Students

LING2218 – Grammar and Meaning

2021 – Session 1, Special circumstances

Notice

As part of Phase 3 of our return to campus plan, most units will now run tutorials, seminars and other small group activities on campus, and most will keep an online version available to those students unable to return or those who choose to continue their studies online.

To check the availability of face-to-face and online activities for your unit, please go to timetable viewer. To check detailed information on unit assessments visit your unit's iLearn space or consult your unit convenor.

General Information

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Unit convenor and teaching staff Unit convenor and teaching staff
Annabelle Lukin
Margaret Wood
Tutor
Ernest Akerejola-Eminefo
Credit points Credit points
10
Prerequisites Prerequisites
10cp from LING units at 1000 level
Corequisites Corequisites
Co-badged status Co-badged status
Unit description Unit description

Grammar is the powerhouse of language. The grammar of language emerges over time, as people use language for the varied processes of living. This course will introduce you to the relationship of grammar and meaning, through understanding the three functions of language: - textual function: how we organise our language into coherent text in the many different contexts in which we interact - interpersonal function: how we enact our social relationships through language - ideational function: how we use language to construe our experience of the world around us, and the world inside us. The analysis you will learn about in this unit is used in many different fields of study, including computational linguistics, translation, literary studies, child language development, political and media discourse, the language of health professionals, the language of education, etc. This is a course for people who love language, or who understand that language is important to all aspects of life.

Important Academic Dates

Information about important academic dates including deadlines for withdrawing from units are available at https://www.mq.edu.au/study/calendar-of-dates

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of this unit, you will be able to:

  • ULO1: Demonstrate understanding of three functions of language: the ideational, interpersonal, the textual functions
  • ULO2: Apply grammatical concepts to the study of naturally occurring text
  • ULO3: Identify grammatical patterns in naturally occurring text
  • ULO4: Analyse and interpret grammatical patterning in naturally occurring text
  • ULO5: Explain the effects of the grammatical patterning in text in relation to the nature of the social and cultural context of the text

General Assessment Information

Late Assessment Procedure

  • Late submissions without an extension will receive a penalty of 3% of the total mark available for the assessment task per day including weekend days (i.e. this is 3% of the total marks possible for the task – NOT 3% of the marks the student received. For example, if the assessment task is worth 100 marks and the student is two days late their mark for the task is reduced by 6 marks.)
  • Late submission of an assessment task without an extension will not be accepted at all after the date on which marked assessment tasks have been released to the rest of the class. Any student with unsubmitted work at this date will receive a mark of 0 for the assessment task.
  • Extensions will only be given in special circumstances, and can be requested by completing the Special Consideration request at ask.mq.edu.au and providing the requisite supporting documentation.
  • Extensions that will result in submissions after the assessment task has been returned to the class will require a separate assessment task to be completed at the unit convenor's discretion.
  • For more information on Special Consideration, see the university website https://students.mq.edu.au/study/my-study-program/special-consideration\
  • If a student fails the unit due to non-submission of an assignment or non-attendance at an exam, an FA grade will be applied in accordance with the University's Assessment Policy.
  • Unit convenors have the discretion to determine whether or not students should fail a unit on the basis of lateness penalties alone if other learning outcomes of the unit have been met.

Assessment Tasks

Name Weighting Hurdle Due
Five short online quizzes 25% No See iLearn
Tutorial preparation and participation 15% No Ongoing
Text analysis 1 20% No 16/4/21
Text analysis 2 40% No 7/6/21

Five short online quizzes

Assessment Type 1: Quiz/Test
Indicative Time on Task 2: 2 hours
Due: See iLearn
Weighting: 25%

 

Five short quizzes each worth 5% testing understanding of grammatical concepts

 


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Demonstrate understanding of three functions of language: the ideational, interpersonal, the textual functions
  • Apply grammatical concepts to the study of naturally occurring text

Tutorial preparation and participation

Assessment Type 1: Participatory task
Indicative Time on Task 2: 12 hours
Due: Ongoing
Weighting: 15%

 

A mark of 15 is allocated for tutorial attendance, preparation and participation in group discussions (hours included in scheduled and non-scheduled learning activities e.g. tutorial and class preparation)

 


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Demonstrate understanding of three functions of language: the ideational, interpersonal, the textual functions
  • Apply grammatical concepts to the study of naturally occurring text
  • Identify grammatical patterns in naturally occurring text
  • Analyse and interpret grammatical patterning in naturally occurring text
  • Explain the effects of the grammatical patterning in text in relation to the nature of the social and cultural context of the text

Text analysis 1

Assessment Type 1: Case study/analysis
Indicative Time on Task 2: 22 hours
Due: 16/4/21
Weighting: 20%

 

In this assignment, students analyse text data for its constituency patterns and its experiential patterns, and write an interpretation in 500 words.

 


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Demonstrate understanding of three functions of language: the ideational, interpersonal, the textual functions
  • Apply grammatical concepts to the study of naturally occurring text
  • Identify grammatical patterns in naturally occurring text
  • Analyse and interpret grammatical patterning in naturally occurring text
  • Explain the effects of the grammatical patterning in text in relation to the nature of the social and cultural context of the text

Text analysis 2

Assessment Type 1: Case study/analysis
Indicative Time on Task 2: 40 hours
Due: 7/6/21
Weighting: 40%

 

In this assignment students continue with the same short text from assignment 1, but extend the analysis to include the interpersonal and textual metafunctions, and write an interpretation of the analysis in 1000 - 1200 words.(1200 max).

 


On successful completion you will be able to:
  • Demonstrate understanding of three functions of language: the ideational, interpersonal, the textual functions
  • Apply grammatical concepts to the study of naturally occurring text
  • Identify grammatical patterns in naturally occurring text
  • Analyse and interpret grammatical patterning in naturally occurring text
  • Explain the effects of the grammatical patterning in text in relation to the nature of the social and cultural context of the text

1 If you need help with your assignment, please contact:

  • the academic teaching staff in your unit for guidance in understanding or completing this type of assessment
  • the Writing Centre for academic skills support.

2 Indicative time-on-task is an estimate of the time required for completion of the assessment task and is subject to individual variation

Delivery and Resources

Please note that this unit has been altered to accommodate our delivery provisions in compliance with current COVID-19 requirements (Special Circumstance delivery). Learning activities (such as tutorials and other small group learning activities) will be offered on-campus while keeping an online version available for those students who choose to continue their studies online (selected via eStudent). Learning activities for this unit will be delivered as follows:

The unit is delivered by one two hour lecture, and a one hour compulsory tutorial.

Lectures are delivered live viz zoom. Zoom recordings are available shortly after the conclusion of the lecture.

Tutorials are available both on campus and via zoom - enrol via eStudent.

Students need to use one of two recommended text books:

1. An Introduction to Functional Grammar, Halliday and Matthiessen, 2014. 

This is a detailed overview of functional grammar. It is available in electronic form through Macquarie library. It is highly recommended - but can be daunting when you are first getting started with the study of grammar.

2. Using Functional Grammar: An Explorer's Guide. Butt, Fahey, Spinks, Yallop, Feez. 3rd Edition, 2012. This is only available in hard copy in the library. It is a shorter, simpler version of the content.  If you can get an earlier edition second hand, it will be suitable. 

Unit Schedule

Week 1

What is language? What is grammar?

While often thought of as ‘rules’, grammar is a resource for meaning. I’ll illustrate this point by looking at what verbs do. Verbs are at the centre of the most important grammatical unit, the clause. The verb is a structure that allows us to represent and construe process, flux and change. It’s time to move beyond the ‘verb is a doing word’ definition, to explore the power and beauty of the grammar of verbs.

Week 2 & 3

Constituency: Units in grammar

Language has structure, and this structure is made of different grammatical units, such as the morpheme, groups and phrases, and clauses. To understand how speakers make meaning with language, we have to understand and be able to analyse these basic units in grammar.

Week 4

What is a clause?

To use language in the many and varied ways we interact, we need to put words into structures. The most important grammatical unit is the clause, because it is through the clause we create ‘experiential’, ‘interpersonal’ and ‘textual meanings’. In this lecture, we will build on the two previous weeks by looking at whole clauses, and different types of clauses. We will even see clauses inside (i.e. ‘embedded in’) other clauses.

Weeks 5 & 6

Language construing experience

Humans use language for meaning making of three kinds. This week we begin exploring how grammar allows us to make sense of experience, to turn experience into meaning that we can share with our nearest and dearest, or complete strangers. We will come back to the verbal group, and look at different kinds of verbs/processes, and how we use grammar to construe action, saying and thinking, and relations of identity and similarity.  

Weeks 7 & 8

Language enacting social relationships

Humans don't produce linguistic structure as an end in itself. Whenever we talk, we talk to someone, even when that someone is someone we don't know or can never know. There is always an audience for our talk. There are many dimensions to our social relations. For instance, how do you talk to people who have some kind of power over you? How does your talk reflect a relation of familiarity or intimacy? When you talk to very young kids, or to elderly people, how does your language vary? These kinds of distinctions are reflected and made through linguistic choices. This week we begin looking at the grammar that enables us to enact our social relations.

Weeks 9 & 10

Language for creating coherent text

Language allows us to make meanings of two kinds simultaneously: meanings about the world, and meanings about the social relations that pertain to a given situation. How do we make all this hang together? The textual function is the grammar for creating coherent texts. This week we look into the options in grammar for the order of elements in a clause, and how this order has consequences for text structure and coherence.

Week 11

Building up text

Sometimes our interactions are very short. Often they are not. Humans in all kinds of situations create extended texts. They do this by joining clauses together into long stretches of clauses. In this lecture, we look at the grammatical systems which underpin our ways of joining clauses together. 

Week 12

Language in society, society in language 

We analyse real data in linguistics to help us understand the nature of language. But we also apply our insights to understanding all kinds of language-related issues, including language in literature, politics, and healthcare communication. In this lecture I examine some of the many applications of the tools you have studied in this unit.

Policies and Procedures

Macquarie University policies and procedures are accessible from Policy Central (https://policies.mq.edu.au). Students should be aware of the following policies in particular with regard to Learning and Teaching:

Students seeking more policy resources can visit Student Policies (https://students.mq.edu.au/support/study/policies). It is your one-stop-shop for the key policies you need to know about throughout your undergraduate student journey.

To find other policies relating to Teaching and Learning, visit Policy Central (https://policies.mq.edu.au) and use the search tool.

Student Code of Conduct

Macquarie University students have a responsibility to be familiar with the Student Code of Conduct: https://students.mq.edu.au/admin/other-resources/student-conduct

Results

Results published on platform other than eStudent, (eg. iLearn, Coursera etc.) or released directly by your Unit Convenor, are not confirmed as they are subject to final approval by the University. Once approved, final results will be sent to your student email address and will be made available in eStudent. For more information visit ask.mq.edu.au or if you are a Global MBA student contact globalmba.support@mq.edu.au

Student Support

Macquarie University provides a range of support services for students. For details, visit http://students.mq.edu.au/support/

Learning Skills

Learning Skills (mq.edu.au/learningskills) provides academic writing resources and study strategies to help you improve your marks and take control of your study.

The Library provides online and face to face support to help you find and use relevant information resources. 

Student Services and Support

Students with a disability are encouraged to contact the Disability Service who can provide appropriate help with any issues that arise during their studies.

Student Enquiries

For all student enquiries, visit Student Connect at ask.mq.edu.au

If you are a Global MBA student contact globalmba.support@mq.edu.au

IT Help

For help with University computer systems and technology, visit http://www.mq.edu.au/about_us/offices_and_units/information_technology/help/

When using the University's IT, you must adhere to the Acceptable Use of IT Resources Policy. The policy applies to all who connect to the MQ network including students.

Changes since First Published

Date Description
12/02/2021 Updated resources to include recommended textbooks, and updated schedule to mirror the redesign of the iLearn site.