LING 446 - Comparative Linguistics
Section: 001
Term: WN 2009
Subject: Linguistics (LING)
Department: LSA Linguistics
Advisory Prerequisites:
At least one course in Linguistics/language analysis.
May not be repeated for credit.
Rackham Information:
Rackham credit requires additional work.
Primary Instructor:

This course introduces students to research on comparative linguistics. It is directed to students interested in the study of different languages, or to anyone interested in a more thorough understanding of the common properties among human languages and of the possible variation across their structure.

Human languages have strikingly similar structural features, but at the same time they also vary in significant respects. A substantial amount of advances in our understanding of human language has resulted from the individual and comparative analysis of distinct languages. Their similarities and differences can be explored from cognitive, formal, theoretical and typological perspectives. In this course, these perspectives are explored in the context of generative linguistics, exploring the hypothesis that a species-specific cognitive capacity (a faculty of language) determines both the common properties and the boundaries of variation across languages. Some of the questions that arise in this context are: what structural principles are common across different human languages? What kind of variation can we find across human languages? What parameters determine the range of this variation? How can this variation be analyzed and understood in a precise way? What mechanisms give rise to this sort of cross-linguistic variation over time?

Crs Requirements: Homework assignments 20% (2 or 3 assignments distributed throughout the term); individual/group assignments in class 15%; Class discussions and presentations: 20%; Group project: joint research project (in groups of 2 or 3) 20%; Final research paper 25%.

Intended Audience: Upper-level undergraduates and graduate students interested in Linguistics

Class Format: 3 hpw lecture format with student participation

LING 446 - Comparative Linguistics
Schedule Listing
001 (LEC)
TuTh 1:00PM - 2:30PM
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