SEL1007: The Nature of Language

(Joel C. Wallenberg and Rachael Bailes,
Vanessa McIntosh and Callum Hackett)

Lecture Schedule


Each participant in this module must attend one lecture and one seminar per week:
  • Module participants will be assigned to one of the timetabled seminars by Central Timetabling (check your student timetable), which will be with Joel, Rachael, Vanessa, or Callum.

  • The official University module timetable is available here.
    campus map

  • Joel's Feedback and Consultation Hours (office hours) are in his office, Percy 2.15, at these times every week:
    Tuesdays 11:00 - 12:00
    Fridays 12:30 - 14:00
    (12:00-12:30 Fridays is reserved for answering student emails.)


The following table shows the lecture / seminar sequence.

  • Outlines or slides for all the lectures are available by clicking on the titles in the 'Lecture' column. These can be printed and then annotated in the course of the lecture, which is useful for revision later on.

    If you see more than one lecture outline, the first is the current lecture, and the other(s) are past lectures which are useful background reading.

  • The 'Seminar' column contains a set of possible topics for discussion in the seminar associated with each lecture. It is stressed that these are just possible; the whole point of seminars is to give students the opportunity to raise topics for discussion, and as such each one generally follows its own particular dynamics.

  Lecture Seminar
1 Introduction: Science and Language

J. C. Wallenberg

Old Lecture 1 (background reading, by Hermann Moisl)

Seminar for Lecture 1
Reading for Seminar 1
(by Richard P. Feynman)
2 Computation, mind, and language

G. Poole

Old Computation, mind, and language (Background Reading)

Seminar for Lecture 2
Reading for Seminar: Yang, Chapts. 1 and 2

Hypothesis-Testing Sketch Example 1

Hypothesis-Testing Sketch Example 2
3 Thinking about Language : Chomsky

G. Poole

Hypothesis-Testing Sketch
DUE TODAY (17th October)


Old Thinking about Language (Background Reading)

Seminar for Lecture 3
Reading for Seminar: Yang, Chapts. 3 and 4
4 Acquisition and Evidence

J. C. Wallenberg

Additional Notes

Seminar for Lecture 4
Reading for Seminar: Yang, Chapt. 5
5

Interlude: Writing a language / linguistics essay, SLIDES

J. C. Wallenberg

Interlude: Writing a language / linguistics essay (older notes)

Seminar for Lecture 5
Reading for Seminar: Yang, Chapt. 6
6 Language Change (Current slides)

J. C. Wallenberg

Language Change (Old, notes and background reading)

Seminar for Lecture 6
Reading for Seminar: Yang, Chapt. 7
7 Language and Populations
(i.e. viruses, creoles, and other fun stuff)

J. C. Wallenberg

Essay-Outline 1
DUE TODAY (14th November)

Seminar for Lecture 7
Reading for Seminar: Yang, Chapt. 8
8 Sociolinguistics, Variation, and Memory

J. C. Wallenberg

Old Language and Society (Slides)

Seminar for Lecture 8
9

Animal Communication

Dr. Rachael Bailes

Humans, animals, and language 2
(Notes and background reading)

Seminar for Lecture 9
10 Meaning and Communication

Dr. Rachael Bailes

Additional Notes for Background Reading
Seminar for Lecture 10
11 What it's all for (Slides)

What it's all for (Notes and Background)

J. C. Wallenberg

Personal tuition available during seminar times
12 Review and consultation available during lecture time (in my office)

J. C. Wallenberg

Personal tuition available during seminar times