2007-2008 Linguistics Courses

* Language-related courses marked with an asterisk do not apply towards a BA or MA in Linguistics.

Fall 2007

AMST 201 Language in the US

Fall 2007

Ashley Williams

MW 3:30-4:45

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. Fulfills the Second Writing Requirement.

 

ANTH 240 Language and Culture

Fall 2007

Ashley Williams
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 evidence from language can shed light on a variety of social, cultural, and cognitive phenomena. Topics include: nature of language, origins of language, how languages change, writing systems, 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 communication. Satisfies the College Non-Western perspectives requirement.

 

ANTH 244/MDST 244 Language and Cinema

Fall 2007
Dan Lefkowitz
MW 11-11:50 + obligatory discussion section

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 241 Structure of English

Fall 2007
Lise Dobrin
MW 9-9:50 + obligatory discussion section

Introduces students with no background in linguistics to the descriptive grammar of English and methods of reasoning about linguistic structure. Covers units of sound and phonemic transcription, word building and inflectional forms, lexical categories, basic sentence types, common phrase and clause patterns, and syntactic transformations.

 

ANTH 504 Linguistic Field Methods

Fall 2007
Ellen Contini-Morava
R 3:30-6

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 549A Literacy and Orality

Fall 2007
Lise Dobrin
W 4-6:30

Literacy and orality are counterparts within a common "scriptural economy." And shifting and value-laden notions of both of these have been central tropes in discussions of social difference and progress for the past several decades. This course is a critical survey of the anthropological literature on literacy, focusing on the social meanings of speaking vs. writing (and hearing vs. reading) as opposed communicative practices in both western and traditional societies. Course work will involve weekly reading response papers and a final research paper.

 

CLAS 347 Introduction to Indo-European Linguistics

Fall 2007
Coulter George
TR 2-3:15

Languages as superficially different as English, Greek, Latin, and Sanskrit in fact all developed from a single "proto-language," called Proto-Indo-European. This course will explore the following questions: What was this proto-language like? How do we know what it was like? By what processes did it develop into the various daughter languages? How can we trace words as diverse as "wit," "video," and "Veda" back to a common source? Requirements include quizzes, a mid-term, a final, and a paper. Familiarity with an Indo-European language with a case system, such as German, Russian, or Latin, will be helpful.

 

ENLS 303 History of the English Language

Fall 2007
Peter Baker
MWF 11-11:50

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

 

ENMD 501 Old English

Fall 2007
Peter Baker
MWF 10-10:50

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

Fall 2007
Gladys Saunders
MW 2-3:15; MW 3:30-4:45

 

LNGS 325/ LNGS 701 Introduction to Linguistic Theory and Methodology

Fall 2007
Mark Elson
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 530 Acquisition of Syntax

Fall 2007
Sandra Wood
MW 3:30-4:45

 

PSYC 555 Developmental Psycholinguistics

Fall 2007
John Bonvillian
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 309 Introduction to Spanish Linguistics

Fall 2007
Emily Scida
MWF 1-1:50

Prerequisite: SPAN 311.

 

SPAN 310 Phonetics

Fall 2007
MWF 12-12:50; MWF 2-2:50; MWF 3-3:50

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. Prerequisite: SPAN 202 or equivalent.

 

SPAN 492 Structure of Spanish

Fall 2007
Joel Rini
TR 11-12:15

Seminar in Spanish linguistics. Taught in Spanish.

 

SPAN 730 History of the Language

Fall 2007
Joel Rini
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 2008

AMST 201B Chinese American Language, Identity, & Culture

Spring 2008

Ashley Williams

TR 5-6:15

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 341 Sociolinguistics

Spring 2008
Adam Harr 
MWF 9-9:50

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 345/ ANTH 745 Native American Languages

Spring 2008
Eve Danziger 
R 2-4:30

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: LNGS 325/701 or ANTH 740. This course fulfills the Linguistics structure requirement.

 

ANTH 349 Language and Thought

Spring 2008
Eve Danziger 
WF 10-10:50 + obligatory discussion

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. In the course of this discussion we approach the question of how language-specific cognitive preferences could develop in the course of children=s language acquisition. 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. Prerequisite: A prior course in linguistics or linguistic anthropology. This course fulfills the linguistics Theory requirement.

 

ANTH 544 Morphology

Lise Dobrin
Spring 2008
T 3:30-6

This course provides an overview of recent morphological theory, focusing on recurring themes that have arisen as the subfield has sought to find its place within the generative paradigm. The issues we will cover fall mainly into two broad groupings: those that relate morphology to phonology (such as allomorphy and word formation), and those that relate it to syntax (e.g., inflection, distinguishing compounds from phrases). Throughout the course we will be mindful of whether there is such a thing as pure morphology, a core set of phenomena having to do with word structure which motivates a distinct component of grammar. Coursework involves weekly or biweekly problem sets and active participation in class problem solving and discussion (This course fulfills the "theory" requirement for BA and MA students.)

 

ANTH 547 Language and Identity

Spring 2008
Dan Lefkowitz
M 3:30-6

This seminar explores the relationship between language and identity. In anthropology, where identity has become a central concern, language is seen as an important site for the construction of, and negotiation over social identities. In linguistics, reference to categories of social identity helps to explain language structure and change. The course explores the overlap between these converging trends by focusing on the notion of discourse as a nexus of cultural and linguistic processes related to identity. Readings will juxtapose social theoretic with linguistic treatments of identity, toward identifying theoretical frameworks that generate promising means for investigating and describing the phenomenon of identity.

 

ANTH 740 Linguistic Anthropology

Spring 2008
Ellen Contini-Morava
TR 12:30-1:45

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, language as a symbolic system, 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. Evaluation is based on take-home essays and problem-sets which are assigned throughout the semester, and may also include a short field project. The course is required for all Anthropology graduate students. It also counts toward the "theory" requirement for the M.A. in Linguistics.

 

ASL 309/ ASL 509 Introduction to American Sign Language Linguistics

Spring 2008
Sandra K. Wood
MW 2-3:15

This course is an introduction to the linguistic structure of American Sign Language. An overview of the syntax, phonology, morphology, and semantics of ASL will be the basis for our study during the semester. We will look at word order in ASL which is primarily discourse-oriented, and the interaction of semantics and syntax. Phonology in ASL is modality-dependent, but yet, it corresponds to phonologically abstract concepts that we see in spoken language. A primary aspect of morphology in ASL is verb agreement, which has a unique manifestation in sign languages. We will also cover some sociolinguistic aspects of ASL, especially with respect to variation in ASL. No prior knowledge of ASL is required. Preferred prerequisites but not required are any Linguistics courses. Fulfills the structure requirement for Linguistics.

 

*ENMD 981 Studies in Old English I

Spring 2008
Peter Baker
TR 11-12:1
5

 

LING 509 Teaching English as a Second Language

Spring 2008
Dudley Doane 
TR 12:30-1:45

Studies the theory, problems, and methods in teaching English as a second language, focusing on relevant areas of general linguistics and the structure of English.

 

LNGS 224 Southern American English

Spring 2008
Mark Elson
MW 11-11:50 plus obligatory discussion
section

An introduction to the structure and history of the English spoken in the southeastern United States.
Any graduate students interested in taking the course should contact the instructor.

 

PHIL 350 Philosophy of Language

Spring 2008
Mitch Green
TR 12:30-1:45

Prerequisite: Symbolic Logic (Philosophy 242), or equivalent. (Note: This prerequisite is *firm*)
Course description: 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. That inquiry has been driven by two distinct questions: In virtue of what is language meaningful, and How shall we characterize that meaning? Topics to be covered include the relation between thought and language; the possibility of an essentiall private discursive realm; the view that one 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"; questions about the definition of language; the nature of interpretation and the role that it plays in organizing our understanding of the world. Requirements include two papers, brief problem sets, a final examination, and active participation in class discussion.

 

PSYC 402 Language Development and Disorders

Spring 2008
John Bonvillian
TR 9:30-10:45

This class examines the development of language in normally developing children and children with various disabilities. Among the populations studied will be children with autism, Down syndrome, deafness, or aphasia. In addition to the study of children's spoken language acquisition, considerable emphasis will be placed on the learning of manual signs to communicate. (Because of the overlap in topics, this class will not be open to students who have taken PSYC 555 Developmental Psycholinguistics.)

 

PSYC 403 Language Development: Learning Words

Spring 2008
Vikram Jaswal 
Th 3:30-6

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

 

PSYC 408 Emergence of Language

Spring 2008
Sandra Wood
TR 11-12:15

Where did language come from? How does language change to what it looks like now? We will examine the emergence of language in humans from linguistic and cognitive perspectives. The use of gesture, newly-developed sign languages, home sign systems, and creolization will all be part of the evidence we?ll investigate to understand more about the evolutionary path of language. We?ll read the debates in research regarding the origin and emergence/evolution of language in humans. Also, research with nonprimates regarding cognition and communication systems will be discussed to underline our understanding of how language may have evolved. No prior knowledge of sign language is required for this course. Requirements consist of two papers; one short and one final, and active participation in class discussion. Prerequisites: Any Linguistics course, or Psyc 411, 530, or 555; please inquire with the instructor if you have not taken any of these courses.

 

SPAN 309 Introduction to Spanish Linguistics

Spring 2008
Roger Wright
TR 2-3:15

Prerequisite: SPAN 311.

 

SPAN 310 Phonetics

Spring 2008
Fernando Tejedo Herrero; Joel Rini
MWF 11-11:50; TR 11-12:50

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. Prerequisite: SPAN 202 or equivalent.

 

SPAN 420 History of the Spanish Language

Spring 2008
Joel Rini
TR 12:30-1:45

The purpose of this course is provide an introduction to the evolution of the Spanish language, by examining the phonetic/phonological, morphological, syntactic, lexical, and semantic changes that occurred in the development of Latin to Spanish. No prior knowledge of Latin required. Taught in Spanish. Prerequisites: SPAN 309 and 311, or SPAN 310 and 311, or instructor permission.

 

SPAN 431 Spanish Sociolinguistics

Spring 2008
Fernando Tejedo Herrero
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, code switching, language planning, discourse analysis, and language substitution.

 

SPAN 493 Second Language Acquisition

Spring 2008
Emily Scida
MW 2-3:15

How does one learn a foreign language? What are the processes and mechanisms that drive language acquisition? This seminar will examine the major approaches, theories, and research in second language acquisition (SLA). We will look at various linguistic, psycholinguistic, and sociocultural perspectives to second language learning and use. Research in SLA focuses on how learners learn and it is not the same as research into language teaching, although the approaches and research we examine in this course will be valuable to foreign language educators whose goal is to maximize student learning. Taught in Spanish.

 

SPAN 730 History of the Language

Spring 2008
Roger Wright
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.