Introduction to Language Science

lfial1530  2018-2019  Louvain-la-Neuve

Introduction to Language Science
3 credits
30.0 h
Hambye Philippe; Hambye Philippe (compensates Simon Anne-Catherine); Simon Anne-Catherine;
Main themes
  • Human language as compared to other communication systems ;
  • Levels of linguistic analysis (phonetics-phonology, morphology, lexis, syntax and pragmatics);
  • Language universals and the variety of languages

At the end of this learning unit, the student is able to :


This introductory course aims at explaining the functioning of language, that is the conditions under which human speech activity takes place, the way it is structured and governed. By the end of the course, students will be able to use the specific metalanguage of linguistics in a way to describe any language and explain its internal as well as external functioning (units and structures; historical, social and geographical variation). On the other hand, students will have developed the ability to analyze and interpret simple linguistics problems.


The contribution of this Teaching Unit to the development and command of the skills and learning outcomes of the programme(s) can be accessed at the end of this sheet, in the section entitled “Programmes/courses offering this Teaching Unit”.
The course will successively address the following themes:
  • Undertstanding the functioning of language
  • The diverse forms of language (natural languages and other communication systems)
  • From "words" to morphological and lexical units
  • From "sounds" to phonological units
  • Syntactic units
  • From the language faculty to the variety of languages
  • Pragmatics or how to interpret language
Teaching methods
Lectures and questions / answers sessions.
Individual training by students using the DVD "Parole&Langue".
Evaluation methods
Written exam (40 multiple choice questions). Only students who will obtain a score of min. 20/40 for the exam will have a successful mark (min. 10/20).
Other information
Online resources
Moodle web site (Documents and Links ; Forums)
Syllabus du cours + site internet « Parole&Langue. Parcours et exercices de linguistique » (Simon & Bachy 2009).
Faculty or entity

Programmes / formations proposant cette unité d'enseignement (UE)

Title of the programme
Bachelor in Ancient Languages and Literatures : Classics

Bachelor in Psychology and Education : Speech and Language Therapy

Bachelor in Modern Languages and Literatures: German, Dutch and English

Bachelor in Ancient and Modern Languages and Literatures

Bachelor in Ancient Languages and Literatures: Oriental Studies

Bachelor in French and Romance Languages and Literatures : General

Bachelor in Modern Languages and Literatures : General

Minor in Linguistics