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Module QXL-4472:
Welsh Linguistics

Module Facts

Run by School of Languages, Literatures and Linguistics

20 Credits or 10 ECTS Credits

Semester 2

Organiser: Dr Peredur Webb-Davies

Overall aims and purpose

This is an English-medium module in which students are given the opportunity to study important linguistic aspects of the Welsh language. It is primarily aimed at students who have always wanted to learn about Welsh linguistics but have not yet had the chance.

In this module, the Welsh language will be discussed in structural, sociolinguistic and historical terms, in both a descriptive and theoretical fashion, and students will consider issues such as: What are the notable grammatical features of Welsh, and how do these differ from other languages, such as English? What are the origins of Welsh, and how has it changed (in terms of structure and use) over the centuries? How many people speak Welsh, and why? How is contemporary Welsh used in its various domains and styles, and how does it vary across different groups of speakers? What is the role and impact today of Welsh in media, new media, technology, education, and so on? What are the attitudes of speakers and non-speakers of Welsh to the language and its use in culture? How is Welsh used outside of Wales? What is the future of Welsh?

Students do not need to have any prior knowledge of Welsh to take this module, nor do they need to be Welsh speakers, although Welsh speakers (of any level) are welcome to take the module and deepen their knowledge of the language.

Course content

Topics covered in this module will include topics such as the following:

• The history of Welsh, from a linguistic and socio-historical point of view;

• The grammar of contemporary Welsh (e.g. morphosyntax, morphology, phonology, vocabulary);

• Linguistic variation in contemporary spoken Welsh;

• Initial consonant mutation - rules and usage;

• Welsh-English bilingualism and its reflexes (e.g. code-switching);

• Attitudes to the Welsh language, both historical and contemporary;

• The Welsh language in education;

• Language change in Welsh;

• Minority language maintenance and the future of Welsh.

Assessment Criteria


A: student has achieved a thorough standard of understanding and/or knowledge in all LOs; or student has demonstrated an exceptional level of achievement in one or more LOs


D: student has achieved the minimum acceptable standard of understanding and/or knowledge in all the LOs


B: student has achieved a better-than-average standard of understanding and/or knowledge in all LOs

Learning outcomes

  1. Students will be able to present arguments and/or analyses of Welsh linguistics in a clear, concise and sophisticated manner both in writing and orally.

  2. Students will be able to compare linguistic aspects of the Welsh language with other languages they know in a sophisticated way.

  3. Students will be able to identify key issues in Welsh linguistic theory, and will be able to formulate pertinent hypotheses and arguments based on the knowledge they acquire via the module to an advanced level.

  4. Students will know how to critically review and summarise the literature dealing with a specific issue of Welsh linguistics covered in this module to an advanced level.

  5. Students will be able to discuss general aspects of Welsh linguistics based on in-class discussions, presentations, and personal reading in the field to an advanced level.

Assessment Methods

Type Name Description Weight
ESSAY Essay on a topic in Welsh linguistics

You are required to write an essay discussing a topic in Welsh linguistics, reviewing pertinent literature and responding to a choice of question either posed by the module convener or of your own design, where appropriate.

REPORT Take-home online grammar and essay paper

This will be a set of questions presented online via Blackboard. The questions will be a mixture of analysis questions, asking you to discuss grammatical features of Welsh sentences, and short essay questions, asking you to show your knowledge of and beyond what has been covered in class until the 7th week of classes.


Teaching and Learning Strategy


One 2-hour lecture per week for 11 weeks


One 1-hour seminar per fortnight (5 over the 11 weeks).


Students are encouraged to see the lecturer on a one-to-one basis during published office hours (or by appointment) to discuss issues with the module content, seek clarification on topics and discussions, and discuss feedback on assessments and class exercises.

Private study

In their own time, students will be expected to do further reading, go through materials covered in class and do further research on the topics, and prepare assignments.

Private study

Directed Reading - students are given required reading each week (of about 2 hours) on the topic of that week's lecture.


Transferable skills

  • Literacy - Proficiency in reading and writing through a variety of media
  • Computer Literacy - Proficiency in using a varied range of computer software
  • Self-Management - Able to work unsupervised in an efficient, punctual and structured manner. To examine the outcomes of tasks and events, and judge levels of quality and importance
  • Exploring - Able to investigate, research and consider alternatives
  • Information retrieval - Able to access different and multiple sources of information
  • Inter-personal - Able to question, actively listen, examine given answers and interact sensitevely with others
  • Critical analysis & Problem Solving - Able to deconstruct and analyse problems or complex situations. To find solutions to problems through analyses and exploration of all possibilities using appropriate methods, rescources and creativity.
  • Presentation - Able to clearly present information and explanations to an audience. Through the written or oral mode of communication accurately and concisely.
  • Argument - Able to put forward, debate and justify an opinion or a course of action, with an individual or in a wider group setting
  • Self-awareness & Reflectivity - Having an awareness of your own strengths, weaknesses, aims and objectives. Able to regularly review, evaluate and reflect upon the performance of yourself and others

Subject specific skills

  • Research skills - students will be able to undertake advanced independent research, involving formulating a research question, identifying and deploying appropriate linguistic methodology (theoretical or empirical), data collection techniques (experimental or field-based), as well as the selection and application of appropriate theoretical frameworks in order to adequately analyse and interpret data.
  • Writing & scholarly conventions - students will be able to present data, argumentation, findings and references in written form in keeping with the conventions current in language science and English language studies to an advanced standard.
  • Analysis & interpretation skills - students will be able to analyse and interpret data accurately and to draw appropriate conclusions based on the application of appropriate analytic and theoretical frameworks available in linguistics and English language studies.
  • Problem solving - students will be able to evidence sophisticated problem-solving skills in formulating problems (factual, empirical, theoretical) in precise terms, identifying key issues, and developing the confidence to address challenging problems using a variety of different approaches
  • Evaluation & reflection - students will be able to critically evaluate to an advanced standard a particular position, viewpoint or argument in relation to a specific area of investigation. They will be able to reflect on the efficacy of a particular approach, practice or performance, and moderate these as a consequence in order to achieve specific goals.
  • Independent investigation - students will develop the ability to plan, design and execute a highly original and significant piece of research or inquiry, either independently or as a member of a team in order to discover a specific solution to an outstanding issue or question through searching out and synthesising written, visual and oral information. Students will also develop skills of independent investigation, including interacting with peers and participants/informants.
  • Awareness of and appreciation for linguistic and cultural differences - students will develop an awareness of and an appreciation for the range and nature of linguistic and cultural diversity.
  • Knowledge of linguistic theory and application - students will demonstrate a detailed knowledge of terms, issues, principles, aspects and best practices related to the study of human language and linguistics.
  • Understanding of the nature of bi/multilingualism - students will demonstrate familiarity with phenomena and findings relating to the nature of bilingual and multilingual individuals and communities.
  • Understanding of the nature and organisation of language - students will demonstrate detailed knowledge of observations and findings relating to various aspects of linguistic phenomena and organization.
  • Understanding the nature of commonalities and differences across languages - students will demonstrate detailed knowledge of phenomena and findings relating to universals and diversity exhibited by and across languages.
  • Knowledge of the relationship between language and society, culture, and/or embodied experience - students will demonstrate detailed knowledge of phenomena and findings relating to the complex interdependent relationship between language, society culture and/or embodied experience.
  • Knowledge of the nature of language origins, change and use - students will demonstrate detailed knowledge phenomena and findings relating to the nature of language origins, the way language changes, and factors involved in and affecting language use.


Resource implications for students


Talis Reading list

Courses including this module

Compulsory in courses:

Optional in courses: