The scientific study of language as it has developed in the twentieth century has vital links with many other modern theories and disciplines which include the communication sciences and the systems approach. This course is an introduction to the science of language, called linguistics. It deals with the structure and function of language, with particular attention to Noam Chomsky's 'generative' model. The following topics will be discussed:
Language and communication: animal and human communication; artificial and natural languages; social functions of language.
The 'science' of language: language as a system; levels of linguistic structure; the 'generative' model of Chomsky.
Evolution and variation of language: historical change; geographical variation; social variation.
Language and mind: language and thought; language and the brain; language acquisition and child language.
N. Chomsky, Reflections on Language, Fontana, 1975.
N. Chomsky, Rules and Representations, Basil Blackwell, 1980.
N. Smith and D. Wilson, Modern Linguistics: the results of Chomsky's revolution, Penguin, 1979.
D. Bolinger, Aspects of Language, Harcourt, Brace and World, 1968.
J. Lyons, Introduction to Theoretical Linguistics, Cambridge, 1969.