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The General Linguistics postgraduate programme offers training in linguistic theory and a formal understanding of linguistic rules and representations, which underlie the complexity and creativity of the human language. It comprises theoretical linguistics, sociolinguistics and psycholinguistics and develops an understanding of the relationship between language and the processes of the human brain/mind. Broadly, the integrated Honours/Masters postgraduate programme at the University of KwaZulu-Natal develops an understanding of the relationship between language, society and the processes of the human brain/mind. Staff in Linguistics offer training in all main areas of linguistic theory:

  • Theoretical linguistics
  • Psycholinguistics
  • Sociolinguistics
  • Applied Linguistics

Postgraduate modules in theoretical linguistics are concerned with the empirical properties of languages and how they are captured in formal models of grammar. Postgraduate sociolinguistic offerings cover the areas of language planning, language contact phenomena, as well as issues of language, power and ideology, among others. Psycholinguistics modules introduce students to theories about the biological bases of language, language acquisition, speech perception, speech production, sentence processing and the lexicon. The study of applied linguistics at postgraduate level is of particular relevance to language practitioners who want to further their professional development with insights into language structure, acquisition and use, particularly in multicultural and multilingual settings. Educational issues include medium of instruction at schools and universities, first and second language learning and teaching, literacy, language across the curriculum, syllabus and textbook design, classroom interaction and analysis of discourse in professional settings (such as, for example, parliamentary debates).

Linguistics Department2

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