Introduction to the Study of Language

Objectives and competences

The main objective of the course is to provide the student with familiarity with the basic tenets of a modern approach to language, with an overview of the main subareas of linguistics and with a basis for a detailed study of the linguistic topics investigated in the scope of subsequent linguistic courses of the Slovenian Studies program. The course attempts to familiarize the student with the place of linguistics within cognitive sciences and the place of the study of individual languages within the context of the study of human language more generally.


No special prerequisites for enrolment


This course is a general introduction to the field of linguistics, the analytic study of human languages. It delineates linguistics in the narrow sense from linguistics in the broad sense. In the narrow perspective, the course offers an overview of the core areas of linguistics – phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, and semantics – outlining each area's main goals and methodology. In the broader perspective, the course introduces historical linguistics and linguistic typology, the basics of sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics and neurolinguistics, and their place in the study of language. The study of linguistics is also placed in the broader context of human sciences, and the study of individual languages is placed in the broader context of the study of natural languages more generally.

Intended learning outcomes

The students will know the basic characteristics of a modern approach to language as well as the main subdisciplines of linguistics. They will be able to place the study of language in general and the study of individual languages into a broader context. They will be familiar with the core principles of general linguistics as necessary for an in-depth study of the materials of the subsequent, specialized linguistic courses of the study program.


  • O’Grady, William et al. 1997 – 2005 (več izdaj). Contemporary Linguistics. Boston: Bedford. Catalogue E-version
  • Golden, Marija. 1996 – 2001 (več izdaj). O jeziku in jezikoslovju. Ljubljana: UL FF. Catalogue
  • Handouts issued during lectures


Home assignments and final exam

Lecturer's references

Franc Marušič is full professor of linguistics at the School of Humanities and the School of Graduate Studies of the University of Nova Gorica. His main field of research is syntax, and the bulk of his work has been on the syntax of Slovenian.
Izbor člankov / Selected articles:
MARUŠIČ, Franc, ŽAUCER, Rok. O določnem ta v pogovorni slovenščini (z navezavo na določno obliko pridevnika). Slavistična revija. [Tiskana izd.], jan.-jun. 2007, letn. 55, št. 1/2, str. 223-247. [COBISS.SI-ID 700923]
MARUŠIČ, Franc. Some thoughts on phase extension to a single interface. Theor. linguist., 2007, vol. 33, no. 1, str. 83-91. [COBISS.SI-ID 637947]
MARUŠIČ, Franc, ŽAUCER, Rok. On the intensional feel-like construction in Slovenian : a case of a phonologically null verb. Nat. lang. linguist. theory, vol. 24, no. 4, str. 1093-1159. [COBISS.SI-ID 589563]
LARSON, Richard K., MARUŠIČ, Franc. On indefinite pronoun structures with APs : reply to Kishimoto. Linguist. inq., 2004, vol. 35, no. 2, str. 268-287. [COBISS.SI-ID 472315]
Boban Arsenijević, Franc Marušič, and Jana Willer Gold. Experimenting with Highest Conjunct Agreement under Left Branch Extraction. V Teodora Radeva-Bork and Peter Kosta (eds.) Current Developments in Slavic Linguistics. Twenty Years After. Berlin: Peter Lang. (2020)
Franc Marušič and Andrew Nevins. Distributed agreement in participial sandwiched configurations. V Peter W. Smith, Johannes Mursell & Katharina Hartmann (eds.), Agree to Agree: Agreement in the Minimalist Programme, 179-198. Berlin: Language Science Press. (2020). DOI:10.5281/zenodo.3541753
Franc Marušič, Petra Mišmaš in Rok Žaucer. Zakaj velika okrogla rdeča čestitka in ne rdeča velika okrogla čestitka? Poskus razlage nezaznamovane stave pridevnikov. Zbornik ob 80-letnici Ade Vidovič-Muhe, (2020)