Introduction to Language Sciences


1. To recognize language as a cognitive activity; 2. To relate the concepts of ´language´ and ´languages´; 3. To acquire tools to describe natural languages; 4. To develop different tools to describe and analyse natural languages; 5. To establish points of difference and similarity between languages; 6. To be aware of the interaction between Language Sciences and other areas of knowledge.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

Maria Clara Abelho Amante Nunes Correia, Helena Virgínia Topa Valentim, Maria do Céu Sernache Caetano Mocho, Mara Susana Pereira Moita, Susana Mesquita de Deus Correia


Weekly - 4

Total - 168

Teaching language



Available soon


Aronoff, M.& J. Rees-Miller (eds). 2003. The Handbook of Linguistics. MA/Oxford: Blackwell Publishers; Crystal, D. 2010. A Little book of Language. New Haven and London: Yale University Press; Dryer, M. S. & M. Haspelmath (eds.) 2013.The World Atlas of Language Structures Online. Leipzig: Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology. (; Fromkin, V., Rodman, R. & N. Hyams. [2003] 2007. An Introduction to Language. Belmont: Thomson Wadsworth; Pullum, Geoffrey K. 2018. Linguistics: Why It Matters. Medford (USA): Polity Press. 

Teaching method

The course will include a balanced combination of theoretical and practical classes. A detailed schedule will be handed out to the students at the beginning of the semester. 



Evaluation method

Evaluation Methodologies - As learning assessment, students are required to take two in-class tests(80%), to complete an independent study on a specific topic the students will prepare a small essay(20%)

Subject matter

1. Language and non-verbal communication: 1.1. Human brain mapping and language activity; 1.2. language and communication; 1.3. the origin of languages and language; 1.4. world languages: language families. 2.  Studying Linguistics: 2.1 Observables and data collection; 2.2. Case studies based on specific linguistic properties of different languages. 3. Linguistics and other sciences: 3.1. Linguistics and Philosophy of Language; 3.2. Linguistics and Sociology; 3.3. Linguistics and History; 3.4. Linguistics and Anthropology.