2006-2007 Linguistics Courses

*Courses that may count towards a BA or MA in Linguistics

Fall 2006

*AMST 201 Language in the US
Ashley Williams
Fall 2006
MWF 1-1:50PM

Contrary to popular belief, the U.S. is not (and never has been) linguistically homogenous: from dying and revitalized Native American languages to newly arrived immigrant languages, from regional and social dialect variation to innovation among adolescents and Hip Hop, the American language situation is diverse and changing. This course invites students to investigate this not-quite-melting-pot variety both through readings in current research and through small-scale field research. Topics covered in the course will include the origins and distinctions of American English, language controversies such as Ebonics and the English-Only movement, research in language attitudes and discrimination, topics in bilingualism and education, plus the latest studies in language issues involving different ethnicities, genders, sexualities, ages, and social classes. In this course we will pull material from a variety of sources (including films, literature, the media, and recent studies), and will employ a variety of approaches (linguistic, anthropological, sociological, historical, and more) as we investigate and debate what is uniquely "American" about the language situation in the United States.

 

*ANTH 242 Language and Gender
Ellen Contini-Morava
Fall 2006
MW 10-10:50 + obligatory discussion section

In many societies, differences in pronunciation, vocabulary choice, and/or communicative style serve as social markers of gender identity and differentiation. We will take a cross-cultural perspective, comparing language use in the U.S. with other parts of the world, especially non-Western societies. Questions to be addressed include: How does language use reflect or construct a person's sex, gender, or sexual orientation? How do language differences, where they exist, contribute to the social construction of gender difference in our and other cultures? How do these differences affect the lives/social identities of males/females? What do "male" and "female" mean, anyway? What factors besides gender lead to language differentiation, and how do they interact with gender? Is language itself sexist? If so, what can or should be done about it?

 

ANTH 245 Language and Culture in the Classroom
Nona Moskowitz
Fall 2006
TR 15:30-16:45

At the level of the curriculum, at the level of the institution, at the level of pedagogical philosophy, schools transmit culture. That is, schools reflect and embody the culture of the society in which they are found. Language is both a medium through which this culture is communicated and a symbol appropriated for its social meanings. This course examines the ways in which culture contributes to school and classroom organization while exploring how language can be used as a tool for revealing school culture and classroom politics. The course will begin by asking: what is culture and how do we see it in the classroom? Next we will examine school cultures and the culture of young people. Finally, we will consider the relation between language and identity in the context of the bilingual education and Ebonics debates in the U.S.

 

*ANTH 347/ ANTH 747/ AMEL 347 Language and Culture in the Middle East
Dan Lefkowitz
Fall 2006
MW 2-2:50 + obligatory discussion section

This course provides an introduction to the people, cultures, and histories of the Middle East, through an examination of language-use in contemporary Middle Eastern societies. The course focuses on Israel/Palestine, and the contact between Hebrew and Arabic, as a microcosm providing insight into important social processes-such as colonization, religious fundamentalism, modernization, and the changing status of women-affecting the region as a whole. Readings contrast ethnographic with novelistic representations of language, society, and identity. A primary concern will be to compare social scientific and literary constructions of self and other in the context of the political and military confrontation between Israel and Palestine. This is a lecture and discussion course. A number of feature films from the Middle East are incorporated into the course material. Requirements include four short essays and a book review. Prerequisite: previous course in anthropology, linguistics, or Middle Eastern studies; or permission of the instructor.

 

*ANTH 348 Language and Prehistory
Eve Danziger
Fall 2006
MW 11-11:50

This course covers the basic principles of diachronic linguistics - the study of how languages change over time - and discusses the uses of linguistic data in the reconstruction of prehistory. We will consider the use of linguistic evidence in tracing prehistoric population movements, in demonstrating contact among prehistoric groups, and in the reconstruction of daily life. To the extent that the literature permits, examples and case studies will be drawn from the Mayan language area of Central America, and will include discussion of the pre-Columbian Mayan writing system and its ongoing decipherment. This course fulfills the linguistics distribution requirement for Anthropology majors and for Cognitive Science majors. It also fulfills the comparative-historical requirement for Linguistics majors.

 

*ANTH 401C Language and Cinema
Dan Lefkowitz
Fall 2006
TR 12:30-1:45

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.
Restricted to: 4th year anthropology major (or permission of instructor).

 

*ANTH 543 African Languages
David Sapir
Fall 2006
MW 3:30-4:45

The course will cover the classification of African languages, selected grammatical typologies, African lexicography, and examples of oral literature. Students will give presentations on these topics with respect to a specific language or languages. The intention of the course is to investigate the considerable variety of linguistic types present in sub-Saharan Africa. Permission of the instructor is required.
(This course satisfies the"structure" of a language requirement for B.A. and M.A. students in Linguistics.)

 

*ANTH 549A Mind in Language 
Eve Danziger
Fall 2006
TR 2-3:15

Anthropologists report that across societies, different cultural attitudes exist as to the acceptability of speculating on what is taking place in another person's mind. In certain cultural settings, speculation of this kind is considered completely inappropriate: something to be politely avoided. Meanwhile however, linguistic theories about how conversation works rely heavily on the premise that in order to function successfully, conversational interactants must constantly seek out and interpret the unstated intentions of their conversation partners. How can we reconcile the linguistic account with the anthropological observations? This seminar course covers the relevant literature from ethno-psychology and linguistic pragmatics, and considers the relationship of cultural philosophies of language, including our own, to the actual conduct of interaction. Because figurative language forms (e.g., metaphor, irony) seem especially to require intention-guessing for their interpretation, the course includes significant consideration of the role and range of such forms in different cultural contexts.

 

*ENMD 501 Old English
Peter Baker
Fall 2006
MWF 12-12:50

In this course, the primary task will be to learn the language written in England before the year 1100 and to read a number of texts in Old English, starting with simple prose and ending with such poems as The Battle of Maldon, The Wanderer, and The Dream of the Rood. Students with some experience in foreign language study will find the course easier than those without. In addition, the course is an introduction to the literature of the Old English period: we will supplement language study and reading Old English with discussion and reading in secondary sources. Written work will include bi-weekly quizzes on the language, one paper, an oral report, and a brief final exam. Note that this course is a prerequisite for ENMD 520, Beowulf.

 

*FREN 339 Phonetics
Gladys Saunders
Fall 2006
MW 2-3:15
MW 3:30-4:45

This course, conducted in French, is designed to introduce basic concepts in phonetic theory and to teach students techniques for improving their own pronunciation. We shall examine the physical characteristics of individual sounds, the relationship between sounds and their written representations, the rules governing the pronunciation of "standard French", and the most salient phonological features of selected regional varieties (e.g. le francais meridional). Working independently and regularly with audiotapes in the language laboratory, and as a group with the instructor in the classroom, students will have opportunities for oral practice in the production of French sounds (in isolation, in syllabic combinations, in rhythmic groups and in phrases). Requires much memorization.

 

*LNGS 325 Introduction to Linguistic Theory and Methodology
Mark Elson
Fall 2006
MWF 11-11:50

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 555 Developmental Psycholinguistics
John Bonvillian
Fall 2006
TR 11-12:15

Examines current research and theoretical models of children's language acquisition. Topics include normally developing children's acquisition of spoken language skills, and the development of language and communication skills in children who are deaf, autistic, or aphasic.

 

*SPAN 310 Phonetics
Joel Rini, Fernando Tejedo Herrero
Fall 2006
11-12:15
12:30-1:45

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 421 Spanish Philology 
Fernando Tejedo Herrero
Fall 2006
TR 2-3:15

 

*SPAN 730 History of the Language
Joel Rini
Fall 2006
TR 12:30-1:45

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 2007

*AMST 201B Chinese American Language, Identity, and Culture

Ashley Williams

Spring 2007

TR 9:30-10:45

Historically, the identity of those who are ethnically Chinese and live in the United States has continuously evolved as they experienced both discrimination and acceptance. Language has often been an important part of this development – whether a monolingual Chinese immigrant, bilingual 2nd generation Chinese American, or English-speaking American-born Chinese, what language an individual speaks in a Chinese American community often places him or her in a particular category. How exactly do identity and language influence each other, and how does culture change as a result? What makes someone identify as Chinese, Chinese American or American?

Pulling material from a variety of sources including films, literature, the media, and recent studies, we will employ linguistic, anthropological, sociological and historical approaches to investigate this intersection between identity, language, and culture. While we will focus primarily on the language and history of the ethnically Chinese in the U.S., we will also consider other Asian/ Pacific American groups, and student projects can also vary accordingly (and as such, this course makes no assumptions about studentsʼ knowledge of Asian/ Pacific American Studies, history, or linguistics). By studying a combination of the social meanings, perceived expectations, and historical and contemporary presumptions involved in communitiesʼ and individualsʼ levels of language and identity, we will come to a better understanding of what it means to be “American” in the context of todayʼs multilingual/ multicultural society and current global political climate. This course can be used to fulfill the Second Writing Requirement.

 

*ANTH 240 Language and Culture
Instructor TBA
Spring 2007
MWF 12-12:50

A survey of topics having to do with the relationship between language, culture, and society. We will consider both how language is described and analyzed by linguists and how linguistic data can shed light on a variety of social, cultural, and cognitive phenomena. Topics include: nature of language, origins of language, how languages change, use of linguistic evidence to make inferences about prehistory, the effects of linguistic categories on thought and behavior, regional and social variation in language, and cultural rules for communications. Satisfies the non-western perspectives requirement in the College.

 

*ANTH 341 Sociolinguistics
Eve Danziger
Spring 2007
MW 11-11:50 + obligatory discussion section

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.

 

*ANTH 541 Phonology
Lise Dobrin
Spring 2007
W 3:30-5

An introduction to the theory and analysis of linguistic sound systems. Covers the essential units of speech sound that lexical and grammatical elements are composed of, how those units are organized at multiple levels of representation, and the principles governing the relation between levels.
(This course satisfies the "theory" requirement for both B.A. and M.A. students in Linguistics.)

 

*ANTH 542 Theories of Language
Ellen Contini-Morava
Spring 2007
MW 2-3:15

Prerequisite: A course in linguistics or linguistic anthropology, or permission of instructor. Will survey a number of modern schools of linguistics, both American and European, paying attention both to theory and analytical practice, and trying to understand each approach in terms of its historical context, the questions it asks about "language", and the fit between theory and analysis.
(This course satisfies the "theory" requirement for both B.A. and M.A. students in Linguistics.)

 

ANTH 549A Speech Play and Verbal Art
Daniel Lefkowitz
Spring 2007
T 7-9:30

This seminar examines the linguistics and politics of poetics. We will explore cross-cultural and cross-linguistic diversity in ideas about what can be considered poetic in language, and we will link such formal analyses to ideas about what can be considered rhetorically effective and politically (or ideologically) powerful in language. Requirements will include seminar presentations and a research paper. Prerequisite: some coursework in both anthropology and linguistics; or permission of the instructor.

 

*ANTH 740 Introduction to Linguistic Anthropology
Eve Danziger
Spring 2007
T 2-4:30

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 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 through the semester. The course is required for all Anthropology graduate students. It also counts toward the "theory" requirement for the M.A. in Linguistics.

 

*ENLS 303 History of the English Language
Peter Baker
Spring 2007

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

 

ENMC 352/ MDST 352 Vernaculars, Media, Texts
David Golumbia
Spring 2007
TR 12:30-1:45

This class explores the role of so-called nonstandard or vernacular languages in contemporary worldwide texts and media. Vernaculars include languages and "dialects" that are widespread in culture but usually not taught in schools. Examples of vernaculars include African-American English, Appalachian English, Hawaiian "Creole" English, Haitian Creole, Taglish, and others. In many cases, these language practices, while full and complete languages in every diagnostic and linguistic sense, remain the target of intense cultural prejudice. We will explore commonalities and differences in the presentation of these linguistic practices across several genres and places, and students will write two short response papers and develop a research paper on a topic raised in class or related to it. This class will have a screening period that meets about five evenings during the term. No prerequistes, but at least one previouscourse in English, Linguistics, or Media Studies is suggested. Restricted to students in 2nd year and above. May be taken for major credit with permission of instructor.

 

*FREN 339 Phonetics
Gladys Saunders
Spring 2007
TR 9:30-10:45 (Spring)

This course, conducted in French, is designed to introduce basic concepts in phonetic theory and to teach students techniques for improving their own pronunciation. We shall examine the physical characteristics of individual sounds, the relationship between sounds and their written representations, the rules governing the pronunciation of "standard French", and the most salient phonological features of selected regional varieties (e.g. le francais meridional). Working independently and regularly with audiotapes in the language laboratory, and as a group with the instructor in the classroom, students will have opportunities for oral practice in the production of French sounds (in isolation, in syllabic combinations, in rhythmic groups and in phrases). Requires much memorization.

 

*FREN 485 Seminar in French Linguistics (Langues francaise et anglaise en contact (et en conflit))
Gladys Saunders
Spring 2007
TR 12:30-1:45

This seminar is concerned with contact-linguistic situations in which French and English are brought together for a variety of reasons. We shall concentrate on three very different settings:

  1. Norman French in Britain in the 11th -14th centuries (including Anglo-French in Gascony, and modern-day results in Jersey French);
  2. French/English varieties in contact in New Orleans in the 18th -19th centuries; and
  3. "Franglais"-- or French/English contact in contemporary France (i.e., post-1965, date of publication of Etiemble's celebrated "Parlez-vous franglais?", to present-day).

Topics will include: the variety(ies) of French and English involved in the initial contact; the historical, political, social, as well as linguistic causes and ramifications of the encounter; the accuracy and reliability of prevailing linguistic theories and data; the phenomena of bilingualism, diglossia, language shift, language death/loss; lexical analysis, adaptation and creativity . . .
Course should appeal to students interested in French language study, sociolinguistics, historical linguistics, second language acquisition, translation, and French culture in general.
Prerequisites: Good reading, writing and speaking ability in French and at least one linguistics or linguistics-related course (FREN 339, FREN 428, or other).
Course taught in French.

 

*LING 509 ESL Methods-Theory Teaching
Dudley Doane
Spring 2007
TR 12:30-1:45

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 222 Black English
Mark Elson
Spring 2007
MW 11-11:30 (plus discussion)

An introduction to the history and structure of Black English. The goal of this course is to introduce students to the history and structure of what has been termed Black English vernacular or Black Street English. We will also be concerned with the sociolinguistic factors which led to the emergence of this variety of English, as well as its present role in the African-American community and its relevance in education, employment, and racial stereotypes. No prerequisites, but some background in linguistics (example ANTH 240, LING 325) will be helpful.

 

*LNGS 500 English for Teachers of Foreign Languages 
Mark Elson
Spring 2007
MW 8:30-9:45 am

This course considers basic linguistic concepts relating to sound, grammar, stylistics, and their application to the teaching of foreign languages as well as English as a second language. Its goal is to provide prospective teachers with background which will enable them to do research in the pedagogy and structure of their target languages, and to make informed decisions about how to undertake the development of communicative competence in their students.

 

*PHIL 500 Philosophy of Language
Mitchell Green
Spring 2007
TR 12:30-1:45

 

PSYC 401 Psychology of Language
Beverly Adams
Spring 2007
W 9-11:30

 

PSYC 402 Language Development and Disabilities
John Bonvillian
Spring 2007
TR 11-12:15

This class examines spoken and sign language acquisition in normally developing children and children with disabilities. Among the groups studied will be children with autistic disorder, deaf children, and children with mental retardation.
(Because of the overlap in course topics, this class will not be open to students who have taken PSYC 555: Developmental Psycholinguistics.)

 

PSYC 411 Psycholinguistics
Filip Loncke
Spring 2007
M 2-4:30

This course will discuss how linguistic models help us to understand the psychology of language. We will focus on the emergence of language in children, acquisition and development of language, language disorders and neurolinguistics, sociolinguistics, and bilingualism.
The classes will consist of (1) lecture, (2) video demonstrations, (3) debate and discussion.
There will be three exams (two in-terms and one final)
Each student will be expected to do TWO of the following: (1) read and write a discussion paper on a psycholinguistics-related article in a recent journal, (2) give a twenty-minute class presentation and lead a class debate on a psycholinguistics-related hot issue, (3) participate in a psycholinguistics experiment.
Enrollment Restrictions: 4th Psychology majors/minors and Linguistics

 

*SAST 255 / 555 The Languages of South Asia [tentative]
Peter Hook
Spring 2007

An examination of the phonological, morphological, and syntactic structures of South Asian languages from typological, social, and historical perspectives. This course presupposes no knowledge of a South Asian language and is intended for lower-level undergraduates. (This course will count toward the "structure" requirement for the Linguistics major and minor.) Linguistics students interested in the course can get an idea of what topics will be discussed by looking at the course-site for a similar course taught by Peter Hook at Michigan.

 

*SPAN 309 Intro to Spanish Linguistics
Emily Scida
Spring 2007
MWF 10-10:50

Prerequisite: SPAN 311 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
Joel Rini, Fernando Tejedo Herrero
Spring 2007
10-10:50
11-12:15

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 431 Sociolinguistics
Fernando Tejedo Herrero
Spring 2007
MWF 10-10:50

This course provides students with an introductory coverage of the most relevant topics related to the interrelationship between language and society, as well as language and culture in the particular context of the Spanish language and its varieties. Topics covered are linguistic variation, bilingualism, diglossia, attitudes towards language, gender issues, code switching, language planning, discourse analysis, and language substitution.
Strongly recommended: one previous course in Spanish Linguistics (SPA 309, 310 are the introductory courses).