LING30030 Language Impairment

Academic Year 2024/2025

The module explores the human language faculty from the point of view of language impairment. Both acquired impairment (such as aphasia) and developmental impairment (such as Specific Language Impairment) are examined. As a result the module also explores the various ways brain activity is monitored and understood. Other areas where language is impaired or develops in some 'unusual' way (such as in Autism and various genetic syndromes) or in 'exceptional' circumstances (such as with isolated children, blind children) are examined in order to determine what factors lead to the impairment of language. This module forms part of the BA programme for Linguistics.

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Curricular information is subject to change

Learning Outcomes:

Explain the role of various regions of the brain in the comprehension and production of language
Distinguish language impairments from other cognitive impairments
Describe the affects of cognitive impairment on langauge
Distinguish between developmental and acquired language impairment
Describe the causes and characteristics the various types of aphasia
Analyse the various theories of agrammatism and paragrammatism
Understand the distinction between a modular and a connectionist approach to language

Indicative Module Content:

brain function
brain damage
language areas
language and thought

Student Effort Hours: 
Student Effort Type Hours


Specified Learning Activities


Autonomous Student Learning




Approaches to Teaching and Learning:
Lectures will involve prior reading and interaction.
There are no tutorials.
Assessments must demonstrate critical thinking and good written communication. 
Requirements, Exclusions and Recommendations

Not applicable to this module.

Module Requisites and Incompatibles
Not applicable to this module.
Assessment Strategy  
Description Timing Component Scale Must Pass Component % of Final Grade In Module Component Repeat Offered
Assignment(Including Essay): Essay of at least 1,800 words - plagiarism/use of AI will result in a fail grade Week 8 Graded No


Exam (In-person): Two essay questions to be answered from four given topics End of trimester
2 hr(s)
Graded No



Carry forward of passed components
Resit In Terminal Exam
Summer No
Please see Student Jargon Buster for more information about remediation types and timing. 
Feedback Strategy/Strategies

• Feedback individually to students, post-assessment

How will my Feedback be Delivered?

feedback provided after submission

Barrett, M. (1999) The Development of Language.
Bishop, D. (1997) Uncommon Understanding.
Bishop, D. and K. Mogford (1993) Language Development in Exceptional Circumstances.
Caplan, D. (1987) Neurolinguistics and Linguistic Aphasiology: an introduction.
Greenfield, S. (2000) The Private Life of the Brain.
Harley, T. (2001) Psychology of Language.
Leonard, L. (1998) Children with Specific Language Impairment.
Obler, L. & K. Gjerlow (1999) Language and the Brain.
Smith, N. and I-M. Tsimpli (1995) The Mind of a Savant.
Tartter, V. (1986) Language Processes.
Tartter, V. (1988) Language Processing in Atypical Populations.
Wilson, R. & F. Keil (1999) The MIT Encyclopaedia of Cognitive Sciences.