Syllabus for Current Trends in Linguistics

Aktuella forskningsområden inom lingvistik


  • 7.5 credits
  • Course code: 5LN141
  • Education cycle: Second cycle
  • Main field(s) of study and in-depth level: General Linguistics A1N

    Explanation of codes

    The code indicates the education cycle and in-depth level of the course in relation to other courses within the same main field of study according to the requirements for general degrees:

    First cycle

    • G1N: has only upper-secondary level entry requirements
    • G1F: has less than 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    • G1E: contains specially designed degree project for Higher Education Diploma
    • G2F: has at least 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    • G2E: has at least 60 credits in first-cycle course/s as entry requirements, contains degree project for Bachelor of Arts/Bachelor of Science
    • GXX: in-depth level of the course cannot be classified

    Second cycle

    • A1N: has only first-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    • A1F: has second-cycle course/s as entry requirements
    • A1E: contains degree project for Master of Arts/Master of Science (60 credits)
    • A2E: contains degree project for Master of Arts/Master of Science (120 credits)
    • AXX: in-depth level of the course cannot be classified

  • Grading system: Fail (U), Pass (G), Pass with distinction (VG)
  • Established: 2011-09-23
  • Established by:
  • Revised: 2019-09-06
  • Revised by: The Department Board
  • Applies from: Autumn 2019
  • Entry requirements:

    Fulfilment of the requirements for a Bachelor's degree with Linguistics or another language subject as the main field of study.

  • Responsible department: Department of Linguistics and Philology

Decisions and guidelines

The course is given as an optional module within Linguistics D but may also be taken independently.

Learning outcomes

On completion of the course, to earn the mark Pass, the student should at least be about to:

  • explain the basic principles of the scientific work and the research methodology with reference to modern linguistics (general linguistics),
  • describe, analyse and critically examine relevant scientific articles within the field of linguistics (general linguistics), and
  • work with a certain level of independence, clearly formulate and critically discuss theoretical and methodological assumptions and make adequate professional oral and written presentations of the results.


The course is given with different theme from current trends in linguistics. Possible themes are, e.g.:

  • The Geometry of Meaning, based on Gärdenfors' book by the same name.
  • The Phylogenetic Analysis of Language
  • Grammaticalisation
  • Colour semantics


Instruction consists of lectures, workshops and assessment. The student's own learning activities are of major importance for the outcome on this course.


The course has two moments of examination:

1.continuous written tests that are conducted during lecture hours;

2. a final project, the exact date for submission is announced by the teacher at the start of the course.

For the grade Pass (G), Pass is required in all moments. For the grade Pass with distinction (VG), Pass with distinction is required in moment 2 as well as Pass in moment 1.

If there are special reasons for doing so, an examiner may make an exception from the method of assessment indicated and allow a student to be assessed by another method. An example of special reasons might be a certificate regarding special pedagogical support from the University's disability coordinator.

Other directives

The course may be taken even if the student has already taken the course Current Trends in Linguistics (5LN142).

Reading list

Reading list

Applies from: Autumn 2023

Some titles may be available electronically through the University library.

  • Baum, David A.; Smith, Stacey D. Tree thinking : an introduction to phylogenetic biology

    Greenwood Village, Colo.: Roberts, c2013

    Find in the library


  • Campbell, Lyle Historical linguistics : an introduction

    3., rev. edition: Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press, [2013]

    Find in the library


  • Elgh,, E Handout for The Tree Model in Linguistics and Beyond

    *, 2021


  • Ringe, D., Eska, J. F., Historical Linguistics: Toward a Twenty-First Century Reintegration

    Cambridge University Press, 2013


  • Atkinson, Q. D., Gray, R. D., Curious Parallels and Curious Connections – Phylogenetic Thinking in Biology and Historical Linguistics. Systematic Biology 54(4):513-52

    *, 2005


  • François, A., Trees, waves and linkages: Models of language diversification. In: The Routledge Handbook of Historical Linguistics. Bowern, C., Evans, B. (eds.). Taylor & Francis Group

    *, 2014


  • Geisler, H., List, J-M, Do Languages Grow on Trees? The Tree Metaphor in the History of Linguistics. In: Classification and Evolution in Biology, Linguistics and the History of Science. Fangerau, H., Geisler, H., Halling, T., Martin, W. (eds.) Franz Steiner Verlag.

    *, 2013


  • Omland, K. E., Cook, L. G., Crisp, M. D., Tree Thinking for all biology: the problem with reading phylogenies as ladders of progress. Bioessays 30:854-867.

    *, 2008


Reading list revisions