LING 111 - Introduction to Language
Section: 001
Term: FA 2008
Subject: Linguistics (LING)
Department: LSA Linguistics
Credits:
3
Requirements & Distribution:
SS
Repeatability:
May not be repeated for credit.
Primary Instructor:

Language permeates just about every aspect of human existence, and as such the study of language offers a richly interdisciplinary approach to understanding the human condition. It also affords excellent background for many other fields, such as cognitive and social psychology, philosophy, neuroscience, anthropology, foreign languages, and history.

This course will introduce you to some of the many different ways in which language can be studied, and will show what we learn about being human from this. Some of the broad topics that we will discuss include the following:

(i) Cognitive aspects of language. What does it mean to say that you “know” some language? What aspects of this knowledge are acquired and how are they acquired? What aspects are genetically determined and do not need to be acquired? How can we best describe this knowledge?

(ii) Physiological aspects of language. Many different systems of your body are involved in the production and perception of language – the mouth, visual system, auditory system, brain, hands (for signed languages). What are the properties of these different systems, and are any aspects of them uniquely specialized for language? What do the properties of these systems tell us about language and about being human?

(iii) Social aspects of language. Language is a powerful tool of identity construction. We use language both to define our own identity, and to classify others. How do we use language to achieve this social identity formation? How is language used as a political tool for creating social cohesion and/or oppression?

(iv) Historical aspects of language. Language is constantly changing. American English, for instance, is pronounced very differently from British English. There are also many vocabulary differences between British and American English. What factors (including cognitive, physiological, and social) lead to change, and how can we trace the evolutionary path? How are new languages created and why are so many languages currently on the verge of extinction?

LING 111 - Introduction to Language
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
 
12394
Open
38
 
-
MW 12:00PM - 1:00PM
002 (DIS)
P
12395
Closed
0
 
-
F 9:00AM - 10:00AM
003 (DIS)
P
12396
Open
10
10LSA Hnrs
-
F 10:00AM - 11:00AM
004 (DIS)
P
12397
Open
1
 
-
F 10:00AM - 11:00AM
005 (DIS)
P
12398
Open
4
 
-
F 10:00AM - 11:00AM
006 (DIS)
P
12399
Closed
0
 
-
F 12:00PM - 1:00PM
007 (DIS)
P
12400
Closed
0
 
-
F 12:00PM - 1:00PM
008 (DIS)
P
12401
Closed
0
 
-
F 12:00PM - 1:00PM
009 (DIS)
P
12402
Closed
0
 
-
F 1:00PM - 2:00PM
012 (DIS)
P
12403
Closed
0
 
-
F 11:00AM - 12:00PM
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