Linguistics 3


Linguistics 3 completes our undergraduate offerings in linguistics, with an emphasis on producing graduates who are well-rounded linguists, able to think theoretically and critically and to conduct small-scale research under supervision.  

There are six class meetings per week: three lectures, two tutorials and one research report group meeting, which will be used to assist you in the writing of your research report. There are four exam papers, the first two of which are examined in June.  Please see the main timetable for times and venues.

In Linguistics 3, all students complete a year-long Research Report. Students can choose their research topic from a variety of different research themes available. Students must make an early and definite decision regarding the topic of investigation, and liaise regularly with their supervisor who will be appointed according to the area of research chosen by the student.  Depending on their decision, students will be placed in a group with other students researching similar topics.  These groups will have a meeting once a week, facilitated by the group’s supervisor.

The modules to be taught in 2020 are listed below:


Lecturer: Mark de Vos

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

  • constituent structure
  • the lexicon
  • clause structure and argument structure
  • finite and non-finite clauses
  • English phrase structure and X-bar Theory
  • tense, aspect and modality
  • verb agreement and missing subjects
  • noun phrases, pronouns and anaphors
  • English complementation

Phonetics and Phonology

Lecturer: William Bennett

This module covers the following topics:

  • airstream mechanisms and phonation types
  • 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
  • Optimality Theory

Systemic Functional Linguistics

Lecturers: Ian Siebörger and Ralph Adendorff

This module teaches a deeper investigation of the grammatical aspects of the Systemic Functional model of language, introduced 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
  • grammatical metaphor
  • spoken and written language
  • disciplinarity
  • Appraisal
  • real-world applications of Systemic Functional Linguistics


Research Methods

Various lecturers

This module describes various research methods in linguistics.  It is designed to assist students with completing their Linguistics 3 year-long research reports.


Introduction to Sign Language Linguistics

Lecturer: Ian Siebörger

This module introduces students to the rich and interesting linguistics of sign languages, exploring the similarities and differences between them and spoken languages.  The module provides:

  • a description of sign language phonology, morphology and syntax
  • a brief explanation of South African Sign Language (SASL)’s contested role in education for the Deaf in South Africa
  • a short introductory practical course in SASL



For more information about Linguistics 3, please contact Dr William Bennett.

Last Modified: Wed, 04 Nov 2020 20:53:09 SAST