Synopses of M.A Courses


LIN 631      Current Issues in Phonetics      3 Credits  (C)

This course will address recent issues in phonetics such as the universality of intrinsic fundamental frequency in tone languages, various acoustic correlates, burst spectra and formant transitions in sound segments, spectral and temporal acoustic analysis, advanced speech sound production and palatography.  It will also involve practical uses of phonetic software for sound analysis such as Praat and speech analyzer.

LIN651: Milestones in the History of Linguistics   3 Credits  (C)

The course examines the important periods and landmarks in the history of linguistics and linguistic thought within the different linguistic traditions of the world. This shall be achieved through the practical examination of the contributions of specific historical figures and texts to the development of linguistics and linguistic thought.  Areas to be covered include the Indian Tradition, the Western Tradition (Socrates to Saussure), Modern Tradition(s), the Arabic Tradition, and the contributions of linguistics in Africa to the development of modern linguistics.

LIN 661      Advanced Morphology                   3 Credits  (C)

A study of the current trends in morphological analysis with emphasis on the interface areas: morphophonology and morphosyntax.  The following morphological theories will be examined and applied in analyzing morphological structure of different languages: Lexical morphology, prosodic morphology/template morphology, etc.

LIN 671      Advanced Sociolinguistics          3 Credits (E)

Language and society: a study of the differential social roles of language in a multilingual society.  The effects of social class, gender and ethnic differences in language choice; factors determining language change; language conflicts, language endangerment and language rights: analysis of the economic, educational, political, and sociological aspects of the language problems of developing nations; the role of language in nationalistic ideologies; and sociolinguistic methodology.

LIN 683      Advanced Research Method           3 Credits (C)

The course is divided into two parts.  The first part is a quick review of the basic issues involved in a B.A. research, while the second part takes up more advanced issues that arise at a postgraduate level.  These include such issues as combination of methods in linguistic research, corpus-based linguistic research data processing, discourse analytic approaches, linguistic ethnography, interviews, multimodal and narrative analytic research.  The course work would include specific reading assignments coupled with individual exercises on each of the advanced topics in linguistic research.

LIN 641      Lexicography                                    3 Credits (E)

The course is divided into two parts.  The first part is a quick review of the basic concepts in undergraduate introduction to lexicography.  The second part involves an in-depth systematic survey of the theory and methods of dictionary making.  More specifically, this goes into such issues as dictionary typology, information treatment and presentation in dictionaries, dictionary use, issues of equivalence in bilingual dictionaries, management of dictionary projects, dictionary criticism, lexicography in Africa etc.  Each of the topics shall involve practical exercises all of which shall cumulatively form part of the assessment for the course.

LIN 673     Studies in dialectology                        3 Credits (E)

The history of the study of dialectology; dialectology and related fields; types; techniques and methods of dialectology.  Designs or uses of dialect atlases.  An overview of the modern dialects of a chosen language; major isoglosses and dialect areas; the standard variety. Application of findings of dialectology. Students will design and carry out a small-scale dialect survey.


 LIN 675     Linguistic Anthropology                     3 Credits  (E)

Builds on the undergraduate course ‘Language and Culture’ to provide an advanced study of some key areas of linguistic anthropological research like language and world view; ethno-semantics, speech socialization, speech play and verbal art, language and social structure, ethnography of speaking, discourse and semiotics, nonverbal communication  (including Writing Systems, Sign Language, Body Language).



LIN 622      Advanced Syntax                        3 Credits  (C)

A survey of transformational generative grammar with emphasis on the principles and parameters syntax.  Moreover, the following issues will be accounted for: DP hypothesis, VP-internal subject hypothesis, theta grid, relative clause, causative construction, nominalization, complementation, negation and interrogation.

LIN 632     Studies in Phonology                             3 Credits  (C)

The course is a practical course involving discussion of phonological problems.  It also traces the development of the phoneme through an examination of differing attitudes and solution to problems.  Problems should include tone.  The course should move through standard generative phonology and end with an introduction to its non-linear off-shoots.

LIN 642     Theories of Semantics                   3 Credits (C)

This course provides a critical review of some semantic theories.  It is common knowledge that no one particular semantic theory can adequately account for the meaning relations in language.  Therefore, this course provides the student with an insight into some of the central ideas from different theoretical backgrounds to enable him/her adopt whichever framework that can reasonably account for his/her language data. Topics covered include:

  1. Basic concepts and phenomena:

-Meaning and semantics, descriptive, social and expressive meaning, meanings and readings, meaning and logic, meaning relations, predication.

  1. Theoretical Approaches

-Structuralist, interpretive- generative semantics, Fillmore’s Case theory, Dowty’s decompositional semantics, Jackendoff’s conceptual semantics, etc.

-Meaning and language comparison, and the question of semantic universals.

Cognitive semantics-prototype theory, fuzziness, etc.


LIN 684       Topics in Applied Linguistics        3 Credits  (E)

This course will review some of the fundamental questions and research areas encountered in the course.  The areas include literacy and language planning, language for academic purpose (Language of science and technology), discourse and style analysis, strategies in first and second language acquisition, investigating second language learners through error/contrastive analysis.

LIN 624      Alternative theories of Grammar     3 Credits  (E)

The course adopts the rare approach of introducing and using different theoretical frameworks in analyzing specific syntactic phenomena. The effort is to acquaint the students with the fact that different theoretical frameworks or approaches are available for syntactic analysis. The few frameworks covered include systemic functional grammar, principles and parameters, lexical functional grammar, minimalism, and cognitive grammar.

LIN 644     Topics in Psycholinguistics              3 Credits  (E)

Psycholinguistics deals with how the human being comprehends, produces, and acquires language.  The course is an advanced incursion into the different aspects of psycholinguistics, like language comprehension and production, as well as language acquisition, language and human biology, and language and culture.

LIN 646     Advanced Issues in Pragmatics       3 Credits   (E)

Starting with the conceptual and theoretical foundations of pragmatics, the course also examines the key topics in pragmatics, the relationship between pragmatics and discourse, and pragmatics and cognition. This would be concluded with an overview of the methods and tools within this area of research.



LIN 672      Advanced Issues in Multilingualism     3 Credits  (E)

Multilingualism and types of language policy decisions; factors that influence or determine language policy; majority versus minority language problems; language in education; language and politics; language planning and standardization; case studies of different multilingual nations especially Nigeria and other African countries.


LIN 682      Critical Discourse Analysis              3 Credits  (E)

Critical discourse analysis (CDA) deals with language as a social practice. Topics covered include frameworks for studying discourse, ideologies and power relations in discourse, sociopolitical contexts of discourse, the relation of CDA to discourse analysis (CD) and critical linguistics. Methodologies and critique of CDA. Examples also drawn from within the Nigerian context shall constitute part of the course.


LIN 686      Seminar                                     3 Credits   (C)

Each student presents a seminar which is normally related to his/her proposed thesis topics.  Credit is given for content, presentation, and handling of discussion.

LIN  688      Thesis                                           6 Credits  (C)

The thesis is to present the results of an original research topic.  Credit is given for originality, presentation, and use of previous literature in the area.