Major Prescribed Electives (MPE)

HG2012 Cognitive Linguistics
Pre-requisite(s): HG1001 | 3 AUs

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-requisite(s): HG1001 | 3 AUs

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-requisite(s): HG1001 | 3 AUs

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-requisite(s): Nil | 3 AUs

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-requisite(s): Nil | 3 AUs

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.
HG2030 Reading Development and Disorders
Pre-requisite(s): HG1001 | 3 AUs

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.
HG3005 Research Methods in Linguistics II - Statistical Analysis
Pre-requisite(s): HG1001 | 3 AUs

​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-requisite(s): HG1001 | 3 AUs

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-requisite(s): HG1001 | 3 AUs

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.
HG3016 Language and Cognition in Bilingualism and Multilingualism
Pre-requisite(s): HG1001, HG2010 | 3 AUs

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-requisite(s): Nil | 3 AUs

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.
HG4011 Language and the Brain
Pre-requisite(s): HG1001 | 4 AUs

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.
HG4013 Multilingualism Across the Lifespan 
Pre-requisite(s): HG1001, HG2001, HG2002 | 4 AUs

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.
HG4014 Designing Interactive Environments for Learning
Pre-requisite(s): Nil| 4 AUs

Creative teaching methods are essential for effectively addressing diverse learning needs in various educational settings. Through hands-on experience in on-campus makerspaces, students, regardless of prior technical expertise, will actively engage in the creation, implementation, and evaluation of interactive learning environments. By integrating Linguistics (e.g., sociolinguistics and psycholinguistics) and the Learning Sciences with the ethos of maker culture, students will tackle and resolve real-world challenges faced by learners. This course caters to students interested in interdisciplinary practice-based research that advances the science of learning and communication for diverse learners, and those aspiring to careers in education or therapy.
HG4015 Psycholinguistics
Pre-requisite(s): HG1001| 4 AUs

In this course, you will explore the psychological processes underpinning a variety of issues related to language activities. You will be introduced to language processing models and theories of how language is stored and learnt. Adopting a crosslinguistic approach, you will also learn to evaluate the relationship between language, thought and culture and focus on research pertaining to bi-/multilingual individuals.
HG4047 Pragmatic Theory 
Pre-requisite(s): HG2001, HG2002, HG2003 | 4 AUs

In this unit we focus on how we understand what someone is trying to communicate to us when they say or write something to us, especially how the particular words and structures are used for the purpose of getting us to understand just what the speaker intends. Given that the meaning of a word or structure depends on how it is used, we will look at the physical and cultural contexts within which communication occurs and develop an understanding of the role they play in the communication of meaning.

HG2021 Intercultural Communication
Pre-requisite(s): Nil | 3 AUs

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 your sensitivity to cross-cultural variation in communication and to provide a theoretical framework for interpreting variation.

HG2023 Language and Gender
Pre-requisite(s): Nil | 3 AUs

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-requisite(s): Nil | 3 AUs

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.
HG2032 Globalisation and World Englishes
Pre-requisite(s): Nil | 3 AUs

​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.
HG2035 Singapore's Languages
Pre-requisite(s): Nil | 3 AUs

​Students will learn about the linguistic ecology of Singapore. The topics covered include the evolution of Singapore English, Singapore Mandarin, language attitudes as well as language policies pertaining to Singapore.
HG3021 Language Change
Pre-requisite(s): HG2003, plus either HG2034 or HG2031 | 3 AUs

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-requisite(s): HG2020 | 3 AUs

The purpose of this course is to familiarize students with some of the ethnic, linguistic, geographic, and historical complexities of Europe from a somewhat oblique angle, through a course dealing with the languages of Europe in their structure and social dimensions and providing ample exposure to the historical background as well as frequent hands-on experience with maps.

HG3025 Language Variation
Pre-requisite(s): HG2020 | 3 AUs

In this course, you will learn about the connection between language and social factors, such as social class, ethnicity, and identity. In this course, you will also discover how social dialects mark specific social groups or classes. As sociolinguistics these days are typically concerned with social variation, this course aims to review core studies in sociolinguistics that have informed research on social-class variation in language. This course also provides you with training in quantitative sociolinguistic research from various backgrounds in language variation studies.​

HG3031 Methods in Sociolinguistics 
Pre-requisite(s): Nil | 3 AUs

This course aims to give you a thorough insight into key areas of sociolinguistic research that will help you understand the linguistic, sociolinguistic, and/or social aspects and effects of language in social contexts. In this course you will learn to how to carry out sociolinguistic research studies, including collecting and processing empirical data and you will present this data verbally as well as in a fully-fledged research paper. In particular, you will learn how to source the necessary additional reading to understand essential sociolinguistic concepts; how to develop appropriate data collection tools; how to administer such tools and how to analyse the data you collect.

HG4020 Languages in Contact 
Pre-requisite(s): HG2001, HG2003 | 4 AUs

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-requisite(s): HG2020 | 4 AUs

The course considers the socio-cultural and linguistic factors involved in language maintenance, shift, loss and revival from a societal, community and government perspective. The main emphasis is on understanding the range of complex individual and community based communicative and interactional settings and processes involved in the processes. The secondary focus of this course is to understand the governments' political and ideological role in language maintenance, shift, loss and revival. The course also considers ways communities and government can co-operate to achieve shared language objectives.
HG4023 Language Planning and Policy
Pre-requisite(s): HG2020 | 4 AUs

In this course you will examine the theory and implementation of language policy and planning at all levels and explore areas where policy and planning overlap. You will also look into language activism and resistance to language planning through examining issues such as the legal status of languages and language rights; the interrelations between globalisation, nationalism, ethnicity, identity and language policy; linguistic ecology; multilingualism as a problem or resource; as well as issues on language minoritisation and endangerment. You will be guided to apply your learning to real world situations and explore ways to investigate issues empirically. This course provides you with training in core analytical skills necessary to engage in research on language planning and policy.
HG4024 Social Theories and Language
Pre-requisite(s): Nil| 4 AUs

This course introduces you to social theories that have had a profound impact on how linguists study language, and understand the links between language use and society. Important theoretical frameworks by prominent theorists (eg Foucault, Bourdieu, Butler and Bakhtin) are essential concepts for anyone with an interest in the Humanities and Social Sciences, and that have been exceedingly influential in the field of linguistics the last 30 years. This course is especially useful to those who seek a theoretical grounding in how we can better understand and characterize society, human behaviour and language use, by critically engaging with classic texts written by these social theorists.

HG4028 A Wor(l)d in Motion: The Sociolinguistics of Globalization 
Pre-requisite(s): HG2020 | 4 AUs

In this course we will tackle a range of topics within the general theme of our course. Starting from the notion of ‘globalization’, throughout our course we will introduce and critically examine some of the concepts, terms, and buzzwords within the growing field of the sociolinguistics of globalization such as languaging, disinvention of languages, heteroglossia, superdiversity, translingual practice, and metrolingualism. We will engage in critical discourse analysis of discourses of globalization. And, most importantly, we will examine several examples of the interrelationship between language (use) and globalization with reference to the internet, typography, popular culture, music, tourism, marketing, sexuality, terrorism (and war on terror), migration and displacement, identity and reconfiguration of the ‘local’.

HG4031 Multimodality in Situated Contexts 
Pre-requisite(s): HG2020 | 4 AUs

In this course, you will learn to analyse communication and its relations to multimodal resources that users deploy in particular situations. We outline the key concepts and methods of distinct traditions in multimodal analysis; refer to seminal studies and critiques; and reflect on their synergies and differences. Crucially, you will learn to develop research questions and design a study related to multimodal discourse. This course is for anyone who is interested in language, communication and meaning, including, but not limited to students in applied and sociolinguistics.

HG2017 Father-and-Mother tongues: Languages of SE Asia
Pre-Requisite(s): HG1001, HG2003 | 3 AUs

Using materials from both Mainland and Island Southeast Asia, the course surveys the language situations of the region’s eleven countries with special regard to their social and cultural backgrounds. Topics covered include the region’s linguistic history, language classification and relationships, minority and majority languages, multilingualism, language politics and standardisation, language-and-culture, and language endangerment. Attention will also be paid to what the various languages are ‘like’ and to areas that need further research.

HG3043 Malay Linguistics 1 - History and Structure​
Pre-Requisite(s): HG2034 | 3 AUs

The course looks at materials from within the whole area (South Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia, and elsewhere) where Malay/Indonesian is spoken and written in different varieties and for different purposes. These include regional Malay dialects, Indonesian, and Trade Malay (Baba, Pasar etc). Among the topics covered are dialectology, social registers, recurrent grammatical controversies, language contact, and language-and-culture issues. Sessions will also be devoted to the Aslian (Austroasiatic) languages of Peninsular Malaysia, on which important studies have recently appeared.

HG3047 Experimenting with Spoken Language
Pre-Requisite(s): HG1001 | 3 AUs

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’.​

HG4012 Structure of Sign Language 
Pre-Requisite(s): HG3012 | 4 AUs

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.

HG4040 Phonological Theory 
Pre-Requisite(s): HG2003 | 4 AUs

This course revi​ews 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-Requisite(s): HG2001, HG2034 | 4 AUs
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-Requisite(s): HG2001, HG2034 | 4 AUs

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.

HG4043 Language Universals and Language Types
Pre-Requisite(s): HG2001, HG2002, HG2003 | 4 AUs

The aim of this course is to provide you with a systematic introduction to the theory of language universals, and to the theory and methodologies of linguistic typology. (Linguistic typology is the classification of the different formal structures and categories found in the world’s languages; language universals are those aspects of language that do not vary, or vary only in some limited way among languages.)

HG4046 Malay Linguistics 2 - Dialectology and Language Contact 
Pre-Requisite(s): HG2001, HG2002, HG2003, HG2034 | 4 AUs

The course looks at materials from within the whole area (South Thailand, Malaysia, Singapore, Brunei, Indonesia, and elsewhere) where Malay/Indonesian is spoken and written in different varieties and for different purposes. These include regional Malay dialects, Indonesian, and Trade Malay (Baba, Pasar etc). Among the topics covered are dialectology, social registers, recurrent grammatical controversies, language contact, and language-and-culture issues. Sessions will also be devoted to the Asian (Austroasiatic) languages of Peninsular Malaysia, on which important studies have recently appeared.

HG4049 Semantic Analysis 
Pre-Requisite(s): HG2001, HG2002, HG2003 | 4 AUs

The course introduces the study of Semantics according to a diachronic perspective, analyzing significant examples from different language families. It provides an accurate explanation of several epistemological aspects of Semantics, exploring a number of approaches in Historical Semantics and Semantic Analysis. The main focus of the Course is on the change in meaning of names and words from all over the world, involving different language families and historical contexts. Students will work on one 'macro-example' per class. The aim of the course is to make students familiar with advanced notions and hermeneutic 'tools' in Semantics, with the history of this discipline, and with its theoretical criteria and pragmatic applications in Linguistics. The course deals with Semantics according to theoretical principles, with significant links to etymological and historical-phonetics reconstruction, exploring all the possible applications of the discipline to the study of the origins of names and of their meanings.

HG4070 Experimental Phonetics 
Pre-Requisite(s): HG2003 | 4 AUs

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-Requisite(s): HG2003 | 4 AUs

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.

HG4072 Field Methods and Linguistic Data
Pre-Requisite(s): HG1001, HG2001, HG2002 and HG2003 | 4 AUs

This is an advanced course which draws on and consolidates core concepts and linguistic knowledge learnt in the pre-requisite units, providing hands-on instruction in the methods of collecting, processing, and analysing first-hand language data. Working with a native speaker of an unfamiliar or under-documented language, you will learn how to systematically and holistically describe a language from scratch, simulating the fieldwork experience. Through this course, you will be equipped with practical skills in hypothesis testing, collaborative data management/processing, and linguistic analysis.
HG2051 Language and the Computer
Pre-requisite(s): Nil | 3 AUs

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-requisite(s): Nil | 3 AUs
Note: Students who matriculated prior to AY2021-22 will take HG2052 as Major PE and UE/BDE to fulfil the respective curriculum requirement. Students who matriculated from AY2021-22 onwards will take HG2052 as ICC Core.

​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.

HG​4051 Corpus Linguistics
Pre-requisite(s): HG2034 or HG2051| 4 AUs

The course begins with a brief overview of the range of existing corpora, followed by a review of the key concepts and common methods used in corpora construction. You will then learn about marking up linguistic information and selecting text, and work towards constructing your own corpus. Next, you will learn how to use corpora to test linguistic hypotheses, and train language tools.

HG​4052 Speech Synthesis and Recognition
Pre-requisite(s): HG2003| 4 AUs

Speech synthesis and recognition deals with the design and implementation of computer systems that can “produce” and “perceive” speech signals. The goal of this course is to equip you with the knowledge and skills necessary to understand, evaluate, and design and implement a wide range of speech synthesis and recognition systems. These two fields are highly relevant in the linguistics-related sector of the information and communications technology industry. Taking this course will open up opportunities for you by preparing you to enter positions related to these topics or pursue advanced degrees dealing with speech synthesis and/or recognition. For those of you who are more interested in linguistics research, the course will have positive benefits for the study phonetics and phonology, since many of the topics discussed reinforce and extend issues in these fields, particularly concerning acoustic phonetics.

HG2018 Neurodiversity and Communicative Disabilities
Pre-requisite(s): Nil | 3 AUs

In this course, students will explore the communicative practices of individuals with diverse sensory, cognitive and mobility profiles such as Autism, Aphasia, Blindness, Deafness, Dyspraxia and other disabilities. We will discuss historical paradigms of disability, theories of typical and atypical communicative development, as well as various inclusive therapy and educational approaches (e.g. Alternative Augmentative Communication) used to support communication with disabled and neurodivergent populations.


HG2025 Delectable Tongues: Language and Food
Pre-requisite(s): Nil | 3 AUs

This course provides an overview of the complex relationship between two universal human activities that not only satisfy our basic needs (to survive and to communicate), but have a deep symbolic, often ritualised, cultural component as well. By drawing on linguistics, linguistic anthropology, sociology, cognitive science and media studies, the course introduces the interdisciplinary field of linguistics by examining the interplay between language and food-related practices (food classification and naming, food preparation, eating and drinking) in various historical and socio-cultural contexts around the world. It tells a story of food names and cross-cultural contact and borrowing, of what metaphors are and how they are formed, of the `grammar? of various culinary traditions, of social stratification and symbolic capital as they are related to `food talk?, of regional linguistic variation, and of advertising. The course addresses an engaging topic in order to familiarise students with a number of important social scientific concepts, and to develop their critical thinking skills.


HG2027 Ecolinguistics: Language and the Environment
Pre-requisite(s): Nil | 3 AUs

In this course, we will look at how language is used to construct taken-for-granted stories, metaphors and ideologies that perpetuate environmentally harmful modes of human existence. We’ll take an eco-critical perspective and develop an analytical toolkit that we’ll apply to various discourses, including those referred to as ‘environmentalist’. We will analyze a wide range of texts (pieces of journalistic, academic and policy writing, excerpts from textbooks, advertisements, mission statements and ‘about us’ sections of various companies and corporations, examples of ‘green initiatives’ and environmentalist campaigning, blogs, literary narratives and poetry), and unpack the main tropes, frames and strategies through which environmentally hazardous discourses become normalized. We will also look for the alternatives that promote ecological harmony. Our major topics include but are not limited to: development, growth, progress, climate change, animal rights, nature-as-resource, individualism, consumerism, culturally constructed images of the ideal body and food consumption. The course will provide a stimulating environment for you to enhance your critical thinking skills and acquire concepts that will serve you well in many prospective careers, especially in industries with environmental and sustainability concerns. And those are many.

HG2031 The History of English
Pre-requisite(s): Nil | 3 AUs

The first half of the course deals with more traditional historical linguistics, while the second half applies an investigative eye to specific contexts where English is used. The course begins with the historical development of English in Britain, looking at the conditions that led to specific changes in orthography, lexis, syntax and phonology. Students will be exposed to examples of texts in each time period of Old/Middle/Early Modern English. This is followed by examining the spread of and changes in English globally through two key events/time periods: in the age of imperialism through colonization, and more recently, with the advent of the internet. While both events facilitated the establishment of English as a world language, the former inevitably led to the emergence of New Englishes (with unequal power dynamics); the latter has resulted in further linguistic variations and social consequences for how we use English today. The second half of the course is conducted through case studies in the history of English(isation) in specific domains. Students will learn about the historical development of English as well as implications in English Language Teaching in Singapore, Hip Hop and Pop music, Football, and in Academia.

HG2033 Introduction to Conversation Analysis​
Pre-requisite(s): HG1001| 3 AUs

This is an introductory course to the study of naturally occurring social interaction in ordinary conversation from the perspective of Conversation Analysis. This perspective is increasingly being used in Linguistics, Anthropology, Sociology and Psychology and other disciplines, for discovering and analysis the often unnoticed but taken for granted social and cultural norms as well as the communicative practices that we enlist when engaging in talk-in-interaction. This course prepares the students for conducting systematic qualitative analysis of the unfolding of interaction through the use of audio/video recordings, developing their skills in transcribing and analysing interactional data, to provide an understanding of the fundamental structures of interaction, and to explore the wide-ranging applications of the methodologies for understanding diverse spheres of social activities.
HG2092 Analysing Spoken Discourse
Pre-requisite(s): Nil | 3 AUs

This course introduces you to discourse analytical approaches to spoken data. No background in linguistics is required. The course will create an opportunity for you to engage with spoken discourse as a topic, introducing you to ethical issues and technical skills for collecting and transcribing speech. You will also be exposed to a range of analytical approaches in linguistics. Regardless if you are a linguistics major, students particularly within the School of Humanities or the School of Social Sciences will find the insights and methods of spoken discourse analysis useful and practically applicable, because your studies, as well as prospective work (eg journalism, market research etc), may involve critical engagement with spoken forms of data such as interviews and speeches.

HG2093 Discovering Unwritten Stories: A General Introduction to Toponymy and Toponomastics​
Pre-requisite(s): Nil | 3 AUs

In this course, you'll become familiar with the basic notions and hermeneutic instruments of Toponymy studies and Toponomastics, both at the level of language reconstructions (Diachronic Toponymy and Historical Toponomastics) and at the historical-cultural and sociological level (Synchronic Toponymy). The course will provide you with indispensable epistemological elements for the understanding of complex notions in Historical Linguistics and Etymology and for the evaluation of the relations between place names and social contexts.

HG2094 Word of Mouth: Transmission of Oral Culture
Pre-requisite(s): Nil | 3 AUs

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-requisite(s): HG2020 | 3 AUs

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? - Analysing Written Discourse
Pre-requisite(s): Nil | 3 AUs

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-requisite(s): Nil | 3 AUs

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.

HG2099 Languages of the World
Pre-requisite(s): HG1001| 3 AUs

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.
HG3023 Anthropological Linguistics
Pre-requisite(s): HG2001 & HG2003| 3 AUs

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.

HG4022 Forensic Linguistics
Pre-requisite(s): HG1001, HG2010, HG2020 | 4 AUs

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.

HG4024 Social Theories and Language 
Pre-requisite(s): Nil | 4 AUs

This course introduces you to social theories that have had a profound impact on how linguists study language, and understand the links between language use and society. Important theoretical frameworks by prominent theorists (eg Foucault, Bourdieu, Butler and Bakhtin) are essential concepts for anyone with an interest in the Humanities and Social Sciences, and that have been exceedingly influential in the field of linguistics the last 30 years. This course is especially useful to those who seek a theoretical grounding in how we can better understand and characterize society, human behaviour and language use, by critically engaging with classic texts written by these social theorists.

HG4025 Linguistic Ethnography
Pre-requisite(s): Nil | 4 AUs

This course introduces you to the why, what and how of Linguistic Ethnography as a research method to investigate language use in society. Such a research approach constitutes a major strand of study in the UK, and LMS is the first linguistics department in Singapore to offer it as a course. More significantly, the skills taught in participant observation, designing and conducting interviews, and qualitative analysis of primary sources of data, are all transferable to actual prospective occupations (eg journalism, market research etc).

HG4033 Advanced Conversation Analysis
Pre-requisite(s): HG2033 | 4 AUs

Conversation analysis (CA) is a well-attested method within multiple humanistic and social science disciplines that uncovers the working of human communicative behaviours. CA is also used. to comprehend the way we produce and understand naturally occurring talk in various social and institutional spheres. You will receive hands-on training in the collection, transcription and systematic analysis of interactional data through this highly empirical and rigorous methodology. With this training, you will become well-prepared in conducting research within this field of study. Topics covered 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.
HG4044 Language Evolution
Pre-requisite(s): Nil | 4 AUs

This seminar provides a comprehensive introduction to questions, 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 communication shared across the human species; and how languages diversified. An understanding of language evolution requires the exploration 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 linguistics, anthropology, archaeology, artificial life, biology, cognitive and neuroscience. ​​

HG4048 Comparative Chinese Dialectology
Pre-requisite(s): HG2001 | 4 AUs

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.

HG4062 Language, Culture and Society in Southeast Asia
Pre-requisite(s): HG1001, HG2020 | 4 AUs

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-requisite(s): HG2001, HG2003, HG2034 | 4 AUs

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.