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Fall '00 Course Guide

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Courses in Linguistics (Division 423)

This page was created at 4:01 PM on Wed, Dec 13, 2000.

Fall Term, 2000 (September 6 December 22)

Open courses in Linguistics

Wolverine Access Subject listing for LING

Take me to the Fall Term '00 Time Schedule for Linguistics.

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Ling. 102. First Year Seminar (Humanities).

Section 002 Chinese: an Intriguing Language.

Instructor(s): San Duanmu (duanmu@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Only first-year students, including those with sophomore standing, may pre-register for First-Year Seminars. All others need permission of instructor. (3). (HU).

First-Year Seminar

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

Chinese, spoken by a fifth of the world's population, differs from languages of European origin in many ways. This seminar will focus on several interesting facets of the Chinese language, including the following: How was the Chinese writing system created and how did it evolve? What is tone and how does it distinguish words in Chinese? How does old Chinese differ from modern Chinese? How are Chinese dictionaries organized? How do Chinese dialects differ? We will also look at some peculiar properties of Chinese, such as monosyllabicity (meaning that each syllable is a word), lack of inflection (no number, tense, or personal marking), and variation in word order and word length. This course is designed for students who have no knowledge of Chinese.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

Ling. 102. First Year Seminar (Humanities).

Section 003 Investigating Problems in Communication.

Instructor(s): Stephanie Lindeman

Prerequisites & Distribution: Only first-year students, including those with sophomore standing, may pre-register for First-Year Seminars. All others need permission of instructor. (3). (HU).

First-Year Seminar

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

In this course we will consider a number of explanations for miscommunication: what causes it, why it occurs, and how it can (or can't) be avoided. This includes addressing factors such as the native language, gender, ethnicity, culture, and conversational style of the people involved in the (mis) communication. Course requirements include regular readings and short assignments, informed class participation, and a final paper or project.

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Ling. 114. A World of Words.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): John Lawler (jlawler@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: (3). (HU).

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~jlawler/wow/

The English language is said to have almost a million words; words for everything from aardvarks to zygotes. There are a lot of questions asked about words: Do we really have all the words we need? How do we know what they mean? Why is English spelling so weird (or is it wierd)? Why are some words considered "bad" and others "good"? Where do words come from, anyway?

In this course we will study and attempt to answer these and other questions about the English language and its vocabulary. Topics to be studied include:

  1. morphology and phonetics the internal structure of words;
  2. etymology the histories of individual words;
  3. the history of the English language;
  4. Indo-European linguistics how English is related to other languages, specifically
    • Latin
    • Greek
    • Sanskrit (the ancient language of India);
  5. lexical semantics (what words mean and how they do it);
  6. social and cultural implications of our vocabulary and its use.

In the process of studying these we can expect:

  1. some vocabulary development, with particular attention to Greek and Latin roots in common use in English;
  2. an increased sensitivity to words of all sorts and to their uses and probable meanings;
  3. an improved understanding of how words are used to name and describe various concepts and things and how they can be misused as well;
  4. a novel and interesting viewpoint on the position of our language and culture in world history and geography a result not of official political or institutional events, but of its actual ongoing evolution.

Assignments include readings, group and individual homework assignments, participation both in class discussions, and (take-home) midterm and final exams. Texts include:

  • Any unabridged English dictionary;
  • Any paperback Latin dictionary;
  • David Crystal, The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language;
  • Lewis Thomas, Etc, Etc: Notes of a Word Watcher;
  • Plus course packs.

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Ling. 140. Introduction to Deaf Culture.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Paula Berwanger (pberwang@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: (3). (Excl).

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

This course introduces students to Deaf culture within the United States, and focuses on the link between culture and language (in this case, American Sign Language). An analysis of medical and cultural models of perceiving deafness is investigated to familiarize students with the range of perceptions held by members of the cultural majority and the effect it has on the Deaf community. The influencing factors of educational systems on deaf children are reviewed to understand the link between language systems used in the classroom and the development of a Deaf identity. The historical roots of American Sign Language and the value of language preservation provide for additional overview of attitudes in American society. Social adaptations to deafness and individual factors of communicative and linguistic development are analyzed for understanding the implications of family and social systems on deaf children and adults.

Instructor will use a course pack. There will be weekly written assignments (1-2 paragraph reaction statements to readings from the course pack); or weekly quizzes. There will be a written midterm and final.

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Ling. 150. Elementary American Sign Language.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Paula Berwanger (pberwang@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Concurrent enrollment in or completion of Ling. 140. (4). (LR).

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

A beginning course in American Sign Language (ASL) that introduces students to basic grammatical structures and sign vocabulary through intensive classroom conversational interactions. Emphasis is on practical communicative functions as students learn how to communicate in a visual-gestural channel. Classroom work is supplemented by video-taped workbook exercises to facilitate development of receptive language skills. Linguistics 140 (Introduction to Deaf Culture) is a pre- or co-requisite for this course. Class will meet two days, two hours per day. Three hours of lecture and one hour of conversation per week.

This class will be conducted exclusively in American Sign Language. Required course materials include a workbook and videotape. Handouts will also be provided. An optional Dictionary of ASL is suggested. Students will complete weekly assignments from the workbook. There will be both a midterm and final consisting of both written exams and videotaped Sign Language interactions. A 3-5 page term paper is also required (a report on a Deaf social event, on an interaction with Deaf persons, or on an approved article or subject).

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Ling. 210. Introduction to Linguistic Analysis.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Thomas Toon (ttoon@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: (4). (SS).

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

Nothing is more distinctly human than our ability to use language. Because of that, we expect that the study of language can provide insight into "human nature". This course is an analytic introduction to the methods linguists use for describing languages (although general training in analytic thought is our ultimate goal). Drawing on examples from a large number of the world's languages, we will look at the sounds of language, how they are produced and how they pattern into words; we will study the diverse ways in which individual languages approach processes of word and sentence formation, while we ask whether there are processes universal to all languages. By focusing simultaneously on language data and on the techniques used by linguists to make sense of these data, we will see that our understanding of the object of inquiry (language) is influenced by our methods of inquiry. Requirements include problem-solving assignments, quiz(es), midterm and final exams; no prerequisite except an interest in language and thinking.

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Ling. 211. Introduction to Language.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Samuel Epstein, Sarah Thomason (thomason@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: (3). (SS).

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

From time immemorial human beings have been curious about what appears to be a uniquely human possession, human language about its structure, its diversity, its use, and its effects on others. This course explores the human capacity for language; we begin with a discussion of the ways in which human language differs from animal communication, and then review major aspects of language structure common to all human languages: sound systems, words and their meanings, sentence structures and meaning. We will then examine child language development, sentence processing, and language change; finally, we will extend our results to discussions of language variation, including social and political attitudes toward language (for instance, what is "Standard English", and is it better than other dialects of English? And should English become the official national language of the United States?). Course requirements include regular homework assignments, one midterm exam, and a final exam.

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Ling. 212. Introduction to the Symbolic Analysis of Language.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Stefan Frisch (sfrisch@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: (4). (MSA).

Credits: (4; 2 in the half-term).

Course Homepage: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~sfrisch/L212_F00.html

This course is an introduction to some basic mathematical concepts and techniques used in the representation of language in linguistic theory. The main focus of this course will be learning how to construct rudimentary models of natural language with these mathematical tools. In addition, students will learn the essential techniques for describing and analyzing linguistic data through working on examples taken from various languages of the world. We will investigate the extent to which these models succeed in approximating natural language, and analyze some of their better known failures with an eye toward current linguistic theory. There will be weekly exercises, a midterm and a final exam. No specific prerequisites.

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Ling. 250. Intermediate American Sign Language.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Paula Berwanger (pberwang@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Ling. 151. (4). (LR).

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

Students in this intermediate course in American Sign Language (ASL) will learn more advanced communicative forms including understanding the essential role of facial communication (non-manual behaviors) in forming expressions. Additional vocabulary including idiomatic expressions will be introduced to expand students' abilities to understand and converse appropriately in various settings. Through a conversational approach, students will continue to study selected literature, history, culture, and outlooks of Deaf people in order to develop an understanding of appropriate standards of communicating in ASL. Students completing Linguistics 250 will have acquired a basic understanding of how to communicate in a visual-gestural channel in order to receive and express ASL sentences in everyday conversational interactions. Regular attendance is essential. Participation in class includes short presentations and situational role playing.

This class will be conducted exclusively in American Sign Language. Required course materials include a workbook and videotape. Handouts will also be provided. An optional Dictionary of ASL is suggested. Students will complete weekly assignments from the workbook. There will be both a midterm and final consisting of both written exams and videotaped Sign Language interactions. A 3-5 page term paper is also required (a report on a Deaf social event, on an interaction with Deaf persons, or on an approved article or subject).

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Ling. 305. Advertising Rhetoric.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Jeffrey Heath (jheath@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Junior standing. Ling. 210 recommended. (3). (Excl).

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

This course considers how verbal and visual advertising messages are interpreted by consumers within a cultural context. About two fifths of the course are spent on cultural issues, and another two fifths on the technical analysis of advertisements (primarily magazine), leaving time for small-group creative competitions at the end. The rhetorical analysis emphasizes the inherent contradictions in most advertising messages. For example, products and institutions are often positioned as both old (hence trustworthy) and new (hence state-of-the-art and forward-looking). The advertisement itself is an impersonal monologue, but may simulate a more personal, interactive format. These rhetorical dilemmas influence the most minute formal features of an advertisement, ranging from typeface selection to photographic depth effects, and encourage the use of irony, fantasy, and humor. After analyzing advertising for culturally sensitive product types (cigarettes, liquor, lawn care, fragrances, diamonds, automobiles, corporate image, political campaigns), small teams of students will compete with each other in pitching sketched-out advertising campaigns to a corporate "client." Students will get basic instruction in PhotoShop for use in homeworks and the final competitions. No artistic experience is expected, and the course is not open to students from the School of Art. There is no quantitative marketing analysis.

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Ling. 313. Sound Patterns.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): José Benki (benki@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Ling. 210 or 211. (3). (SS).

Credits: (3; 2 in the half-term).

Course Homepage: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~benki/L313/syll313.html

This course explores two fundamental aspects of the sounds of human languages: speech sounds as physical entities (phonetics) and speech sounds as linguistic units (phonology). In viewing sounds as physical elements, the focus is articulatory descriptions: How are speech sounds made? What types of articulatory movements and configurations are used to differentiate sounds in the world's languages? In this part of the course, the goal is to learn to produce, transcribe, and describe in articulatory terms many of the sounds known to occur in human languages. In the next part of the course, the focus is on sounds as members of a particular linguistic system. Phonological data from a wide range of languages are analyzed that is, regularities or patterns in sound distribution are extracted from the data set and then stated within a formal phonological framework. We will also construct arguments to support the proposed analyses, and will find that phonetic factors play a crucial role in validating phonological analyses. Throughout the course, a major emphasis is that speech sounds are simultaneously physical and linguistic elements, and that these two aspects of sound structure are interdependent. Class sessions will consist of lectures, phonetic practice, and discussion of phonological data sets. Course grades will be based on weekly assignments, midterm, and take-home final exam. Linguistics 210, 211, 411, or permission of instructor is required to take the course.

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Ling. 315. Introduction to Sentence Analysis.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Teresa Satterfield (tsatter@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Ling. 210 or 211. (3). (Excl).

Credits: (3; 2 in the half-term).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

This course introduces the foundations of generative syntactic inquiry. Methodological issues are first presented, including discussions of mentalism, cognitive capacities, mind vs. brain, knowledge vs. behavior, and the difference between studying "languages" as opposed to investigating human cognitive capacities such as the human capacity to acquire natural language systems. A formal syntactic analysis of certain central aspects of syntax is constructed as a vehicle for presenting the fundamental aspects of contemporary syntactic theory, while concurrently illustrating the application of the methods discussed in the first part of the course.

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Ling. 317. Language and History.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): William Baxter (wbaxter@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Ling. 210 or 211. (3). (HU).

Credits: (3; 2 in the half-term).

Course Homepage: https://coursetools.ummu.umich.edu/2000/fall/lsa/ling/317/001.nsf

Languages enable us to record history, but languages themselves are also products of history, and of prehistory. Many clues about the past are to be found in the vocabulary and structure of individual languages. Much can also be deduced from how languages are distributed in space, and how they are related to each other. Through readings and hands-on exercises, this course will introduce students to the basic methods of historical linguistics (including reconstruction of extinct languages, dialect geography, and mathematical methods), and apply them to examples drawn from Africa, Asia, Europe, and the Americas, including areas of current research and controversy.

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Ling. 339/AAS 339. African American Languages and Dialects.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Donald Winford

Prerequisites & Distribution: Ling. 210 recommended. (3). (Excl).

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

This course will examine the varieties of English used by African-Americans and the general relationship between language and sociocultural organization in the African-American community. Comparisons will be made with other varieties of English used by Africans in the diaspora, including varieties in the Caribbean. The course will cover the structure of these varieties, their history, their social and stylistic uses, and their implications for social opportunity and educational success among their speakers.

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Ling. 350. Perspectives on Second Language Learning and Second Language Instruction.

Section 001 Meets with Linguistics 450.001.

Instructor(s): Joan Morley

Prerequisites & Distribution: Ling. 210 or 211. (3). (Excl).

Upper-Level Writing

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

The purpose of this course is to explore past and current directions in both theoretical and practical aspects of second/foreign language learning and teaching. The course will examine a number of language learning/teaching paradigms and focus on the changing forms and functions of methodology, technique, and approach as the emphasis of language pedagogy has shifted from teacher directed, drill and pattern practice to learner focused, task based instruction. Students will have an opportunity to reflect upon and analyze their own language learning experiences and begin to critique and understand the instructional needs of varying language learning populations.

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Ling. 370(410)/Anthro. 370. Language and Discrimination: Language as Social Statement.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Robin Queen (rqueen@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Ling. 210 recommended. (3). (SS). (R&E).

R&E

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~rqueen/TEACHING/370

In this course we examine the interplay between language and ideological processes, particularly as they function below the level of conscious awareness. We are concerned with the suppression of linguistic variation; that is, with the development of a standard language ideology, which is understood to be a bias toward an abstracted, idealized, (but ultimately unattainable) homogenous spoken language, modeled on variants favored by the white, middle American mainstream. This ideology is one of many social practices on which people depend without close analysis of underlying assumptions. In this class, we will look into those assumptions linguistic and social and about the arguments used to uphold them. We will examine the way in which these behaviors are institutionalized by the media, the entertainment industry, school systems, business community, and the judicial system, all of which promote standard language ideology and underwrite assimilatory and often discriminatory practices, the goal of which is to suppress perfectly functional language variation intimately linked to homeland, race, ethnicity, ability (e.g., as it relates to the use of signed rather than spoken languages), or gender. We will look at issues of language choice and accent as legal issues in the courts, including battles about "hate speech". This course should be of interest to those concerned with non-mainstream language varieties as a cultural resource and asset, historical heritage, and potential complication in supra-cultural communication. An introductory linguistics course would be helpful but is not essential.

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Ling. 385. Experiential Practice.

Instructor(s): Deborah Keller-Cohen (dkc@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Permission of instructor. (1-6). (Excl). Offered mandatory credit/no credit. (EXPERIENTIAL). May be repeated for a total of six credit.

Credits: (1-6).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

Students will participate in (and, if necessary, be trained for) a service project, through the Program in Linguistics and/or the English Language Institute. Though projects will vary from term to term, they may usually be expected to involve either one-on-one tutoring (in literacy, English as a Second Language, or linguistics, for instance) or formal teaching outside the University, or some mix of these. The course is designed for linguistics concentrators, and good academic preparation in core linguistic concepts is assumed. Each project will have a faculty supervisor, whom students should contact for specific information, and to determine eligibility and any special requirements.

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Ling. 395. Individual Research.

Instructor(s):

Prerequisites & Distribution: Permission of instructor. (1-4). (Excl). (INDEPENDENT). May be repeated for a total of six credits.

Credits: (1-4).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

Adequately prepared students can pursue individual research with a member of the faculty.

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Ling. 406/English 406. Modern English Grammar.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Richard Cureton (rcureton@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: (3). (Excl).

Credits: (3; 2 in the half-term).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

See English 406.001.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: 2 Waitlist Code: 1

Ling. 411. Introduction to Linguistics.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Stefan Frisch (sfrisch@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Not intended for Linguistics concentrators. Not open to students with credit for Ling. 211. (3). (Excl).

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~sfrisch/L411_F00.html

This course is designed as an introduction to the field of linguistics for graduate students who have an interest in the nature of language. Upper-class undergraduates are also welcome. We will cover a wide range of topics related to language, with somewhat more focus on the core areas: phonetics, phonology, syntax, and semantics. In addition, students will learn the essential techniques for describing and analyzing linguistic data through working on examples taken from various languages of the world. There will be regular exercises, a midterm, and a final. There are no prerequisites. Students who have already had a general introduction to linguistics should enroll in an introduction to a specific field within linguistics: 313 (Sound Patterns), 512 (Phonetics), 513 (Phonology), 514 (Semantics and Pragmatics), 515 (Generative Syntax), 517 (Principles of Historical Linguistics), or 542 (Sociolinguistics).

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Ling. 447/Psych. 445. Psychology of Language.

Section 001 Meets with Psychology 745.001

Instructor(s): James Hoeffner (jhoeff@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Psych. 340. (3). (Excl).

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: http://coursetools.ummu.umich.edu/2000/fall/lsa/psych/445/001.nsf

See Psychology 445.001.

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Ling. 492. Topics in Linguistics.

Section 001 Text-To-Speech Synthesis. Meets with Linguistics 792.001

Instructor(s): San Duanmu (duanmu@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: (3). (Excl). May be elected for credit twice.

Credits: (3; 2 in the half-term).

Course Homepage: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~sfrisch/L492_F00.html

This course introduces the basic techniques in text-to-speech (TTS) synthesis. We will focus on the concatenative TTS method, although other approaches will also be discussed. The students will work on several projects in small groups. Prerequisite: knowledge of linguistics or a programming language.

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Ling. 492. Topics in Linguistics.

Section 002 Diachronic Methodology and Syntactic Change. Meets with Linguistics 792.002.

Instructor(s): Mark Hale

Prerequisites & Distribution: (3). (Excl). May be elected for credit twice.

Credits: (3; 2 in the half-term).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

This seminar focuses on two interconnected issues: (1) what is the nature of diachronic linguistics under generativist assumptions and (2) how is syntactic change to be understood within such a paradigm. Considerable time will be dedicated to exploring the strengths and weaknesses of traditional and existing generative approaches to historical linguistics, with attention paid to related matters, including sociolinguistic issues and topics concerning language acquisition.

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Ling. 492. Topics in Linguistics.

Section 003 Seminar on Pidgin/Creole Linguistics. Meets with Linguistics 792.003

Instructor(s): Donald Winford

Prerequisites & Distribution: (3). (Excl). May be elected for credit twice.

Credits: (3; 2 in the half-term).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

This seminar will introduce students to current thinking on the structure of pidgins and creoles, the processes of pidgin and creole formation, and the relationship between pidgin/creoles and other outcomes of language contact. The course will examine a Caribbean creole (perhaps Sranan Tongo) in some detail. The course will involve discussion and critical evaluation of selected readings, which students will have to prepare for each class. Students will have the chance to write a research paper on some aspect of pidgin/creole linguistics.

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Ling. 493. Undergraduate Reading.

Instructor(s):

Prerequisites & Distribution: Permission of the concentration advisor. (1-3). (Excl). (INDEPENDENT). May be repeated for credit with permission of concentration advisor.

Credits: (1-3).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

An independent study course for undergraduates.

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Ling. 495. Senior Honors Reading Course.

Instructor(s):

Prerequisites & Distribution: Permission of concentration advisor. (1-3). (Excl). (INDEPENDENT).

Credits: (1-3).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

An independent senior Honors reading course for undergraduates.

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Ling. 496. Senior Honors Reading Course.

Instructor(s):

Prerequisites & Distribution: Permission of concentration advisor. (1-3). (Excl). (INDEPENDENT).

Credits: (1-3).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

An independent senior Honors reading course for undergraduates.

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Ling. 512(412). Phonetics.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): José Benki (benki@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Ling. 313. (4). (Excl).

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~benki/L512/syllabus512.html

This is an introduction to phonetics (the study of the nature of speech sounds). The course will focus on: (1) the description of speech sounds in terms of their articulatory, acoustic, and perceptual characteristics; and (2) the production and translation of sounds that occur in languages of the world. Class meetings will comprise lectures on articulation, acoustics or perception, and drills in producing and transcribing particular classes of speech sounds. Weekly labs will include computer analysis of speech. Course grades will be based on transcriptions, lab assignments, midterm and final exams (and a language project for graduate students). No prerequisites, but an introductory linguistics course is strongly recommended.

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Ling. 515(415). Generative Syntax.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Samuel Epstein

Prerequisites & Distribution: Ling. 315. (3). (Excl).

Credits: (3; 2 in the half-term).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

In the Generative framework, syntactic structure is generated by a formal rule system and by applying constraints to its output. Some of these rules and constraints are hypothesized to be innate "unlearned" (perhaps a species specific system that, in part, makes human language acquisition possible). Other aspects of our linguistic knowledge appears "learned". This class introduces this so-called "Principles and Parameters" approach to the analysis of syntactic phenomena, focusing on how the various postulated ("simple") rules and constraints interact to generate ("complex") structures, characteristic of natural language sentences (such as the one you are now reading, and understanding). Course requirements may include weekly assignments, a midterm, and a final. For undergraduates Linguistics 315 and permission of the instructor are prerequisites. There is no prerequisite for graduate students. Text: Introduction to Government & Binding Theory, by L. Haegeman, Blackwell 2nd Edition.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: 5, P/I for undergraduates

Ling. 518(418). Linguistic Typology.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Peter Hook (pehook@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Graduate standing; undergraduates with permission of department. (3). (Excl).

Credits: (3; 2 in the half-term).

Course Homepage: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~pehook/lingw97.html

While humans appear fairly alike in physical characteristics and mental capacity, their languages (and cultures) are extremely diverse. Is such diversity infinitely random and inherently unpredictable? Or can languages be divided into a small number of discrete types? Are there characteristics that all languages share? How are formal properties of human language related to or independent of its functions? These are some of the questions addressed by language typologists through a comparative methodology that depends on developing uniform definitions of grammatical categories and applying them across a number of languages. Linguistics 518 invites students to master this methodology by (1) having them investigate unfamiliar languages through study of published descriptive grammars and (2) relating this direct experience to the principle findings of contemporary typological research. Coursework consists of:

  1. readings and lectures on the major categories and parameters which are used to describe and classify languages,
  2. a number of short reports on given phenomena as they are manifested in the languages that individual students adopt,
  3. discussion and comparison of these findings in class,
  4. a midterm exam, and
  5. a final term paper treating a particular typological parameter in one or more languages.

Students will make oral presentations based on pre-final versions of their term papers. Prerequisite: an introductory course in linguistics.

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Ling. 519(419). Discourse Analysis.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Deborah Keller-Cohen (dkc@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

Credits: (3; 2 in the half-term).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

Text has become a recurrent metaphor for the way we make sense of our world. This course explores how textuality has been interpreted in various disciplines and how the analysis of texts can be useful in answering different types of questions. Students can expect to gain a basic knowledge of various ways of analyzing both spoken and written texts. The course examines a variety of topics including why the concept of text is a useful and necessary way to think about human communication; how experience is encoded differently in speaking versus writing; different methods of analyzing texts; and how the analysis of texts enables us to understand such social problems as communication in families, doctor-patient interaction, and courtroom testimony. This course is seminar in format. A high level of student participation is expected. The course requirements include regular writing in response to course readings, homework assignments, and a final paper. Some background knowledge of linguistic concepts is important.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

Ling. 532. Issues in Bilingualism.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Teresa Satterfield (tsatter@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Graduate standing or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

Bilingualism has been common throughout history, but in the last half century or so a number of developments such as decolonization, an increase in demand for popular education, massive population shifts through migration, and the development of global communication have served to accentuate our sense of living in a visibly and audibly multilingual modern world. A number of interesting issues can be dealt with in a course on bilingualism, all of great current relevance. Examples are acquisition of language(s) by children in bilingual families; the bilingual brain; aspects of bilingual knowledge/competence; language maintenance and language shift in migrant communities; bilingual education; multilingualism and multiculturalism in the United States; minority languages; the politics of bilingualism; attitudes to bilingualism. Students will be encouraged to work where relevant with their own languages and endeavor systematically to frame their own experience of bilingualism.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

Ling. 541/CS 595/EECS 595. Natural Language Processing.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Richmond Thomason (rthomaso@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Senior standing. (3). (Excl). (BS).

Credits: (3).

Lab Fee: CAEN lab access fee required for non-Engineering students.

Course Homepage: http://www.eecs.umich.edu/~rthomaso/cl/cl-course.html

An introduction to computational linguistics, stressing the processing of written language but with supplementary discussion of topics relating to spoken language. The course will be based on the following textbook: Daniel Jurafsky and James H. Martin, Speech and Natural Language Processing, Prentice Hall, 1999.

Topics covered in this course will include: finite state automata and finite state techniques for processing words, language models, tagging corpora for part-of-speech, context-free grammars, parsing techniques, unification grammars and unification-based parsing, probabilistic parsing, semantics, discourse modeling, word sense disambiguation and information retrieval, natural language generation, and (if time permits) machine translation.

There will be a midterm and a final examination, as well as a course project and regularly assigned exercises. Non-CS students without strong programming experience will not have to do a project that requires programming.

This course is the normal introduction to computational linguistics for advanced undergraduates or graduate students in Computer Science, the School of Information, or Linguistics, and normally is a prerequisite for more advanced courses in the area at the University of Michigan. For linguistics students, Linguistics 513 and any other 400- or more advanced level linguistics course are prerequisites. Computer literacy is essential; some programming experience would be helpful. Students in Computer Science or the School of Information should take the versions of this course offered in those units.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: No Data Given.

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