Courses in Linguistics (Division 423)

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

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 human 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), midterm and final exams; no prerequisite except an interest in language and thinking. (Lawler)

211. Introduction to Language. (3). (SS).

The study of language offers a way of looking at some of the most intriguing aspects of human experience. Language reflects and structures the way we think and, according to some scientists, is unique to humans. In this course we will explore the human capacity for language, beginning with a comparison of human language and animal communication. Next we examine the way children acquire spoken language. We will then review major aspects of language structure (sounds, words, sentences). We will spend some time looking at language as a social construct: where our attitudes about language originate, and what they mean, and why language varies and changes. What do we mean by "Standard English" and how African-American English Vernacular (also called Black English), Appalachian English, Hawaii'an Creole English, for example, compare to "Standard English" structurally, historically, and socially. We will talk briefly about language rights and English only. Course work includes five short written assignments, eight surprise quizzes and weekly participation in a computer conference. (Lippi-Green, Cooper)

272/Anthro. 272. Language in Society. Primarily for freshmen and sophomores. (4). (SS). (This course meets the Race and Ethnicity Requirement).

See Anthropology 272. (Ahearn)

305/Comm. 305/Poli. Sci. 305. Political and Advertising Discourse. Junior standing. (3). (Excl).

Magazine ads and political speeches are monologues, but work best by simulating dialogue at key points. They require a powerful "message" that cuts through media clutter, but analysis reveals underlying tensions that are inherent in the cultural domains referred to. Ads and speeches always involve time reference, but the categories are double-edged (the past is heroic but quaint, the future combines utopian vision with apocalyptic danger). Space, change, morality, sexuality, emotion, nature, and gender have similar evaluative ambiguities. This course puts great emphasis on the expressive functions of specific components: rhythms, color, poetry, typography, photography, metalanguage, visual/linguistic incongruities, pronominal shifts, subliminals, and humor. Political debates are studied as a hybrid between speeches and conversations. Assignments are mainly analytical ("Analyse this ad/speech!"), but students will also have creative opportunities based on their interests conceiving and sketching magazine ads, or planning and performing in "party conventions" and "presidential debates." Sorry, no quantitative business analysis (marketing, demographics) and no serious art-studio work. Cost:2 WL:4 (Heath)

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

In this course we will explore variety and regularity in the ways languages organize words into phrases and sentences. We will consider approaches to the study of the sentence as a unit of human language and the architecture of a theory of grammar. The requirements will include regular, short written assignments, a midterm, and final exam. (van Hoek)

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. 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. (Morley)

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

See English 406. (Cureton)

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. Students will learn the essential techniques for describing and analyzing language through working on real examples taken from a variety of languages in the world. 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, and we will ask how and why they change through time. Some attention will also be given to semantics (how languages convey meanings). Students will be required to submit short problems from time to time, but grades will be based upon two hour exams 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), 412 (Phonetics), 414 (Semantics and Pragmatics), 415 (Generative Syntax), 417 (Principles of Historical Linguistics), or 442 (Sociolinguistics). (Toon)

413. Phonology. (3). (Excl).

Phonology studies the sound systems in the world's languages. We will examine the fundamental elements of speech sounds, the relations among these elements, and higher levels of sound organization. As we examine phonological data from a wide range of languages, we will consider the diversity and commonality among human languages. We will also consider the relation between phonological description and explanation in contemporary phonological theory. Both theory and problem solving ability will be emphasized. Prerequisite: Linguistics 412 or by permission of the instructor. Cost:1 WL:4 (Beddor)

414. Semantics and Pragmatics. A course in Linguistics, junior standing, or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

This is an introduction to semantics (literal meaning) and pragmatics (contextual and inferred meaning) with emphasis on applications to grammatical analysis. Designed for first-year graduate students, it focuses on grammatical categories (deixis, tense, aspect, mood, possession, number, thematic relations, etc.) of English and other languages. There is a brief introduction to truth-conditional formal semantics in the tradition of Frege and Montague. Pragmatic topics covered in reasonable depth include illocution and speech acts, presupposition, and implicature. There are occasional forays into cross-cultural lexical semantics (e.g., color terms). Two papers, final exam. No specific prerequisites. Well-prepared undergraduates are welcomed, but Linguistics concentrators should take 314 rather than 414 to satisfy concentration requirements. Cost:2 WL:4 (Heath)

418. Linguistic Typology. (3). (Excl).

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 418 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: Linguistics 415 (Generative Syntax) or instructor's permission. (Hook)

449/CAAS 439. Creole Languages and Caribbean Identities. (3). (Excl).

Creole languages spoken in the Caribbean are among the offspring of colonization's interbreeding of African and European cultures. Haitian Creole, for example, takes its primary roots from both Niger-Congo languages and varieties of French, as spoken on 17th and 18th century plantations. Through a sample of linguistic case studies, we will explore creolization from a historical and comparative perspective, tracing Caribbean creoles back to their African and European ancestors. Are Caribbean creoles simply 'dialects' of European languages? Or, in the opposite view, are most creole grammatical structures inherited from their African progenitors, with the European contribution limited to providing words? With such questions as a backdrop, we will evaluate various hypotheses about Creole genesis, and explore the creative aspects of creolization, namely, creole structures which seem absent from the source languages. Then, we will examine the socio-cultural ramifications of creolization and their intrinsic syncretism, as expressed through religion, music, literature, etc. We will also address questions of identities and mis-identifications by looking at creole speakers' attitudes toward race and toward the African and European components of their languages and cultures. Comparisons will be made with facets of African-American culture. Materials for analysis will include texts, recordings and films. (DeGraff)

455. Introduction to Cognitive Grammar. One of the following: Ling. 210, 211, 411, Psych. 447, or 451; or permission of instructor. (3). (Excl).

This course examines the grammar of English from a cognitive perspective, focusing on questions such as: What is the nature of meaning? Can we talk about the meanings of words and sentences in a precise and revealing way? How does grammar function as a system for conveying complex meanings? The theory of Cognitive Grammar treats language as a symbolic system, in which the structure of a sentence symbolizes facets of its meaning. It describes grammatical notions such as 'noun' and 'verb' in terms of the subtly different meanings they convey claiming for example that the verb 'destroy' and the noun 'destruction' do not "mean the same thing," but rather present different images of the same scene. Course requirements include 4-6 homework assignments, a midterm and a final exam. (van Hoek)

464. English and Social Interaction. One course in linguistics. (3). (Excl).

Within the framework which has come to be known as Conversation Analysis (CA), this course will examine the structure of conversation, a type of interactive discourse performed by persons with equal rights to speak, in the sense that no single participant overtly controls turns at talk. Thus, conversation is distinguished from institutional and publicly visible types of discourse of the kind found in (for example) committees, classrooms, medical consulting rooms, and lawcourts, which are rather differently structured. Yet, conversation is the normal medium of interaction in the social world, and as such is a basic site for the study of social interaction. Traditionally viewed as unplanned and lacking overt structure, conversation will be treated as an interactive achievement resulting from the coordinated work of at least two speakers, accomplished by means of specific management procedures. This approach deals with such issues as how conversations are initiated, sustained and closed down, and how the identification and repair of misunderstanding and other interactional trouble spots is routinely handled. For the most part, the course will focus on normal conversations between English speakers, but will in addition briefly look at the kinds of insight which a CA framework can grant into mixed language discourse or discourse involving an impaired (aphasic) participant. Coursework will include one short field assignment and two written papers. (Milroy)

492. Topics in Linguistics. (3). (Excl). May be elected for credit twice.
Section 001 Bilingualism.
Bilingualism (and also multilingualism) emerges as a consequence of language and cultural contact, and bilingual speech communities have been common throughout history. However, in the last half century or so, developments such as the expansion of educational provision to many more levels of society, decolonization, massive population shifts through migration, and technological advances in mass communication have served to accentuate our sense of a visibly and audibly multilingual modern world. This course will explore from a sociolinguistic perspective a number of issues arising from bilingualism, such as attitudes towards bilingualism; social meanings associated with different codes in a bi- or multilingual repertoire; government intervention and language planning; educational and language testing procedures. Change in bilingual repertoires will be considered with respect to language maintenance, language shift and language death. A particular focus of the course will be on code-switching, the deployment of more than one language by an individual speaker. Code-switching behaviors will be examined from a number of different perspectives, and the proposed distinction between code-switching and borrowing will be explored. Coursework will include three written papers. Where appropriate, students will be encouraged to use the framework provided by the course to explore their own experiences of bilingualism. (Milroy)

Section 002 Applied Phonetics. 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, Psidian. 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)


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