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Unit of study_

LNGS1001: Structure of Language

Semester 1, 2022 [Normal day] - Remote

This unit explores the fundamental properties of human language, with examples from languages spoken in every part of the world. We look at the sounds of human language: how the speech organs make them, and how different they can be across languages. We gain a detailed understanding of English consonants and vowels, and we learn how to transcribe them phonetically. We investigate the ways in which sounds can convey meanings, through the formation of words and sentences in English and many other languages. We see how and why English is different from Japanese, Swahili, German, or even Irish.

Unit details and rules

Unit code LNGS1001
Academic unit Linguistics
Credit points 6
Assumed knowledge


Available to study abroad and exchange students


Teaching staff

Coordinator Mark Post,
Lecturer(s) Mark Post,
Tutor(s) Zahid Akter,
Weijian Meng,
Type Description Weight Due Length
Assignment Final take-home assignment
40% Formal exam period
Due date: 10 Jun 2022 at 23:59
2100 word equivalent
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO2 LO3 LO4 LO5
Assignment Short assignments
10% Week 04
Due date: 18 Mar 2022 at 23:59
300 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO3
Assignment Short assignments
10% Week 06
Due date: 01 Apr 2022 at 23:59
300 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO4
Assignment Mid-term take-home assignment
20% Week 08
Due date: 14 Apr 2022 at 23:59
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO5 LO4 LO3 LO2
Assignment Short assignments
10% Week 10
Due date: 06 May 2022 at 23:59
300 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO4
Assignment Short assignments
10% Week 12
Due date: 20 May 2022 at 23:59
300 words
Outcomes assessed: LO1 LO5 LO2

Assessment summary

Detailed information for each assessment can be found on Canvas.

Assessment criteria

The University awards common result grades, set out in the Coursework Policy 2014 (Schedule 1).

Result name

Mark range


High distinction

85 - 100

Work of an exceptional standard.


75 - 84

A very high standard.


65 - 74



50 - 64



0 - 49

When you don’t meet the learning outcomes of the unit to a satisfactory standard.

For more information see

For more information see guide to grades.

Late submission

In accordance with University policy, these penalties apply when written work is submitted after 11:59pm on the due date:

  • Deduction of 5% of the maximum mark for each calendar day after the due date.
  • After ten calendar days late, a mark of zero will be awarded.

Academic integrity

The Current Student website  provides information on academic integrity and the resources available to all students. The University expects students and staff to act ethically and honestly and will treat all allegations of academic integrity breaches seriously.  

We use similarity detection software to detect potential instances of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breach. If such matches indicate evidence of plagiarism or other forms of academic integrity breaches, your teacher is required to report your work for further investigation.

You may only use artificial intelligence and writing assistance tools in assessment tasks if you are permitted to by your unit coordinator, and if you do use them, you must also acknowledge this in your work, either in a footnote or an acknowledgement section.

Studiosity is permitted for postgraduate units unless otherwise indicated by the unit coordinator. The use of this service must be acknowledged in your submission.

Simple extensions

If you encounter a problem submitting your work on time, you may be able to apply for an extension of five calendar days through a simple extension.  The application process will be different depending on the type of assessment and extensions cannot be granted for some assessment types like exams.

Special consideration

If exceptional circumstances mean you can’t complete an assessment, you need consideration for a longer period of time, or if you have essential commitments which impact your performance in an assessment, you may be eligible for special consideration or special arrangements.

Special consideration applications will not be affected by a simple extension application.

Using AI responsibly

Co-created with students, AI in Education includes lots of helpful examples of how students use generative AI tools to support their learning. It explains how generative AI works, the different tools available and how to use them responsibly and productively.

WK Topic Learning activity Learning outcomes
Week 01 What is linguistics? What is language? Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 02 Phonetics: Consonants Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 03 Phonetics: Vowels, stress, tone, and more Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 04 Phonology: Introducing the phoneme Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 05 Phonology: Allophony and distinctive features Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 06 Morphology: Morphemes and word formation Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 07 Morphology: Allomorphy Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 08 Morphology & Syntax: Word classes and verbal categories Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 09 Syntax: Clauses Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 10 Syntax: Clauses and speech acts Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 11 Typology; Semantics Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 12 Discourse structure Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  
Week 13 Australian languages; Multimodality Lecture and tutorial (3 hr)  

Attendance and class requirements

  • Attendance: According to Faculty Board Resolutions, students in the Faculty of Arts and Social Sciences are expected to attend 90% of their classes. If you attend less than 50% of classes, regardless of the reasons, you may be referred to the Examiner’s Board. The Examiner’s Board will decide whether you should pass or fail the unit of study if your attendance falls below this threshold.
  • Lecture recording: Most lectures (in recording-equipped venues) will be recorded and may be made available to students on the LMS. However, you should not rely on lecture recording to substitute your classroom learning experience.
  • Preparation: Students should commit to spend approximately three hours’ preparation time (reading, studying, homework, essays, etc.) for every hour of scheduled instruction.

Study commitment

Typically, there is a minimum expectation of 1.5-2 hours of student effort per week per credit point for units of study offered over a full semester. For a 6 credit point unit, this equates to roughly 120-150 hours of student effort in total.

Required readings

All readings for this unit can be accessed through Canvas.

Learning outcomes are what students know, understand and are able to do on completion of a unit of study. They are aligned with the University's graduate qualities and are assessed as part of the curriculum.

At the completion of this unit, you should be able to:

  • LO1. demonstrate foundational knowledge and skills in the discipline of linguistics, including key terms, basic facts and key methods of analysis
  • LO2. display an understanding of basic aspects of linguistic structure, and the relations among them: articulatory phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and discourse structure
  • LO3. demonstrate the ability to complete basic phonetic transcription using the International Phonetic Alphabet
  • LO4. demonstrate an understanding of first principles for the structural analysis of languages, including methods for identifying key units of structure (phonemes and allophones, morphemes and allomorphs, phrases, and texts), based on evidence and argumentation
  • LO5. demonstrate an understanding of first principles about methods of research on language in social contexts, including quantitative and qualitative methods, ethical considerations, and principles for communicating results.

Graduate qualities

The graduate qualities are the qualities and skills that all University of Sydney graduates must demonstrate on successful completion of an award course. As a future Sydney graduate, the set of qualities have been designed to equip you for the contemporary world.

GQ1 Depth of disciplinary expertise

Deep disciplinary expertise is the ability to integrate and rigorously apply knowledge, understanding and skills of a recognised discipline defined by scholarly activity, as well as familiarity with evolving practice of the discipline.

GQ2 Critical thinking and problem solving

Critical thinking and problem solving are the questioning of ideas, evidence and assumptions in order to propose and evaluate hypotheses or alternative arguments before formulating a conclusion or a solution to an identified problem.

GQ3 Oral and written communication

Effective communication, in both oral and written form, is the clear exchange of meaning in a manner that is appropriate to audience and context.

GQ4 Information and digital literacy

Information and digital literacy is the ability to locate, interpret, evaluate, manage, adapt, integrate, create and convey information using appropriate resources, tools and strategies.

GQ5 Inventiveness

Generating novel ideas and solutions.

GQ6 Cultural competence

Cultural Competence is the ability to actively, ethically, respectfully, and successfully engage across and between cultures. In the Australian context, this includes and celebrates Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures, knowledge systems, and a mature understanding of contemporary issues.

GQ7 Interdisciplinary effectiveness

Interdisciplinary effectiveness is the integration and synthesis of multiple viewpoints and practices, working effectively across disciplinary boundaries.

GQ8 Integrated professional, ethical, and personal identity

An integrated professional, ethical and personal identity is understanding the interaction between one’s personal and professional selves in an ethical context.

GQ9 Influence

Engaging others in a process, idea or vision.

Outcome map

Learning outcomes Graduate qualities

This section outlines changes made to this unit following staff and student reviews.

This year the unit will trial a new team-teaching structure to introduce students to diversity within the discipline and the local department.


The University reserves the right to amend units of study or no longer offer certain units, including where there are low enrolment numbers.

To help you understand common terms that we use at the University, we offer an online glossary.