  • research procedures (dialectology, variation studies)
  • variation based on age, class, social network and ethnicity


African Linguistics

Lecturer: Ron Simango

This module covers some of the following topics:

  • Bantu languages overview
  • Agglutination and word formation
  • The verb complex
  • Grammatical functions and agreement
  • Argument structure-changing operations
  • Object marking parameters

Language Endangerment

Lecturer: Kelly Kilian

This module focuses on increasing student’s understanding of endangered languages both globally and specifically within the South African context. Within this module there is a clear focus on the linguistic history and status of ‘Khoisan’ languages. This module covers some of the following topics:

  • ‘Khoisan’ linguistic classification today
  • ‘Khoisan’ sibling terminologies in historical perspective 
  • Areal Features and Linguistic Areas: Contact-induced Change and Geographical Typology
  • Patterns of Linguistic Convergence in the Khoe-speaking Area of Southern Africa
  • Endangered languages & Speaker typology


Phonetics and Phonology

Lecturer: William Bennett

This module covers various topics in phonetics, phonology, and the phonetics-phonology interface, including themes such as: 

  • consonantal gestures 
  • acoustic phonetics 
  • vowels and vowel-like articulations 
  • introductory phonological theory 
  • phonetics vs. phonology 
  • surface and underlying representations 
  • feature theory 
  • phonological typology and naturalness 


Linguistic Interfaces

Lecturer: Ron Simango

The goal of this module is to provide students with an opportunity to explore the links between the core subfields of linguistics – phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics – and to examine how rules applying in one domain are dependent on and are influenced by rules applying in another domain. It is often the case that these fields are studied independently of each other, which creates the impression that the fields might indeed be independent. It is hoped that by the end of this module some of the links that exist between the various fields will have become apparent. This is a hands-on module which presupposes that the student possesses introductory knowledge of linguistics and the basic terminology in the relevant subfields. The module covers the following topics:

  • morpho-phonology
  • phonology-syntax connections
  • morphology-syntax connections
  • syntax-semantics connections


For more information about Linguistics 2, please contact Mbali Jiyane.

Last Modified: Mon, 19 Apr 2021 17:38:19 SAST