Courses in Linguistics (Division 423)

112. Languages of the World. (3). (SS).
Section 001.
This course is intended for those who are curious about human language but who have no formal training in linguistics. We will explore questions that have puzzled many people, such as: Why are there so many languages? Do they come from the same origin? How do they differ and how do they change? We will also examine selected languages from different parts of the world to show the basic components of a language and how linguists proceed to find out the structures of a new language. The grade will be based on weekly problem sets and two short papers. No prerequisites. Cost:2 WL:2 (Duanmu)

Section 002. Language is a central concern of humankind and with good reason. As the conduit for most communicative and expressive needs as well as other tasks, it pervades virtually every aspect of human existence. Few realize, however, how truly rich the linguistic universe is until they consider the variety of distinct linguistic devices and practices employed by speakers of the 5000+ individual languages that have been identified to date. Appreciating and being able to explain the range of variety of spoken and written language among various peoples of the world is an essential key to understanding human culture and diversity. This course systematically addresses many of the questions which most fascinate us about language, thus widening our intercultural horizons and enhancing our sophistication about our own language and culture. It therefore serves those who wish to learn about both our own and other societies, particular languages or regions of the world, and the nature of the human mind. Cost:2 WL:4 (Croft)

210. Introduction to Linguistics. (3). (SS).
Nothing is more distinctly human than our ability to talk, to use language. Because of that, we expect that the study of language can provide us insight into the things that combine to make "human nature." Since language is a product of what we call "mind," "culture," and "society," it provides us with concrete data through which we can study those very abstract things. This course is an introduction to the methods which linguists have developed in the process of analyzing and describing human languages. Our study will draw on examples from a large number of the languages of the world (including observations of the language habits of U of M students and faculty). We will look at the sounds of language, how they are produced, and how they are patterned into words. We will study the diverse ways in which individual languages approach the processes of word and sentence formation, while we try to decide if there are processes which are universal to all human languages. In spite of this, we will focus our attention on the methods of inquiry: How does a linguist decide what ought to be studied in a given language? How do we go about collecting data? When do we know we have enough? What techniques do we have for making sense of our data? What kinds of conclusions are we led to, what do we do if our methods lead us to different accounts of the same phenomenon? In other words, our focus will be on the processes of analysis and the methods of critical thinking as they apply to the study of language. Daily exercises will afford opportunities to collect data, define problems and propose tentative solutions. Class lecture/discussions and longer bi-weekly assignments will present methods of argumentation and develop problem solving skills. There will be a midterm and a final exam. (The only prerequisites are good will and enthusiasm). (Beddor)

211. Introduction to Language. (3). (SS).
From time immemorial human beings have been curious about language about its structure, its diversity, its use, and its effects on others. In this course, we will explore the human capacity for language, beginning with the ways language differs from animal communication, how children acquire language and the role of the brain in speech. We will then review major aspects of language structure (sounds, words, sentences) and apply them to discussions of the origin of language, the history of the English language, as well as to discussions of current dialects of English such as Black English. Next we will consider social attitudes toward language (including "low prestige" dialects and sign language) and how sexism and racism are reflected in language. The course concludes with an examination of some of the world's writing systems and nonverbal communication ("body language"). Course work includes eight weekly homework assignments and one mid-term exam. The final exam is optional. In addition, films will periodically be shown on Thursday evenings (attendance optional). Cost:1 WL:3 (Cooper)

272/Anthro. 272. Language in Society. Primarily for freshmen and sophomores. (4). (SS).
See Anthropology 272. Cost:1 WL:1 (Mannheim)

277/Anthro. 277. Literacy. (3). (Excl).
Are you literate? What does it mean to be literate? What do you make of the "literacy crisis" discussed in the media? This course will address these and other related questions by drawing on work from several disciplines including history, anthropology, psychology, English and linguistics. It will be offered in seminar-sized sections limited to 20 students each, and students will be expected to participate actively. Course readings will include literacy narratives such as The Education of Little Tree, Annie John, The Autobiography of Frederick Douglass, Lives on the Boundary, as well as such classics as Illiterate America, and articles from the major disciplines that study literacy. Requirements include a journal based on course readings, interviews with members of the community, collaborative research projects, oral presentations, and a final report.

313(312). Sound Patterns. Sophomore standing. (3). (SS).
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, and midterm and final exams. Linguistics 210, 211, 411, or permission of instructor is required to take the course. (Beddor)

314. Text, Context, and Meaning. Sophomore standing. (3). (Excl).
This course is an introduction to aspects of semantic and pragmatic systems in natural language. Seven topics will be covered: (1) lexical semantics, which will deal with phoenoma of word meaning and what it shows about features and the structuring of cultural and experiential concepts in language, including closed semantic sets, predicate categorization, and feature theory; (2) logical and formal systems, which will introduce basic concepts of propositional calculus, predicate calculus, and elementary modal logic and model theory, with their implications for the analysis of sentence meaning; (3) reference and coreference, which will treat the semantic and syntactic behavior of nouns and pronouns in language units of various sizes; (4) presupposition and entailment, which will deal with the pragmatic and logical aspects of phenomena like factivity and implication; (5) metaphor and cognition, which will explore the relation between language and mental representation, including imagery and its effect of semantic categories; (6) pragmatics, which will analyze the interpersonal dimensions of language use and their implications for linguistic meaning and structure; and (7) text analysis, which will treat the structure of larger units of language, as evidenced in such concepts as topic, focus, and coherence, and their relation to other linguistic structures. Emphasis in the course will be on data analysis. Prerequisite: an introductory course in linguistics. Cost:1 WL:2 (Lawler)

350. Perspectives on Second Language Learning and Second Language Instruction. (3). (Excl).
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. From a learner-centered premise that second language instruction is concerned with enabling learners to use the second language effectively and comfortably to reach their own personal, educational, occupational, and social objectives, this course will examine a number of language learning/teaching paradigms and will study the changing forms and functions of methodologies, learning activities, and instructional materials involved. Perspectives on the learner will focus on learners as active creators in their learning process, not as passive recipients. Perspectives on the teacher will focus on teachers as managers of language-learning experiences, not just drill-leaders and presenters of material. Students will have opportunities to reflect upon and analyze their own language learning experiences, past/present, and those of others. Cost:2 WL:2 (Morley)

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

See English 406. (Kirk)

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

410/Anthro. 474. Nonstandard English. (3). (SS).
In this course we will deal with the development of the concept of the language standard in American and British English. We will consider first the confusion of spoken with written language registers and the problems that arise from this confusion. We will then look at the relationship of spoken and written standards to non-standard varieties of other cultures with strong oral traditions. We will focus on the issues of authority, prescription and attitude. While we will not consider Black English Vernacular exclusively, we will look briefly at the historical development, characteristics and stratification of this language variety which is the mother tongue of many African Americans. Included in our examination and discussion will be the political, cultural, and social implications for those who are speakers of non-standard varieties of American English. Of particular importance is educational policy; we will look at a number of cases where these issues have resulted in court cases, including Martin Luther King Junior Elementary School Children, et al., vs. Ann Arbor School District Board ("Ann Arbor Black English Case"). We will see that this case, which was the source of great controversy, was widely misreported in the media. Finally, we will study the results of the ruling more than ten years later. This course should be of interest to those interested in non-standard language varieties as a cultural resource and asset, historical heritage and potential complication in education and supra-cultural communication. Because we will be dealing with specific features in the phonology and syntax of various non-standard language varieties, an introductory linguistics course of familiarity with basic linguistic concepts would be helpful. (Lippi-Green)

411. Introduction to Linguistics. Not open to students with credit for Ling. 211. (3). (SS).
This course is an introduction to the objectives and methods of modern linguistics. We will be especially concerned with phonetics and phonology (the nature and organization of the sounds of language) and with morphology and syntax (the formation of words and the organization of words into larger phrases and sentences). We will consider how all these aspects of language vary from one dialect or language to another, from one social group to another, and from one situation to another, and we will ask how and why they change through time. Some attention will also be given to semantics and pragmatics (how languages convey meanings, and how meanings interact with situations) and language acquisition Students will be required to submit short problems from time to time. There will be two hour exams and a final. Cost:1 WL:4 (Burling)

413. Phonology. (3). (Excl).
This course studies sound patterns of human languages. We will examine the ultimate units of human speech, the intrinsic structures among the units, the nature of sound change, and what is universal among all human speeches. We will also look at higher levels of sound patterns, such as syllabic and metrical structures, and the interactions between phonology and syntax. Both theory and problem solving ability will be emphasized. The grade will be largely based on weekly problem sets. Prerequisite: Linguistics 412 is recommended. Cost:2 WL:2 (Duanmu)

415. Generative Syntax. (3). (Excl).
This course will introduce students to the concepts and methods of syntactic analysis and argumentation. We will explore syntactic regularities in a wide range of data taken from English, as well as a number of other languages, and consider how these generalizations are to be expressed in a theoretical framework. The requirements include weekly assignments, and a final paper. Cost:1 WL:4 (Alexander)

418. Functionalism and Typology. (3). (Excl).
Linguistics is about languages; and language structure should be explained by language function. These two principles underlie the approach to the analysis of language presented in this course. We will compare the grammatical structure of a variety of languages and discover what is universal about grammar. You will get a general feel for what is typical and what is atypical of language structure. Turning to explanation, we will account for universal patterns in language structure in terms of evolutionary adaptation to the communication function of language. Course work will involve weekly assignments and a take-home exam. This course can be used to satisfy the undergraduate syntax/typology requirement. (Croft)

442/Anthro. 478. Introduction to Sociolinguistics. Ling. 411 or equivalent. (3). (Excl).
Language variation is present in every society; ethnicity, gender, social class, education, and place of origin all play a role in determining which language or dialect a person speaks and how they use it. At the same time, the language or dialect a person speaks is a crucial factor in determining the position of that person in society, both in terms of professional achievement and in terms of their understanding of their own identity. This class will discuss this mutual dependency of language and societal role. We will focus on issues directly affecting the lives and thoughts of most Americans: attitudes towards different languages and dialects and the historical and social motivations for these attitudes, questions about why different ethnic and gender groups use language differently and how this is evaluated, preservation of ancestral languages, and language policy. We will also look at how other societies deal with these issues to provide students with alternative perspectives. The required work for the class is four short (5-7 pp.) papers. (Myhill)

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

492. Topics in Linguistics. (3). (Excl). May be elected for credit twice.
In recent years these two areas of activity have become aligned in several mutually beneficial ways. In this course we shall explore these relationships and attempt to further develop them. The course will be built around a number of group/individual projects designed to give participants training in their processes of collecting authentic language data, analyzing it and converting it into language teaching materials. Although the main focus of illustration will be ESL, every effort will be made to accommodate other interests. Assessment will be by short exercises and a final term paper/project. Cost:1 WL:3 (Swales)

SECTION 002. TOPICS IN LINGUISTICS: INTRODUCTION TO ANATOLIAN LINGUISTICS. Indo-Europeans and Anatolians: their homelands, migrations, cultures. Reconstruction of Proto-Anatolian, the most archaic daughter-language of Indo-European. Phonology of Anatolian: vowels, stops, laryngeals, etc. Anatolian morphology and syntax. Anatolian lexics. Problems of Anatolian dialectology. Comparative analysis of Anatolian daughter-languages: Hittite, Cuneiform Luwian, Hieroglyphic Luwian, Palaic, Lycian, Milyan, Lydian, Carian, Sidetic, Pisidian. Onomastics: linguistic analysis. Samples of texts in Anatolian languages (Hittite, Lycian, Lydian). Short discussion of Anatolian writing system (cuneiform, hieroglyphic, alphabetic). Interpretation of borrowings. Recent discoveries: stress in Anatolian languages, etc. Problems which remain to be solved. Students will be evaluated by frequent home works and one class presentation (critical report on chosen linguistic works). (Shevoroshkin)

SECTION 003: EVALUATING SECOND/FOREIGN LANGUAGE PERFORMANCE. Some understanding of the fundamental principles and practices of language testing is relevant to anyone attempting to study or evaluate second language behavior. In this course we will examine the theories behind language assessment. We will also compare a range of techniques and "instruments" which have been developed for research and educational purposes. In addition, we will investigate the influence of sociolinguistic considerations on current attempts to measure communicative competence. (Subject to certification and interest). (Briggs)

541/CS 595/EECS 595. Natural Language Processing. Senior standing. (3). (Excl).

See Computer Science 595.

543/Anthro. 572. Field Seminar in Sociolinguistics. Permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).
See Anthropology 578. (Mannheim)

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