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LING140 Language, Brain, and Being Human

Humans uniquely are the big-brained animals with language. Explore what language is, how your mind makes it happen, and thereby what it means to be human.

Soon we will talk to artificial minds: minds that were created not by natural evolution, but by human design. In this paper, we will use human language to discover how the mind works and where the mind ends: at the brain, the body or beyond? We look at language as symbol, as a network and as ecology. After studying what language is, we examine competing theories of how our species evolved language in the first place.

Paper title Language, Brain, and Being Human
Paper code LING140
Subject Linguistics
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period(s) Semester 2 (Distance learning)
Semester 2 (On campus)
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $955.05
International Tuition Fees Tuition Fees for international students are elsewhere on this website.

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LING 240
Schedule C
Arts and Music

Teaching staff

Dr Hunter Hatfield


All course materials available online.

Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Interdisciplinary perspective, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
  • Summarise arguments from complex resources
  • Differentiate theories of the human mind and language
  • Propose a model of the human language faculty
  • Assess and evaluate competing theories of language evolution

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Semester 2

Teaching method
This paper is taught through Distance Learning
Learning management system

Semester 2

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
A1 Tuesday 14:00-14:50 28-34, 36-41
Thursday 14:00-14:50 28-34, 36-41


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
A1 Monday 14:00-14:50 29, 31, 33-34, 36, 38-40
A2 Monday 15:00-15:50 29, 31, 33-34, 36, 38-40