UGC NET Linguistics Syllabus

UGC NET Linguistics Syllabus
UGC NET Linguistics Syllabus

Subject:LINGUISTICS                                                                                Code No.:31

Unit-1: Language and Linguistics
Nature of Language: Language in spoken and written modes, language as
written text—philological and literary notions i.e., norm, purity
and their preservation; language as a cultural heritage—codification
and transmission of cultural knowledge and behavior; language as a
marker of social identity; language as an object i.e., notion of
autonomy, structure and its units and components; design Features
of language; writing system—units of writing—sound (alphabetic),
or syllable (syllabic) and morpheme/word (logographic), sign
language; existence of language faculty; linguistic competence, ideal
Approaches to the Study of Language: Ancient approaches to the
study of language: Indian and Greco-Roman, semiotic approach—
interpretation of sign; language as a system of social behaviour—use
of language in family, c o mmu n i t y a n d co unt r y; l a ng u ag e as a
s ys t e m o f c o mmu n i c a tio n—c o mmu n i c a t i v e f u n c t i o n s—
e mo t i v e , c o n a t i v e , r e f e r e n t i a l , p o e t i c , metalinguistic and phatic;
language as a cognitive system; relation with culture and thought
(Linguistic Relativity); Saussurean dichotomies: signifier and
signified, langue and parole, synchronic and diachronic, syntagmatic
and paradigmatic.
Language Analysis: Levels and their hierarchy—
phonetic/phonological, morphological, syntactic and semantic/pragmatic;
their interrelations; linguistic units and their distribution at different levels;
notions of contrast and complementation; -emic and -etic categorisation; notion of
rule at different levels; description vs. explanation of grammatical facts.
Linguistics and other Fields: Relevance of Linguistics to other fields of
enquiry—Philosophy, Anthropology, Sociology, Neurology, Speech Sciences,
Geography, Psychology, Education, Computer Science and Literature.

Unit 2. Phonetics and Phonology
Phonetics as a study of speech sounds: articulatory, auditory, and
acoustic phonetics.
Articulatory Phonetics: Processes of speech production: airstream
process, oro-nasal process, phonation process, and articulatory process;
classification of speech sounds: vowels and consonants, cardinal vowels (primary
and secondary); complex articulation: secondary articulation, coarticulation;
syllable; suprasegmentals—length, stress, tone, intonation and juncture;
phonetic transcription: International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA).
Acoustic Phonetics: Sound waves— simple and complex, periodic and
aperiodic; harmonics; frequency and fundamental frequency, amplitude,
duration; resonance, filters, spectrum, spectrogram; formants, transition,
burst; voice onset time; aspiration; noise spectra; cues for speech sounds: vowel
(monophthong and diphthong), semivowel, stop, fricative, nasal, lateral, glide,
places of articulation of consonants.
Descriptive Phonology: Phonetics vs. phonology; concept of phoneme, phone and
allophone; principles of phonemic analysis— phonetic similarity, contrastive
distribution, complementary distribution, free variation, pattern congruity;
notions of biuniqueness, neutralization and archiphoneme.
Generative Phonology: Linear and non-linear approaches: levels of phonological
representation; phonological rules; distinctive features (major class, manner,
place, etc.); abstractness controversy; rule ordering and types of rule ordering,
markedness; principles of lexical phonology; principles of optimality theory.

Unit 3. Morphology
Basic Concepts: Scope and nature of morphology; concepts of morpheme,
morph, allomorph, zero allomorph, conditions on allomorphs; lexeme and word;
Types of morphemes—free and bound; root, stem, base, suffix, infix, prefix,
portmanteau morpheme, suppletive, replacive; affixes vs. clitics; grammatical
categories – tense, aspect, mood, person, gender, number, case; case markers and
case relations; pre- and post-positions; models of morphological description: item
and arrangement, item and process, word and paradigm;
Morphological Analysis: Identification of morphemes; morphological
alternation; morphophonemic processes; internal and external sandhi; inflection
vs. derivation; conjugation and declension.
Word-Formation Processes: Derivation (primary vs. secondary derivation,
nominalization, verbalization, etc.), compounding (types of compounds:
endocentric, exocentric, etc.), reduplication, back-formation, conversion,
clipping, blending, acronyms, folk etymology, creativity and productivity,
blocking, bracketing paradoxes, constraints on affix ordering.
Morpho-syntax: Nominalization and lexicalist hypothesis; grammatical
function changing rules: causatives, passives.

Unit 4. Syntax
Traditional and Structural Syntax: parts of speech: Indian classification (naama,
aakhyaata, upasarga, nipaata); basic syntactic units and their types: word,
phrase, clause, sentence, karaka relations; grammatical relations and case
relations; construction types (exocentric, endocentric, etc.), immediate
constituent analysis.
Generative Syntax: Parameters and universal grammar, null subject
parameter, innateness hypothesis, meaning of the term ‘generative’,
transformational generative grammar, structure and structuredependence, diagnostics for structure; complements and adjuncts,
principles and parameters theory, X-bar theory, theta theory, binding
theory; pro-drop, NP-movement, wh-movement, head movement,
adjunction and substitution, constraints on movement, subjacency,
government and proper government, small clauses, topicalization;
unergatives and unaccusatives, VP-internal subject hypothesis; split
VP and VP-shell hypothesis, cross-over phenomena; checking theory
of case, copy theory of movement, inclusiveness principle.
Some Key Concepts in the Minimalist Programme: Spell-out, greed,
procrastination, last resort, AGR-based case theory, multiple-spec
hypothesis, strong and weak features; interpretable and noninterpretable features.
Transformational Components: The copy theory of movement, its
properties, checking devices and features of convergence.

Unit 5. Semantics and Pragmatics
Semantics: Types of meaning; descriptive, emotive and phatic; sense and
reference, connotation and denotation, sense relations (homonymy, hyponymy,
antonymy, synonymy, etc.); types of opposition (taxonomic, polar, etc.);
ambiguity, sentence meaning and truth conditions, contradictions, entailment;
‘abhidha’, ‘laksana’, ‘vyanjana’; Notions of membership, union, intersection,
cardinality; mapping and functions; propositions, truth values, sentential
connectives; arguments, predicates, quantifiers, variables; componential
analysis; definiteness, mood and modality, specific vs. generic; definite and
indefinite; compositionality and its limitations.
Pragmatics: Language use in context; communication: message model
and inferential model of communication, sentence meaning and utterance
meaning; speech acts; deixis; presupposition and implicature: Gricean
maxims; information structure; indexicals, politeness, power and solidarity,
discourse analysis.

Unit 6. Historical Linguistics
Sound Change: Neogrammarian laws of phonetic change: Grimm’s, Verner’s,
Grassmann’s Laws; genesis and spread of sound change; split and merger;
conditioned vs. unconditioned change; types of changes—phonetic vs.
phonemic changes; assimilation and dissimilation, coalescence, metathesis,
deletion, epenthesis; lexical diffusion of sound change; analogy and its
relationship to sound change; reconstructing the proto-stages of languages; tree
and wave models; relative chronology of different changes. Sociolinguistic
approach to language change: social motivation of language change; study of
sound change in progress.
Morphosyntactic and Semantic Change: Phonological change leading to
changes in morphology and syntax; syncretism, grammaticalisation and
lexicalisation; principles of recovering grammatical categories and
contrasts; semantic change and processes of semantic change—extension,
narrowing, figurative speech.
Linguistic Reconstruction: External vs. internal reconstruction: comparative
method, collection of cognates, establishing phonological correspondences;
reconstruction of the phonemes of the proto-language based on contrast and
complementation; morphophonemic alternations as the source for
reconstruction; recovering historical contrasts by comparing, alternating and
non-alternating paradigms; accounting for exceptions to sound change—
analogy, borrowing, onomatopoeia, the interplay of analogy and sound change;
Language Contact and Dialect Geography: Linguistic borrowing, lexical and
structural; motivations, loan translation, loan blend, calque, assimilated and
unassimilated loans: tadbhava and tatsama; different types of borrowing–
cultural, intimate and dialect; classification of loanwords; impact of
borrowing on language; pidgins and creoles; bilingualism as the source for
borrowing; dialect geography: dialect atlas; isogloss; focal area, transition area
and relic area.

Unit 7. Sociolinguistics
Basic Concepts: Sociolinguistics and sociology of language; micro-and macro
approaches to language in society; linguistic repertoire: language, dialect,
sociolect, idiolect; diglossia, taboo, slang; elaborated and restricted codes; speech
community, communicative competence, ethnography of speaking; language of
wider communication; lingua franca; language and social inequality; language in
diaspora; new linguistic world orders.
Linguistic Variability: Patterns in linguistic variation, linguistic variables and
their co-variation with linguistic dimensions, social class / social network / age /
gender/ ethnicity; language loyalty, social identity and social attitudes,
Language Contact: Bilingualism, multilingualism; code-mixing and codeswitching; outcomes of language contact: language maintenance, borrowing,
convergence, substratum effect, pidginization and creolization; language loss.
Language Development: Language planning, corpus and status planning,
standardisation and modernisation; language movements – state and societal
interventions; script development and modifications; linguistic minorities and
their problems.
Language Ecology and Endangerment: Superdiversity; linguistic landscaping,
linguistic vitality, language endangerment, parameters of endangerment,
documentation of endangered languages, revitalisation.
Sociolinguistic Methodology: Sampling and tools; identification of sociolinguistic
variables and their variants; data processing and interpretation; quantitative
analysis of data; variable rules; ethnomethodology; participant observation.

Unit 8. Areal Typology and South Asian Language Families
Language Typology, Universals and Linguistic Relatedness: Language
typology and language universals; morphological types of languages—
agglutinative, analytical (isolating), synthetic fusional (inflecting),
infixing and polysynthetic (incorporating) languages. formal and
substantive universals, absolute and statistical universals;
implicational and non-implicational universals; linguistic
relatedness—genetic, typological and areal classification of
Approaches for Study: Inductive vs deductive approaches; universals
of language and parametric variation; word order typology;
Greenberg’s characteristics for verb final and verb medial languages
and related features in the context of South Asian Languages.
Salient Features of South Asian Languages: Phonetic, phonological,
morphological, and syntactic features of Indo-Aryan, Dravidian, AustroAsiatic, and Tibeto-Burman language families of South Asia;
Linguistic Survey of India as a source of information; contact induced
typological change; convergence and syntactic change.
India as a Linguistc Area: The notion of linguistic area; language
contact and convergence with special reference to the concept of
‘India as a Linguistic Area’; features of retroflexion, vowel harmony,
aspiration, reduplication, echo formation, onomatopoeia, explicator
compound verbs, anaphora; India as a sociolinguistic area, India as a
semantic area; notion of microlinguistic area.

Unit 9. Interdisciplinary and Applied Linguistics—I
(Psycholinguistics, Language Learning and Language Teaching)
Basic Concepts: Basic issues in psycholinguistics, brain language relationship, the
d i f f e r e n t t h e o r e t i c a l o r i e n t a t i o n s : empiricist-behaviourist, biologicalnativist, and cognitive-interactionalist, biological foundations of language;
language acquisition and stages; critical pe r i o d h y p o t h e s i s.
Language Processing: The processes of perception, comprehension and
production; evidence of language production; steps in comprehension; mental
representation of language and lexicon; relationship between comprehension and
Clinical Psycholinguistics: Normal and pathological language;
aphasia; dyslexia; stuttering; language in the hearing-impaired; language in
mental retardation.
Language Learning and Language Teaching:
Language Teaching and Language Learning: First and second language
learning; behaviouristic and cognitive theories of language learning; social and
psychological aspects of second language acquisition; methods of language
teaching; materials and teaching-aids in language teaching; computer assisted
language teaching (CALT); language testing: types of tests; validity, reliability
and standardization of tests; Interlanguage.
Language Teaching Analysis: Goals of language teaching; factors in the
preparation of a language teaching syllabus: linguistic theory, social and
psychological factors, needs analysis, class-room presentation; text-book
evaluation; types of syllabus: structural, communicative, notional; the role of the
teacher and teacher training; role of self-access packages; socio-linguistic and
psychological aspects of language teaching and learning.
Contrastive Analysis: Error analysis and interlanguage; basic
interpersonal communicative skills (BICS) and cognitive advanced language
proficiency (CALP);

Unit 10. Interdisciplinary and Applied Linguistics—II (Translation,
Lexicography, Computational Linguistics, Stylistics, Language and Media)
Paraphrase, translation and transcreation; translation of literary text and
technical text; use of linguistics in translation; linguistic affinity and
translatability; untranslatability; units of translation; equivalence of meaning and
style; translation loss and gain; problems of cultural terms; scientific terms; idioms,
metaphors and proverbs; false friends and translation shifts; evaluation of
translation; fidelity and readability; types of translation—simultaneous
interpretation, machine aided translation, media translation (dubbing, copyediting, advertisement, slogans, jingles, etc.)
Making of a Dictionary: Linguistics and lexicography, dictionary entries—
arrangement of information; meaning descriptions—synonymy, polysemy,
homonymy, antonymy and hyponymy; treatment of technical terms vs. general
Types of Dictionaries: Literary, scientific and technical; comprehensive and
concise, monolingual and bilingual; general and learner’s. historical and
etymological, dictionary of idioms and phrases, encyclopaedic dictionary,
electronic dictionary, reverse dictionary, thesaurus and other distinguishing
purposes and features of various types; computational lexicography.
Computational Linguistics
Artificial intelligence and language; natural language processing (NLP);
computational linguistics and its relation to allied disciplines; machine
language; parsing and generation; parsers; compilers; interpreters—information
processing, structuring and manipulating data; corpus building; attempts of
NLP and corpus work in India: Anusāraka parsing: morphological recognizers,
analyzers and generators for Indian languages; designing code, building of
machine translation systems (MTS); hyper grammars, building of word nets,
The Kolhapur Corpus of Indian English, the TDIL Corpus Project.
Style— individual style, period style; style as choice, style as deviation, style
as ‘rīti’, style as ‘alankāra’; style as ‘vyanjanā’ (‘vakrokti’); Foregrounding;
Parallelism; Text as grammar: structure and texture, cohesion and coherence;
semiotic aspects of a literary text; stylistics of discourse; levels of stylistic
analysis—phonological, lexical, syntactic and semantic; stylistic devices in
literary texts.
Language and Media
Mass media: print and electronic, types of language used in mass media: news,
editorials, advertising, writing and editing for print and electronic media, impact
of mass media on language.


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