Linguistics 3


Linguistics 3 completes our undergraduate offerings in linguistics, with an emphasis on producing graduates who are well-rounded linguists.  

Linguistics 3 features two modules taught concurrently, normally totalling 5 class meetings per week. For 2021, students should expect each module to have 1 or 2 recorded video and/or audio lectures for each module, plus 1 or 2 Zoom meetings, chat sessions, or other activities for each module.

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


The modules to be taught in 2021 are listed below:

Phonetics and Phonology

Lecturer: William Bennett

This module introduces you to higher-level questions of linguistic theory and typology than those covered in previous years. This includes the following topics:

  • basic concepts of phonological theory and reasoning from phonological data
  • phonetics vs. phonology
  • fundamentals of metrical phonology
  • the typology of stress patterns and metrical foot structures
  • phonological typology as an area of study
  • Optimality Theory 



Lecturer: Kelly Kilian

This module introduces you to the phenomenon of codeswitching within the South African context and in relation to urbanisation. Another aspect of this module involves the investigation of pidgins and creoles, specifically the circumstances under which they arise and develop. This module covers some of the following topics:

  • diglossia
  • codeswitching           
  • pidgins and creoles
  • The politics of multilingual societies 




African Linguistics

Lecturer: Ron Simango

This module offers an opportunity to students to explore more closely the complexity of the Bantu verbal morphology and its interaction with syntax. The goal of this module is to deepen students’ theoretical knowledge of complex predication through an examination of common syntactic processes as reflected in some Southern African Bantu languages. Topics include:

  • Interlinear glossing
  • Argument Structure
  • Grammatical Functions
  • Argument Structure-changing morphology
  • Grammatical Function-changing processes
  • Object marking and linguistic variation in Bantu



Lecturer: Tracy Probert

This module introduces you to the fast-developing field of the linguistics of literacy, with a specific focus on written language processing. This module covers some of the following topics: 

  • Language in Education in South Africa
  • Metalinguistic skills involved in reading
  • Factors affecting visual word recognition
  • Models of word recognition
  • Dyslexia


Historical Linguistics

Lecturer: William Bennett

This module provides an introduction to the discipline of historical linguistics: the study of language history and change over time. We will explore a variety of types of linguistic change, learning the tools that historical linguists use to analyze these phenomena, and practice applying them to data from a diverse range of languages to reconstruct linguistic history and relationships. The module aims to help students:

  • be aware of some common processes and outcomes of language change
  • understand the core ideas and methodologies of language reconstruction
  • think critically about how language history and language change connect to other areas of study (both in linguistics, and in other disciplines)


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, syntax and pragmatics
  • 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: Mon, 19 Apr 2021 17:38:54 SAST