Western Theories of Language (ENGL2653)


An introduction to the history of Western ideas about the structure, origin and use of language, with a particular focus on theories of English grammar and on the main theoretical developments of the 20th century. Students will consider the evolution of grammatical and rhetorical thought with reference both to the inherent constraints on linguistic theorizing, and to the varying ideological currents that have shaped Western ideas on language structure and use from antiquity to the present.

Our courses that offer this unit of study

Further unit of study information


2x1-hr lectures/week, 1x1-hr tutorial/week


1x500wd tutorial notes (10%), 1x2000wd essay (50%), 1x2hr exam (40%)

Faculty/department permission required?


Unit of study rules

Prerequisites and assumed knowledge

((12 junior credit points from English) or (6 junior credit points from English and AMST1001)) or (12 junior credit points from Linguistics)



Study this unit outside a degree

Non-award/non-degree study

If you wish to undertake one or more units of study (subjects) for your own interest but not towards a degree, you may enrol in single units as a non-award student.

Cross-institutional study

If you are from another Australian tertiary institution you may be permitted to underake cross-institutional study in one or more units of study at the University of Sydney.