Programme structure for Bachelor of Arts with a major in Literature/Language

If you enjoyed English at school and are not sure whether you prefer the literature part or the language part, you can continue studying both! A major in Literature/Language gives you the opportunity to study four Literature courses and four Linguistics courses (or more if you choose a single major). This combination gives you strong analytical and critical thinking skills, which are valued by employers in all sectors.

You can study:

  • A Bachelor of Arts with a double major (with Major 1 in Literature/Language and Major 2 in another subject)
  • A Bachelor of Arts with a single major in Literature/Language and a minor in another subject

However, to get the most out of this subject combination, we strongly recommend taking a double major with one major in Linguistics and the other major in Literature.


NOTE: The information on this page applies to students enrolling on a BA with a major in Literature/Language in 2022 or later. If you enrolled on this programme in 2021 or earlier, please see the Handbook & Calendar from the year in which you first enrolled on this programme.

A major in Literature/Language (taken as part of a double major) comprises eight courses, of which four courses come from Literature and four come from Linguistics. All students take the following three Linguistics courses:

LN118 The Languages of the Pacific

This course delves into the immense multilingual complexity of the USP region. We begin with an introduction to the structure of different languages, learning how Pacific linguists work with language data. We then cover a geographical and historical overview of the languages of Melanesia, Polynesia and Micronesia, examining how so many languages have come to exist in the region, and considering what Linguistics can tell us about migration patterns and early settlers of the different islands. Finally, we look at the language situation across the Pacific today, looking briefly at topics such as language endangerment and official language status.

LN211 The Structure of English

This course focuses on the description and analysis of the structure of English. It looks at the way sounds and words are formed (phonology and morphology), and then examines the way words are joined together as phrases, then clauses, and then sentences (syntax). It aims to reveal the patterns that underlie English, in ways that will be useful for anyone studying, using or teaching the language. LN211 will be of interest to those who use English on a daily basis, but want to know more about how it actually works!

LN216 Language Use in the 21st Century Pacific

This course examines the way language is used in the Pacific region in the current, globalised era. In the first half of the course, we introduce different frameworks through which to understand multilingualism, and we use these to examine a range of linguistic data from speech, writing, music, street signs, graffiti, text messages and social media. In the second half, we consider how best to communicate messages of contemporary importance to a target audience, learning how to design multilingual posters, webpages, video clips and other resources. This course will appeal to students enrolled on a variety of programmes.

The fourth Linguistics course is chosen from the following:

LN315 Corpus Linguistics and Language Technology

Computer-aided research of language material is increasingly popular in contemporary research. This course is an introduction to corpus linguistics, where a ‘corpus’ refers to a collection of electronic texts that represent a sample of a particular variety of use of language(s). You will explore various software applications for collecting, displaying and analysing linguistic information from corpora, examining practical examples that include large corpora such as the Australian National Corpus, smaller corpora of Pacific languages (PARADISEC archive), web-based corpora, and specific app-based corpora such as Twitter. There will be a final project, which requires students to conduct research on text data and language.

LN316 Applied Linguistics

This course introduces students to the field of Applied Linguistics, which is an interdisciplinary area of research into a range of language-related issues. Issues covered may include translation, interpreting, discourse analysis, multilingualism, language revitalisation and maintenance, and language learning and teaching. These are real life applications of language in operation all around us in the Pacific, and the course will consider both theoretical and practical aspects of these endeavours. This course is only offered on an occasional basis and when there is sufficient demand.

LN317 Qualitative Analysis of Texts

This course uses different frameworks, tools and techniques to analyse written, spoken and multimodal texts. We use qualitative analysis to identify the ‘stories-we-live-by’ and the ways these are constructed through different linguistic devices. This type of analysis illustrates the impact of language on the world around us, and demonstrates the power of the words we choose to use whenever we communicate.

LN318 Selected Topics in Linguistics

This is a project-based course that enables students to apply the skills and knowledge gained throughout their programme. Different topics may be the focus of the course in different semesters. This course is only offered on an occasional basis and when there is sufficient demand.

LN319 Language Documentation

This is a project-based course that covers methodologies and technologies used in language documentation. Students learn how to collect, record, organise, store and analyse primary linguistic data, and they discover the social dimensions of work with speakers of lesser-studied languages. The course features hands-on training in the form of an individual documentation project, where students gain useful skills (audio and video recording, transcribing, organising and archiving collected materials) that can be transferable in their professional lives.

Single major in Literature/Language

Students completing a Single Major in Literature/Language will take twelve courses in total, six from Literature and six from Linguistics.

The six Linguistics courses on this major are: LN111, LN118, LN211, LN216, plus two from LN311, LN315, LN316, LN317, LN318 and LN319.

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