Winter '00 Course Guide

Courses in Linguistics (Division 423)

Winter Term, 2000 (January 5 April 26, 2000)

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Ling. 102. First Year Seminar (Humanities).

Section 001 Humor and Its Enemies

Instructor(s): Jeffrey Heath (jheath@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.

Jokes and other comic forms can reduce tensions, but can also lead to acrimony, lawsuits, bureaucratic prohibition, and war. Male-female differences in comic sensibility are especially treacherous and will undoubtedly surface in class. We will focus on rough humor (satire, practical jokes, insults, gossip, live standup), the comic aspects of tragedy and violence, and other topics where humor and hard-nosed action intertwine (TV wrestling, advertising). Students will do creative and analytical writing, and will try their hands at skits and improv. Classes will be supplemented by attendance at selected comedy and theater events and by film screenings, where possible on Thursday evenings. Shakespeare and Woody Allen feature prominently.

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

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 is designed to introduce you to the study of reading and writing in different cultures across history. As part of this effort, we will also think about the nature of reading and writing at the university. As such, we will be critically examining our own literacy as we simultaneously consider broader social and historical aspects of reading and writing. In addition to the use of more conventional sources, course members will carry out explorations in the many museums and archives on campus the Francis W. Kelsey Museum of Archaeology, the Rare Book Room, and the William W. Clements Library of Early America. You will also learn how to go about reading different types of academic texts and writing them. Since this course meets the Introductory Composition requirement, we will engage in a variety of assignments aimed at developing you as readers, writers, and thinkers.

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

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.

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

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).

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

Ling. 151. Elementary American Sign Language II.

Section 001.

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

Prerequisites & Distribution: Ling 150. (4). (LR).

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

This course is a continuation of Ling 150. Students will continue to learn to use and recognize selected grammatical structures of American Sign Language (ASL) for use in short spontaneous conversations involving everyday topics. Additional vocabulary is introduced to expand students' communicative skills in ASL conversations. Students will also learn additional ways of forming questions in ASL to enhance skills in using and recognizing a variety of ASL structures. Upon completion of Linguistics 151, students will be able to observe basic courtesies while making introductions, giving directions, and conversing about past, present, and future events in ASL. Regular attendance is essential. Participation in class includes role playing in selected situational activities. Class will meet two days, two hours a day. Threed 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 also be 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).

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

Ling. 210. Introduction to Linguistic Analysis.

Section 001.

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

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

Credits: (4).

Course Homepage: http://www-personal.umich.edu/~jlawler/210.html

Edward Sapir said: "Everything that we have so far seen to be true of language points to the fact that it is the most significant and colossal work that the human spirit has evolved nothing short of a finished form of expression for all communicable experience. This form may be endlessly varied by the individual without thereby losing its distinctive contours; and it is constantly reshaping itself as is all art. Language is the most massive and inclusive art we know, a mountainous and anonymous work of unconscious generations."

At about the same time (circa 1920), Krazy Kat said:

krazy

True, all true. As Krazy suggests, this "massive and inclusive art" is also the information bottleneck of the human condition.

A vast amount of our knowledge, including virtually everything we learn in formal education, comes to us through Language. Consequently, learning to analyze language, in ways that work for all languages, and to describe it objectively, is an indispensable tool for intellectuals, and one that stimulates in addition the habit of close attention to language, which is one of the things necessary for effective writing, not to mention clear thinking. Further, an understanding of how language really works (in contrast to the linguistic mythologies usually taught in schools) gives one a metaphorical place to stand that facilitates the study of anything that is described in language, which means just about everything.

Over the last century, linguistic scientists have amassed an array of analytic procedures, concepts, and findings that allow one to de-mystify speech, grammar, and language use, and to discover a number of surprising facts about ones' own and others' languages. This course is a medium-sized four-credit intensive introduction to the methods linguists use for describing language (although general training in analytic thought is our ultimate goal).

Drawing on examples from a large number of the world's languages, we will devote about two weeks to each of the major areas of linguistic analysis, in order:

By focusing simultaneously on language data, and on the techniques used 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.

There will be frequent quizzes and daily data analysis problems, which will form the context for our discussion. In addition, there will be comprehensive midterm and final take-home exams, which may be done in groups. This class is especially recommended for those with interests in scientific analysis (including mathematics, computing, and engineering), since the analytic methods discussed are generalizable easily.

There is no textbook; materials for analysis and handouts are in a course pack. Students who would like a textbook to study should invest in The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language, available at all local bookstores. No prerequisites except an interest in language and thinking.

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

Ling. 211. Introduction to Language.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): David Beck (dbeck@umich.edu)

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

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

Of all the characteristics of human behaviour, language is probably the one that sets us most clearly apart from other members of the animal kingdom. Human language has unique properties in its system of sounds, the ways we build words, and the ways in which we string words together. This course will examine the basic structural characteristics of human language and how we use these structures to express meanings to identify ourselves as members of social groups. Attention will be paid to the relationship between language and thought and the cognitive basis for certain aspects of linguistic behaviour. Other topics include animal communication, language acquisition, and the historical change of languages over time.

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

Ling. 272/Anthro. 272. Language in Society.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Anthony Berkley (aberkley@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Primarily for first- and second-year students. (4). (SS). (R&E).

R&E

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

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

See Cultural Anthropology 272.0-0.

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

Ling. 313. Sound Patterns.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): José Benkî (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.

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

Ling. 314. Text, Context, and Meaning.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Diana Cresti (dcresti@umich.edu)

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

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

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

This course is an introduction to theories of linguistic meaning. The central question to be explored is therefore: how do we, as humans, know the meanings of words, sentences, and conversations? How do we know, for instance, the meaning of the sentence "The earth is flat", even if we have never experienced (and will probably never experience) such a state of affairs? In trying to find answers to these questions, we will investigate theories of word meaning and of 'composition'; i.e., how to put word meanings together to produce the meaning of larger components of grammar, up to defining the truth conditions of whole sentences (semantics proper). We will then look at what factors contribute to the truth (or falsity) of a sentence uttered in a given context, and what makes a sentence appropriate to any such context or conversation (pragmatics, broadly defined). There will be weekly exercises, a midterm, and a final. A basic knowledge of syntax is strongly recommended.

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

Ling. 315. Introduction to Sentence Analysis.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Christina Tortora (ctortora@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. Students will learn how formal syntactic analyses of certain aspects of English syntax are constructed, as well as about the ways that human languages are the same (rather than about how they may appear to differ). Through this course, students will become familiar with questions concerning cognitive capacities, mind vs. brain, knowledge vs. behavior, and the difference between studying "languages" vs. investigating human cognitive capacities (such as the human capacity to acquire natural language systems). Requirements include regular, short written assignments, a midterm, and a final.

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

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: No Homepage Submitted.

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.

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

Ling. 351. Second Language Acquisition.

Section 001 Meets with Linguistics 551

Instructor(s): Carolyn Madden (cagm@umich.edu)

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

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

This introductory course in second language acquisition will focus on current theories of second language acquisition and how they relate to second language learning and teaching. The course will cover some of the major historical highlights of SLA research and provide students with experience in data analysis and interpretation. While much of the literature focuses on the acquisition of English, examples and analysis of other language data will be discussed. The course is intended for all students interested in understanding and evaluating proposed models of second language acquisition.

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

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.

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

Ling. 408/English 408. Varieties of English.

Section 001 Reading Early Varieties of English.

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

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

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

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

See English 408.001.

Check Times, Location, and Availability Cost: No Data Given. Waitlist Code: 1

Ling. 411. Introduction to Linguistics.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Christina Tortora (ctortora@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Not open to students with credit for Ling. 211. (3). (SS).

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

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

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, morphology, 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).

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

Ling. 440. Language Learnability

Section 001.

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

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

Credits: (3).

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

WHAT IS LEARNABILITY? Learnability theory is a method of evaluation of a class of grammatical systems in terms of how feasible it would be for the child-learner to acquire these systems under a given set of circumstances. Learnability theory is one of the central topics of linguistics and cognitive science. (Every valid theory of language acquisition needs to explain it, and probably no other topic has aroused such levels of debate across disciplines.) From the study of human languages, we know that our linguistic system is one of extraordinary complexity; however, acquiring language is something that every child accomplishes successfully in a matter of a few years and without the need for formal instruction. How is this feat possible? In order to address this major question, this course carefully examines learnability, the goal of explaining the learning problem (how languages are "learnable" in the abstract) as based on linguistic theory constructs, and language acquisition theory. Ideally, by integrating these three components, we can actually bring about greater precision and validation in each field while simultaneously informing the general area which constitutes a complete theory of language learning. Every linguistic theory and theory of language acquisition relies on learnability formulations as an ultimate explanatory tool. In turn, learnability draws on characteristics from other disciplines in order to bring about viable solutions to learning operations. The bottom line: linguistics theory outlines what is going on, but learnability determines how it is executed and what cognitive architecture is involved. A number of interesting issues and developments concerning these aspects will be treated in this course.

This course has wide appeal across disciplines such as linguistics, psychology, education, languages and computer science. Given its unique integration of various fields, it can attract a diverse and engaged group of advanced undergraduates and beginning graduate students.

Evaluation: (1) a midterm exam where students write short answers to questions designed to test their grasp of reading materials; (2) a final paper (8-10 pp.) on a topic of interest; (3) an oral-based critique/presentation based on one of the syllabus topics and followed by a brief quiz.

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

Ling. 492. Topics in Linguistics.

Section 001 Languages & Peoples of Eastern Europe, Russia and Caucasus

Instructor(s): Vitalij Shevoroshkin (vvs@umich.edu)

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 a brief acquaintance with 150 languages and peoples of Eastern Europe, Russia, and Caucasus "a mountain of languages". Topics will include:

Specialists in the area as well as singers of native songs will be invited. Several videofilms will be shown. Students will be evaluated by their discussion in class, as well as by their written homework.

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

Ling. 494. 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.

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

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.

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

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.

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

Ling. 513(413). Phonology.

Section 001.

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

Prerequisites & Distribution: Ling. 313. (3). (Excl).

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

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

The goal of this course is to introduce students to the fundamental areas of phonology, which is the study of the sound system of human language. These areas include phonemics (how to determine the sound of a language), distinctive features (how to represent sounds), rules and constraints (how to understand and describe sound changes), underspecification, multitiered phonology, feature geometry, and prosodic structure (syllable, stress, tone, intonation). Both theory and problem-solving ability will be emphasized. The assignments include weekly exercises and a final project. Prerequisite: Linguistics 313 or 512, or by permission of the instructor.

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

Ling. 514(414). Semantics and Pragmatics.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Diana Cresti (dcresti@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Linguistics 314. (3). (Excl).

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

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

This is an introduction to semantics (literal meaning) and pragmatics (contextual and inferred meaning) with emphasis on applications to grammatical analysis. More than half of the course will be dedicated to semantics. We will explore the question of how people know the meanings of words and sentences of their language, and how semantics relates to syntax on the one hand and logic, mental representations, and the world on the other. Specific topics to be covered include:

  1. ambiguities of structure and of meaning;
  2. word meaning and compositionality; and
  3. quantification and logical form.

Pragmatic topics covered in reasonable depth include:

  1. indexicality;
  2. presupposition; and
  3. speech acts and conversational implicature.

There will be weekly exercises, a midterm and a final exam. No specific prerequisites, though it is assumed that participants have a working knowledge of syntax. Designed for first-year graduate students; well-prepared undergraduates are welcomed, but Linguistics concentrators should take 314 to satisfy concentration requirements.

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

Ling. 542(442)/Anthro. 572. Introduction to Sociolinguistics.

Section 001.

Instructor(s): Lesley Milroy (amilroy@umich.edu)

Prerequisites & Distribution: Ling. 514 or graduate standing. (3). (Excl).

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

Course Homepage: No Homepage Submitted.

Students will be introduced to methods of studying the relationships between language variation and social structure and to the major findings of sociolinguists who have examined these relationships. The course will focus largely (but not exclusively) on the quantitative methods developed by Labov, which are designed to reveal the way language change is rooted in synchronic variation. Social models of language change will be considered. The class will study reports of research which focus variously on everyday social interaction, on larger scale patterns of social dialect variation, and on patterns of code choice in bidialectal and bilingual communities. Relationships between language and social class, language and gender, and language and ethnicity will be discussed. Other topics to be covered are language and style and some of the larger-scale social, educational and political issues associated with the process of language standardization. All students will carry out a small-scale piece of original sociolinguistic research.

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

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