Courses in Linguistics (Division 423)

210. Introduction to Linguistics. (3). (SS).

This is an introductory course on the types of problems that linguists deal with in phonology (sound systems), syntax (phrase systems), and semantics (meaning systems). We will look at many languages of the world, both in their modern forms and in how they have changed over time. There are no prerequisites. There will be weekly problem sets. There are no exams or papers. There are two lectures and one section each week. Class progresses by way of discussion and argumentation, and emphasis is on gaining problem solving skills. (Napoli)

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

This is an introduction to syntax in a generative 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. 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 demands consistent, hard work. The payoff is that you learn a new way of looking at problems and solving them. The scientific methods used in this class encourage you to think critically and take yourself seriously. This course should be of interest to language, mathematics, music, law, and philosophy "types" as well as anyone who wants to build up skills in argumentation.

401. Grammatical Categories and Linguistic Analysis. (3). (SS).

This course is an introduction to the methods and analysis of grammatical categories and construction in natural languages. The course will begin with a discussion of the goals of grammatical analysis, and the nature of linguistic data as evidence for linguistic analysis. Then we will proceed through each of the major facets of grammatical structure: syntactic and morphological categories, constituent structure, grammatical relations, and word order. For each facet of grammatical structure, we will examine: what the range of the phenomenon is in natural languages; different proposals for how to analyze the phenomenon; and the methods of argumentation for and against the proposed analyses. Assignments will involve describing and analyzing the relevant grammatical phenomena in English and other languages. No prerequisite is required. (Croft)

406/English 406. Modern English Grammar. (3). (HU).

See English 406. (Cureton)

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

See Cultural Anthropology 472. (Yengoyan)

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

This course explores the relationship between language and culture as a set of mutually reinforcing constraints which form different types of coherence systems. Language is dealt with both as a set of grammatical forces as well as semantic imperatives which must be related to culture as a system of social principles, as webs of meaning, and as a framework of knowledge and philosophy. The realm of thought is analyzed as a human condition which produces creative and constrictive conditions on language and culture. A few short paperback volumes are required in addition to articles placed on undergraduate reserves. Course requirements are a midterm and a final examination. (Burling)

411. Introduction to Linguistics. Not open to students with credit for Ling. 211. (3). (SS).

An introduction to the theories and methods of linguistics. The first section of the course will cover phonetics and phonology (the nature and organization of the sounds of language) and morphology and syntax (the construction and organization of words and sentences). The second part of the course will focus on the way languages vary, from one time to another, one social situation to another, and one language family to another. Students can expect to develop an understanding of the organization of language and of methods by which linguists learn about language. (Burling)

412. Phonetics. (3). (Excl).

This is an introductory course in phonetics (the study of the nature of speech sounds). Emphasis will be placed on how speech sounds are produced and transcribed. Other topics to be covered include: features of sounds, phonetic universals, phonetic motivation of phonological processes, and acoustic phonetics. Grading will be based on homework, exams, and a project. There are no prerequisites, but an introductory linguistics course is strongly recommended. (Beddor)

414. Semantics and Pragmatics. Linguistics 401. (3). (HU).

This course will cover the semantics of words and grammatical inflections in natural languages. We will begin by discussing general issues in the analysis of the semantics of grammatical categories, including criterial definition, prototypes, polysemy and conventional implicature. We will then proceed through each of the major categories, noun, adjective and verb, and discuss the semantic analysis of the inflectional categories and minor lexical categories associated with them. The categories to be covered include: gender, definiteness, number and case for nouns; comparison and intensification for adjectives; and tense, aspect and modality for verbs. Linguistics 211 or 411 or permission of the instructor is required to take this course. NOTE: This course complements last year's introduction to semantics and pragmatics course, which covered the semantics and pragmatics of sentences and discourse. Students who took last year's course may take this course for credit. (Croft)

417/Anthro. 476/German 417. Principles and Methods of Historical Linguistics. Ling. 411 or equivalent. (3). (HU).

All human languages change with the passage of time. In this course we shall examine the ways in which languages change and how linguists study and analyse this universal phenomenon. Topics to be covered include (a) sound change, (b) morphological change, (c) syntactic change, (d) semantic change, (e) etymology, (f) comparative and internal reconstruction, (g) the study of language change in progress, and (h) typology and language change. Class sessions will consist of lectures and discussions of problem sets. In addition to the textbook, students will read key articles on historical linguistics. The final grade will be determined by a midterm exam, a final exam, and by homework assignments. Prerequisite: Linguistics 411 or equivalent, or permission of instructor. (Dworkin)

419. Discourse Analysis. Linguistics 401. (3). (HU).

Discourse is language as it is actually used in a variety of contexts, e.g., in conversation, in novels, in business reports, in advertising, in scientific journals, etc. In the analysis of discourse the focus is usually on the entire text (spoken or written) rather than on individual sentences. We will discuss how discourse has been analyzed by linguists, psychologists, philosophers, literary critics, sociologists, etc. You will then have an opportunity to synthesize your favorite approaches in analyzing discourses of your choice. Topics will include the structures of discourse, differences between discourse types, discourse and social relationships, and the interpretation, production and acquisition of discourse. Other topics will be added, depending on your preferences. Your grades will be based on short assignments, examinations, and a research log. You should have had two courses in linguistics or my permission before you sign up. (Ard)

447(353)/Psych. 447. Psychology of Language. Introductory psychology. (3). (SS).

See Psychology 447. (Gelman)

451(350)/Psych. 451. Development of Language and Thought. Introductory psychology. (3). (SS).

See Psychology 451. (Gelman)

473/Anthropology 473. Ethnopoetics: Cross-Cultural Approaches to Verbal Art. Two courses in anthropology, linguistics or literature, or permission of instructor. (3; 2 in the half-term). (HU).

See Cultural Anthropology 473. (Mannheim)

477. History of Linguistics. Permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

This course will deal with the ancient period of the development of linguistic theories in India. Beginning with about 600 B.C., ancient India produced one of the most developed traditions of theoretical linguistic analysis which encompassed the fields of articulatory phonetics and phonology, etymology, syntax, semantics and general philosophy of language. These theories were incorporated in works of grammar and the like, and the tradition went on developing for more than two thousand years. The discovery of Sanskrit by the West in the 17th century also led to the discovery of this tradition of linguistic analysis and had a profound impact on this history of modern western linguistics both in Europe and in America. This course will review the evolution of this tradition as part of a general history of linguistic theory. It will deal not only with what these ancient linguistic theories were, but with their connections with religion, social attitudes, philosophical conceptions such as theories on ontology, the state of available technology, etc. By studying an analytical tradition in its total context, we are better able to evaluate our own modern linguistic theories. Some knowledge of Sanskrit is useful, but not required. Students will be working with a course pack containing translations of source materials and critical articles. Each student is expected to write two 15 page papers on some aspect of the history of linguistics, comparing and contrasting at least two distinct analytical traditions. Participation in class discussions is absolutely essential. (Deshpande)

492. Topics in Linguistics. (3). (Excl). May be elected for credit twice.

SECTION 001 GENETIC RELATEDNESS OF LANGUAGES Methods of identification of families and macro-families (phyla) of languages; reconstruction of their respective proto-languages. Role of the hierarchy of stability of basic words. Necessity of absolute precision in comparison and reconstruction. Introduction to macro- families: Nostratic, Dene-Caucasian, Macro-Asiatic, Amerind. Other families (Khoisan, Indo-Pacific, Australian) and languages - "isolate." Possible interrelations of the above (degree of genetic relatedness, etc.). Recent theories of the origin of human language(s). Inheritance versus borrowings. Homelands and migrations of ancient peoples and languages. Matching of various data (Historical Linguistics, Prehistory, Archaeology, Paleobotany and -zoology, Anthropology, Genetic Biology, etc.). Recent discoveries; perspectives. Students will be evaluated by their homework (exercises) and participation in discussions. (Shevoroshkin)

Section 002 DIACHRONIC SYNTAX In the study of language change, far more attention has been paid in the past to changes in phonology, morphology and semantics than to changes in syntax. Recent trends in the field of linguistics as a whole, however, have made it possible to begin remedying this situation. These include: (1) a growing body of observed syntactic changes from a typologically and genetically diverse group of languages; (2) an increased richness of descriptive devices and explanatory frameworks in synchronic syntactic theory (including contributions from generative theories, functional syntax, and typological studies); and (3) a growing understanding of the motivations and mechanisms of the change process (including the nature of social and stylistic variation). All these are now making it possible to focus on what a theory of syntactic change should be like what the range of data to be covered is, what mechanisms need to be postulated, and what we should consider to be a satisfactory explanation of a syntactic change. In this class we will focus on analyzing types of changes exhibited in the data, and on evaluating different approaches to the treatment of change in this area of the grammar. The class format will be lecture/discussion; grades will be based on short homework assignments, a midterm, and a final. Prerequisites: an introductory linguistics course, or permission of the instructor. (Wiegand)


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