Current Courses

Spring 2019

AMST 3463           Language and New Media

TR 3:30-4:45

Ashley Williams

In this course we take an interdisciplinary approach to the investigation of how language both shapes and is shaped by American society with a specific focus on New Media. Drawing on critical and analytical tools and socio-cultural theories to examine this dynamic relationship, our examples are pulled from Twitter, Facebook, Snapchat, texting, Instagram, YouTube, and more. Through this, we explore questions surrounding issues such as moral panics and the feared degradation of language, literacy(ies), the global dominance of English, identity and self-presentation, the definition of community, and gossip and shaming. Course requirements include class participation, leading class discussion, regular reading responses, and a research project. Fulfills the Second Writing Requirement.


ANTH 2410           Sociolinguistics

TR 3:30-4:20 + obligatory discussion section

Daniel Lefkowitz

Every "single" living language is in practice an unbounded array of linguistic forms, functions, and feelings distributed unequally among speakers. Sociolinguists take such variety and inequality as starting points for investigating language as a crucially social phenomenon. In this introductory course, we will survey how languages vary across space and among social groups while also examining how spaces and social groups are themselves shaped by linguistic variation. We will be concerned throughout the semester with links between language and social inequality. No background in linguistics is presupposed.


ANTH 2430           Languages of the World

MW 11-11:50 + obligatory discussion section

Samuel Beer

This class introduces students to the diversity of human language. It surveys a range of similarities and differences shared by languages and presents three different ways that linguists use these similarities and differences to group languages together -- to classify them. In the course of a geographically organized tour of the world's languages, we will explore language families, language areas, and language types both large and small. For each region, we will focus on the structure and social situation of a set of representative languages. Finally, we will discuss the ongoing loss of linguistic and human diversity due to the global trend of shift from the use of minority languages to large languages of wider communication. Prerequisite: one year of a foreign language or permission of instructor.


ANTH 2559          Languages of Nationhood: Sociolinguistics in Israel

TR 11-12:15

Daniel Lefkowitz

This course looks at the social life of language in Israel. Beginning historically with the philosophical debates about language, identity, and nationhood swirling around the 19th century European Jewish communities, we examine how the revival of Hebrew contributed to the establishment of the Israeli state in the 20th century, and at how processes of language change have influenced political and aesthetic life in Israel today.


ANTH 3455/7455    African Languages

TR 9:30-10:45

Samuel Beer

This class explores the linguisitic diversity of Africa, with particular emphasis on Sub-Saharan Africa. We will survey the classification of the languages of Africa, their linguistic structures (sound systems, word-formation, and syntax), and the sociocultural setting in which they are spoken. Topics within these modules will include migrations and expansions of different language groups across Africa, the use of linguistic data to reconstruct prehistory, the incredible structural complexity of languages such as Shilluk (known for typologically rare stem alternations) or the Khoisan languages (known for their clicks), the effects of colonialism on language use, the loss of African languages as their speakers shift to larger languages of wider commununication, and more. While lectures address general and comparative topics, each student will choose one language to focus on, using published material available in the library. This language will be the basis for major assignments. Some prior experience with linguistics is desirable (such as LNGS 3250/7010, ANTH 2400, or ANTH 7400), but the course will also be accessible to highly motivated students who have not taken a previous linguistics course. Fulfills the structure requirement for Linguistics majors and graduate students.


ANTH 3480/7480    Language and Prehistory

WF 10-10:50 + obligatory discussion section

Eve Danziger

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 prehistory 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 Historical requirement for the Linguistics BA and MA.


ANTH 4420/7420    Theories of Language

TR 12:30-1:45

Ellen Contini-Morava

We will survey a number of modern schools of linguistics, both American and European, trying to understand each approach in terms of its historical context, the goals it sets itself, the assumptions it makes about the nature of language, and the relation between theory and methodology. Grades will depend on: four or five written homework assignments that ask you to look at some data from a particular theoretical perspective; a take-home, open-book final exam; and evidence (from class discussion) that you have been doing the readings, which are an essential part of the course. This course fulfills the theory requirement for Linguistics majors and graduate students


ANTH 5401           Linguistic Field Methods

M 5-7:30

Ellen Contini-Morava

The goal of this course is to get hands-on practice doing linguistic analysis based entirely on data collected from a native speaker of a language that is unfamiliar to everyone in the class. [NOTE: "entirely" means that you should not look up already-published grammars and dictionaries or search the web for descriptions of the language we are working on. For the purposes of this course, we will act as if no grammar or dictionary yet exists.] We will work collaboratively on the same language for the whole semester. Data collection will begin with phonetic transcription of individual words, with the goal of learning to hear the phonetic detail of an unfamiliar language, and the first assignment will be an analysis of the phonemes of the language, including rules for allophonic variation where relevant. After working out the phonemic system, we will move to analysis of grammar (word structure and phrase/sentence structure), starting with phrases and sentences and going on to a short text. Fulfills the Language Structure requirement for Linguistics majors and graduate students.


ANTH 5440           Morphology

MW 3:30-4:45

Lise Dobrin

In this course we approach the study of morphology theoretically. The issues covered fall mainly into two broad groupings: those that relate word structure to phonology (e.g., 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 exists a core set of phenomena having to do with word structure which motivates a distinct morphological component of grammar. Coursework involves biweekly problem sets and active participation in class problem solving and discussion. Some familiarity with linguistic analysis (such as LNGS 3250) is strongly recommended. Course fulfills the Theory requirement for Linguistics.


ANTH 5475           Multimodal Interaction

MW 2-3:15

Mark Sicoli

Students will build knowledge and practice of the analysis of peoples’ joint-engagement in embodied interactions. We examine the history of the use of film and video in interaction analysis and the affordances of these media for examining spatiotemporal configurations of talk, techniques of body action, and tool use in social interaction. How does action weave together multiple sensory modalities into semiotic webs linking interactions with more durative institutions of social life? What are the theoretical consequences for an anthropology that takes the multimodal construction of meaning seriously? Course includes workshops on video recording, and the transcription and coding of both verbal and non-verbal actions. Transcript analysis “data sessions” will be conducted throughout the term, allowing student to hone their analytical skills for video analysis. Students will work on projects incorporating video production and analysis.


ANTH 5480           Literacy and Orality

R 4-6:30

Lise Dobrin

Literacy and orality are counterparts within a common "scriptural economy." And shifting and value-laden notions of both of these notions have been central tropes in discussions of social difference and progress for many decades. This course surveys some of the ethnographic and linguistic literature on literacy, focusing on the social meanings of speaking vs. writing (and hearing vs. reading) as opposed communicative practices, looking especially at traditionally oral societies. Students will turn in weekly written summaries of the readings, contribute actively to seminar discussions, record an oral text and transcribe it so as to reveal its narrative structure, and write a final essay that synthesizes material covered in the course. Course can be used to fulfill the Second Writing requirement for the College.


ANTH 5549           Language Endangerment

T 7-9:30

Samuel Beer

An exploration of both causes and consequences of and responses to language endangerment. Language is one cultural tool among many used by humans to create and express meaning. Rich accounts of language loss engage with the broader ecology of meaning-making tools. This class provides students with the skills needed to do so and investigates how different groups engage the linguistic ecology in language endangerment situations.


EDHS 4030           Speech and Hearing Science

TR 5-6:15

Filip Loncke

The course examines principal concepts and procedures for the study of physiologic, perceptual and acoustic aspects of voice, speech and hearing. The course introduces the student into the fascinating world of new applications in daily life, in business, and especially in education and clinical work.


EDHS 4040          Anatomy & Physiology of Speech and Hearing Mechanisms

TR 11-12:15

Nicholas Barone

Have you ever thought of what it means to you to be able to speak, sing, hear, breathe, and eat, as well as all the neural functions needed to create our language and communication systems? This course examines the anatomy, physiology, and neurology of respiration, phonation, resonance, articulation, swallowing, and hearing. It is designed to provide students with an interest in Communication Sciences and Disorders, and those who are curious about the biology and science of how we communicate, with the foundational knowledge of these integral systems that have allowed humans to develop to where we are today. It is also a foundational course to Speech Language Pathology and Audiology students to prepare them for their undergraduate and graduate coursework, and to provide an understanding and appreciation of the wide spectrum of these steadily growing clinical specialties. This course may be of interest to Linguistics students but is not being offered for Linguistics major credit.


EDIS 7842          Teaching ELLs: Theory, Policy, and Practice

M 3:30-6

April Salerno

The graduate level seminar is designed to provide students with an overview of key issues related to the education of students classified as "English learners," or "Els" in preK-12 settings in the United States. We will explore second language acquisition and multi-bilingualism theories, language policy, pedagogical approaches, and the practices of Els and their teachers.


ENLS 3030           History of the English Language

TR 12:30-1:45

Peter Baker

This course will introduce you to the history of the English language from several perspectives: we will be concerned with the language’s “internal history” (what actually happened to its sounds, grammar and vocabulary). But we will also study how and why languages change and, more specifically, the “external history” of English (the cultural and historical contexts that have produced change). The course begins with the Indo-European and Germanic background of English, and we will spend some time with the language as it developed in the British Isles. In the second half of the term we will study the development of American English (not completely forgetting other varieties around the world): its divergence from British English, the development of regional, racial and ethnic varieties, and the emergence in the twentieth century of a national “standard.” At all times we will bear in mind that language is an aspect of social interaction, and when we study language change we are also studying social change. Work for this course will include in-class exercises, mid-term and final exams, and a final project. Fulfills the Historical requirement for the Linguistics major.


FREN 3030           Phonetics: The Sounds of French

MW 2-3:15

Gladys Saunders

FREN 3030 is an introductory course in French phonetics. It provides basic concepts in articulatory phonetics and phonological theory, and offers students techniques for improving their own pronunciation. The course will cover the physical characteristics of individual French sounds, the relationship between French sounds and their written representation (orthography), the rules governing the pronunciation of "standard French", the most salient phonological features of selected French varieties, phonetic differences between French and English sounds, and ‘la musique du français’, i.e., prosodic phenomena (le rythme, l’accent, l’intonation, la syllabation). Practical exercises in 'ear-training' (the perception of sounds) and 'phonetic transcription' (using IPA) are also essential components of this dynamic course. – This is NOT a conversation course. Taught in French. Counts for major/minor credit in French and in Linguistics.


FREN 4509           Seminar in French Linguistics: L'individu bilingue / the bilingual speaker

MW 5-6:15

Gladys Saunders

Nearly half the people in the world speak more than one language every day; and in France, some 13 million speakers use regularly several languages. Yet, says expert (renowned psycholinguist) François Grosjean, “le bilinguisme reste méconnu et victime d’idées reçues” (especially in France where, historically, a linguistic policy of monolingualism has been promoted). In this course, we shall explore the many facets of the bilingual and bicultural individual (focusing particularly on the two languages that everyone taking the course will speak: French and English). Our guide will be Grosjean’s 2015 book, Parler plusieurs langues: le monde des bilingues (an excellent analysis of the complex field for the French audience). Students will conduct fieldwork, record and analyze oral interviews, assess case studies, examine autobiographies of celebrated bilinguals, and contribute daily to in-class discussions of readings and video clips (on subjects such as code switching, mixed linguistic systems, accent retention, language dominance, translating/ interpreting, simultaneous and successive language acquisition, exceptional bilingualism . . .). Taught in French. Participants must feel comfortable speaking French inside and outside the class room (some field projects will require you to use your French). Counts for major/minor credit in French and in Linguistics.


INST 1550-001   Esperanto, Constructed Languages, and the History of Internationalism

MW 5-6:15

Will Norton (faculty sponsor Lise Dobrin)

Esperanto, as the only artificial language with an active community of speakers (including some first-language speakers) is unprecedented in world history. This course examines Esperanto both as a language and as a movement with historical and ideological contexts. We'll look at the circumstances of Esperanto's emergence in the 19th-century Jewish Enlightenment in Russia, its spread through Europe and later the world, its connections to various utopian political and religious movements, and its basis in questions of national and ethnic identity. We'll also examine Esperanto grammar and how disputes over grammatical form can mirror "real-world" concerns ranging from colonialism and gender politics to the very capacity of language to convey the truth. Note: INST courses are considered as ‘outside the College’ and are taught only on a CR/NC basis.  A student may count no more than 3.0 credits of INST course work among the 120 credits offered  for the B.A. and B.S. in the College.


LING 5090           TESOL Theory and Method

TR 2-3:15

Janay Crabtree

This course provides an introduction to theories of second language acquisition (SLA), as well as methods and materials for Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), particularly adult language learners. Students will be required to investigate current issues in the field of TESOL and SLA to then extend  and apply the knowledge to language learning observations and/or volunteer tutoring experiences. Demonstration of mastery of teaching methodology will be through development of materials or a learning tool for language learners dictated by student goals and interests. Students will be required to present this tool or course material in class.   Recommended pre-/co-requisite: LNGS 3250 & LING 3400. These courses are not required, but they are recommended for students to have requisite background knowledge (3400 required for TESOL certificate students). Counts three credits toward the TESOL Certificate.


LING 5101           ESL Teaching Practicum: Language

W 1-1:50

Elizabeth Wittner

Through this 1-credit course, students focus on the topic of teaching oral English language, while gaining experience in the practice of English-language teaching to international students, faculty, and staff at the University. This experience is an excellent opportunity to gain teaching experience under the supervision of an experienced mentor. For every 1 hour of credit, students must meet with the instructor for 5 classroom & practice 33 hours.


LING 5102           ESL Teaching Practicum: Culture


Elizabeth Wittner

Through this 1-credit course, students focus on the topic of culture in ESL, while gaining experience in the practice of English-language teaching to international students, faculty, and staff at the University. This experience is an excellent opportunity to gain teaching experience under the supervision of an experienced mentor. For every 1 hour of credit, students must meet with an instructor for 5 classroom & practice 33 hours.


LING 5103           ESL Teaching Practicum: Writing

W 11-11:50

Janay Crabtree

Through this 1-credit course, students focus on the topic of writing in an L2, while gaining experience in the practice of English-language teaching to international students, faculty, and staff at the University. Students will develop writing lessons and plans, tutor language learners in various writing venues, and learn and reflect on how to give effective feedback for different types of writing. This experience is an excellent opportunity to gain teaching experience under the supervision of an experienced mentor. For every 1 hour of credit, students must meet with an instructor for 5 classroom & practice 33 hours.


LNGS 2240           Southern American English

MW 2-3:15

Mark Elson

This course introduces students to the history and structure of the dialectology of the American South. It begins with Standard American English and the concept of standard language, proceeding to Southern Regional Standard, and then to a survey of the main points of structure of both Coastal and Inland (Appalachian) Southern. It concludes with a discussion of hypotheses relating to the history and sociolinguistics of Southern. There are two graded homework assignments and a final examination at the time scheduled by the University.


PSYC 4110           Psycholinguistics

M 3:30-6

Filip Loncke

This seminar focuses on the psychological processes that underlie the acquisition and the use of language. There is an emphasis on the interaction between linguistic skills and other cognitive skills. The course also looks at flexibility of language and language use, and the influence of psycholinguistic processes on reading and writing, the social use of language, and language in other modalities. There will be a focus on learnability and teachability issues. Enrollment is limited to Psychology majors.


PSYC 4120           Psychology of Reading

W 3:30-6

Beverly Adams

Analyzes the critical psychological experiments which have influenced the way that psychologists consider topics in reading, such as text comprehension, parsing, and sentence processing. Prerequisite: PSYC 1010 or 2150 or instructor permission. Enrollment is limited to advanced undergraduates in Psychology, Linguistics, Cognitive Science, or Speech and Hearing Science. Students may not simultaneously enroll in more than one 4000-level or 5000-level PSYC course.


SLAV 5100           Old Church Slavonic

MW 8:30-9:45

Mark Elson

This course introduces students to the earliest attested Slavic language (tenth/eleventh century), a generalized form of East Balkan Slavic which is commonly referred to as Old Church Slavonic. This language has survived (in somewhat modified form) as the liturgical/literary language of Orthodox (as opposed to Catholic and other) Slavs. The course will treat the structure of the language, its status as an ancient Indo-European language, and will include the reading and analysis of texts. Prerequisites: one year of Russian and the permission of the instructor. Fulfills the Structure requirement for Linguistics.


SPAN 3000           Phonetics

MW 3:30-4:45

Omar Velázquez-Mendoza

Spanish Phonetics provides an introduction to the sound system of both Peninsular and Latin American Spanish. Class discussions focus on how the sounds of Spanish are produced from an articulatory point of view, and how these sounds are organized and represented in the linguistic competence of their speakers. When appropriate, comparisons will be made between Spanish and English or Spanish and other (Romance) languages. This course seeks to improve the students’ pronunciation. Taught in Spanish.


SPAN 3200           Introduction to Hispanic Linguistics

TR 11-12:15
TR 12:30-1:45

Emily Scida

In this course we will explore various areas of linguistics as they relate to the study of the Spanish language, including: the sound system (phonetics and phonology), word formation (morphology), sentence structure (syntax), language change (historical linguistics), linguistic variation (dialectology), meaning (semantics), and language learning (second language acquisition). Through course readings and assignments, students will learn to apply linguistic analysis to the study of language and understand how research in linguistics informs what we know about language. Coursework will include weekly writing assignments, six quizzes, a digital research project, and a final exam. Taught in Spanish. Prerequisite: SPAN 3010. Fulfills the Structure requirement for Linguistics.


SPAN 4200           History of the Language

TR 2-3:15

Joel Rini

Prerequisite: SPAN 3200 and 3010, or 3000 and 3010, or departmental placement. This course is intended to provide an introduction to the evolution of the Spanish language from its origins to the present day, and to familiarize the student with the structure of Old Spanish (i.e., phonological, morphological, and syntactic systems of 13th- and 14th-century Castilian) in order to facilitate the reading of Old Spanish texts. Fulfills the Historical requirement for Linguistics.


SPAN 4202           Hispanic Sociolinguistics

MW 2-3:15

Omar Velázquez-Mendoza

his course examines the Spanish language within its social context by exploring—among others—the following topics: 1) language versus dialect; 2) the standard language; 3) linguistic variation and its main variables: geography, style, gender, age, etc.; 4) grammaticalization as a social process; 5) language variation and language change; 6) language contact and biligualism; 7) Spanish in the US. Taught in Spanish.