Introduction to Linguistics

Academic year
Subject Area
German Language
Language of Instruction
Mode of Delivery
ECTS Credits
1st Cycle Studies

Recommended Prerequisites


Teaching Methods

1) Lecture with guidelines and documents available through a data projector;

2) Dialogue with the students;

3) Discussion of previously read texts in order to favour the debate or illustration of several topics as well as the development of critical reading competencies. 

Learning Outcomes

At the end of the term students should:

(i) be able to recognize the general debate on human verbal language as a biological, mental and social phenomenon;

(ii) be able to recognize and distinguish between some of the properties underlying the uniqueness and the diversity of all natural languages;

(iii) be familiar with the dynamics of languages as complex systems;

(iv) be able to distinguish between the description and the explanation of linguistic phenomena starting from the contact with several schools of linguistic thought and different approaches to the same phenomenon;

(v) have developed critical reading competencies. 

Work Placement(s)



This course explains the crucial role played by language in human communication, interaction, social organization and in cognition. A reflexion on the characteristics and properties of verbal language will be undertaken as well as a description of the systemic, formal and functional nature of languages. Linguistic variation (regional, social, contextual, individual and historical) will also be taken into account. Terminology as well as the theoretical and methodological foundations of Language Science will also be mentioned as they place Linguistics between natural sciences and human and social sciences. The levels of linguistic description will be presented in short and in the context of reflection on western linguistic thought and on the rise of Linguistics as the scientific study of language. 

Head Lecturer(s)

Rute Isabel Fernandes Soares

Assessment Methods

Periodic Assessment
Other: 30.0%
Frequency: 70.0%

Final Assessment
Exam: 100.0%


Carvalho, J. G. H. de (1986). Teoria da Linguagem. Natureza do Fenómeno Linguístico e a Análise das Línguas (vol. I e II). Coimbra: Coimbra Editora.

Crystal, D. (2005). How Language Works. London: Penguin.

Fromkin, V. & Rodman, R. (1993). Introdução à Linguagem (I. Casanova, Trad.). Coimbra: Almedina.

Fromkin, V., Rodman, R. & Hyams, N. (2018). An Introduction to Language (11th ed.). Boston: Cengage.

Faria, I. H., Pedro, E. R., Duarte, I. & Gouveia, C. A. M. (1996). Introdução à Linguística Geral e Portuguesa. Lisboa: Caminho.

Mateus, Mª H. M. & Villalva, A. (2006). O Essencial sobre Linguística. Lisboa: Caminho.

Mateus, Mª H. M. & Cardeira, E. (2007). Norma e Variação. Lisboa: Caminho.

Mateus, Mª H. M. et al. (2003). Gramática da Língua Portuguesa. Lisboa: Caminho.

Raposo, E. B. P., Nascimento, M. F. B., Mota, M. A. C., Segura, L. & Mendes, A. (Orgs.) (2013). Gramática do Português. Lisboa: Fundação Calouste Gulbenkian.

Yule, G. (2010). The Study of Language (4th ed.). Cambridge: CUP