Undergraduate Program

Courses

The Department of Linguistics offers both technical courses in formal linguistics (200+ level) and courses (100 level) that do not require technical background in linguistics and address issues in human society from a linguist's perspective.

workshop

The 200+ level courses are the courses of the major and minor, and require LIN110: Intro to Linguistic Analysis, which is the gateway course into the major.

The 100 level courses are aimed a general non-technical audience interested in contemporary issues with a perspective on language and society that is informed by the insights contemporary linguistic analysis brings to our understanding of human language communities.

Courses currently being offered:

Check the course schedules/descriptions available via the Registrar's Office for the official schedules for the widest range of terms for which such information is available.


This is a list of all courses the Department of Linguistics has offered. These courses are often not taught every year. Please contact the department for more information on courses not offered in a given term.

LIN 101 PEOPLE & THEIR LANGUAGE

The course usually addresses the basic question "What is Language?" from a broad variety of perspectives; this time, ecolinguistics is the backdrop for contemplating the question. We will consider questions such as: What elements in human languages relate to/capture/reflect environment, both intimate (body) and immediate (local landscape) as well global (“greenwashing”)? How the particular means of speaking reflect our life, or, conversely, have a chance of an impact on our life? How does non-verbal movement relate to spoken language? What are the linguistic elements we use? How are these linguistic elements systematically organized, and how does diversity look like? How is plant and animal communication like or unlike language? What is the value of linguistic diversity? How is linguistic diversity akin to ecological diversity? Are some languages/dialects better than others in serving our communicative and/or environmental needs?

Prerequisites: None
Last Offered: Fall 2017

LIN 102 LANGUAGE & SOCIAL IDENTITY

This course introduces how language is used and perceived to mark social and cultural characteristics of an individual or group of individuals. We will examine how one’s social identity is constructed, which linguistic cues are used consciously to denote different social identities, and how most linguistic cues delineating social groupings are below conscious awareness. This course will discuss topics on prescriptive and descriptive perspectives of language, standardization, dialects, accents, pidgins and creoles, social stratification, and social, racial and linguistic profiling.

Last Offered: Spring 2017

LIN 103 LANGUAGE & SEXUALITY

This course will investigate various aspects of language as used by members of sexual minority groups, focusing on language of and about gay men, lesbians, bisexuals and transgender people, including "reclaimed epithets" (e.g., 'dyke' and 'queer'), gender vs. sexuality vs. sex, and the role of language in creating /maintaining sexual categories and identities.

Last Offered: Fall 2015

LIN 104 LANGUAGE & CULTURE

This course investigates the relationship between language and culture at the interface of linguistics and anthropology. It examines the ways in which language • reflects the perception of the world, ways of life and beliefs of its speakers • creates rituals and maintains social ties • is used by people of different ages, genders, social classes, and ethnicities We will discuss hypotheses that try to explain the nature of relationship between language and culture and then turn to a wide variety of topics which are relevant for both linguists and anthropologists. These include, for instance, kinship systems and language, language of perception (e.g. colors, spatial relations), culture and language change/language variation, writing systems, and intercultural communication.

Prerequisites: None
Last Offered: Fall 2017

LIN 105 LANGUAGE IN ADVERTISING

The course examines the use advertisers make of language in selling their products and how it affects our perceptions of the product and ourselves. The emphasis is on learning about linguistic practice. The course will appeal to those who are curious about the central role language plays in the art of persuasion presented as advertising. The course touches upon the structure of language only insofar as it is relevant for understanding advertising as a form of social action. The acquired linguistic tools will help us to understand how commercial messages achieve their effect, regardless of their origins: business, culture or grass roots movements.

Last Offered: Spring 2016

LIN 106 LINGUISTICS AND THE LAW

This course offers a critical examination of how linguistic analysis figures in legal issues and practices, a growing field known as forensic linguistics. Topics include speaker identification, the use of questions in eliciting testimony, translation and interpretation in the courtroom, and legal language. Emphasis is on understanding and assessing linguistic argumentation and how it is applied (and sometimes misrepresented and misapplied) in the domain of law.

Last Offered: Fall 2011

LIN 110 INTRODUCTION TO LINGUISTIC ANALYSIS

This course introduces students to the study of the structure of human language. We will cover the six core areas of linguistic investigation: Phonetics (articulation, acoustics, and perception of speech sounds), Phonology (sound patterns), Morphology (internal structure of words and their organization in the mental lexicon), Syntax (internal structure of phrases and sentences), Semantics (word and sentence meaning), and Pragmatics (language use in context). The course focuses on developing skills in the areas of linguistic data analysis and interpretation of linguistic data in ways that aim to address theoretical and empirical issues in the study of language.

Prerequisites: None
Last Offered: Fall 2017

LIN 160 THE RHETORICAL SENTENCE

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2017

LIN 161 MODERN ENGLISH GRAMMAR

This course is a comprehensive review of the grammar of Modern Standard English. The course will be of interest to those who wish to sharpen their language skills, or to know more about the workings of the English language whether for practical, cognitive or creative ends. Drawing on work in mostly pre-theoretical, descriptive linguistics this course reveals the mechanics of Standard English structure, with occasional detours into the finesse of usage across registers (dialect to slang). Students will learn to develop the ability to see patterns in grammar, as well as its structural possibilities and limits. Assignments will regularly involve reflection on form, usage and speaker judgments. Through a final project, students will investigate some aspect of an English variety available to them. Throughout, students will be working with their data samples of English to explore how speaker choices lead to particular grammatical structures or yield ungrammaticality. Background in linguistics or grammar not needed.

Prerequisites: None
Last Offered: Fall 2017

LIN 162 MODERN AFRICAN-AMERICAN ENGLISH

This course looks at the varieties of English used primarily by and among African Americans. We will first explore and discuss the linguistic features (lexicon and grammar) of African American English (AAE). We will also investigate the ways in which AAE is being utilized in popular culture. Additionally, we will look at AAVE’s connection to African languages and creoles. Finally, this course will look at the issues connected to AAVE and attitudes towards this variety and its effects on teachers’ expectations and students' progress; linguistic profiling and discrimination in employment and housing.

Last Offered: Spring 2017

LIN 205 HISTORICAL LINGUISTICS

This course is designed to give an introduction to the principles of linguistic variation and change, and to examine their practical application in the interdisciplinary subfields of historical linguistics and historical sociolinguistics. Topics covered include diachrony and synchrony, genetic relations, the comparative method and language classification, sound change, morphological, syntactic and semantic change, borrowing, types of language contact, areal linguistics, and linguistic variation and social stratification.

Prerequisites: LIN 110
Last Offered: Fall 2017

LIN 206 HISTORY OF THE ENGLISH LANG

The development of the English language from the Anglo Saxon period on up, focusing on texts from representative periods.

Last Offered: Spring 2017

LIN 207 OLD ENGLISH LITERATURE

No description

Last Offered: Fall 2017

LIN 208 LANGUAGE DEVELOPMENT

Introduces children's language development, including the acquisition of phonology, syntax, and semantics. Focuses on the acquisition of a first language by young children, comparing the acquisition of a variety of spoken and signed languages to find possible universal principles of language learning.

Last Offered: Spring 2017

LIN 210 INTRODUCTION TO LANGUAGE SOUND SYSTEMS

The goal of this course is to provide a background for understanding the principles that underlie the structure of sound systems in human languages. Starting with the notion ‘phoneme’, the course focuses on acoustic and articulatory phonetics, as a basis for understanding phonological processes and change in linguistic sound forms. Students will acquire skills in the production, recognition, and transcription of sounds in various languages of the world. The course will serve as a foundation for work in language documentation, sociolinguistics and sociophonetics, morphology. This course can be taken as LIN 210 or as LIN 410 and is meant for linguistics majors and non-majors alike.

Prerequisites: LIN110
Last Offered: Fall 2017

LIN 210W INTRODUCTION TO LANGUAGE SOUND SYSTEMS

The goal of this course is to provide a background for understanding the principles that underlie the structure of sound systems in human languages. Starting with the notion ‘phoneme’, the course focuses on acoustic and articulatory phonetics, as a basis for understanding phonological processes and change in linguistic sound forms. Students will acquire skills in the production, recognition, and transcription of sounds in various languages of the world. The course will serve as a foundation for work in language documentation, sociolinguistics and sociophonetics, morphology. This course can be taken as LIN 210 or as LIN 410 and is meant for linguistics majors and non-majors alike.

Prerequisites: LIN110
Last Offered: Fall 2017

LIN 217 LANGUAGE & PSYCHOLINGUISTICS

Overviews the nature and processing of human languages, including comparisons between language and animal communication systems, the biological bases of human language, and the cognitive mechanisms used in producing, understanding, and learning language.

Last Offered: Fall 2017

LIN 218 LANGUAGE & THE BRAIN

Examines how the comprehension and production of language is implemented in the human brain. Uses evidence from neuropsychological and brain imaging studies to consider the following questions: What is the network of brain areas that subserves language processing? What are the specific functions of these areas? What happens when these brain areas are damaged? What is the timing of brain activity in these areas during language processing? Finally, how do the brain areas involved in language processing overlap with those involved in other complex cognitive processes?

Last Offered: Spring 2017

LIN 219 PHILOSOPHY OF LANGUAGE

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2014

LIN 220 INTRODUCTION TO GRAMMATICAL SYSTEMS

This introductory course examines the grammatical structure of sentences from the standpoint of transformational grammar. The course develops the basic techniques of syntactic analysis in order to develop a working grammar of a (fragment of) English. LIN 220W partially satisfies the Upper-Level Writing requirement for the Linguistics major. Linguistics majors should take the W version of the course.

Prerequisites: LIN 110
Last Offered: Spring 2017

LIN 220W INTRO TO GRAMMATICAL SYSTEMS

This introductory course examines the grammatical structure of sentences from the standpoint of transformational grammar. The course develops the basic techniques of syntactic analysis in order to develop a working grammar of a (fragment of) English. No syntax background is assumed.

Last Offered: Spring 2017

LIN 225 INTRODUCTION TO SEMANTIC ANALYSIS

This course introduces students to the basics of the analysis of meaning in natural language. The first section focuses on devices that motivate certain forms to take on the meanings they have. The second section of the course moves on to discuss how meanings combine to form meanings for larger units—how words and phrases combine to form sentences meanings. Using logical notation we illustrate the formal analysis of natural language meaning in terms of truth-conditions. We will discuss the basics of set theory, and investigate how meanings represented in these terms correlate with the syntactic and lexical structures of sentences of natural language. Students of graduate standing or those with strong formal backgrounds may consider starting with LIN 265/465 instead, for which this course is ordinarily a prerequisite. This course counts towards satisfying the core course requirement for majors.

Prerequisites: LIN 110
Last Offered: Fall 2017

LIN 226 MORPHOLOGY

The course examines the structure and definition of the linguistic unit "word'" its typology and the relationship of the morphological component to other levels in the grammar. The course includes an introduction to analytical techniques with emphasis placed on an examination of data from a range of languages. The building blocks of words will be analyzed and topics such as affixation, reduplication and inflectional and derivational morphology will be covered. We will examine the properties of words and how they fit into the larger structure of linguistic knowledge, including the relationship between words and syntactic structure (ex., phrases and sentences) and the relationship between words and phonological structure (ex., phonological rules and prosodic structure).

Prerequisites: LIN110
Last Offered: Fall 2017

LIN 227 TOPICS IN PHONETICS & PHONOLOGY

This course is intended to provide participants with an overview of research in an area of phonetics and phonology. Issues vary from term to term but may cover areas in segmental, metrical and intonational phonology and the phonology/phonetics interface. This term we will be focusing on the phonological and sociolinguistic aspects of sound change. We will begin with foundational papers on the topic of sound change from both a historical and synchronic perspective. Students will learn about linguistic variation and ongoing change locally in the Inland North dialect area through the analysis of their own interview data. Past and recent studies of the Inland North will provide a framework for learning about the linguistic and social motivations of sound change.

Prerequisites: LIN 110, LIN 210
Last Offered: Spring 2017

LIN 228 LEXICAL SEMANTICS

In this course we investigate the study of word-meaning in current linguistics and cognitive science. We examine the meanings of lexical items such as verbs, nouns, adjectives, and prepositions, and also other categories of words, including various function words and discourse particles. We examine theories of word-meaning, and examine how words and vocabulary may vary between languages.

Prerequisites: LIN 110, and either LIN 210, LIN 220 or LIN 225 or permission of instructor
Last Offered: Spring 2017

LIN 230 SIGNE LANGUAGE STRUCTURE

Examines signed languages and the cognitive constraints that shape them, through a detailed consideration of the structure of American Sign Language and other natural signed languages of the world. Includes training in sign language notation and analysis. Knowledge of sign language is required.

Last Offered: Spring 2017

LIN 234 MODERN ENGLISH GRAMMAR

The course Modern English Grammar is a systematic and rigorous survey of the structure of contemporary, general purpose, international Standard English. We survey principles governing the construction of English words, phrases, clauses and sentences, and examine elements of the English spelling system. Throughout, the course pays attention to areas of grammar that commonly come to the attention of writers and learners, with a focus how an understanding of the systematic nature of the language might yield insight into these and other phenomena.

Last Offered: Fall 2010

LIN 241 LANGUAGE USE & UNDERSTANDING

Explores the cognitive mechanisms used to speak and understand language, with a special focus on contextually situated language use. Studies the moment-by-moment processes underlying language production and comprehension, including how speakers choose words and phrases and how listeners understand them.

Last Offered: Spring 2017

LIN 247 NATURAL LANGUAGE PROCESSING

An introduction to natural language processing: constructing computer programs that understand natural language. Topics include parsing, semantic analysis, and knowledge representation. CSC 447, a graduate-level course, requires additional readings and assignments. Prereqs: CSC 172 & CSC 242

Last Offered: Fall 2016

LIN 248 STATISTICAL SPEECH & LANGUAGE PROCESSING

An introduction to statistical natural language processing and automatic speech recognition techniques. This course presents the theory and practice behind the recently developed language processing technologies that enable applications such as speech-driven dictation systems, document search engines (e.g., finding web pages) and automatic machine translation. Students taking this course at the 400 level will be required to complete additional readings and/or assignments. Pre-reqs: CSC 172 and CSC 242

Last Offered: Fall 2017

LIN 250 DATA SCIENCE FOR LINGUISTICS

This course addresses linguistic research questions through data science techniques. The course will focus on developing skills to (i) acquire and process a variety of language data, from using established corpora to capturing data in the wild, and (ii) to investigate language use, particularly syntactic and semantic phenomena, through descriptive and inferential statistical techniques. A significant part of the course will be devoted to hands-on projects and will include developing familiarity with using the programming languages Python and R to acquire and explore linguistic data. Familiarity with statistics and/or computational linguistics is advantageous, but not necessary.

Prerequisites: LIN110, and either LIN210, LIN220 or LIN225
Last Offered: Spring 2017

LIN 260 SYNTACTIC THEORY

This course picks up where LIN 220 leaves off, though focusing more on topics in natural language syntax from a cross-linguistic perspective. The goal of the course is an approach to syntax that accounts for both language-particular as well as universal constraints on language. Among the topics studied are head and phrase movement, constraints on co-reference (anaphora), elipsis, and agreement (phi features).

Prerequisites: LIN 110, LIN 220 or permission of instructor.
Last Offered: Spring 2017

LIN 261 PHRASE STRUCTURE GRAMMARS

This syntactic theory course examines syntactic phenomena from the perspective of phrase structure and lexicalist grammar as opposed to transformational grammar. The course will examine and develop phrase structure grammar (specifically Head-driven Phrase Structure Grammar) approaches to standard syntactic problems, contrasting them where appropriate with transformational approaches. No background in non-transformational approaches will be assumed. This course can be taken as LIN 261 or as LIN 461 and is meant for linguistics majors and non-majors alike.

Prerequisites: LIN 110, LIN220 or permission of instructor.
Last Offered: Fall 2017

LIN 262 TOPICS IN EXPERIMENTAL SYNTAX

This course provides an introduction to experimental methods that can be used to investigate questions that are relevant for syntactic theory. We will discuss a range of methodologies, including self-paced reading, visual world eye-tracking, magnitude estimation and questionnaires. The course will be organized around several topics that have been central to syntactic research, such as anaphor resolution, ellipsis and quantifier scope in order to examine how experimental methods can complement existing work; for example, by shedding light on areas where stable judgments have traditionally been difficult to obtain, and by allowing us to investigate the time course of real-time language processing. By the end of this course students will be able to understand and critically evaluate research that uses various experimental methods, and be able to design and run their own experiments.

Prerequisites: LIN 110, LIN220 or permission of instructor
Last Offered: Fall 2015

LIN 265 FORMAL SEMANTICS

This course is an in-depth introduction to the formal analysis of natural language meaning, employing techniques that have been developed in language and formal philosophy over the last century. Issues include intensionality, quantification, tense, presupposition, plurality, the analysis of discourse, and other current issues. Familiarity with syntax, logic, and/or computation are helpful.

Prerequisites: LIN110, LIN225 OR PERMISSION OF INSTRUCTOR
Last Offered: Fall 2017

LIN 266 INTRODUCTION TO PRAGMATICS

Within theoretical linguistics, pragmatics is (broadly speaking) the study of how language users convey meaning. This course covers three general areas: (1) How meaning carried by linguistic elements (such as sentences) interacts with meaning that arises from inferences about speakers’ intentions; (2) Ways of characterizing meaning, especially with respect to linguistic elements not easily handled in traditional semantic (i.e., truth-conditional) terms; (3) The role of context in determining meaning. Topics to be discussed include the relation between semantics and pragmatics, representations of context, truth-conditional and other types of meaning, presupposition; implicature and Grice’s Cooperative Principle

Prerequisites: LIN110, LIN225
Last Offered: Spring 2016

LIN 267 TOPICS IN SYNTAX & SEMANTICS

This course covers topics at the interface of syntax and semantics. No specific syntax or semantics background is required, though the equivalent of LIN 220 is recommended.

LIN 268 COMPUTATIONAL SEMANTICS

This course is a hands-on exploration of recent advances in computational models of meaning. The first part of the course will focus on implementing traditional rule-based compositional semantics in the functional programming language Haskell. We will construct a sophisticated model of formal semantics, culminating in examining the use of monads to model types of natural language meaning phenomena. The second part of the course explores distributional semantic models and their implementation, where lexical meaning is defined in terms of lexical co-occurrence, estimating meaning from large-scale corpus resources.

Prerequisites: LIN110, LIN225 or permission of instructor
Last Offered: Fall 2017

LIN 270 TOOLS FOR LANGUAGE DOCUMENTATION

This is a hands-on class that introduces you to major techniques and tools in language documentation and description. You will learn how to collect and record a variety of language data through elicitation and text collection. The emphasis is then on organizing, managing, and processing these data sets for various purposes, such as building up a dictionary, annotating natural speech, and time-aligning media of different formats with computational tools such as Praat, Toolbox, and ELAN. Further, we will discuss crucial topics in language documentation such as fieldwork, ethics, and language revitalization.

Prerequisites: LIN110 or permission of instructor
Last Offered: Fall 2017

LIN 271 FIELD METHODS IN LING DESC I

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2017

LIN 387 TOPICS IN LINGUISTIC RESEARCH

The course is set to explore a current linguistic topic or topics in depth, drawing on the recent theoretical and empirical discoveries. The students have two options: to engage with the topic(s) proposed by the instructor or to pursue their own research topic under the guidance of the instructor. The topic this year: iconicity, the conceived similarity or analogy between the form of a linguistic sign and its meaning, as opposed to arbitrariness. Iconicity will be (i) examined in the typologically and genetically unrelated languages of the world; (ii) evaluated from different theoretical perspectives. The course would benefit students of linguistics and anthropological linguistics, cognitive sciences, psychology, music and literature studies.

Prerequisites: LIN 110 AND OF OF: 210 OR 220 OR 225
Last Offered: Fall 2017

LIN 388 TOPICS IN LANGUAGE CONTACT

Typology (Phonetic/Phonological, Morphosyntactic, Semantic, Discourse). Languages of the World: looking at the range of languages, language families and isolates across the world from a typological perspective, including typological variation within and among language families and areal features. Language in flux will also be addressed, e.g., historical changes, developmental acquisition data, competence vs. performance distinction. Language vitality topics will be covered, such as language death and language description, documentation, preservation and revitalization. The class will combine lectures led by the instructor and seminar sessions led by students.

Prerequisites: Instructor Permission
Last Offered: Spring 2017

LIN 389 SENIOR SEMINAR

A seminar course for senior Linguistic majors in their last semester of coursework. This seminar is a linguistics field methods course. We will work with a native speaker to elicit data and provide a description of the grammar of that speaker's language based on our data. This course is designed for senior Linguistics majors; for interested non-Linguistics majors or those who are not in their last semester of Linguistics coursework, please contact the instructor.

Prerequisites: LIN110, LIN210, LIN220, LIN225.
Last Offered: Spring 2017

LIN 390 SUPERVISED TEACHING

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2017

LIN 391 INDEPENDENT STUDY

No description

Last Offered: Fall 2017

LIN 391W INDEPENDENT STUDY

No description

Last Offered: Fall 2016

LIN 393 SENIOR PROJECT

No description

Last Offered: Fall 2017

LIN 394 INTERNSHIP

No description

Last Offered: Fall 2017

LIN 395 RESEARCH IN LIN

No description

Last Offered: Spring 2017

LIN 399 PRACTICUM IN LINGUISTICS

Investigation of special problems in linguistics.