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Fall Academic Term 2001 Course Guide

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Courses in Linguistics

This page was created at 10:33 AM on Sun, Mar 18, 2001.

Fall Academic Term, 2001 (September 5 December 21)

Open courses in Linguistics
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LING 102. First Year Seminar (Humanities).

Section 001 The Chinese 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.

This is not a language course, but a seminar that examines some interesting facets of the Chinese language. Chinese is spoken by a fifth of the world's population and differs from western languages in many ways. Questions to be discussed include: How was the Chinese writing system invented and how did it evolve? What is tone and how does it distinguish words? 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 monosyllabic words (each syllable is a word) and lack of inflection (no number, tense, or person marking). No knowledge of Chinese is required.

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

LING 103. First Year Seminar (Social Science).

Section 001 Deciphering Ancient Languages.

Instructor(s): William H Baxter III (wbaxter@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). (SS).

First-Year Seminar,

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

The written remains of ancient cultures if we can read them tell us a great deal about how the human world got the way it is. Over the last two centuries, scholars have managed to decipher Ancient Egyptian, the cuneiform scripts of the Middle East, and (most recently) the Mayan hieroglyphs of Central America. This course looks at how they did it. Problem sets involving authentic ancient inscriptions will be used to show how historical and linguistic knowledge, careful reasoning, and dumb luck have led to successful decipherments in the past, and may produce additional successes in the future.

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LING 104. First Year Seminar (Introductory Composition).

Section 001 The Literate Imagination

Instructor(s): Deborah Keller-Cohen (dkc@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. (4). (Introductory Composition).

First-Year Seminar,

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

This course explores the role of literacy (reading and writing) in our lives, throughout history, and in different cultures. We also look at the world of literacy through the eyes of bilinguals. To accomplish these goals, we read autobiographies, historical accounts and contemporary ethnographies as well as visit such campus resources as the Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, and the Clements Library. As part of this effort, we will also think about the nature of reading and writing in the academy. As such, we will be critically examining our own literacy as we simultaneously consider broader social and historical aspects of reading and writing. You will learn how to go about reading different types of academic texts and writing them. Since this course meets the Introductory Composition requirement, we will be writing and revising work regularly.

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LING 114. A World of Words.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): John M 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 D 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 D Berwanger (pberwang@umich.edu)

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

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

LING 150 is 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. There will be 1-2 hours of weekly lab work to be completed at the Language Resource Center.

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 E 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(zes), and midterm and final exams; there is no prerequisite except an interest in language and thinking.

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LING 211. Introduction to Language.

Section 001.

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

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

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~rqueen/TEACHING/211

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 uniqueness of human language 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.

Required Textbook:
Clark, Virginia P., Eschholz, Paul, & Rosa, Alfred. 1998. Language: Readings in Language and culture, 6th ed. St. Martin's.

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LING 212. Introduction to the Symbolic Analysis of Language.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Diana M Cresti

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

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

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

This course is an introduction to some basic mathematical concepts and techniques used in the representation of linguistic meaning. Set theory, first-order logic, and (elementary) model theory. The main focus of this course will be learning how to construct rudimentary models of natural language with these mathematical tools. We will investigate the extent to which these models succeed in approximating natural language, and analyze some of their better known failures (e.g., why do people often believe that "Every cat sneezed" and "No cat sneezed" are contraries of each other? Why can't our models account for this?). We will also attempt to systematize our understanding of these problems, and discuss possible ways of overcoming (some of) them. There will be weekly exercises, a midterm, and a final exam.

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LING 250. Intermediate American Sign Language.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Paula D 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. There will be 1-2 hours of weekly lab work to be completed at the Language Resource Center.

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 G 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 in a cultural context. 40% of the course is spent on analysis of familiar products and services such as cars, diamonds, and banks. Consumers typically have contradictory desires regarding such products (e.g., a car should be roomy yet compact, and sporty yet comfortable). This is further complicated by the ambivalent attitude of audiences to advertising communications in general. Another 40% of the course is spent showing how this rhetorical framework accounts for the deployment of formal resources, such as photographic styles and typeface selections, in magazine ads. The remaining 20% is spent in creative competitions where small groups of students design semi-finished magazine ad drafts. No artistic experience is expected and the course is not open to students from the School of Art.

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LING 313. Sound Patterns.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Jose R Benki

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): Samuel D Epstein (sepstein@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 English 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 318. Types of Languages.

Section 001 Meets with Linguistics 518.001.

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

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

Credits: (3).

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

Human languages, especially those spoken by members of unfamiliar and distant cultures, appear on the surface to be very different from one another. But closer examination reveals that languages differ in systematic ways and that more than half of them can be divided into a relatively small number of basic types. In this course we will identify and study some of these basic patterns and explore possible reasons for their existence, seeking explanations where possible in the communicative function of language as well as in the historical evolution of languages. The course will introduce students to basic grammatical structure and function 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 will consist of:

  1. readings and lectures on the major categories and parameters which are used to define language types,
  2. the completion of a number of short assignments or reports on given phenomena as they are manifested in the languages that students will adopt,
  3. discussion and comparison of these individual findings in class,
  4. a midterm exam, and
  5. a 15-20 page term paper examining a particular typological parameter in one or more languages.

Toward the end of the course students will make a fifteen to twenty minute oral presentation to the class of a pre-final version of their term papers.

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

Section 001 Meets with Linguistics 450.001.

Instructor(s): Helen J Morley

Prerequisites & Distribution: Ling. 210 or 211. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in Linguistics 450. (3). (Excl).

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): Ann Lesley Milroy (amilroy@umich.edu)

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

R&E

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

In this course we examine the interplay between language and ideological processes which function below the level of consciousness. 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) homogeneous 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 examining or even being aware of underlying assumptions. In this class, we will look into those assumptions, which are both linguistic and social. We will examine the way in which behaviors associated with the standard language ideology are institutionalized by the media, the entertainment industry, school systems, the business community, and the judicial system, all of which promote standard language ideology and underwrite assimilatory and often discriminatory practices. The effect of the standard language ideology and the practices of these institutions is to suppress perfectly functional language variation intimately linked to homeland, race, and ethnicity. We will look at issues of language choice and accent which emerge as as legal questions in the courts when individuals challenge institutional assumptions and practices in relation to language variation. 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 374(409) / Anthro. 374. Language and Culture.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): E Webb Keane Jr (wkeane@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Sophomore standing. (4). (HU).

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

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

See Cultural Anthropology 374.001.

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LING 385. Experiential Practice.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Patrice Speeter Beddor (beddor@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 a service project related to linguistics. Projects vary from term to term; examples of past projects include one-on-one tutoring in literacy, English as a Second Language, or linguistics, and work with aphasic clients in UM's Communicative Disorders Clinic. The course is designed for linguistics concentrators, and good academic preparation in core linguistic concepts is assumed. Projects are conducted under the supervision of the course instructor; depending on the project, an expert in the chosen field may also serve as supervisor. Interested linguistics concentrators should contact the instructor for specific information.

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LING 395. Individual Research.

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 440. Language Learnability.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Teresa L Satterfield

Prerequisites & Distribution: Ling. 314 and 315. (3). (Excl).

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

Ling 440 is an accessible introduction to learnability theory and its interactions with various linguistic theories. The course will work mainly within the Principles and Parameters framework, surveying general concepts from formal learning theory and complexity theory together with important discussions from developmental psycholinguistics, language processing, and historical linguistics. Prerequisites: Ling 315 or instructor permission.

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LING 447 / Psych. 445. Psychology of Language.

Section 001 Meets With Psych 745.001

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

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

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

See Psychology 445.001.

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LING 492. Topics in Linguistics.

Section 002 Text Processing and Linguistic Research. Meets with Linguistics 792.002.

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

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

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

This course is concerned with tools and techniques for linguists who may find themselves needing to organize, search, and display linguistic corpora. The course will concentrate on structured corpora (e.g., the corpora that are constructed by field linguists in the course of their research) but is not necessarily confined to this material.

The beginning of the course will consist of a brief introduction to the UNIX operating system and a less brief introduction to the Perl programming language. We will consider the issues involved in structuring linguistic data, and the interplay between format and functionality in designing a corpus. The material will be illustrated with examples such as syntactic treebanks, online dictionaries, corpora collected for analyzing discourse, and other corpora of interest to students in the class.

The typical student in this course will be a student who has advanced knowledge of linguistics and is generally familiar with computers, who has had little or no computer science or computational linguistics, but who expects to be engaged in research involving the creation and manipulation of corpora. The course may be able to accommodate other sorts of students, but if this description does not match you, you should consult with the instructor before making a final decision on whether to take it. Send email to rich@thomason.org. Students who come to the course with a project in mind will get the most out of it.

Course requirements will include a number of laboratory sessions and homeworks, a written proposal for a project, and the project itself, which will include a written description of the project work.

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LING 493. Undergraduate Reading.

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.

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.

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. Phonetics.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Patrice Speeter Beddor (beddor@umich.edu)

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

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

This course introduces students to the nature of speech sounds. One goal is to provide an overview of the type of sounds in the world's languages and to train students in the production and transcription of these (sometimes "exotic") sounds. Practice with these sounds is accomplished through native-speaker presentations, in-class exercises, and computer demonstrations. A second goal is to arrive at an understanding of the speech process, which involves transmission of an acoustic signal from a speaker to a listener, and a corresponding description of speech sounds in terms of their articulatory (speaker-based), acoustic, and perceptual (listener-based) characteristics. In achieving this goal, students are introduced to basic principles of phonetic theory through readings, lectures, and hands-on experience in the phonetics laboratory. A third goal is to investigate interactions among articulatory, acoustic, and perceptual properties and to consider their possible consequences for the structure of sound systems. These phonetic properties are viewed as imposing constraints on the notion of a "possible speech sound" and as contributing to the definition of the "possible speech sound system" for human languages.

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LING 512. Phonetics.

Section 002.

Instructor(s): Patrice Speeter Beddor

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

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

This course introduces students to the nature of speech sounds. One goal is to provide an overview of the type of sounds in the world's languages, and to train students in the production and transcription of these (sometimes "exotic") sounds. Practice with these sounds is accomplished through native-speaker presentations, in-class exercises, and computer demonstrations. A second goal is to arrive at an understanding of the speech process, which involves transmission of an acoustic signal from a speaker to a listener, and a corresponding description of speech sounds in terms of their articulatory (speaker-based), acoustic, and perceptual (listener-based) characteristics. In achieving this goal, students are introduced to basic principles of phonetic theory through readings, lectures, and hands-on experience in the phonetics laboratory. A third goal is to investigate interactions among articulatory, acoustic, and perceptual properties and to consider their possible consequences for the structure of sound systems. These phonetic properties are viewed as imposing constraints on the notion of "possible speech sound" and as contributing to the definition of "possible speech sound system" for human languages.

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LING 515. Generative Syntax.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Samuel D Epstein (sepstein@umich.edu)

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, or "unlearned" (perhaps a species specific system that, in part, makes human language acquisition, or grammar growth, possible). Other aspects of our linguistic knowledge appear "learned", i.e. determined by an interaction of human biology and particular linguistic inputs. This class introduces this so-called "Principles and Parameters" approach to the analysis of human syntactic knowledge, 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: Haegeman, Blackwell L. Introduction to Government & Binding Theory, 2nd Edition.

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LING 517 / Anthro. 519 / German 517. Principles and Methods of Historical Linguistics.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Sarah G Thomason (thomason@umich.edu)

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

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

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

This course is an introduction to the theories and methods that enable linguists to describe and explain processes of linguistic change and historical relationships among languages. The major topics to be covered are the emergence of language families and means of establishing family relationships; sound change; grammatical change, especially analogy; language change caused by culture contacts; the Comparative Method, through which prehistoric language states can be reconstructed with an impressive degree of accuracy; internal reconstruction, a less powerful but still important method for gaining information about linguistic prehistory; and ways in which the study of current dialect variation offers insights into processes of change. Course requirements: regular homework assignments (45%), final exam (45%), and class participation (10%).

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

LING 518. Linguistic Typology.

Section 001 Meets with Linguistics 318.001.

Instructor(s): Peter E 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

Human languages, especially those spoken by members of unfamiliar and distant cultures, appear on the surface to be very different from one another. But closer examination reveals that languages differ in systematic ways and that more than half of them can be divided into a relatively small number of basic types. In this course we will identify and study some of these basic patterns and explore possible reasons for their existence, seeking explanations where possible in the communicative function of language as well as in the historical evolution of languages. The course will introduce students to basic grammatical structure and function 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 will consist of:

  1. readings and lectures on the major categories and parameters which are used to define language types,
  2. the completion of a number of short assignments or reports on given phenomena as they are manifested in the languages that students will adopt,
  3. discussion and comparison of these individual findings in class,
  4. a midterm exam, and
  5. a 15-20 page term paper examining a particular typological parameter in one or more languages.

Toward the end of the course students will make a fifteen to twenty minute oral presentation to the class of a pre-final version of their term papers.

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

LING 519. Discourse Analysis.

Section 001.

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

Prerequisites & Distribution: (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 follows a seminar 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 L Satterfield

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): Dragomir Radev (radev@umich.edu)

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

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

See Computer Science 595.001.

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

Graduate Course Listings for LING.


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