Linguistics Postgraduate Programmes

Aims and Objectives
The programme aims at providing the equivalence of the Linguistic content of the four-year undergraduate programme in a single intensive year. The programme is intended for the following categories of people:
  • Language teachers wishing to strengthen their linguistic background.
  • Those interested in pursuing a career in Linguistics but whose first degree is not in Linguistics
  • Those whose first degree in Linguistics is weak and so do not qualify to be admitted directly for the Master’s degree
Admission Requirements for PGD
To be eligible for admission into the programme, a candidate must hold a first degree classification acceptable to the University, in any field and from any recognized University.
O’Level requirements: 5 credit passes in English, any science subject and 3 others
First Semester                                                    Credit         Status
LIN 501: Language and Linguistics                      3                C
LIN 531: Intro to Phonetics and Phonology        3                C
LIN 523: Intro to Morphology                                3                C
LIN 521: Intro to Syntax                                           3                C
LIN 551: Introduction to Sociolinguistics             3                C
LIN 541: Semantics                                                    3                C
LIN 571: Historical/Comparative Linguistics     3                   E
LIN 533: Orthography Design                                3                E
LIN 591: Error/Contrastive Analysis                     3                E
LIN 561: Survey of Applied Linguistics              3                E
Second Semester                                                Credit         Status
LIN 532: Phonology                                              3               C
LIN 524: Syntax                                                      3               C
LIN 552: Topics in Sociolinguistics                     3               C
LIN 592: Psycholinguistics                                    3               E
LIN 564: Lexicography                                           3               E
LIN 564: Language Teaching and Learning         3               E
LIN 554:  Dialectology of an African Language  3               E
LIN 522: Grammar of an African Language          3              E
LIN 562: Translation                                              3              E
LIN 584: Project                                                    6               C
[Where C, compulsory and E, Elective]
LIN 501:         Language and Linguistics                3   Credits                                              
The course seeks to examine the nature and form of human language compared with animal communication. It also explains what linguistics is all about and introduces the students to different areas and branches of linguistics: phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, historical/comparative linguistics and applied linguistics.
LIN 531: Introduction to Phonetics and Phonology   3   Credits                     
An introduction to the study of speech sound which focuses on the articulatory and acoustic features of speech sounds. It involves practice in recognition, reproduction and transcription of speech sounds. The non-segmental features of speech such as tone, intonation and stress are also introduced. The second part of the course introduces the student to phonology which focuses on the principles of establishing phonemes , it includes the basic tenets and analysis based on the phonetic theory within the generative framework.
LIN 523: Introduction to Morphology                    3   Credits                                            
Principles of morphemic analysis. A detailed discussion of the various morphological processes  in language and the interplay between such processes in the formation of complex word using copious examples. Morphology in relation to other levels of linguistic analysis.
LIN 521:         Introduction to Syntax                      3 Credits
An introduction to the analysis of sentence (as a unit of linguistic description) into parts and grammatical descriptions of these parts. The course also introduces the basic assumptions of the transformational generative framework for syntactic analysis.
LIN 551:         Introduction to Sociolinguistics        3 Credits
The scope of sociolinguistics; the social context of speech; bilingualism; diglossia; code-switching and code-mixing; language and social class; language and ethnicity; principles of language choice; language maintenance and shift processes; language and social change
LIN 541:         Semantics                   3 Credits
Different approaches to the problems represented by semantics in linguistics. Some basic concepts in a discussion of word meaning; synonymy, polysemy, antonymy, ambiguity and vagueness. Sentence meaning which will involve basic concepts such as presupposition, entailment/implication, tautology, etc. The basis for the distinction between semantics and pragmatics shall also be discussed.
LIN 571:         Historical/ Comparative Linguistics        3 Credits
This course provides a general introduction to the subject of language classification, touching upon such matters as language change, reconstruction, classification and different methods used in historical/comparative linguistic analysis. These are applied in the classification of African languages.
LIN 533:         Writing and Orthography                3 Credits
A brief introduction to different writing systems used or still in use in different parts of the world. A discussion of the basic principles on which a good orthography is based. Practical training in designing orthography for an unwritten language.
LIN 591:         Error/Contrastive Analysis              3 Credits
Introduction to the principles, goals and practice of contrastive/error analysis. This course has two parts: the theoretical part and the practical part. The theoretical part introduces the students to the classification of languages by criterion of function. It further introduces the students to the theoretical basis of language comparison and the principles and goals of error and contrastive analysis. The practical part provides the students with the opportunity to apply the principles of error and contrastive analysis to the English language and a Nigerian language.
LIN 561:         Survey of Applied Linguistics                 3 Credits
This is a survey of how, when and where linguistic knowledge can be applied to practical uses such as language teaching, standardization, translation, orthography design, dictionary writing, etc.
LIN 532:         Phonology                  3 Credits
The theory of distinctive features and the main concepts of generative phonology. Particular attention is given to the treatment of general phonological processes within the generative framework. It ends with an introduction to non-linear phonology (autosegmental phonology) and some of the recent phonological theories
LIN 524:         Syntax            3 Credits
A survey of aspects of generative grammar. Treatment of topics of relevance within the TGG framework. Such topics include; complementation, case-marking, theta-marking, movement transformations, relativisation, etc.
LIN 592:         Psycholinguistics                    3 Credits
The course examines the various approaches to the study of language acquisition and language behaviour. In particular, the positions of theorists such as Piaget, Stern, Vygotsky and Skinner will be examined. Also to be examined are the linguistic approach, learning theory approach and the information theory approach to language behaviour. Language and cognition; the Whorfian hypothesis and other related matters.
LIN 552:         Topics in Sociolinguistics                  3 Credits
A continuation of LIN 551. Language and society- a study of the differential social roles of languages in a multilingual society, language planning and standardization, language policies, language in education.
LIN 566:         Lexicography             3 Credits
A general introduction  to the art of dictionary writing, phonemic transcription, lexical entries, definitions, frequency and rank, cross references, lexical and semantic fields. Types and classification of dictionaries, encyclopedias and glossaries
LIN 564:         Language Teaching and Learning          3 Credits
The focus will be on second language learning and teaching or on mother-tongue teaching.  Theories of language acquisition; the psychology of language teaching and learning; second language learning; error  analysis, contrastive analysis, inter language, models of learning a second language, course design and syllabus planning; evolution of language teaching materials and programmes.
LIN 554:         Dialectology of an African Language      3 Credits
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 522:         Grammar of an African Language          3 Credits
A study of the grammar of an African Language, with focus on topics of general typological interest, word classes, grammatical categories associated with nouns and verbs e.g. gender, modality, sentence types including verb serialization, relative clauses, causative constructions, word order (phrasal and sentential; basic and derived).  Students will be required to apply the knowledge gained in the course to the description of particular grammatical phenomena in languages of their special interest.
LIN 562:         Translation                3 Credits
Linguistic theories of translation; translation and interpretation; concept formation and technical translation
LIN 584:         Project                        6 Credits
An original written presentation to be defended before the Departmental Board of Examiners. Credit is given for originality, presentation, and use of previous literature in the area.
The programme is designed to provide orientation in modern linguistic theories and techniques of analysis which students are expected to apply to their particular areas of research interest.  It is expected that on successful completion of the programme the graduates should be able to:
  1. teach linguistics in post-secondary institutions.
  2. initiate and execute research in linguistics.
iii.        analyse and evaluate the grammar of a given             language.
  1. teach the grammar of English and indigenous languages in primary and post primary institutions.
  2. function as:
–            language developers by providing the orthography   of unwritten languages
–           and writing the grammar of any language
–           editors in publishing houses and in electronic and print media.
–           language planning officers in government and non government establishments
–           lexicographers
–           professional speech-writers, speech pathologists.
–          career diplomats
–           Press secretaries, company secretaries, administrative officers
ADMISSION REQUIREMENTS:  As specified in the University Postgraduate Regulations, candidates must hold at least a Second Class Honours degree in linguistics or a subject with a strong linguistics component from a recognised university. Under special circumstances, candidates from other disciplines with a strong analytical component will be considered.
O’Level requirements: 5 credit passes in English and 4 other subjects
LANGUAGE REQUIREMENTS:  Students are required to demonstrate the ability to read and write one African language. Students are strongly advised to acquire knowledge of an additional European language.
Other Requirements: Students will be required to take undergraduate courses in any areas in which their background is deficient.
Graduation Requirements: Students are required to take and pass 15 units of courses per semester (30 units for the two semesters) excluding Seminar (3 units) and Thesis (12 units).
Compulsory Courses: The compulsory courses are core courses that provide theoretical training in basic areas of linguistics at a more advanced level.  The core compulsory courses are as follows:
LIN 631
Current Issues in Phonetics
LIN 651
Milestones in the History of Linguistics
LIN 661
Advanced Morphology
LIN 683
Advanced Research Method
LIN 622
Advanced Syntax
LIN 632
Studies In Phonology
LIN 642
Theories of Semantics
LIN 686
LIN 688
Optional Courses: These are more specialized courses related to a student’s    option. Students in consultation with their supervisors will select a suitable    combination of courses from the courses available in a particular year, subject to fulfilling any prerequisite requirements.
LIN 641
LIN 671
Advanced Sociolinguistics
LIN 673
Studies in Dialectology
LIN 675
Linguistic Anthropology
LIN 624
Alternative Theories of Grammar
LIN 644
Topics in Psycholinguistics
LIN 646
Advanced Issues in Pragmatics
LIN 672
Advanced Issues in Multilingualism
LIN 682
Critical Discourse Analysis
LIN 684
Topics in Applied Linguistics
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.
The PhD programme is essentially by supervised research. The programme also  involves the following:
  1. The student shall be required to take and pass all the compulsory courses (9 units per semester, seminar courses inclusive) and two electives (3 units per semester). Total units = 24 units
  2. The candidate has to write, submit and defend a PhD dissertation proposal. On approval of this proposal, the candidate shall proceed to conclude, submit and internally defend the work, before the final external defence.
LIN 731    Advanced Phonology      3 Credits    (Compulsory)
This course involves an in-depth study of selected problems of theoretical interest e.g. redundancy rules, rule ordering, abstractness, binary versus multi-valued features, linear versus non-linear representation, lexical versus post lexical rule application, etc.
LIN 78: Issues in Applied Linguistics   3 Credits   (Compulsory)
This course examines the application of linguistics in solving language related problems in other domains,  development of applied linguistics, language education; assessment and evaluation, language and communication; translation, lexicography etc. Since applied linguistics is a multidisciplinary field and the common element is ‘language’, the course will explicate and demonstrate the breadth of applied linguistics and the depth of knowledge required of one who aspires to practice this discipline.
LIN 783     Doctoral Seminar I        3 Credits   (Compulsory)
This is the first seminar course. The course is intended to examine the ability of the students in the presentation of scholarly papers before an academic audience.  Each candidate is required to choose a topic of his/her choice, duly approved by the Departmental PG board.
LIN 771     Advanced Dialectology        3 Credits   (Elective)
This course is a study of the theory of dialectal variations and the practical application of the theory in the description of the spread of indigenous languages. This study includes advanced methods used in dialectology such as mutual intelligibility test, lexicostatistics, etc. A greater percentage of this course will be devoted to case study of particular language varieties. The student must undertake a dialectological survey of chosen dialect varieties as part of the course requirements.
LIN 773     Topics in Sociolinguistics          3 Credits   (Elective)
Different approaches to language study; language variation, change and death; language loyalty and mutual intelligibility; lects and dialects; slang expressions, cants, jargons and registers; pidgins and creoles; language attitudes; bilingual and multilingual situations; functions of language; diglossia; code-switching; language planning; and micro-sociolinguistic method.
LIN 741: Studies in Lexicography         3 Credits   (Elective)
This is a course in dictionary making and metalexicography.  It is divided into two parts.  The first part involves the study and presentation of specific texts on different metalexicographic issues involving dictionary structure, corpus use in dictionary production, word sense and polysemy in dictionary articles, collocations and idioms, definitions and examples, bilingual polysemy in dictionary articles, definitions and examples, bilingual dictionaries, semantic networks and dictionary use.  Above all, emphasis shall be laid on metalexicographic issues in dictionary typology.  The second part involves the practical design and implementation of a dictionary project by each student.
LIN 722 Advanced Grammar   3 Credits    (Compulsory)
A more detailed treatment of topics of relevance such as nominalization, relativisation, complementation, serialization, transitivity, causativity, functional categories such as tense, aspect, mood, negation, determiner. These topics will be examined from different theoretical perspectives.
LIN 742     Advanced Semantics     3 Credits    (Compulsory)
Advanced semantics focuses on the study of meaning from the general functional perspective. Thus unlike linguistic semantics, it takes into account the full complexity of the cognitive, social and cultural functioning of language.
  1. Philosophical aspects of meaning in language: illocutionary acts, appropriateness and felicity/happiness conditions,      speech acts, truth values,  truth conditions, presupposition,   entailment and focus.
  2. Performatives and the problems surrounding performative analysis; pragmatics   and the justification for this approach         to the study of meaning.
LIN 784      Doctoral Seminar II         3 Credits     (Compulsory)
This is the second seminar course. The course is intended to examine the ability of the students in the presentation of scholarly papers before an academic audience.  Each candidate is required to choose a topic of his/her choice, duly approved by the Departmental PG board.
LIN 782      Language and Information Technology     3 Credits    (Elective)
Computer language versus human language; the growth and development of different patterns of language in ICT: Text language (SMS language versus online chat language); deictic schema of language use in ICT; contribution of ICT to language study and related matters: experimental phonetics, lexicography, language documentation and machine translation.
LIN 724: Current Advances in Linguistic Theory   3 Credits (Elective)
The aim of the course is to give the student an overview of the current developments in linguistic theorizing.  This would involve from time to time a contrast with the past so as to appreciate how the present constitutes an advancement.  Specific texts that deal with various issues in current linguistic theory shall be discussed at each sitting.  At the end of the course, each student should write a seminar paper in which he/she is able to situate one particular theme which he/she could trace and make explicit in the recent linguistic theorizing.
LIN 784    Doctoral dissertation   9 Credits    (Compulsory)
This entails the writing of a dissertation by the doctoral degree candidate  at the end of the first or second year after all the course work. The student has to write, submit and defend a PhD dissertation proposal.  On approval of this dissertation proposal, the candidate shall proceed to conclude, submit  and internally defend the work, before the final external defence.