Current Courses

Fall 2022

ANTH 2400           Language and Culture

TR 12:30-1:20 + obligatory discussion session

Nathan Wendte

The ways in which humans use and evaluate language are deeply ingrained in who we are and how we see the world both individually and collectively. This course introduces students to the study of language, culture, and society. No prior knowledge is assumed—we will consider topics such as how linguists analyze language data, how anthropologists link language and thought, how language is performed and received, and how our identities are reflected in and altered by linguistic behavior. Come curious! Satisfies the College Non-Western perspectives requirement.

 

ANTH 2410          Sociolinguistics

MW 9-9:50am + 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

TR 11-12:15

Lise Dobrin

This course introduces students to the diversity of human language and the principles of linguistic classification. How many languages are spoken in the world, and how are they related? What features do languages share, and in what ways may they differ? In surveying the world's languages, we will focus on the structure and social situation of a set of representative languages for each region covered. We will also discuss the global trend of shift from the use of minority languages to large languages of wider communication, and what this means for the future of human diversity. Course work includes problem sets, essays, and a final paper on the linguistic features and social situation of a minor language. Prerequisites: one year of a foreign language or permission of instructor.

 

ANTH 2541          Topics in Linguistics: French Creole Language Structures

TR 9:30-10:45

Nathan Wendte

This course examines the similarities and differences in phonology, morphology, and syntax among those creole languages whose primary lexicon is derived from French. We will especially focus on Louisiana Creole. We also broach important theoretical debates concerning creoles as a linguistic type, the creole continuum, and the concept of de-creolization. Finally, we attempt to answer the perennial question: What is a creole? The answer is at least as much anthropological as it is linguistic. Familiarity with French, though not required, will be useful. This course fulfills the Structure requirement for Linguistics majors and counts as a Linguistics requirement for Cognitive Science majors.

 

ANTH 3450/7450           Native American Languages

TR 2-3:15

Armik Mirzayan

Introduces students to Indigenous languages of the Americas, the methods that linguists and anthropologists use to record and analyze them, and how communities reflect on, care for, and use their languages to build social, cultural, and cognitive worlds. Examines the use and production of grammars, dictionaries, text collections, and linguistic corpora of individual languages and affords comparative insight into the diversity among the languages of Native America in historic and contemporary perspectives. Fulfills the Language Structure requirement for the Linguistics program.

 

ANTH 3480           Language and Prehistory

WF 10-10:50 + obligatory discussion section

Eve Danziger

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. Students will acquire the techniques of linguistic reconstruction and consider the use of linguistic evidence in tracing prehistoric population movements, in demonstrating contact among prehistoric groups, and in the reconstruction of daily life. Examples and case studies will be drawn from the Mayan languages of Central America and will include discussion of pre-Columbian Mesoamerican writing systems and their ongoing decipherment. Over the semester, students will be responsible for completing several homework assignments based on course content, plus midterm and final exams. Fulfills the Historical requirement for Linguistics majors.

 

ANTH 4420/7420         Theories of Language

TR 11-12:15

Mark Sicoli

This class is an advanced seminar that is both a history of modern linguistics with a focus on grammatical theory, and a venue to build practice comparing grammatical theories for the purposes for which they may be valued, and for their relationships to variable and changing societal concerns with language in the history of science. We will survey a number of modern “Western” schools of linguistics, trying to understand each approach in terms of its historical setting, the stated and unstated pragmatic goals its adherents set themselves, the assumptions they make about the nature/ontology of language, and the relations between theory, methodology and analytical practices. The main focus is on comparison among theories of syntax, but we will also discuss some phonological theories whose theoretical concepts have been applied to grammar and beyond. This course prioritizes enrollment for advanced linguistics students as it fulfills the Theory requirement for Linguistics majors and graduate students.

 

ANTH 5470        Language and Identity

W 5-7:30 pm

Nathan Wendte

In anthropology, where identity has become a central concern, language is seen as an important site for the construction and negotiation of social identities. In linguistics, reference to categories of social identity helps to explain language structure and change. This seminar explores aspects of the history of identity within linguistics research, principally framing the concept through the notion of discourse.

 

ANTH 5541-01          Topics in Linguistics: Theory and Practice of Language Documentation

Lise Dobrin

MW 3:30-4:45

This course explores the theoretical, practical, and ethical foundations of language documentation and linguistic fieldwork, forms of research that can hardly be separated in this era of global language shift and endangerment. How do the motivations of linguistic field research differ across interested constituencies, including scholars of various personal and academic backgrounds, the public, and speech communities themselves? What kinds of considerations, both linguistic and extralinguistic, must be addressed when planning and carrying out a linguistically-focused fieldwork project? Finally, we will think deeply about the audiovisual recordings and field notes that result from linguistic fieldwork: Who owns these artifacts? How should they be stored and presented? How should access to them be regulated? What is the relationship between these forms of linguistic data and the languages that they purport to represent? And to what extent can the outcomes of linguistic field research be reduced to such artifacts apart from the social relations that enabled their production?

 

ANTH 5541-02          Topics in Linguistics: The Anthropology of Truth and Belief

T 5-7:30

Eve Danziger

What makes us believe? Across history and cultures there have been different answers: perhaps faith in an ultimate authority, reliance on first-hand evidence, or interpersonal trust in others’ sincerity. In the context of current anxiety over fake news and misinformation, we examine various regimes of belief, with special attention to the role of speech and language in them, and to their influence on ideas about the nature of language itself.

 

ANTH 7400         Linguistic Anthropology

MW 2-3:15

Daniel Lefkowitz

This course is an advanced introduction to the study of language from an anthropological perspective that presupposes no prior coursework in linguistics. The aim is to prepare graduate students to use what they learn in their own research. Topics include language structure, the nature of indexicality and the use of linguistic symbols, the linguistic shaping of worldview, language as a form of social action, ethnographic approaches to study of language, the social meaningfulness of linguistic differences, storytelling in social life, and more. Students will explore the implications of these topics through readings, discussion, and an application of linguistic anthropological concepts to a particular ethnographic setting chosen in consultation with the instructor. The course fulfills the Linguistics requirement for the Anthropology graduate program and the Theory requirement for the Linguistics graduate program.

 

ASL 3450         Comparative Linguistics: ASL and English

MWF 10-10:50

Rhonda Jennings-Arey

Describes spoken English and ASL (American Sign Language) on five levels: phonological, morphological, lexical, syntactic, and discourse and compares/contrasts them using real-world examples. Describes major linguistic components and processes of English and ASL. Introduces basic theories regarding ASL structure. Emphasizes ASL's status as a natural language by comparing/contrasting similarities and unique differences between the two languages. Fulfills the Structure requirement for the Linguistics major.

 

EDHS 4300/LING 7300          Psycholinguistics & Communication

TR 3:30-4:45

Filip Loncke

This course focuses on the psychological processes that underlie the use of language and speech. Do humans have a linguistic brain, or cognitive brain that can do linguistic tricks? Is language competence different from other human skills? Is language a biological, a psychological, a cultural phenomenon, or all of these? Why do people speak with an accent? Why do we forget words (and why do we remember them)? The course will provide insight in (1) the psychological reality of linguistic models; (2) the origins of language, (3) neurolinguistics, (4) the relation between sound, speech, and language, (5) the nature of the mental lexicon and lexical access, (6) processing syntactic structures, (7) the trajectory from intention to articulation, (8) bilingualism and language diversity, (9) the psycholinguistics of language breakdown, (10) the psychology of everyday use of language.

 

FREN 4509          Seminar in French Linguistics: L’individu bilingue / The bilingual speaker

TR 12:30-1:45

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 seminar, 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 languesle monde des bilingues (an excellent analysis of the complex field for the French audience).  Through our study of Grosjean and other sources, we will gain insight into some of the persistent myths about bilingualism and the bilingual individual.  We will acquire knowledge of the linguistic characteristics of the bilingual speaker (e.g., the phenomenon of code switching, the principle of complementarity, language dominance, mixed linguistic systems, accent retention, translating / interpreting difficulties).  We will advance our understanding of how one becomes bilingual in the first place (linguistic and psycholinguistic aspects).  We will observe how others (writers, translators, artists, teachers, etc.) speak about bilingual/bicultural individuals in their work, and much more.   Students will conduct fieldwork, record and analyze oral interviews, give oral presentations, and contribute daily to the in-class discussions on assigned readings and film clips.  The seminar will be taught in French.  Participants must feel comfortable speaking French in the classroom, as well as outside the classroom (some field projects will require the use of French). FREN 4509 counts for major/minor credit in French as well as in Linguistics.

 

LING 3101/5101          ESL Teaching Practicum: Language

F 3-3:50

Janay Crabtree

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 3102/5102          ESL Teaching Practicum: Culture

F 4-4:50

Janay Crabtree

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 3103/5103          ESL Teaching Practicum: Writing

F 5-5:50

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, implement lesson plans, log practice hours, 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.

 

LING 3400/7400          Structure of English

MW 10-10:50 + obligatory discussion section

Janay Crabtree

This course provides students with a foundation in the grammar of the English language. Topics include the phonology, morphology, syntax, with a focus on structural analysis. Students will gain confidence in discussing the form, function, and usage of linguistic structures. Students will also have an opportunity to research topics related to structure for presentation. Undergraduates will participate in group research projects, and graduate students will be expected to develop a conference-quality presentation. Where possible, topics will also be related to the teaching and tutoring of English as a second language including interlanguage analysis and feedback. This course fulfills the structure requirement for Linguistics majors and graduate students.

 

LING 4650/6650          Linguistic Typology

M 5-7:30

Armik Mirzayan

This is a course on the study of the similarities and variations observed between human languages. We will address such questions as: How do languages vary from each other? What are the limits to crosslinguistic variation? What factors motivate these limits? How do languages of the world group in terms of the grammatical features that they have in common? After an overview of the structural units used to encode meaning in language, we will explore variation in morphology, variation in syntax, and the relationship between variation in the two domains. Finally, we will briefly survey typological approaches to other phenomena, including phonology, lexical semantics, and language death. Fulfills the Theory requirement for Linguistics majors and graduate students.

 

LING 5409          Acoustic Phonetics

TR 12:30-1:45

Armik Mirzayan

To acquire a good understanding of speech sounds, we must understand how speech sounds are produced, the physical nature of the sounds, and how the ear and brain work to recognize sounds as carriers of meaning distinguishing units in speech. In this course we investigate these processes by focusing on three broad questions: (1) How do we produce speech in communication? (2) How do we perceive speech in communication? and (3) How does the nature of these processes influence the sound patterns of languages in the world? In the process of doing so will also be learning experimental and analytical techniques that enable us to carefully investigate these (and other related) questions.

 

LNGS 3250/7010         Introduction to Linguistic Theory and Analysis

MWF 11-11:50

Mark Elson

This course introduces students to language as a system and the theoretical underpinnings of the analytic procedures used by linguists. It proceeds from the assumption that the goal of language is to communicate (i.e., to convey meaning via messages), and investigates assumptions relating to the manner in which it accomplishes this goal. This course is required for all Linguistics majors and graduate students.

 

SLAV 5100        ​Old Church Slavonic

MW 8:30-9:45

Mark Elson

This course treats the phonology and grammar of Old Church Slavonic, the oldest attested Slavic language, and the language which brought Christianity to the Slavs. No knowledge of theoretical linguistics in required, and no previous knowledge of a Slavic language is necessary in principle, but some knowledge of Russian is recommended and without question useful. The course includes an introduction to the relevant texts as well. Students with an interest in Indo-European and ancient Indo-European languages are welcome.

 

SPAN 3000        ​Phonetics

TR 12:30-1:45

Omar Velázquez-Mendoza

An introduction to the sound system of both Peninsular & 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 & non-Romance) languages. This course seeks to improve the student's pronunciation.

 

SPAN 3000        ​Phonetics

TR 9:30 AM - 10:45 AM

Emily Scida

Prerequisite: SPAN 3010 or equivalent.

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 standard Spanish and other varieties of Spanish and between Spanish and English. This course seeks to improve the student's pronunciation with extensive practice and work in the Language Lab. 

 

SPAN 4530-01          Understanding the Forms of Spanish

MW 2-3:15

Joel Rini

The students will carry out with the professor an in-depth analysis of the morphological system of Spanish from a historical perspective. Various areas of this linguistic system will receive special attention, with the purpose of offering the students a better understanding of why Spanish exhibits the forms of the language that it does.

 

SPAN 4530-02          Spanish vis-à-vis Other Romance Languages

TR 3:30-4:45

Omar Velázquez-Mendoza

Drawing on a comparative approach to language change, this course traces the primitive origins and historical development of the major linguistic changes that took place in the passage from Latin to Spanish and other Romance (i.e., Latin-derived) languages, mainly Portuguese, Italian, and French. Topics to be explored include: Expected and unexpected phonological changes in the neo-Latin language continuum; the role of analogy and ‘contamination’ in language change; etymological and non-etymological nasalization; the object + verb to verb + object shift; the prepositional direct object; expressions of possession; pronominal replacement and duplication of direct and indirect objects. Prerequisite: SPAN 3010 or equivalent AND SPAN 3000 or SPAN 3200 or any other linguistics course focusing on Spanish or on any other language. Conducted in Spanish.

 

SPAN 7220          History of the Spanish Language

MW 2-3:15

Joel Rini

This course traces the historical development of the Spanish language (mainly) from its origins as a spoken Latin variety to the present. Topics include: The relationship between language change and language variation; the Indo-European language family; Romanization of the Iberian Peninsula; Classical vs. 'Vulgar' Latin; Visigothic and Arab influence on the Spanish language; Latin and Medieval Spanish word order; Latin/Romance Diglossia during the High Middle Ages; Expressions of possession in Medieval Spanish; Direct object marking in Old Spanish; New World Spanish. Prerequisite: Graduate standing. No previous coursework in linguistics required. Conducted in Spanish. Fulfills the historical requirement for the M.A. program.