Usage-based linguistics is a research paradigm that investigates how language is shaped by general cognitive mechanisms of information processing such as categorisation, analogy, frequency-sensitive storage, chunking, perspective-taking, etc. Instead of assuming that we are genetically endowed with linguistic knowledge of any kind, this approach holds that speakers derive all of their competence with language directly from how they experience language use from early childhood onwards. The mental grammars that result from this are dynamic and lively but not random: on the contrary, both the regularities and many of the exceptional quirks of English and other languages make perfect sense when looked at from this psychological angle of experience-driven information processing, storage and retrieval. In order to appreciate this, we will examine a wide array of morphological and syntactic phenomena, bringing together insights from language acquisition, corpus and experimental studies with adults and data from language change. Overall, then, the course offers students a modern, comprehensive perspective on language that accommodates many of the phenomena they may have encountered during their studies and invites them to see linguistic structure in a new light.