LING 497 - Capstone Seminar
Section: 001 Language Contact
Term: FA 2018
Subject: Linguistics (LING)
Department: LSA Linguistics
Waitlist Capacity:
Enforced Prerequisites:
LING 313, 315 and 316.
May be elected twice for credit. May be elected more than once in the same term.
Primary Instructor:

Because language contact is a fact of life for most of the world's people and all of the world's nations, it is hardly surprising that it often plays a major role in people's daily lives and in language change. This course will begin with a survey of historical, social, and political settings of language contact (when, where, and why do languages come into contact?) and with a consideration of this question: when two languages come into contact, is one of them doomed to vanish within a few decades? We'll then investigate the linguistic effects of language contact. The main topics that will be covered in this part of the course are social and linguistic predictors of the effects of language contact (together with a discussion of why they can never be expected to yield deterministic predictions); the effects of contact-induced language change on the structure of the receiving language; criteria for establishing contact as a cause of a language change (and how to react when the criteria can't all be met); mechanisms of contact-induced change; linguistic areas as a special problem for the study of contact and change; mixed languages (pidgins, creoles, and bilingual mixed languages); and contact-induced changes in some (not all) dying languages.

Course Requirements:

Each student will be expected to participate in discussions, to lead one or more discussions during the term, and to prepare a term paper on an issue or a case study in language contact. Grades will be based equally on class participation and the term paper.

Class Format:

Aside from a few lectures on specific topics, the class will be conducted as a seminar: most class sessions will be devoted to discussions of issues and readings.

LING 497 - Capstone Seminar
Schedule Listing
001 (SEM)
MW 11:30AM - 1:00PM
002 (SEM)
TuTh 10:00AM - 11:30AM
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