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DEGREE REGULATIONS & PROGRAMMES OF STUDY 2016/2017

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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences : Language Sciences

Postgraduate Course: Origins and Evolution of Language (LASC11112)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryA survey of current scientific thinking on the origins and evolution of language and the human language faculty.
Course description We will review current theories which attempt to explain how and why human language evolved, covering both the biological evolution of the human capacity for language, and cultural evolution of languages themselves. Modern evolutionary linguistics is a highly interdisciplinary field, and we will touch on the basics of evolutionary biology, animal communication and animal cognition, fieldwork on emerging sign languages, and computational models and experimental studies of language evolution pioneered here in Edinburgh, among other topics. No prior knowledge of these areas is assumed.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesNone
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2016/17, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 1
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 27, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 167 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Coursework (100%)
- Essay 1 (40%) 1500 words
- Essay 2 (60%) 1500 words
Feedback Tutorials involve group discussions/debates of papers tackling core issues discussed in class and which are relevant to the assignments the focus again is on critical evaluation of theory and evidence, and the discussion/debate format is intended to maximize opportunities for feedback from peers and tutors.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. speak and write informedly and responsibly about the origins of language
  2. critically evaluate theories of the origins and evolution of language, based on empirical evidence
Reading List
Fitch, W.T. (2010) The Evolution of Language. Cambridge University Press.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Critically evaluating arguments on the basis of evidence.
Additional Class Delivery Information Attend all lectures as scheduled and one weekly tutorial.
Keywordslanguage evolution,evolution,comparative psychology
Contacts
Course organiserDr Kenneth Smith
Tel: (0131 6)50 3956
Email: kenny@ling.ed.ac.uk
Course secretaryMiss Toni Noble
Tel: (0131 6)51 3188
Email: Toni.noble@ed.ac.uk
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