2005-2006 Linguistics Courses

Fall 2005

ANTH 244: Language and Cinema
Fall 2005, TR 12:30-13:45
Daniel Lefkowitz

This course takes a historical look at the role that speech and language have played in Hollywood movies. We will look at the artistic controversies, aesthetic theories, and technological challenges that attended the transition from silent to sound films as a backdrop to the main discussion of how gender, racial, ethnic, and national identities were constructed and reproduced through the representation of speech, dialect, and accent. This course provides an introduction to the study of semiotics but requires no knowledge of linguistics or of film studies.


ANTH 504: Field Methods
Fall 2005, M 5-7:30
Ellen Contini-Morava

In this course we will work with a native speaker of an "exotic" language (i.e., a language that is not commonly taught in the U.S., hence likely not to be familiar to any of the students in the class). We try to figure out the phonological and grammatical structure of the language based on data collected from the native speaker consultant in class. Attendance is therefore mandatory. Assignments include one paper on phonology, one on morphology, and one on syntax (the nature of the assignment may vary depending on the particular language being studied).  The course fulfills the Structure of a Language requirement for linguistics majors and M.A. students.


ANTH 548: Language and Thought
Fall 2005, T 2-4:30
Eve Danziger

There is almost always more than one way to think about any problem. But could speaking a particular language make some strategies and solutions seem more natural than others to individuals? Can we learn about alternative ways of approaching the external world by studying other languages? The classic proposal of linguistic relativity as enunciated by Benjamin Lee Whorf is examined in the light of recent cross-cultural psycholinguistic research.  We highlight the interplay between social intelligence, linguistic structure and  general cognition. Finally,  we ask how culturally-particular ways of talking about language itself might  reflect and reinforce the common-sense ideas about the nature of language that underlie most  linguistic research.  During the term, students will prepare short written summaries of  assigned readings, and a longer research paper.  This course fulfills the Linguistics requirement for Cognitive Science majors.


ANTH 549: Language Endangerment
Fall 2005, R 2-4:50
Lise Dobrin

Over the next century it is predicted that, if the current trend continues, between 50 and 90 percent of the world's languages will cease to be spoken. Many of these cases represent voluntary "shifts" in allegiance from the traditional language of a speech community to a more prestigious alternative. What are the forces that impel speakers toward language shift? What happens, linguistically and culturally, in the process? Can--and should--anything be done to slow the trend, and if so, what, and by whom? This course addresses the issues of language endangerment, death, maintenance, and revitalization, with an eye toward understanding the cultural, political, practical, and linguistic dimensions of the problem and its potential solutions. In addition to regular participation in class discussion, course work will include short weekly writing assignments summarizing the readings, student presentations of case studies from the literature, and a take-home final essay exam. This course satisfies the 2nd writing requirement. It does *not* satisfy the linguistics requirement for cognitive science.


ANTH 740: Linguistic Anthropology
Fall 2005, M 2-4:30
Eve Danziger

This is an advanced introduction to the study of language from an anthropological point of view. No prior coursework in linguistics is expected, but the course is aimed at graduate students who will use what they learn in their own anthropologically oriented research. Topics include an introduction to such basic concepts in linguistic anthropology as language in world-view, the nature of symbolic meaning, language and nationalism, universals and particulars in language, language in history and prehistory, the ethnography of speaking, the nature of everyday conversation, and the study of poetic language. Through readings and discussion, the implications of each of these topics for the general conduct of anthropology will be addressed. Evaluation is based on take-home essays and problem-sets which are assigned throughout the semester. The course is required for all Anthropology graduate students. It also counts toward the "Theory" requirement for the M.A. in Linguistics.

LNGS 325: Introduction to Linguistic Theory and Methodology
Fall 2005, MWF 11-11:50
Mark Elson

Introduces sign systems, language as a sign system, and approaches to linguistics. Emphasizes the application of descriptive techniques to data. (This course is a requirement for the B.A. and M.A. students in Linguistics)
PSYC 403: Language Development: Learning Words
Fall 2005, TR 2-3:15
Vikram Jaswal

In this seminar, we will focus on how children learn the meanings of words. We will consider various theoretical debates, such as whether children acquire words through domain-general learning mechanisms or by mechanisms more specialized for word learning. We will also consider the extent to which word learning requires an ability to analyze other people's goals, intentions, and interests, and whether this helps to explain why language is specific to humans. Throughout, we will pay close attention to how children's early word learning interacts with and is influenced by their developing cognitive abilities.
Prereqs: Psyc305/306, 4th year Psych or CogSci major or instructor permission.

SPAN 309: Introduction to Spanish Linguistics
Fall 2005, TR 2-3:15
Fernando Tejedo-Herrero

Prerequisite: SPAN 202 or equivalent.
This course offers a rigorous introduction to the formal study of the Spanish language. Topics include: articulatory phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, historical linguistics and dialectology. Taught in Spanish.


SPAN 310: Phonetics (Spanish)
Fall 2005
Fernando Tejedo-Herrero, Joel Rini, Tammy Hert
Prerequisite: SPAN 202 or equivalent.
This course offers a detailed analysis of the sound system of Spanish, including its Peninsular and Latin American varieties. Topics include: articulatory phonetics, phonology and basic dialectal differences in the Spanish-speaking world. A considerable amount of time in class and in the language lab is dedicated to pronunciation drills. Taught in Spanish.


SPAN 730: History of the Language
Fall 2005, TR 12:30-1:45
Joel Rini

This course is intended to provide the student with an introduction to the history of the Spanish language and to familiarize the student with the structure of Old Spanish in order to facilitate the reading of Old Spanish texts. The point of departure for class lectures and discussions will be selected texts, most of which come directly from the Spanish M.A. reading list. The grade will be based on several in-class exams.


Spring 2006

ANTH 341: Sociolinguistics
Spring 2006, MW 10-10.50 + obligatory discussion section
Eve Danziger

Sociolinguistics is the study of the way language is used to express social relationships. Topics to be covered include language as an index of socio-economic class, Black English, male-female language, pidgin and Creole languages, and political, legal, and social issues affecting language use in multilingual societies, including ours. Midterm and final; field project involving observation of language use in the speech community. Students must enroll in one of the discussion sections in 341D.


ANTH 345/ ANTH 745: Native American Languages
Spring 2006, MW 2-3:15
Eve Danziger

This course in an introduction to the native languages of the Americas and to the methods that linguists and anthropologists have used to record and analyze them. It covers linguistic analysis and theory as a way into knowledge of languages very different from English and the frequently studied European languages. The methods of analysis learned should enable students to make intelligent use of linguistic materials on languages in other parts of the world as well. The native languages of the Americas are many, diverse and unevenly studied. Generalizations about them all can rarely be very meaningful or penetrating. The best way to gain a genuine sense of the subject is to become familiar with one of the languages . Such familiarity will give more than acquaintance with that particular language. It will give insight into the nature of the data and problems of the field as a whole (i.e. the field of study of languages which have been, for their speakers, unwritten.) To achieve this purpose, the course is designed so that each student will be working on a different language for which adequate published materials are available. The major assignments involve that work. Pre-requisite: LGS 325, LGS 701 or ANTH 740. This course fulfills the Language Structure requirement for Linguistics majors and for Linguistics graduate students.


ANTH 549A: Topics in Linguistic Anthropology
Spring 2006, M 3:30-6
Dan Lefkowitz

This course is a research seminar that explores the range of research methods and analytical strategies currently used by practicing linguistic anthropologists. The class will be dependent upon the regular meetings of the inter-disciplinary linguistic anthropology seminar (which meets on Fridays 1-3pm), and regular participation in that forum is a required part of this course. In addition, participants will present original research of their own in seminar format and read and critique the research of their colleagues. Instructor permission required.


ANTH 549B: On Translation
Spring 2006
J. David Sapir

The course will consider the problems, choices, methodologies and politics of language translation. Run as a seminar, students will work through specific translation problems presenting their results to the class. Visitors from the University community will present translation problems they have encountered and solved. I hope to have a broad variety of languages represented. Prerequisite: a thorough reading knowledge of a second language.


ENLS 303: History of the English Language

Spring 2006
Peter Baker

Study of the development of English word forms and vocabulary from the Anglo-Saxon to present-day English.


LING 506: ESL Methods-Theory Teaching
Spring 2006

Studies the theory, problems, and methods in teaching English as a second language, with attention to relevant areas of general linguistics and the structure of English. Instructor permission.


LNGS 224: Southern American English 
Spring 2006, MW 11:00-11:50 + obligatory discussion
Mark Elson


LNGS 326/ LNGS 702: Introduction to Comparative Historical Linguistics
Spring 2006, TR 12:30-1:45
Jan Perkowski

All living languages change through time. The process and results of this change are the main topics of this course. Sub-topics include: sound changes, word origins, loan words, dialects, language families, ancient manuscript interpretation, and the reconstruction of dead languages.


MDST 311: Computers and Languages
Spring 2006, MWF 11-11:50
David Golumbia

This course surveys contemporary research issues in computers and language. Topics to be studied include the linguistics of programming languages; how computers are used in linguistics, including fieldwork, archiving, and analysis; the development of computer-based corpora and methods for their analysis; and the impact of the World Wide Web and other associated technologies on world languages. We will look in particular, and in some detail, at contemporary research projects that attempt to make computers speak something like human language. Our focus will be primarily conceptual and analytic, trying to understand what these research programs take the nature of language and mind to be. Students will write two brief (4-5pp.) and one longer (8-10pp.) paper. Satisfies second writing requirement and the linguistics requirement for Cognitive Science. This course can count for the Linguistics theory requirement for Linguistics majors. Presumes basic familiarity with computer concepts and terminology, and/or a previous course in linguistics. Pre-requisites are LING and MDST majors or instructor's permission.


PHIL 750: Philosophy of Language
Spring 2006, MW 10:30-11:45
Mitchell Green

Philosophical problems can often be either solved or dissolved by scrutiny of the language in which they are couched. What is more, language and linguistic interaction themselves raise questions of the deepest conceptual kind, answers to which illuminate cognition and social interaction. For these reasons language has been the premier area of inquiry among philosophers in the last century. This course will examine, from a non-technical point of view, topics that have been given the most intense treatment, all of which flow from the question, In virtue of what is language meaningful? Topics to be covered include the relation between thought and language; the possibility of an essentially private discursive realm; the view that one's linguistic framework somehow 'structures' reality; the method of solving or dissolving traditional philosophical problems by scrutiny of the language in which they are couched; the nature of linguistic meaning and the relation thereof to truth and to 'language games,' the relation between what is said in a given utterance and what is conveyed; the nature of interpretation and the role that it plays in organizing our understanding of the world.
The course should be of interest not only to philosophy students, but also to those in linguistics, psychology, cognitive science, literature, anthropology, and computer science.
Prerequisites: (i) At least one course in Philosophy at the undergraduate level or above. A knowledge of first order predicate logic and basic metatheory is a plus but not essential. (This course fulfills the "theory" requirement for Linguistics majors and MA students.)


PSYC 412: Psychology of Reading
Spring 2006
Beverly Adams


RUSS 521: Phonology and Morphology of Russian
Spring 2006, MW 8:30-10
Mark Elson


SAST 365/ SAST 765: Languages of South Asia
Spring 2006 MW 2-3:15
Peter Hook

An examination of the phonological, morphosyntactic and semantic structures of South Asian languages from areal, typological, social, and historical perspectives. The course presupposes no prior knowledge of a South Asian language or of linguistics. Graduate students should enroll under the 755 number and expect to undertake a more elaborate course project than undergraduates.


SPAN 310: Phonetics (Spanish)
Spring 2006
Fernando Tejedo-Herrero, Joel Rini, Tammy Hert
Prerequisite: SPAN 202 or equivalent.
This course offers a detailed analysis of the sound system of Spanish, including its Peninsular and Latin American varieties. Topics include: articulatory phonetics, phonology and basic dialectal differences in the Spanish-speaking world. A considerable amount of time in class and in the language lab is dedicated to pronunciation drills. Taught in Spanish.


SPAN 420: History of the Spanish Language
Spring 2006
Fernando Tejedo-Herrero

This course examines the systematic form of the phonetic/phonological, morphological and syntactic changes that have occurred in the development of Latin to Spanish. It will not only observe what happened in the evolution of the sounds, forms and structures, but will also, as far as possible, attempt to account for and explain those changes, on the basis both of internal structure and, when appropriate, extra-linguistic factors. Taught in Spanish. (This course meets the "history" requirement for B.A. in Linguistics)


SPAN 493: Second Language Acquisition
Spring 2006
Emily Scida