Courses in Linguistics (Division 423)

211. Introduction to Language. (3). (SS).

This course is designed to acquaint students with the scope and methods of linguistic inquiry. It should enable students to acquire familiarity with the different branches of linguistics and to come to some appreciation of what linguists do. The course has two principal goals: to introduce many of the basic tools for studying language and to learn to use those tools to improve our understanding of language as we encounter it in our daily lives.

311. Introduction to Linguistic Analysis. (3). (HU).

Basic concepts and field techniques in linguistics will be introduced and explained in the course of exploring and describing, from word to discourse, a non-Western language. Several short papers. No prerequisites. Textbook: K.L. Pike, On Describing Languages. (Becker)

315. Introduction to Sentence Analysis. (3). (HU).

This is an introduction to what is commonly called syntax in a classical transformational framework. No prior knowledge of linguistics or of languages other than English is assumed. One of the most important facts about syntactic analysis is that it is based on argumentation: one cannot simply claim an analysis, one must argue for that analysis. Accordingly, this course concentrates on syntactic argumentation. We learn how to organize data, form logical hypotheses, argue for the best hypothesis, and test the predictions of our hypotheses. There are frequent problem sets and the students are strongly encouraged to meet in groups outside class to discuss the problem sets. There are no exams, papers, or regular readings. Near the end of the term there may be selected readings. The data we use will all come from the students' heads: sentences of natural languages. Class progresses by discussion, with student participation being crucial. This course should be of interest to language, mathematics, music, law, and philosophy "types" as well as anyone else who wants to build up skills in argumentation. (Napoli)

351. Second Language Acquisition. (3). (SS).

This is an introductory course in second language acquisition, dealing with how people learn foreign/second languages. We will first examine methodological issues necessary for the interpretation of second language data. The major part of the course will focus on topics of recent second language acquisition research, especially those that enable us to test proposed models of second language acquisition. Through data analysis problems students will have first-hand experience dealing with second language data. Given the introductory nature of this course, no prior coursework in second language acquisition is necessary. A course pack made up of selected readings will serve as the readings. The course is intended for all students who are interested in knowing more about how second languages are learned. (Selinker)

354. Language and the Public Interest. (3). (SS).

This course examines the characteristics of language used in major American institutions. We will look at the written and spoken language of advertising, politics, medicine, psychotherapy, pharmacy, law, banking, insurance, and the schools. In addition, we will be concerned with factors thought to influence how language is used in these institutions such as the sex roles, social status, and degree of intimacy the participants in these institutions share. We will also explore how the spoken and written varieties of language used in these institutions differ and what consequences this has. (Keller-Cohen)

360. ESL Theory, Methods, and Tests I. One introductory course in linguistics. (3). (HU).

This course is designed to provide students with a sound theoretical and practical basis for language teaching. The background of knowledge and experiences it provides is intended not only for those interested in finding out about teaching English to speakers of other languages (ESL), but is also applicable to English teaching in general, and to foreign language teaching as well. A wide variety of topics related to language learning and teaching will be studied. The complexities involved in the teaching of speaking, listening, reading, and writing skills will be investigated in detail. An evaluative consumer's guide to different language learning theories, teaching methods, and testing procedures will be developed to enable students to make informed choices for their own teaching requirements. Additional topics will include a study of situational needs for language use (e.g., language for business, language for science) with special attention to the language of the classroom. Throughout the course a general background of educational issues crucial to language teaching will be provided. There are no prerequisites. All students interested in language teaching are invited. (Spada)

365. ESL Materials Development. (3). (Excl.).

The purpose of this course is to examine aspects of theory and practice related to instructional materials used in teaching English as a second language. Over the last two decades, linguistic, psycholinguistic, and sociolinguistic perspectives on language learning and teaching have changed in some very basic ways. Significant changes in concepts about the nature of second language learning and learner processes have had a marked effect on second language pedagogy. This influence is seen in a steady flow of new ideas in instructional methods and materials. This course will study the changing forms and functions of instructional materials, the methodologies involved, and the principles upon which various materials are based. Students will examine and evaluate a wide variety of ESL instructional materials (print, audio-visual, etc.). Students will develop individual or group projects that involve the preparation of a small set of materials or the adaptation of existing materials to meet the specific needs of a particular group of students. (Morley)

409/Anthro. 472. Language and Culture. (3). (HU).

See Anthropology 472 for description. (Yengoyen)

410/Anthro. 474. Nonstandard English. (3). (SS).

See Anthropology 474 for description. (Burling)

411/Anthro. 475. Introduction to Linguistics. (3). (SS).

An introduction to the theories and methods of linguistics. We will give particular attention to (1) phonetics and phonology (the nature and organization of the sounds of language) and to (2) morphology and syntax (the structure of words and sentences), but we will also give some attention to (3) words and their meanings. For each of these three topics the greatest attention will be given to ways of describing the synchronic linguistic system, but we will also consider variation in usage and the social implications of this variation, as well as the changes that occur in all these aspects of language with the passage of time. Students should develop a basic understanding of organization of language and of the methods of which linguists learn about language. (Burling)

420. Microcomputer Linguistics. Ling. 411 or equivalent. (3). (Excl).

The computer has been part of our culture a fixture in our hopes, plans, and nightmares for more than a generation. Recent developments in microcomputer technology have placed the power of the computer within the reach of virtually everyone...if we can manage to grasp it. Computers are useful only to the extent that they can meet people's needs, and this depends on the ways that exist to communicate these needs to the computer. Just as in human communication, these take the form of languages. This course is designed for Linguistics students and others with a strong interest and thorough grounding in Language and languages. We will begin with the theory and practice of microcomputer operation, then proceed to editing and wordprocessing, learning and analyzing several command languages in the process. Further topics covered include use of utility programs, types of application programs, documentation and its production, user interface design, types of programming and command languages, and text analysis of representative technical material and advertising. The thrust of the course is on applying Linguistic methods and findings to real problems in microcomputer software design and use. Prior programming knowledge and experience is useful but not required. There will be homework, several writing assignments, and a final term project, done on a microcomputer. Students must have had at least an introductory course in Linguistics. (Lawler)

425. Introduction to Pidgins and Creoles. (3). (HU).

This course examines how speech varieties develop into languages. The goals of the course are: (1) to capture an overview of the pidgin and creole languages in the world; (2) to investigate the notion of the 'homogeneity' of natural languages; (3) to inquire into the nature of 'mixed' languages. The course will be conducted as a seminar. Requirements: (1) two short oral presentations, (2) a research paper, (3) a number of required/optional readings, and (3) a pot-luck dinner consisting of 'creole delicacies'. Students should have had one course with linguistic content, or the equivalent; otherwise, see the instructor. (Fodale)

442/Anthro. 478. Introduction to Sociolinguistics. Ling. 411 or equivalent. (3). (SS).

Introduction to the use of language in its social context, and to the analysis of natural linguistics data. The course involves some field work, ;and covers bilingual and multilingual communities, language and politics, language and social issues, social variation in language, conversational interaction.

454. Linguistics and Reading. (3). (Excl).

This course is designed to introduce students to a number of principles from the fields of linguistics and psycholinguistics, principles which are relevant to the understanding of the "reading process" and the teaching of reading. Requirements of the course are (1) a number of readings, (2) two oral reports, (3) a research paper, and (4) a final exam (which is optional). (Fodale)

485. Linguistic Typology. Ling. 411 or equivalent. (3). (HU).

There are hundreds of languages in the world how different can they be? And how similar, and what are the reasons for these similarities? What differences are there between the surface level and the deep level of language organization? And why is it that the similarities among languages are best perceived at the deep level? To what extent can all the variety of thoughts conveyed by languages be described by several dozen elementary meanings? What are language universals? What are the rules of language change? In what ways do today's languages differ from the languages which existed 10,000 years ago? How can we understand the striking similarities between such distant languages as those of American Indians and the languages of the Caucasus? (Markey)

Language Courses

170. English as a Foreign Language. Students will be placed in 170 based on the English Language Proficiency Examination. (4). (Excl). Offered mandatory credit/no credit.

This course is designed for non-native graduates and undergraduates who have sufficient language proficiency to be admitted to the University but who need to improve their language skills to perform successfully in academic work. For example, some students may have difficulty expressing themselves in writing, giving oral presentations, and understanding lectures. A prerequisite for placement in the course is a score in the 80's on the Michigan Test of English Language Proficiency. There are three hours per week of group instruction, discussion, and practice exercises. Students receive instruction and practice in the writing of well formed sentences, paragraphs, and essays. Library resources, research techniques, and the steps for developing a well organized and properly documented term paper are presented. Instruction is given in techniques of oral presentation and classroom discussion. Pronunciation instruction is provided on a tutorial basis and self-access listening comprehension materials are available in the language laboratory. Students are graded on a credit/no credit basis. A student receives a passing grade if she or he has attended classes regularly and satisfactorily completed specified assignments, including the final end of term research paper. Depending on the numbers and the specific needs of the students enrolled in this course, two sections can be offered: one focusing on academic reading and writing skills, and the other on academic listening and speaking skills.

180. English for Foreign GSTAs. Teaching assistants will be placed in 180 on the basis of pre-session testing. (1). (Excl). Offered mandatory credit/no credit.

This course is designed for students who do not pass the special English Language Skills Test for Teaching Assistants. Instruction will be given twice a week in two hour sessions and in additional small group work. The course will focus on oral presentations in the student's own field of study. Extensive use of video-taping and critiquing will be included. Topics to be covered will include: (1) methods of organization for oral presentation; (2) public speaking skills; (3) classroom interactional skills; (4) intensive audio and video pronunciation workshop instruction. Students will be tested on pronunciation early in the course, and when necessary assigned to special self-study pronunciation work in the language laboratory in addition to the pronunciation workshops. Note that this course is designed to meet the needs of non-native speakers of English. (Ard)

222. Elementary Ojibwa. (3). (FL).

This course is designed to give the conversational and cultural skills necessary to enable students to use Ojibwa in real life situations. The teaching methods are entirely inductive, and the role of writing is downplayed. There is considerable emphasis on teaching culturally appropriate behavior, and the simple conversational patterns of greetings, leave takings, introductions, table talk, etc. There is no prerequisite for the course. (Rhodes)

301 Thai. (4). (FL).

This course is the first half of the sequential Elementary Thai courses. The emphases are on practicing pronunciation and simple conversation, reading and writing simple Thai, and expanding students' vocabulary. Four hours of language lab per week are recommended. Evaluations are based on observations of students' progress, midterm, and final.

307 Elementary Tagalog. (4). (FL).

Tagalog is the national language of the Philippines. Elementary Tagalog is a two-term sequence designed to give the student who has little or no knowledge of Tagalog the necessary basis for learning to speak it and to have a functional acquaintance with the cultural context in which it functions. Tagalog is particularly interesting in the way it has integrated the broad influences of both Spanish and English into its own syntactic and semantic systems. The oral approach is greatly emphasized in the classroom, using questions and answers and short dialogues to develop active use of the language in the most natural way possible. This is complemented by the use of taped lessons in the Language Laboratory. There are frequent short quizzes, a midterm, and a final examination. At the end of the first year, the student should be able to handle brief exchanges in common social situations and to read and write simple Tagalog. For the student specializing in Philippine studies, learning Tagalog is a must. For the student specializing in language studies, a number of linguists of note have found Tagalog structure highly instructive in understanding certain aspects of language. For the student with Philippine affinities, learning Tagalog provides a bond of understanding and for some, a link to one's roots. For the student who has neither a Philippine connection nor a specialist interest in language, learning Tagalog can be rewarding as it provides an experience of new modes of expression and new ways of looking at the world around us and within ourselves. (Naylor)

322 Intermediate Ojibwa. (3). (FL).

This course is designed to improve the basic conversational skills of the student who knows some Ojibwa. The emphasis in class is on increasing the range of situations in which the student can use Ojibwa in real life. Some emphasis is placed on teaching the students to be able to learn more Ojibwa outside of the classroom, by talking and using the language with native speakers. Linguistics 223 is a prerequisite, or some speaking knowledge of Ojibwa, Ottawa, or Chippewa. (Rhodes)

331/German 301. Elementary Yiddish. (3). (FL).

See German 301 for description. (Norich)

401 Intermediate Thai. Ling. 302. (3). (FL).

This course is the first half of the sequential Intermediate Thai courses. It is designed to increase students' speaking, listening, reading, and writing abilities, as well as vocabulary expansion. Students practice pronunciation and conversation as well as read and write short paragraphs. Four hours of language lab per week are recommended. Evaluations are based on observations of students' progress, midterm, and final.

422 Advanced Ojibwa. Ling. 322 and 323, or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

This course is aimed at giving students with conversational ability in Ojibwa the opportunity to both improve their speaking and listening skills and to introduce them to Ojibwa literature, and the various dialects represented in the literature. Students will work with the original, unedited texts, as well as with edited, retranscribed materials, and thus learn about the problems of working in a language without a standard writing system that is widely accepted. The course prerequisite is Linguistics 323, or a conversational knowledge of Ojibwa, Ottawa, or Chippewa. (Rhodes)

433 Intermediate Tagalog. Ling. 314 or permission of instructor. (3). (FL).

This is a two-term sequence in which the student who has some knowledge of Tagalog expands his knowledge, develops fluency, and becomes acquainted with Tagalog literature. While the oral approach continues, there is much greater emphasis on reading and writing and much heavier cultural content in the materials read. In the first term, one meeting a week is devoted to the study of grammar. The rest of the time is spent in oral reading (dramatization) of a series of story episodes in dialogue form, translation, question-and-answer on content, and discussion of the linguistic and cultural aspects of each episode. Written homework is regularly assigned. To complement the grammar lessons, tapes are available at the Language Laboratory. There will be occasional quizzes, a midterm, and a final. The second term is essentially a continuation of the first. Instead of dialogues, however, we read narratives and essays, and instead of studying grammar separately, we integrate it with work on the readings which provide the framework for the discussion of grammatical points. At the end of the second year, the student should have acquired (a) sufficient competence to handle short conversations, write brief letters, read texts of low to medium complexity, and (b) a broader knowledge of the culture that the language is an expression of and in which the language functions. (Naylor)

501 Advanced Thai. Ling. 402. (3). (FL).

This course is the first half of the two sequential Advanced Thai courses. The course is designed to improve students' proficiency in speaking, reading, writing, and comprehension of the Thai language. The course is flexible and tailored to suit students' needs and interests.


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