ENGLISH LANGUAGE & LINGUISTICS 2A: Language, People, and Culture ENGLANG2004

  • Academic Session: 2023-24
  • School: School of Critical Studies
  • Credits: 20
  • Level: Level 2 (SCQF level 8)
  • Typically Offered: Semester 1
  • Available to Visiting Students: Yes

Short Description

In the family tree of languages, what is the first cousin once removed of English and how many of our words did we borrow from it? What was the language like before the Vikings, the French, and enthusiastic Classicists made their marks? And what are the rules of conversation you use when discussing it all? ELL 2A dusts off the photo albums in the attic of the English language, inventories its word-stock, and asks how we pick and choose what to say and when.

The three strands of this course examine how speakers of English employ melody and rhythm to give colour to their speech, and how conversation is shaped by the circumstances and intentions of its participants; describe the features and deep history of English words; and trace the earliest forms of the language through texts, objects, and artefacts.


Lectures: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday at 2.00pm over 10 weeks as scheduled in MyCampus. Weekly one hour seminar (choice of times) as scheduled on MyCampus.

Requirements of Entry

Normally both Level 1 English Language and Linguistics courses with a minimum grade of D3 across 40 credits. Exceptionally with the head of subject's agreement suitably qualified students with previous study in English Language and Linguistics may enter directly into Level 2. Exceptionally with the head of subject's agreement students with only one Level 1 English Language and Linguistics course may apply to enter Level 2.

Excluded Courses





Set exercise - 25%

Examination (2-hour duration) - 75%

Main Assessment In: December

Are reassessment opportunities available for all summative assessments? No

Reassessments are normally available for all courses, except those which contribute to the Honours classification. For non Honours courses, students are offered reassessment in all or any of the components of assessment if the satisfactory (threshold) grade for the overall course is not achieved at the first attempt. This is normally grade D3 for undergraduate students and grade C3 for postgraduate students. Exceptionally it may not be possible to offer reassessment of some coursework items, in which case the mark achieved at the first attempt will be counted towards the final course grade. Any such exceptions for this course are described below. 


Reassessment not available for

Set exercise - 25%

Course Aims

The aim of this course is to:

■ develop an enhanced understanding of the history, structure, and meaning of English words

■ develop linguistic and phonetic skills to analyse suprasegmental aspects of speech, and the social and cultural 'rules' of communication

■ enable students to gain a detailed knowledge of an early stage of the English language

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

By the end of this course students will be able to:

■ describe the lexis of English, including the Indo-European heritage of the English language, the basics of English morphology, corpus and digital resources for the analysis of English, and the formation of new words

■ identify and discuss the literary and sociohistorical context of sample texts in Old English, and within these, identify, parse and discuss specific linguistic structures

■ recognize, explain and illustrate key phonetic terms and concepts for analysing suprasegmental aspects of speech, with reference to accents of English

■ use and evaluate different kinds of source material for the diachronic and synchronic study of language

■ exercise and articulate linguistic analytical skills both in seminar discussions and in formal assignments

Minimum Requirement for Award of Credits

Students must submit at least 75% by weight of the components (including examinations) of the course's summative assessment.