Undergraduate

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Course Descriptions

Core and Major Prescribed Electives | General Education Requirement (GER)

HG1001 Mind and Meaning
Pre Requisites:Nil
AU: 3

This course introduces students to the uniqueness of human language as a communication system. Students will examine how language is learnt and the way our mind stores meaning and organises information. The topics include animal communication, biological foundation of human language, language acquisition, bilingualism and multilingualism, sign language and deaf studies, language impairment, word formation and the study of meaning. These concepts are illustrated by examples taken from a wide range of languages.

HG1002 Fundamentals of Linguistics (B): Structure and System 
Pre Requisites: Nil
AU: 3
Remarks: This course has been removed from AY2016 onwards.

​This course presents an introduction to the sound and morphological systems of languages in the world. Students will learn to systematically examine smaller units of language by studying basic phonetics, phonology and morphology. Upon completing the course, students will be able to examine how language varies across speakers depending on their social and geographical backgrounds. They will also understand how power and attitude influence language use.

HG2001 Morphology and Syntax
Pre Requisites:HG2034
AU: 3

​This course is an introduction to basic concepts linguists apply to their analysis of word and sentence structure. Students will learn about morphological and syntactic diversity in the world's languages and practise morphological and syntactic analysis on different data sets. Key concepts covered include inflection and derivation, case marking, agreement and concord, morpheme classes, phrase structure, word order, grammatical functions and relationships between clauses. A range of languages will be studied and students will be encouraged to apply and evaluate theoretical concepts based on their analysis.

HG2002 Semantics and Pragmatics
Pre Requisites:HG1001
AU: 3

​This course is an introduction to the study of meaning: linguistic meaning and speaker meaning. Major approaches to the study of lexical and grammatical meaning will be reviewed and the role of semantics and pragmatics in grammar examined. Students will be given plenty of practice in performing semantic analysis using a variety of frameworks such as componential analysis, prototype theory and cognitive semantics. They will also explore and apply the frameworks to the evaluation of metaphors and linguistic categorisation such as noun class systems, kinship terms and colour terms across languages.

HG2003 Phonetics and Phonology
Pre Requisites:Nil
AU: 3

​This course introduces students to the study of speech sounds and the analysis of sound systems in the world's languages. Students will develop skills in perceiving, articulating and transcribing vowel and consonant sounds using IPA symbols. They will also be introduced to syllable structures and learn to do phonemic analysis and employ distinctive features and phonological rules to the analysis of sound patterns.

HG2005 Research Methodology in Linguistics
Pre Requisites:Nil (Course is only open to major students)
AU: 3
Remarks: This course has been removed from AY2016 onwards.

​This course introduces students to different issues relating to social science methodology and fieldwork methods in linguistics research. Students will explore methodological questions concerning quantitative and qualitative research designs. Part of the course involves an evaluation of basic assumptions underpinning research in linguistics, particularly in the area of bilingualism and multilingualism. This entails a critical evaluation of research methodology used in linguistics research. The aim of the course is to equip students with the skill to evaluate and conduct their own research.

HG2010 Bilingualism and Multilingualism
Pre Requisites:Nil
AU: 3

​This course focuses on issues central to the phenomenon of bilingualism and multilingualism. Students will learn to evaluate sociological and psychological claims about the bilingual experience, and appreciate the implications of these claims on the social perception of bilinguals in different societies. Topics covered include bilingual language acquisition, cognitive and social effects of bilingualism, bilingual literacy skills, bilingual linguistic memory, bilingualism in special population, bilingual education, bilingualism and language identity, and the testing of bilingual performance.

HG2012 Cognitive Linguistics
Pre Requisites:HG1001
AU: 3

​This course examines language from the point of view of cognitive processes. Theoretical frameworks about language and cognition will be applied to the study of language,, thought and culture. Students will learn about systems of conceptual organisation through the study of categorisation, metaphors, cultural models and grammar. Other topics include representation of space and time and cognitive motivations for language change and language universals.. The approach is multi-disciplinary as evidence is drawn from text analysis, language acquisition, language change, psycholinguistic experimentation, and brain imaging, among other sources.

​HG2013 Child Language
Pre Requisites:HG1001
AU: 3

​This course is an overview of some key issues in first language acquisition. It charts children's language development from birth right through the school years. The emphasis of the course is on evaluating crosslinguistic data against current theoretical models of language acquisition. Topics include phonological; morphological; grammatical; semantic and pragmatic development. The course will also evaluate the influence of the environment on the child's language development by examining studies on input and research on differences in socialisation patterns across languages. Students will have the opportunity to work with real language data from a variety of languages.

HG2014 Second Language Acquisition
Pre Requisites:HG1001
AU: 3

​This course will examine a range of theoretical models of second language acquisition and evaluate their validity in explaining patterns of second language acquisition. Students will also explore influences on the process of second language acquisition such as the effects of the first language, the age of acquisition, motivation, aptitude, input factors and individual earner strategies. Similarities and differences between first and second language acquisition will also be discussed.

HG2015 Investigating Literacy as Social and Textual Practice
Pre Requisites: Nil
AU: 3

This course will start by looking at the contested ways in which literacy has been defined, and why definitions and research on literacy have moved from constructions which view it as a universal, neutral set of cognitive skills to those which emphasize its plurality and its embeddedness in social, cultural and political contexts. Through this socio-cultural perspective on literacy we will then examine how the way literacy has been taught in schools and universities has tended to reduce the rich varieties of practices that are evident in homes and communities to a narrow, highly scripted set of print-based practices. We will also look at how literacy teachers can more closely attend to, and build on, learners’ ways with texts in their homes and communities and on the complexities of their often divergent and multilingual resources. In the final part of the course, particular emphasis will be placed on the exploration of how most recent economic, demographic and technological changes in the early third millennium have impacted on, and expanded, what literacy and learning to be literate entails. This new literacy landscape requires the revisiting of earlier concepts, understandings and ways of teaching to deal with new contexts, texts and learners. Throughout the course we will relate the concepts and findings of the research on literacy and literacy development reported in the readings to the unique context of Singapore and to students’ own literacy experiences.

HG2016 Language and Music
Pre Requisites: Nil
AU: 3

​This course explores the perception and cognition of language and music. Topics that will be covered in this course include the similarities and differences between language and music; how the different levels of each domain are acquired and processed; and cross-domain transfer seen among expert users of each domain. These topics will be explored through the examination and evaluation of different research methodologies used to answer empirical questions concerning language and music.

HG2017 Father-and-Mother tongues: Languages of SE Asia
Pre Requisites: HG1001 and HG2003
AU: 3
​This course teaches techniques of data collection through open and structured interviews, targeting primarily older speakers, who are usually the most knowledgeable of their language and culture. The entire workflow prepares students for work with the aging population of Singapore, where the linguistic diversity and language skills pose challenges in healthcare, welfare and security. The course stimulates the interest in history, culture and languages of the area and prepares the students for more advanced courses on this theme within the LMS curriculum.
HG2020 Language in Society
Pre Requisites:Nil
AU: 3

​This course examines how social factors influence language and the role language plays in reflecting social categories such as status, ethnicity and gender. Students will be trained to observe and identify linguistic variables which reveal the nature and function of speech variation within and across speech communities. Topics covered include variation in language styles and registers, and language variation reflecting social class, gender and ethnic group. Students will also study changes in language status over time, language shift, language maintenance, language death and the emergence of new languages.

HG2021 Intercultural Communication
Pre Requisites:Nil
AU: 3

​This course focuses on how key cultural values are embedded in language use, and how these hidden assumptions can impede effective communication across cultural groups. Aspects such as organisation of discourse, preferred mode of communication, nonverbal communication, intonation patterns, politeness, address terms, greetings, and requests will be examined across cultures. The analysis will focus on how these relate to the broader definition of cultural values in terms of collectivism versus individualism. The objective is to develop students' sensitivity to cross-cultural variation in communication and to provide a theoretical framework for interpreting variation.

HG2023 Language and Gender
Pre Requisites:Nil
AU: 3

​This course examines theoretical views about language and gender from a variety of disciplines. It integrates both social and cognitive approaches in its discussion of how meanings related to gender are reproduced in spoken and written discourse. Topics covered include gender differences in linguistic forms, nonverbal communication and conversational patterns. The course will also focus on the impact of gender-linked differences in the media, education and legal settings. The research will be drawn from research in sociolinguistics, anthropology, psychology and women studies.

HG2024 X-rated Linguistics: Language, Sexuality and Desire
Pre Requisites: Nil
AU: 3

This course tackles the multifaceted nexus of language, sex, sexuality and erotic desire. It examines linguistic and other semiotic resources and strategies people use to construct and perform their sexual subjectivities and identities. It provides a forum for critical analysis of ways in which sex and sexualities are discursively elaborated, socially valorized and subjected to policing and control. Moving beyond the usual issues of how non-heterosexual orientations/identities are expressed in language (the recurrent question of gay/lesbian/queer “language”), the course will also deal with ways of indexing “straightness”, as well as with the verbal expression of erotic desire. The perspective introduced by various case-studies throughout the course will be interdisciplinary and cross-cultural. This course will enhance students’ critical thinking skills and raise their awareness of sexuality-related issues of power, domination, control, subjugation, racism, inequality and discrimination.

HG2030 Reading Development and Disorders
Pre Requisites: HG1001
AU: 3

​To introduce students to the current research regarding theories of reading development and reading disability, including issues related to phonemic awareness, conventions of print, word recognition, reading comprehension, fluency and self-monitoring. To introduce students to the cross-linguistic research about reading development and disorders, in particular, English and Chinese.

HG2031 History of English
Pre Requisites: Nil
AU: 3

​The course explores and studies the origins, changes, and reasons for changes in the grammar, sounds, and vocabulary of English from the beginnings of the language to modern times. This module offers a panoramic view of the development of English from its roots in the Germanic peoples of northern Europe, to its modern ubiquity in a globalizing world. While some attention will be paid to variationist differences (ie grammar, sounds and vocabulary), the focus will be on sociohistorical conditions that culminated in such changes and the role of English today. Key topics include the development of English in specific geographic localities such as Britain and Singapore, as well as in line with particular historical events including imperialism, globalization and the advent of the Internet.

HG2032 Globalisation and World Englishes
Pre Requisites:Nil
AU: 3

​This course provides an overview of the spread of the English language in the British Isles, North America, Australia, Asia, Africa and other parts of the world. Arguments related to English as a World Language will be discussed. The theories and principles on the development and structure of World Englishes will be examined and students will assess the notion of linguistic imperialism, the role of language in politics and issues concerning language in education. The impact of this globalising process on local cultures and languages will also be evaluated.

HG2034 Structure of Modern English
Pre Requisites:Nil
AU: 3

​This course provides students with the conceptual framework and skills for describing and analysing Modern English. Students will learn to parse simple and complex constructions in English. The topics covered include word classes, the structure of sentences and phrases, clause types, complex sentences and discourse styles. The course will also analyse variations in English through time, and evaluate influences on the structure of English in bilingual/multilingual situations such as Singapore.

HG2051 Language and The Computer
Pre Requisites:Nil
AU: 3

​Traditionally linguistic analysis was done largely by hand, but computer-based methods and tools are becoming increasingly more widely used in contemporary research. This course provides an introduction to the key instruments and resources available on the personal computer that can assist the linguist in performing fast, flexible and accurate quantitative analyses. Students will learn a scripting language (Python) and use it and the Natural Language Tool Kit (NLTK) to analyse linguistic phenomena.

​​HG2052 Language, Technology and the Internet
Pre Requisites:Nil
AU: 3

​Like so many other aspects of life, language communicate has been revolutionised by the introduction of the Internet. This course explores how the structure and use of English have been shaped by the popularity of new modes of communication made available by the Internet: SMS, e-mail, chatrooms, Internet Relay Chat, Usenet newsgroups, World Wide Web pages, and virtual worlds. The implications of these changes for our thinking and understanding of language will also be discussed.

HG2053 Language Modeling
Pre Requisites:Nil
AU: 3

This course introduces computer modeling for the social sciences, with a focus on linguistic phenomena. It will provide an overview of: 1. The rationale for modeling - How modeling can be applied to various linguistic levels of analysis, from reading to understanding meaning, to collective linguistic behavior. We will cover principles of distributional models (n-gram; connectionist, vector spaces); structured models; graph-based models; agent-based models. 2. What type of model is best suited for what phenomenon. 3. The strengths and weaknesses of different models 4. How to evaluate models

HG2094 Word of Mouth: Transmission of Oral Culture
Pre Requisites:Nil
AU: 3

​The course introduces fundamental topics in Orality in Linguistics and Oral Culture and Literature. It would consist of a basic introduction to linguistic strategies in the transmission of traditional knowledge in preliterate cultures all over the world, from Antiquity (Homer and the Homeric poems), to the Middle Ages (the Irish Filìd, the original Old Norse poetry), to our times (the Serbian Guslari, the studies on orality by Marcel Jousse), plus a specific focus on indigenous cultures in Australia and Africa, and in South-East Asia.

HG2095 Codes from the Past: A General Introduction to the History of Cryptography
Pre Requisites:HG2020
AU: 3

​The course introduces fundamental topics in History of Cryptography and Language Decipherment. It would consist of a basic introduction to classical Cryptography, from the origins (Antiquity, in the West and in the East) to the Second World War, aimed essentially at providing the students a general and accurate overview about Cryptography as a science and cultural phenomenon, dealing with the history of this discipline and encryption and decryption methods developed over time by Cryptographers.

HG2096 What's in a text? - Analyzing Written Discourse
Pre Requisites:Nil
AU: 3

​This course will start by introducing and discussing the notions of ‘discourse’ and ‘discourse analysis’, after which the long-standing debate on difference between speech and writing will be examined. Given the importance of writing and written communication in the contemporary world, writing will be elaborated upon as a topic worthy of scientific enquiry, particularly with reference to different technologies and media, both ‘old’ and ‘new’. An overview of different scripts and writing systems around the world will be covered, with examination on how (and why) they can (and should) be studied as important semiotic resources for meaning-making and textual production. Students will have opportunities to review and assess different types of written discourse and the different ways to analyze them. The practicalities of analyzing written discourse will also be addressed through the examination of various examples of how written discourse analysis can be used by non linguists whose primary research questions are not about language and language use.

​​HG2097 What's in a Name? - A General Introduction to Etymology
Pre Requisites:Nil
AU: 3

​The course aims to familiarize students with the basic and general notions of Etymology, with the history of this discipline, and with the criteria and pragmatic applications of Etymological Sciences at an elementary level. Students will learn to analyze the direct study of the origins of names and their original meanings that will allow them to deal directly in reconstructing names origins, as well as work experimentally on data especially from particular Languages of the South-East Asian context. In addition to this, Etymological Sciences will be examined both from the point of view of the basic theoretical principles, and from the point of view of the general applications of Etymology to the study of the origins of names and of their meanings. This will equip students with the fundamental knowledge and understanding of the scientific process of linguistic reconstruction with emphasis on the Etymological Sciences developments across the centuries.

HG2098 Gesture and Discourse
Pre Requisites:Nil
AU: 3

​This course introduces the student to the study of gesture, focusing on its use in face-to-face interaction, drawing mainly on the analysis of spoken language communication (especially everyday conversations and narratives) to demonstrate gesture’s varied role in communication. This includes a discussion of the history of gesture study, exploring the relationship between gesture and signed languages, and how the use of gesture varies according to cultural and language differences. Emphasis is placed on the semiotic, linguistic and cultural aspects of gesture as a feature of communication, but will also touch on the cognitive foundations of gesture.

​​HG2099 Languages of the World
Pre Requisites: HG1001
AU: 3

​The course offers an introduction to the linguistic complexity of the world, taking into account evolutionary, ethnic, geographical and historical factors that have led to the development and spread of the roughly 7000 languages that are currently spoken on the planet. Students will develop an appreciation of key issues in linguistic classification and description, the relationship between dialect and language, and the types of evidence used by linguists to establish genetic affiliations. Topics to be dealt with include an overview of the origins of language, the creation of writing systems, the birth of new languages, language death and endangerment, and the consequences of the development of linguistic areas, with the main focus falling on the languages of Eurasia.

HG3005 Research Methods in Linguistics II - Statistical Analysis
Pre Requisites: HG1001
AU: 3

​This course aims to provide students with necessary knowledge in using statistical tools for their own research projects. Commonly used techniques in linguistic/psychological research, such as t-test, ANOVA, multiple regression etc., will be covered. Students will NOT be tested on formulae, instead, the focus is on how to make use of computer software, such as Excel and SPSS, to organise data, present observation and conduct statistical analysis. Students will also gain experience on how to write up empirical findings in a language acceptable by the field which will at the same time learn how to critically read statistics reported in prescribed readings from other courses. Through this problem-based approach students will gain a deeper understanding of statistics. Students who have no prior knowledge in statistics are more than welcome to enrol.

HG3010 Language and Communication Disorders
Pre-Requisites:HG1001
AU: 3

​This course introduces students to both developmental and acquired language disorders. Students will examine the difference between normal and atypical language development. The emphasis will be on understanding underlying cognitive deficits and the effect of communication disorder on general development. In the second part of the course, students will study acquired language disorder such as aphasia, dementia and other speech disfluencies due to brain injury. There will be a special focus on the assessment of clients in culturally and linguistically diversified population as students will explore the impact of bilingualism and multilingualism on assessment principles and strategies for intervention.

HG3012 Deaf Culture and Sign Language
Pre Requisites:HG1001
AU: 3

In this course, students will explore the socio-cultural world of Deafness and the history and use of sign language. The topics covered include the similarities between sign language and speech, the structure of signs, variation in sign languages in the world and the acquisition of sign language by both hearing and deaf children. Students will also examine the issue of identity within the Deaf culture from the perspective of children who grow up bilingual in both the hearing world and the Deaf world. The aim of the course is to develop an awareness of the linguistic practices of the Deaf community and to inculcate cultural sensitivity when interacting with members from minority culture.

HG3015 Psycholinguistics
Pre Requisites:HG1001
AU: 3

​This course explores the psychological processes underpinning a variety of issues related to language activities. It introduces students to language processing models, theories of how language is stored and learnt. It also evaluates the relationship between language, thought and culture. The course adopts a crosslinguistic approach and will focus on research on bilingual and multilingual individuals.

HG3016 Language and Cognition in Bilingualism and Multilingualism
Pre Requisites:HG1001, HG210|2010
AU: 3

​In this course we examine the cognitive aspects in bilingualism. Research methodologies studying bilingualism and cognition will be introduced. Specific issues such as how does learning a new language alter the way people think, does a bilingual’s brain function differently from a monolingual brain, do bilinguals or multilinguals think differently from monolinguals, what is the contribution of general cognitive abilities in learning languages will be explored in the class.

HG3017 Advanced Study of Language and Literacy in Infancy 
Pre Requisites:Nil
AU: 3

​This course provides an advanced overview of key issues in language and literacy in infancy. The emphasis of the course will be on evaluating language acquisition data against theories and models in linguistics, psychology, and psycholinguistics. State-of-the-art infant language research methods in the field of linguistics and psychology will be introduced. Most recent and new research in the field will be assigned allowing discussions and deep understandings of infant research on language and literacy development.

HG3020 Language Planning and Policy
Pre Requisites:HG220|2020
AU: 3

​This course focuses on language planning & policy and the ensuing impact on multilingual communities. Students will be introduced the basic concepts in the field of language planning and policy, with an emphasis on how international, national, and local level sociolinguistic factors impinge on language planning decisions. This course will illustrate the complexity of language roles around the world and present case studies of the language planning and policy issues in a particular area of the world, for example, Singapore.

HG3021 Language Change
Pre Requisites:HG203|2003, plus either HG2034 or HG231|2031
AU: 3

​This course examines the ways in which languages change over time and the techniques used to study these changes. It will explore changes at all levels: meaning, grammar and sound. Specific topics include the nature of language change, the comparative method and linguistic reconstruction in phonology and morphology. At a broader level, the course will also examine sociolinguistic aspects of language change. Students will become acquainted with attitudes towards language change, language convergence, language genesis and language death. Other topics include cognitive explanation of language change and grammaticalisation.

HG3022 Sociolinguistics of a Region
Pre Requisites:HG220|2020
AU: 3

​In this course, language structure and the social aspects of multilingualism in various Asian societies are investigated. Each time this course is offered it will focus on different regions. Areas for discussion are chosen from Chinese, Indonesian/Malay, Japanese and the languages of other Asian societies such as Laos, Cambodia, Thailand and the Philippines. Topics will include dialectology, speech levels, politeness, gender, ethnicity and language policy issues.

HG3023 Anthropological Linguistics
Pre Requisites:Nil
AU: 3

​The course explores the interaction of language and culture from linguistic, sociological and anthropological points of view. Using linguistic and social theories as a basis, this course will demonstrate how the treatment of language and culture issues might pose a danger of propagating stereotypes. It will also question the transference and translation of languages across cultures. Pragmatic theories will be also used to explain the causes of cross-cultural misunderstandings. Other topics discussed include the role of prosody and nonverbal behaviour in communication; factors influencing conversational style in different discourse contexts; the negotiation of power and solidarity in intercultural communication; the socialisation of language, and the creation of an identity from a child language acquisition perspective.

HG3024 A Wor(l)d in Motion
Pre Requisites:HG2020
AU: 3

A Wor(l)d in Motion: the sociolinguistics of globalization’ is an advanced course aimed at reexamining the understanding of human communication in the age of globalization. As a research agenda, the sociolinguistics of globalization represents a relatively new, but rapidly growing and vibrant interdisciplinary approach to the place and role of language in the contemporary flows of people, capital, ideas, world views, cultural artefacts and representations. Change, mobility and flux have come to characterize contemporary social life and social imagination, and this course will be a forum for students to engage with the relevant readings that grapple with these issues from a sociolinguistic perspective. Throughout the course, we will be examining conditions and themes that have come to occupy a prominent place in the sociolinguistic research program. We will identify what new theoretical and methodological notions we need to add to our ‘traditional’ sociolinguistic repertoire in order to scrutinize communication and emergent regimes of language in the contexts of superdiversity, spatial and symbolic mobility, globalized economic markets, tourism, war and terrorism.​

HG3040 Language Evolution
Pre Requisites:Nil
AU: 3

This seminar provides a comprehensive introduc2on to questons, theories, and research on the origin and evolution of language. It addresses central questions: where it came from; how and why it evolved; how it came to be culturally transmitted; what makes it a unique means of communicaton shared across the human species; and how languages diversified. An understanding of language evoluton requires the exploraton of its biological, computational, and cultural (BCC) dimensions all at once. To this end, we will explore the latest ideas, theories and empirical methods from diverse fields, including linguis2cs, anthropology, archaeology, artficial life, biology, cognitve and neuroscience. ​

HG3042 Contrastive Linguistics
Pre Requisites:HG2034
AU: 3

​In this course, students will learn to compare and contrast between languages in a systematic and principled manner. The focus is on how similar notions (e.g. causation, 'impersonality', and information foregrounding) are grammatically encoded in different languages. We will find some surprising similarities as well as interesting differences. Students interested in doing bilingual research or pursuing a career in language instruction or translation will find this course particularly relevant.

HG3043 Malay Linguistics 1 - History and Structure
Pre Requisites:HG2034 (Student who have done HG4046 in AY2013 or earlier are not eligible to enrol)
AU: 3

​This course introduces fundamental topics in Malay lingustics, covering i) Malay from the historical, typological, and language contact perspective ii) Malay sound system iii) Malay grammar and iv) Malay discourse. Students will develop analytical skills in structure of Malay and learn to use available descriptions and language corpora while gaining a basic working proficiency in Malay.

HG3046 Language Universals and Language Types
Pre Requisites:HG201|2001, HG202|2002, HG203|2003
AU: 3

​Do languages of the world have any features in common? Are there universals of language that can be discovered through careful comparisons and contrasts of different languages? And how have languages been classified? This course provides an introduction to how linguists have tackled these and related questions. Theories of language universals will be reviewed, and schemes of language classification examined.

HG3047 Experimenting with Spoken Language
Pre Requisites:HG1001
AU: 3

This course focuses on experimental methods in 'spoken language' in which spoken language stands in the wider context of phonetic, psycholinguistic and psychological points of views. Students will have to carry out their own experiments and learn how to write them up in a style suitable for publication. This course will give students a general understanding of what experiments are and why one would do them. In a more narrow sense, students will acquire a good basis for planning, executing and analyzing experiments related to ‘spoken language’.​

​​HG3051 Corpus Linguistics
Pre Requisites:HG2034 or HG2051
AU: 3

​This course is an introduction to the fast growing field of corpus linguistics. It aims to familiarise students with key concepts and common methods used in the construction of language corpora, as well as tools that have been developed for searching and using major corpora such as the British National Corpus. Students will be given hands-on experience in pre-editing, annotating, and searching corpora. Criteria and methods used for evaluating corpora and analytical tools will also be discussed.

​HG3052 Speech Synthesis and Recognition
Pre Requisites:HG2003
AU: 3

The course begins with an overview of natural language processing (NLP) to situate speech synthesis and recognition within industry and reviews familiar applications of these systems. Necessary topics concerning phonetics and phonology are introduced/reviewed, with a particular focus on acoustic phonetics. The topic of speech synthesis is then covered, with a focus on concatenative synthesis and statistical parametric systems,​ but formant-based and articulatory synthesis will also be covered in detail. In relation to these latter topics, you will learn about modeling the structures of the vocal tract to produce articulatory-based systems and the types of applications these have in speech research.

HG4011 Language and the Brain
Pre Requisites:HG1001
AU: 4

​This course examines how language is represented in the brain, and the neural basis of language processing and language learning. Findings from functional neuroimaging and lesion studies will be reviewed to enable students to understand the workings of the human brain in relation to language use. Special emphasis is placed on "the bilingual brain": how two or more languages are organised and how they interact within a bilingual individual, and how the multiple language systems are deployed in language comprehension and production.

​HG4012 Structure of Sign Language
Pre Requisites:HG312|3012
AU: 4

​This is an advanced course that builds on HG3012 Deaf Culture and Sign Language and consolidates the structural knowledge of Sign Language. Working with Deaf consultants, the students will gain first-hand experience in Sign Language research, learning how to systematically record, analyze and document all the structural categories of a sign language. The course will be run in close collaboration with The Singapore Association for the Deaf and will focus each year on another aspect of one of the sign languages used in Singapore.

​HG4013 Multilingualism Across the Lifespan
Pre Requisites:HG1001, HG2001, HG2002
AU: 4

​The course will focus on critical topics that affect multilingual individuals in multilingual communities across the lifespan. The approach is interdisciplinary as the readings will be drawn from psycholinguistics, sociolinguistics and education. The students will read advanced theoretical discussion of multilingualism as a phenomenon and reflect on why the current research scope needs to be extended to include multilinguals and not just bilinguals. The primary focus of the course is on evaluating how multilingualism alters our perception of the world from a cognitive perspective. However, the importance of social contexts and its modulating impact on cognition will be a central theme in this course. The readings will also be geared towards an in depth understanding of the methodological concerns in the field.

HG4020 Languages in Contact
Pre Requisites:HG201|2001, HG203|2003
AU: 4

​As all languages show some effect of contact with other languages, this course will introduce students to the basic methodologies employed in the study of language contact, using an interdisciplinary approach. The course will focus on various issues of language contact including code-mixing and lexical borrowing, language shift and substrate influence. It will also focus on the most striking cases of "contact languages" - pidgins and creoles - and the challenges and opportunities they present to linguistics.

HG4021 Language Shift and Maintenance
Pre Requisites:HG2020
AU: 4

This course introduces the issue of why communities stop using their traditional languages and shift to using another language. These issues are tackled at a more advanced level.

HG4022 Forensic Linguistics
Pre Requisites:HG1001, HG2010, HG2020
AU: 4

​This course introduces issues relating to language, law, the courtroom and forensic evidence. It comprises two main areas:

1. Techniques used by linguists to reveal evidence of manipulated trial outcomes.
2. Language used by legal professionals and laypersons in court.

 

HG4030 Conversation Analysis
Pre Requisites:HG2034
AU: 4

​This course is an introduction to the methods of Conversation Analysis, a field of research which takes naturally occurring speech interaction as its object of study. The course begins with an introduction to the conventions used in Conversation Analysis for the transcription of naturally occurring speech interaction. Transcripts are then presented and studied in relation to a number of topics on which scholarly work has been done. Topics include: turn-taking, adjacency pairs, opening and closing, agreement and disagreement, pre-sequences, preference organization, repair, story-telling, and the requesting, giving, and reception of information in conversation. Students will be able to acquire some hands-on experience of how research is conducted in this field of study through weekly analysis sessions and project work.

HG4031 Multimodality in Situated Contexts
Pre Requisites:HG220|2020, HG323|3023 or HG330|4030
AU: 4

​This course is an initiation into analyzing talk-in-interaction and its relations to multimodal resources for communication. In particular, how the speaker’s body and his/her environment interact with the talk at hand is discussed, thereby presenting an integrative approach to the organization of language and the body (bodily arrangements, speaker’s gaze, gestures etc.) within situated human interaction. Therefore, the body is analyzed, not as an isolated entity, but instead as a visible agent whose talk and action are lodged within both processes of human interaction and the rich settings where people pursue through talk-in-interaction the courses of action that constitute their social lives.

HG4032 The Linguistics of Humor
Pre Requisites:HG2002
AU: 4

In this course, students will:

  • Learn the differences between different types of verbal humor
  • Learn the various theories in explaining verbal humor
  • Learn the various linguistic techniques used in creating verbal humor
  • Analyze verbal humor in popular culture (e.g. stand-up comedy, sit-coms, the Simpsons, etc.) using linguistic theories
  • Create and perform verbal humor​
HG4040 Phonological Theory
Pre Requisites:HG203|2003
AU: 4

​This course reviews fundamental notions of phonological analysis and introduces students to current debates on phonological research and analytical techniques. Issues pertaining to the nature of phonological representations will first be discussed, followed by an examination of major approaches and frameworks, particularly Autosegmental Phonology and Optimality Theory. The relationship between the phonological component and the lexicon, morphology and syntax will also be discussed.

​HG4041 Theories of Grammar
Pre Requisites:HG201|2001, HG2034
AU: 4
This course aims to familiarize students with the history, origins and development of different theories of language and approaches to understanding language structure and communication; to demonstrate how these approaches can be applied to the analysis of various language phenomena; to make students aware of the strengths and limitations of different theories; and to develop critical thinking and linguistic analysis skills. 
 

HG4042 How and Why Languages Differ
Pre Requisites:HG2001, HG2034
AU: 4

This course begins with an introduction to an empirical approach to language description and comparison from a cognitive perspective, plus introduction to information structure concepts, which fundamental to understanding language structure. A range of linguistic forms and functions are then compared and contrasted systematically at different levels of analysis, attempting to highlight the cognitive differences in the mindsets of the speakers (how they cut up or "chunk" their experiences and represent them in language forms) that lead to the languages manifesting different patterns.
HG4045 Field Methods: Structure of a Language
Pre Requisites:HG201|2001, HG202|2002, HG203|2003, HG2034
AU: 4

​This is a hands-on course showing you how linguists go about investigating a new or unknown language: how to find existing information about the language, how to select and interview speakers, how to handle and analyse data. Students will develop techniques for organising information on phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics by working with a language consultant. Other topics covered include ethical concerns, field research techniques, effective documentation, the use of relevant software. The choice of language may vary from year to year.

HG4046 Malay Linguistics 2 - Dialectology and Language Contact
Pre Requisites: HG201|2001, HG202|2002, HG203|2003, HG2034
AU: 4

​To introduce students to the field of Malay linguistics and in particular the genetic affiliation, history and language contact of Malay and its dialects (including Indonesian, Baba Malay, Pasar Malay etc.) as spoken in Peninsular and Insular Southeast Asia. To explore systematically Malay phonology, morphosyntax, discourse structure, and dialectology. To survey some of the well-studied genres of Malay verbal art. To develop working knowledge of Malay and enable students to carry out independent linguistic research in Malay.

HG4047 Pragmatic Theory
Pre Requisites: HG201|2001, HG202|2002, HG203|2003
AU: 4

This course focuses on meaning creation generally, and how it occurs in communication, that is, how we understand what someone is trying to communicate to us when they try to communicate something, whether they are using linguistic or non-linguistic means. The focus is on the cognitive mechanism of abductive inference and its role in meaning creation and communication.

HG4048 Comparative Chinese Dialectology
Pre Requisites: HG201|2001
AU: 4

The course introduces students to dialectal variation in Chinese. It contrasts Mandarin with other dialects (e.g. Yue and Southern Min) to illustrate the extent to which dialects can differ as well as the implication of such micro-variation on linguistic theories. Students will be introduced to current linguistic theories relevant for analyzing dialectal data. The course aims to strengthen students’ linguistic theoretical background as well as heighten students’ awareness on the diversity among Chinese dialects.

HG4049 Semantic Analysis
Pre Requisites: HG201|2001, HG202|2002, HG203|2003
AU: 4

​This course explores how the meanings of words combine in often complex ways to give rise to the meanings of utterances. After developing a set of tools for characterising word meaning, it addresses the relationship between semantics and syntax, and to what extent each is necessary for characterising the grammar of a language. Since utterances are used to convey more than just literal content, and since context is essential for resolving the reference of pronouns and other ambiguous expressions, the course explores the possibility that semantics and pragmatics can be treated a single integrated framework for understanding communication. Prosody represents a parallel aspect of meaning and is explored in depth. Overall, students will learn to approach the notion of meaning from different viewpoints, and to carry out precise analysis that best fits with the phenomenon and language involved.

​​​HG4050 Machine Translation
Pre Requisites: HG251|2051
AU: 4

This course​ is an introduction to the fast growing field of corpus linguistics and introduces students to Machine Translation (MT). It will begin with an overview of the history of MT, from early attempts to contemporary approaches including rule-based MT, statistics-based MT and knowledge-based MT. Key concepts relating to representation and processing, dictionary building and annotation, and principles and components in the construction of MT engines will be illustrated and discussed. Major MT resources, particularly on-line ones, will also be reviewed. Students will be given hands-on experience in pre-editing, annotating, and searching corpora. Criteria and methods used for evaluating corpora and analytical tools will also be discussed.

​​HG4053 Grammar Engineering
Pre Requisites: HG201|2001
AU: 4

​The course gives an introduction to the Linguistics Knowledge Building (LKB) system, and how to develop a grammar with the help of the Matrix Grammar. On the one hand, the course will focus on technical aspects, like the installation of the tools needed for the grammar development, how to run the tools, and how to do the actual implementation. On the other hand, the course will focus on certain grammatical phenomena, like modification, agreement, valence, and long-distance dependencies, as well as the semantic representation used: Minimal Recursion Semantics (MRS). The students will develop their own grammars, which can be used for both parsing and generation. Parallel to the development of the grammar, a file with test sentences will be made in order to test the accuracy of the grammar. At the end of the course, it will be demonstrated how the grammars can be used in Machine Translation.

​​HG4060 Special Topics in Linguistics
Pre Requisites: Students are expected to have completed all the core courses for the major.
AU: 4

​Undergraduates in their 3rd or 4th year are encouraged to take a seminar course. This may include topics such as Grammaticalisation, Language and Media, Experimental Phonetics, Language and Identity, etc. Topics will also depend on the academic staff's areas of expertise.

​​​HG4062 Language, Culture and Society in Southeast Asia
Pre Requisites: HG1001 & HG2020
AU: 4

​Using materials from Mainland and Island Southeast Asia, the course will have two main themes: Language-external: (a) The region's array of languages examined historically and sociolinguistically. (b) The use of linguistic data in uncovering the region's social and cultural history. (c) Language-change and language-loss in the face of present-day political pressures. (d) Language-engineering in the region's nation-states. Language-internal: (a) Critical discussion of the various theoretical approaches to language-and-culture issues, both old and new, especially as presented in the literature of linguistic anthropology. (b) Discussion of the extent to which the organisation (phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics) of languages relates to their cultural and social contexts in which they are spoken.

HG4063 Advanced World Englishes
Pre Requisites: HG2032
AU: 4

This course situates the causes of the evolution of world Englishes. This course will look​ at language change, changes in patterns of social interaction within a population, including those brought about by language contact. Using Mufwene’s (2001, 2008) theories of language ecology as the framework, the course will explore how language evolution is deeply grounded in the economic history of populations, as well as their socio-historical development. The course covers a wide range of factors identified as ecological, some of which are external to language and others internal. Mufwene’s approach is largely inspired by population genetics, focusing on the activities of individuals, and addressing the question of how the linguistic choices of individuals in speech communities contribute to community-wide trends of linguistic behavior. This course will also consider other theoretical approaches in the field, including Schneider’s (2007) ‘Dynamic Model’, as well as insights drawn from Blommaert (2010) on the sociolinguistics of globalization. This course will also deal with such key related topics as language contact, language shift, language spread, and the globalization of languages.

​​HG4070 Experimental Phonetics
Pre Requisites: HG2003
AU: 4

​The course will cover three main areas: experimental design, acoustic methods, perceptual methods. It is necessary to fully understand the tools and techniques used to properly implement experiments and to interpret the resulting data. Emphasis is placed on the design of phonetic and phonological experiments using electronic systems and introducing computer technology for speech analysis. Therefore, in addition to the sections on experimental methodology there will be a significant portion of the course devoted to mastering computer-based acoustic analysis.

HG4071 The Meat of Speech: The Anatomy and Physiology of Speaking and Hearing
Pre Requisites: HG2003
AU: 4
The course begins broadly by summarizing basic topics in anatomical organization of the body, such as tissue types, and reviews core anatomical terminology, but then quickly narrows in on the main theme, which concerns how the body produces and perceives speech. Topics are organized functionally so as to maintain student focus on the relationship between form and function. The broader organization will first outline speech production, and then the processes of speech perception and the associated mechanisms of hearing will be discussed. Within each topic, the key elements of the musculoskeletal system are described first, and then the physiological principles governing their operation are covered. Because of the natural anatomical overlap across functional topics, each layer discussed will build on the last.

HG4099 Graduation Project
Pre Requisites:To have completed LMS core and 8 LMS major prescribed electives. For students who matriculated from AY2013 onwards, a minimum CGPA of 3.9 must be attained at the end of Year 3 to be eligible.
AU: 8

Students will undertake independent research work under the guidance of a supervisor. They are expected to read widely to develop an in depth understanding of a topic, and then identify research objectives, isolate new research questions, collect and analyse information or data and write up their findings as a research report. The graduation project integrates linguistics knowledge and analytical skills which the students have acquired.