ENGLISH LANGUAGE & LINGUISTICS 2B: Language, Mind, and Expression ENGLANG2005

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

Short Description

We know thousands upon thousands of individual words. How can children learn them, and how do adults remember them so effortlessly? Why do so many place-names end in -ton or -ley, and why do girls' names so frequently end in -a? How was language used to express character, represent dialogue, and explore the nature of medieval religion? ELL 2B explores how people navigate the infinite variability of language as they speak, listen, and assign labels to the world around them.

The three strands of this course focus on the use of experiments that reveal the psychology of language in adults and children; the patterns in language that reveal the historical influences of society, culture, and religion on our modern system of nomenclature; and how these patterns in usage and naming affected the shape of English and contributed to the production of its earliest literary forms.


Lectures: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday at 2.00pm over 10 weeks as scheduled on 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 and enrolled in English Language and Linguistics 2A.

Excluded Courses





Essay (1,500 words) - 25%

Examination (2-hour duration) - 75%


Main Assessment In: April/May

Course Aims

The aim of this course is to:

■ introduce experimental methodologies and psychological approaches to the study of language

■ raise awareness of the relationship between language and culture

■ outline and discuss the development of names in a socio-historical context

■ enable students to gain an enhanced awareness of the development of the English language through the Middle and Early Modern periods

Intended Learning Outcomes of Course

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

■ understand and utilise a range of methodologies for the study of language, including experimental methods

■ discuss and exemplify the ways in which names reflect aspects of past and present culture, language and society

■ identify and discuss the literary context of sample texts of Middle and Early Modern English, and within these, discuss specific linguistic structures

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

■ exercise, demonstrate, and articulate linguistic analytical skills both in seminar discussions and in formal written 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.