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

Undergraduate Course: Language Variation and Change (LASC10102)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryThis course will approach the topic of language variation and change. The course content will focus on language internal factors on variation, as well as providing practical experience in doing quantitative variation analysis in R, which should prove useful for many students' dissertations.
Course description Just like every other area of linguistics you study, speakers' knowledge of linguistic variation is complex, and structured. In this course, you'll learn about how quantitative probabilities can be combined with linguistic theories in order to understand language variation, with a focus on language internal factors.

Specifically you will learn
- how researchers model linguistic variation using variable rules,
- the basics of how probabilities are calculated and combined,
- how to use the statistical package R to do these analyses.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Students MUST have passed: LEL2A: Linguistic Theory and the Structure of English (LASC08017) AND LEL2B: Phonetic Analysis and Empirical Methods (LASC08018)
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
Pre-requisitesVisiting students should have completed at least 3 Linguistics/Language Sciences courses at grade B or above. We will only consider University/College level courses. Visiting Students should have a solid basis in linguistics, as well as phonological and sociolinguistic theory. Very basic knowledge of quantitative, or statistical analysis is recommended.
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2019/20, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 18, Supervised Practical/Workshop/Studio Hours 9, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 169 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Feedback Mandatory one-on-one meetings scheduled during Week 5 and Innovative Learning week to discuss students' final project plans.

Recommended follow-up meetings during weeks 9 and 10.
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. Students will develop an understanding of the continuing development of variation theory.
  2. Students will acquire a basic understanding of probability theory, and how it can be applied to linguistic phenomena.
  3. Students will acquire foundational understanding of how language internal factors on variation can be accounted for within linguistic theory.
  4. Students will load, organise, summarise and visualise data using R.
  5. Students will apply these aspects of variation theory and method to a phenomenon of their own choosing.
Reading List
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills - Application of linguistic theory to the phenomenon of linguistic variation.
- Execution of a research project.
- Development of quantitative reasoning skills.
- Practical experience in using R.
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Josef Fruehwald
Tel: (0131 6)50 3983
Course secretaryMs Lynne Robertson
Tel: (0131 6)50 9870
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