Language, Mind and Brain (Q1202E)

15 credits, Level 5

Spring teaching

This module focuses on linguistic ability as a unique quality of humans. How does human language differ from animal communication systems? How is the human body, particularly the brain, adapted for language? Is language a special kind of cognition, or the product of general higher cognitive abilities?

We further investigate how humans understand and produce speech in such a speedy and efficient way, using a variety of evidence to evaluate theories of how the mind is structured for speech. We'll ask questions like: How are words stored in the mind so that we can find them? Why are grammatical sentences like 'The horse raced past the barn fell' actually very difficult to comprehend? Why are words sometimes 'on the tip of the tongue'?


50%: Lecture
50%: Seminar


30%: Coursework (Presentation)
70%: Examination (Unseen examination)

Contact hours and workload

This module is 150 hours of work. This breaks down into 24 hours of contact time and 126 hours of independent study.

This module is running in the academic year 2019/20. We also plan to offer it in future academic years. It may become unavailable due to staff availability, student demand or updates to our curriculum. We’ll make sure to let our applicants know of such changes to modules at the earliest opportunity.