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LING240 Language, Brain and Being Human

Investigation of human language to discover how the mind works and where the mind ends: at the brain, the body, or in machines?

Language is often considered the defining feature of our species. In this paper, we use language to explore our minds and our humanity. We look at what exactly distinguishes human language from other communication systems. This will require examining the uses and structures of language, connecting our discoveries to concepts of how the brain works, and puzzling out how language could have evolved in the first place.

Paper title Language, Brain and Being Human
Paper code LING240
Subject Linguistics
EFTS 0.1500
Points 18 points
Teaching period Second Semester
Domestic Tuition Fees (NZD) $904.05
International Tuition Fees (NZD) $3,954.75

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36 points
Schedule C
Arts and Music
This paper is open to all students.
Dr Hunter Hatfield,
Teaching staff
Dr Hunter Hatfield
Teaching Arrangements
26 lectures and 8 tutorials
A course reader will be used.
Graduate Attributes Emphasised
Interdisciplinary perspective, Lifelong learning, Scholarship, Communication, Critical thinking, Teamwork.
View more information about Otago's graduate attributes.
Learning Outcomes
LING 240 focuses on its graduate attributes through using materials and research that cut across many disciplines (linguistics, psychology, philosophy, computer science, anthropology, neuroscience), developing oral presentations, modelling and implementing a scaffolded debate format, and having some work done within groups.

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Second Semester

Teaching method
This paper is taught On Campus
Learning management system


Stream Days Times Weeks
L1 Tuesday 16:00-16:50 28-34, 36-41
Wednesday 16:00-16:50 28-34, 36-41


Stream Days Times Weeks
Attend one stream from
T1 Monday 15:00-15:50 29, 31, 33-34, 36, 38-40
T2 Monday 16:00-16:50 29, 31, 33-34, 36, 38-40