Courses in Linguistics (Division 423)


102. First Year Seminar (Humanities). (3). (HU).
Section 001 and 003 Language and Humor.
This seminar will analyze humor and joking, and contrast them with "serious" speech, in a range of contexts including everyday life, academic and political communication, advertising, and comedy clubs. In the first few weeks, students will try to develop a theory of joking and seriousness based on direct observation and intuition. Later on, students will read and criticize writings from several disciplines that deal with these subjects. One point of the seminar is to become acquainted with the style and substance of these disciplines. Students must have schedules allowing fairly frequent attendance at late-afternoon and Friday-evening events (academic colloquia, live comedy) and should be 18 by the end of January. (Heath)

Section 002 Words and Their Uses: Studying Vocabulary in Time, Space, and Social Life. The general focus of this course is on the origin and history of words in languages, with special reference to the vocabulary of English. We look at the sources of our vocabulary in early forms of English and in other languages (such as French and Latin) and at the differences between American and British usage. We also consider the relation of words in language to what they stand for in the real world (semantics), the range of meanings that a single word may have, and the changes of meaning that lead up to present day usage. We will then move on to study various aspects of the use of words by speakers and 'jargon,' metaphor, poetic usage, and the use of language by politicians and journalists. Amongst other things we will consider the effects of feminism and 'political correctness' on current usage. Later in the course we will consider the activities of language 'mavens' and the effect of notions of correctness on the use of words. [Students will be expected to possess a good etymological dictionary and should preferably have access to a thesaurus, such as a recent edition of Roget's Thesaurus. ] (Milroy)

Section 003 Language and Humor. See Section 001. (Heath)
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103. First Year Seminar (Social Science). (3). (SS).
Section 001 Language and Gender.
Over the past two decades, scholars have become aware of the role gender plays in how we interact with language. This course aims to understand how the social lives of women and men interact with the ways languages are structured and learned, how people talk to each other in face-to-face interaction, and what and how we read and write. We'll consider a wide range of materials including audio and video recordings, diaries, romance novels, detective stories, and film as well as scholarly material. We'll examine different methodologies including ethnography and experiments. (Keller-Cohen)
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114. A World of Words. (3). (HU).
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 covered include: (1) morphology and phonetics (the internal structure of words); (2) etymology (word history); (3) Indo-European linguistics (how English is related to other languages); (4) lexical semantics (what words mean); (5) social and cultural implications of our vocabulary and its use. In the process 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, as a result not of official political or institutional events, but of its continuing evolution. Assignments include readings, group and individual homework assignments, three short papers (at monthly intervals), participation both in class and in a computer conference, and (take-home) midterm and final exams. Text: Crystal, The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language. A paperback Latin dictionary. Any unabridged English dictionary. (Lawler)
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210. Introduction to Linguistic Analysis. (4). (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 languages (although general training in analytic thought is our ultimate goal). Drawing on examples from a large number of the world's languages, we will look at the sounds of language, how they are produced and how they pattern into words. We will study the diverse ways in which individual languages approach processes of word and sentence formation, while we ask whether there are processes universal to all languages. By focusing simultaneously on language data and on the techniques used by linguists to make sense of these data, we will see that our understanding of the object of inquiry (language) is influenced by our methods of inquiry. Requirements include problem-solving assignments, quiz(es), midterm and final exams; no prerequisites except an interest in language and thinking. (Toon)
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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 and with how children acquire language. We will then review major aspects of language structure (sounds, words, sentences) and apply them to discussions of current dialects of English such as Black English. After a brief investigation of the relationship between language and thought, we will consider social attitudes toward language. Here we will debate questions such as: Is sign language a real language or just pantomime? What is "Standard English" and is it better than "dialects" of English? Course work includes eight short homework assignments, one midterm, and a final exam. (Tortura)
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212. Formal Methods in the Study of Language. (4). (MSA).
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. No specific prerequisites. (Cresti)
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272/Anthro. 272. Language in Society. Primarily for first- and second-year students. (4). (SS). (This course meets the Race and Ethnicity Requirement).
See Cultural Anthropology 272. (Berkley)
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313. Sound Patterns. Ling. 210 or 211. (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, midterm, and take-home final exam. (Beddor)
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315. Introduction to Sentence Analysis. Ling. 210 or 211. (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 we will attempt to formulate a theory of how languages may differ, what ways languages must be the same, and (an obviously related question) how humans go about the difficult task of learning a language. The requirements will include regular, short written assignments, and participants will submit a short paper analyzing an unfamiliar language. (Epstein)
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317. Language and History. Ling. 210 or 211. (3). (HU).
All languages evolve in the context of a society. This course will focus on the ways in which the study of language history and political or social history can complement each other. The first part of the course will examine how the findings of linguistic reconstruction can aid the historian in describing the culture of earlier society or determining prehistoric migrations and homeland of different peoples. The second half of the course will examine how major events in social and political history affected the development of the languages which were the affected culture's vehicle of expression. Both halves will be illustrated with examples from various languages and cultures of Europe, Asia, and other parts of the world. There will be two exams and a term paper. Readings will be made available in handouts. Knowledge of a foreign language is not necessary. (Dworkin)
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342. Perspectives on Bilingualism. Ling. 272, or Ling. 210, or Ling. 211. (3). (Excl).
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. (Satterfield)
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351. Second Language Acquisition. Ling. 210 or 211. (3). (SS).
This introductory course in second language acquisition will focus on current theories of second language acquisition and how they relate to second language development 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. (Madden)
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361. Studies in American Sign Language. (3). (Excl).
Historically, most of what has been known about human language has come from the study of spoken languages. In the last three decades, linguists and psychologists have begun to study the properties of American Sign Language (ASL), a language which has developed independently of English, and which uses visual signals rather than sound to convey meaning. This course surveys the issues raised by the study of ASL, including questions such as: What is the evidence that ASL is a 'real language,' and what is its role in deaf culture? What are the properties which all human languages have in common, regardless of the medium in which they have developed? How do deaf children learn ASL, and how does normal ASL acquisition by children compare with the accomplishments of the 'signing chimps.' What do studies of deaf stroke victims tell us about brain organization for language? (van Hoek)
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385. Experiential Practice. Permission of instructor. (1-6). (Excl). Offered mandatory credit/no credit. (EXPERIENTIAL). May be repeated for credit.
Students will participate in (and, if necessary, be trained for) a service project, through the Program in Linguistics and/or the English Language Institute. Though projects will vary from term to term, they may usually be expected to involve either one-on-one tutoring (in literacy, English as a Second Language, or linguistics, for instance) or formal teaching outside the University, or some mix of these. The course is designed for linguistics concentrators, and good academic preparation in core linguistic concepts is assumed. Each project will have a faculty supervisor, whom students should contact for specific information, and todetermine eligibility and any special requirements.
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406/English 406. Modern English Grammar. (3). (Excl).
See English 406. (Cureton)
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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), 517 (Principles of Historical Linguistics), or 542 (Sociolinguistics). (Benki)
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416. Field Methods in Linguistics. One course in phonetics or phonology and a course in syntax. (3). (Excl).
The objective of this course is to provide students of linguistics with an opportunity to apply the methods of analysis they have acquired in their courses in phonetics, phonology, morphology, and syntax to field work experience. We will analyze a language which is unfamiliar to the students by working directly with a native speaker consultant. The relative attention paid to phonology, morphology, or syntax may depend on the make-up of the class (i.e., students' specific research interests), as well as on the nature of the language investigated. At least two short papers and one final term paper (involving an analysis of some aspect of the data collected) will be required. The specific language analyzed in this course will be announced. (Tortora)
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421. Morphology. One introductory linguistics course. (3). (Excl).
This course is an introduction to morphological theory. The goal of morphology is to provide a framework within which word structure in all languages can be described. Morphology occupies a critical place in linguistics, bordering the core areas of syntax, phonology, and (to a lesser extent) semantics. Morphology has a wide range of practical applications, such as foreign language learning, the study of child language development, and textual information search. (Duanmu)
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433/APTIS 433. Arabic Syntax and Semantics. APTIS 431, and APTIS 102 or 103. (3). (Excl).
See APTIS 433. (Farghaly)
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473/Anthro. 473. Ethnopoetics: Cross-Cultural Approaches to Verbal Art. Two courses in anthropology, linguistics, or literature. (3). (Excl).
See Cultural Anthropology 473. (Bierwert)
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492. Topics in Linguistics. (3). (Excl). May be elected for credit twice.
Section 001 Language and Gender.
Language in both its spoken and written forms plays a crucial role in constructing as well as reflecting gender in society. This is manifest in a rich repertoire of practices that are socially as well as historically situated. The goal of this seminar style course is to interrogate how society has recruited language to build a system of gender relations. To this end we will examine oral performance as well as reading and writing practices. The course will begin with a critical examination of theories of gender from different traditions including biology, philosophy, and psychology. This will necessarily entail an interrogation of dichotomous views of male and female. Among other topics we will explore are: gender in oral language use including socio-historical patterns of language systems; patterns of casual as well as ritual talk in both spontaneous as well as constructed environments such as video games, cartoons, and movies; popular reading and the maintenance of girl/woman boy/manhood; and the gendering of public education. Given the seminar format, a high level of participation is expected. Short papers/presentations will be assigned throughout the term. In addition, graduate students will write a research paper. (Keller-Cohen)

Section 002 Issues in Applied Linguistics. In this course we will examine certain current issues in applied linguistics. (Second language acquisition is excluded since this is covered by Linguistics 351/551.) Issues will include: Needs analysis, discourse analysis, and Languages for Specific Purposes; fairness in FL testing; the nature and role of pedagogical grammars; and the concept of FL "task." Doctoral students will additionally participate in a module on language program administration. Some aspects of the course will be co-taught. Assignments consist of a critical evaluation, a practical demonstration, and a short project. A special collection of books and papers will be set up in the Linguistics/ELI Library. (Swales)

Section 003 Analytic Methods for Sociolinguistics. This course will focus on the data used in the understanding of linguistic patterns in society. We will begin by exploring the interdisciplinary nature of sociolinguistic data and how one goes about collecting such data. The next step involves the organization and preparation of the data for both quantitative and qualitative analyses. The use of a variety of statistical techniques will be considered with special attention paid to understanding the ramifications of different choices. We will carefully consider the appropriateness of different tools for analyzing different types of data, and more importantly, the interpretation of the statistical results. We will consider a variety of data from a variety of sources, and students are encouraged to work on their own data sets, or create ones, in this course. The required work will involve homework assignments and a final project on a topic of particular interest to the student. This course will rely heavily on computer-assisted analyses. Required reading: course pack and text: Agresti, Alan & Barbara Finlay. 1997. Statistical Methods for the Social Sciences. Third Edition. Upper Saddle River, NJ: Prentice-Hall, Inc. (Lane)
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513(413). Phonology. Ling. 313. (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. (Benki)
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514(414). Semantics and Pragmatics. Linguistics 314. (3). (Excl).
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 tosemantics. 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 fulfill concentration requirements. (Cresti)
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517(417)/Anthro. 519/German 517. Principles and Methods of Historical Linguistics. Ling. 411. (3). (Excl).
This course explores the nature of historical relationships between languages, processes of linguistic change (a universal feature of all living languages), and the assumptions, methods, and tools employed by linguists in studying this phenomenon. Insofar as possible, examples of linguistic change and analytical techniques will be illustrated through a study of the history of several major language families, including Indo-European. There will be frequent discussions in class, as well as short written assignments. Prerequisite: graduate standing or P.I. (Shevoroshkin)
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542(442)/Anthro. 572. Introduction to Sociolinguistics. Ling. 414 or graduate standing. (3). (Excl).
Language variation is present in all societies. Sometimes speakers choose to vary the language they use and sometimes they vary dialects of the same language. Many social factors such as gender, place of origin, level of education and social class affect a speaker's choice of language or dialect and how they use it. At the same time the language or dialect which a person speaks is crucial in determining their position in society, both in terms of economic achievement and in terms of personal social relationships which contribute to a sense of identity. The class will discuss such relationships between language and society and how they might be studied objectively. We will focus on issues directly affecting a person's everyday life, such as attitudes towards different languages and dialects, and historical and social reasons for these attitudes; questions about why different groups of speakers in the same society use language differently and how this difference is evaluated; use of minority languages whose survival seems to be threatened and governments' language policies. We will look at how different societies deal with these issues to provide students with different perspectives. Graduate students will be required to write two papers of 5-7 pp and one of 18-20 pp. The required work for undergraduates in the class is three short (5-7 pp) papers. The second paper will be a report of a limited data-collection and analysis project. (Milroy)
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555(455). Introduction to Cognitive Grammar. Graduate standing 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)
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