Spring 2017   Fall 2016  

Spring 2017

LING 100-01

Introduction to Linguistics

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 03:00 pm-04:30 pm
  • Room: NEILL 112
  • Instructor: Stephanie Farmer

Notes: The aim of this course is to make you aware of the complex organization and systematic nature of language, the primary means of human communication. In a sense, you will be studying yourself, since you are a prime example of a language user. Most of your knowledge of language, however, is unconscious, and the part of language that you can describe is largely the result of your earlier education, which may have given you confused, confusing, or misleading notions about language. This course is intended to clarify your ideas about language and bring you to a better understanding of its nature. By the end of the course you should be familiar with some of the terminology and techniques of linguistic analysis and be able to apply this knowledge to the description of different languages. (4 credits)

LING 104-01

The Sounds of Language

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 09:40 am-11:10 am
  • Room: NEILL 113
  • Instructor: Christina Esposito

Notes: *Permission of instructor required*

Nearly all natural languages are spoken. Biological properties of the human ear, pharynx, larynx, tongue, and lung impose limits on the sounds of human languages, which can be studied from both a biological and an acoustic point of view. In this course you will be trained to produce and recognize (almost) all the sounds which human languages make use of, and to develop a systematic way of analyzing and recording them. Since sounds are perceived as well as produced, you will also be introduced to the acoustic analysis of speech, learning how acoustic signals of frequency, amplitude, and duration are translated into visible, quantifiable images. You will learn the art of decoding these spectrograms into sounds and words and sentences. The linguistics laboratory contains several different programs for practicing and listening to sounds from many of the world's languages. This course is recommended for students of foreign languages, drama, music and anyone who wants to become more aware of their (and other people's) pronunciation. (4 credits)

LING 175-01

Sociolinguistics

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 10:50 am-11:50 am
  • Room: NEILL 402
  • Instructor: Marianne Milligan

Notes: *Cross-listed with SOCI 175-01; instructor is looking for class breakdown to be 5 seats Sr/Jr, 10 seats Soph and 5 seats FY students*

Sociolinguistics is the study of the social language variation inevitable in all societies, be they closed and uniform or diverse and multicultural. Language and culture are so closely tied that it is nearly impossible to discuss language variation without also understanding its relation to culture. As humans, we judge each other constantly on the basis of the way we talk, we make sweeping generalizations about people's values and moral worth solely on the basis of the language they speak. Diversity in language often stands as a symbol of ethnic and social diversity. If someone criticizes our language we feel they are criticizing our inmost self. This course introduces students to the overwhelming amount of linguistic diversity in the United States and elsewhere, while at the same time making them aware of the cultural prejudices inherent in our attitude towards people who speak differently from us. The class involves analysis and discussion of the readings, setting the stage for exploration assignments, allowing students to do their own research on linguistic diversity. (4 credits)


LING 200-01

English Syntax

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 01:10 pm-02:10 pm
  • Room: NEILL 113
  • Instructor: John Haiman

Notes: This course deals with the formal properties of discourse organization above the word level. Using local English as our test case, we introduce and refine the conceptual apparatus of theoretical syntax: syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic categories, the ways they are coded in English, phrase structure rules and recursion, semantic and pragmatic motivations for formal structures, movement rules, anaphora, and dependence relations. Some properties of English are (probable) language universals. (4 credits)

LING 201-01

Historical Linguistics

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 02:20 pm-03:20 pm
  • Room: NEILL 102
  • Instructor: John Haiman

Notes: Languages are constantly changing. The English written by Chaucer 600 years ago is now very difficult to understand without annotation, not to mention anything written a few centuries before that. This course investigates the nature of language change, how to determine a language's history, its relationship to other languages and the search for common ancestors or "proto-languages." We will discuss changes at various linguistic levels: sound change, lexical change, syntactic change and changes in word meaning over time. Although much of the work done in this field involves Indo-European languages, we will also look at change in many other language families. This is a practical course, most of class time will be spent DOING historical linguistics, rather than talking about it. We will be looking at data sets from many different languages and trying to make sense of them. In the cases where we have examples of many related languages, we will try to reconstruct what the parent language must have looked like. (4 credits)

LING 225-01

100 Words for Snow: Language and Nature

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 01:10 pm-02:10 pm
  • Room: NEILL 217
  • Instructor: Marianne Milligan

Notes: *Cross-listed with ENVI 225-01; ACTC student may register on the first day of class with permission of the instructor*

Human beings have an unprecedented ability to shape the environment around them, yet the environment powerfully shapes both individuals and species. Two main questions run throughout this course: 1. How does language influence the way we think about and perceive nature, which in turn influences the way we interact with and shape nature? 2. How has our environment shaped the Language faculty and individual languages? To answer these questions, we’ll start by asking, what is language and what is nature? Then we'll turn to the way that our environment has impacted the evolution of Language. Next we'll look at indigenous knowledge as it is encoded by language and the Linguistic Relativity Hypothesis, which says that language influences the way we perceive the world. With this as background, we'll look at the language of environmental discourse. Next, using the metaphor of ecology, we'll examine languages as if they were organisms and analyze the ecosystems that sustain them. Knowing what makes a healthy language, we'll look at endangered languages and the connections between linguistic diversity and biodiversity.

LING 294-01

Computational Methods

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 01:20 pm-02:50 pm
  • Room: NEILL 217
  • Instructor: Stephanie Farmer

Notes: *Cross-listed with COMP 294-01* This course is an introduction to the computational strategies used by linguists in research on human language. We will learn the basics of programming in Python and how to apply this skill to the analysis and manipulation of natural language data. We will also explore the successes and limitations of modern natural language processing technologies such as machine translation, speech recognition, and the computational representation of meaning.

LING 294-02

Translation as Cross-Cultural Communication

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 01:20 pm-02:50 pm
  • Room: NEILL 112
  • Instructor: Julia Chadaga

Notes: *Cross-listed with INTL 265-01 and RUSS 265-01* When communication takes place across language barriers, it raises fundamental questions about meaning, style, power relationships, and traditions. This course treats literary translation as a particularly complex form of cross-cultural interaction. Students will work on their own translations of prose or poetry while considering broader questions of translation, through critiques of existing translations, close comparisons of variant translations, and readings on cultural and theoretical aspects of literary translation. Advanced proficiency in a second language required.

LING 301-01

Language and Alienation

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 01:20 pm-02:50 pm
  • Room: NEILL 102
  • Instructor: John Haiman

Notes: We are living in the midst of an "irony epidemic," where two of the most frequently used expressions in current American English are "like" and "whatever." Both of these are literally advertisements that words are not the real thing (at best, they are "like" it), and that they don't matter (since "whatever" you say is equally a matter of indifference). This course takes as its point of departure the sarcasm and irony in spoken American English, and proceeds to an investigation of how the peculiar message of sarcasm ("I don't mean this") is conveyed in other languages, and in the media. Not surprisingly, the study of cheap talk connects intimately with aspects of pop culture. More surprising, however, is the idea that the cheapness of talk is not only a currently recognized property of our language, but that it might serve to define the very essence of human language in general and offer insights into the origins and nature of our ability to speak at all. (4 credits)

LING 435-01

History of Spanish Language

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 09:40 am-11:10 am
  • Room: NEILL 213
  • Instructor: Cynthia Kauffeld

Notes: *Cross-listed with HISP 435-01; first day attendance required*

An overview of Modern Spanish as it has developed over time. Course will trace the historical evolution of the most salient phonological, morpho-syntactic and lexical traits of Modern Spanish and will include study of the origins of American Spanish. Students will also be introduced to some of the principal theories of language change. This course satisfies the Area 3 requirement for the Hispanic & Latin American Studies major. (4 credits)

LING 488-01

Translating Japanese: Theory and Practice

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 09:40 am-10:40 am
  • Room: NEILL 227
  • Instructor: Grace Ting

Notes: *Cross-listed with JAPA 488-01*

This workshop for advanced students of Japanese explores the craft and cultural implications of Japanese-to-English literary translation. It aims to give students not only a facility and sophistication in translating Japanese, but also a closer familiarity with the Japanese language itself. Through weekly translation assignments, we will examine the expressive qualities of the Japanese language, tracing major developments of prose style in the modern period and studying the socio-historical context manifested in those linguistic innovations. Our work will be informed and enhanced by engagements with theories of translation as well as essays on Japanese-to-English translation specifically. We will cover a broad range of genres, including essays, poetry, manga, and film (subtitles). The course will culminate in an original project translating a Japanese work of one's choice.

LING 494-01

Field Methods in Linguistics

  • Days: W
  • Meeting Time: 07:00 pm-10:00 pm
  • Room: NEILL 214
  • Instructor: Christina Esposito

Notes: The vast majority of the world's languages cannot be learned from textbooks or programmed tapes. They have never even been recorded. In this course, which is required for all linguistics majors, students meet with one or more bilingual speakers of a language unknown to them, and attempt by means of elicitation and analysis of texts to understand its structure.

Fall 2016

LING 100-01

Introduction to Linguistics

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 09:40 am-11:10 am
  • Room: NEILL 112
  • Instructor: Christina Esposito

Notes: The aim of this course is to make you aware of the complex organization and systematic nature of language, the primary means of human communication. In a sense, you will be studying yourself, since you are a prime example of a language user. Most of your knowledge of language, however, is unconscious, and the part of language that you can describe is largely the result of your earlier education, which may have given you confused, confusing, or misleading notions about language. This course is intended to clarify your ideas about language and bring you to a better understanding of its nature. By the end of the course you should be familiar with some of the terminology and techniques of linguistic analysis and be able to apply this knowledge to the description of different languages. (4 credits)

LING 202-01

Origins/Evolution of Language

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 10:50 am-11:50 am
  • Room: NEILL 102
  • Instructor: John Haiman

Notes: In 1870, the Linguistic Society of Paris decreed that all papers on the topic of the origin of speech were inadmissible. In recent years, speculations about the evolutions of language have become respectable once again, as attested by the number of international conferences on the topic, and journals devoted to it. Although we are only a little closer to a description of "proto-human" than we were back in 1870, it is now universally recognized that there are no primitive languages, and that neither the comparative method of historical linguistics nor internal reconstruction can allow us to reconstruct the earliest human languages (although they still allow us to make inferences about Proto-Indo-European and other ancient extinct languages). But there have been advances in our understanding of the neurological substrate for linguistic ability, communication in (some) other species, and in the application of the uniformitarian hypothesis: the processes we now observe in different kinds of language change are themselves capable of producing all the recognized "design features" of human language out of earlier structures in which these features are lacking. (4 credits)

LING 204-01

Experimental Linguistics

  • Days: W
  • Meeting Time: 07:00 pm-10:00 pm
  • Room: NEILL 112
  • Instructor: Christina Esposito

Notes: This course is the natural extension of the Sounds of Language course, as well as the prerequisite to the capstone course in the cognitive track. Students learn how to conduct linguistic research from the bottom up, from forming a hypothesis to constructing word and sentence lists for elicitation, or stimuli for recognition, to recording speakers, running tests, analyzing the data obtained, and writing up the final research paper. By the end of the semester, students should be familiar with all the equipment in the linguistics laboratory and what kinds of questions each is designed to explore, and to be able to conduct their own independent research. Course is 4 credits; 8 credits total w/concurrent registration

LING 205-01

Phonology

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 09:40 am-10:40 am
  • Room: NEILL 113
  • Instructor: Marianne Milligan

Notes: Although all humans are born with the capacity to learn the sounds of any language, part of learning our native language is learning to categorize sounds into groups specific to that language, thereby filtering out many of the actual phonetic distinctions and concentrating only on those that are important. Just as we, as English speakers, may have trouble hearing the difference between the voiced and voiceless click consonants in Zulu, so speakers of other languages may not hear the difference between the vowels in "beat" and "bit," because this small distinction isn't important in their language. Phonology is the study of how different languages organize sounds into perceptual categories. In this class we will look at data from a wide variety of different languages, as well as from several dialects of English, including children's acquisition of a phonological system. Emphasis will be on practical skills in solving problem sets. (4 credits)

LING 206-01

Endangered/Minority Languages

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 01:10 pm-02:10 pm
  • Room: OLRI 301
  • Instructor: Marianne Milligan

Notes: *First day attendance required; cross-listed with ANTH 206-01; total class limit is set for 20 instructor is looking for a mix of 9 rising Sr/Jr and 11 Soph/FY*

Language loss is accelerating at alarming rates. In fact, Linguists predict that only five percent of the six thousand languages currently spoken in the world are expected to survive into the 22nd century. In this course, we will examine the historical, political, and socio-economic factors behind the endangerment and/or marginalization of languages in Africa, Asia, Australia, Europe, and North and South America. We will also concentrate on the globalization of English (and other major languages), which plays a primary role in language endangerment and marginalization. Additional topics include: linguistic diversity, language policy, multilingualism (in both nations and individuals), global language conflict, and language revitalization. Students will have the opportunity to learn first-hand about these issues by interviewing speakers of an endangered and/or minority language. Cross-listed with Anthropology 206. (4 credits)

LING 281-01

Dialects, Multilingualism, and the Politics of Speaking Japanese

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 01:10 pm-02:10 pm
  • Room: NEILL 304
  • Instructor: Satoko Suzuki

Notes: *Cross-listed with ASIA 281-01 and JAPA 281-01*

This course will examine linguistic diversity in Japan as well as issues of identity and politics involved in the act of speaking Japanese in Japan and other parts of the world. Students will be engaged with questions such as the following: How do dialects become revitalized? How does the media portray dialect speakers? Does the Japanese government promote multilingualism? How do multilingual/multicultural individuals manage their identities? How do heritage speakers in Bolivia, Brazil, and Peru deal with the politics of speaking Japanese? What does it mean to speak Japanese as a non-native speaker? No Japanese language ability is required. Cross-listed with Asian Studies 281 and Japanese 281. 4 credits.

LING 300-01

Linguistic Analysis

  • Days: TR
  • Meeting Time: 01:20 pm-02:50 pm
  • Room: NEILL 102
  • Instructor: John Haiman

Notes: The first prerequisite to understanding a linguistic message is the ability to decipher its code. This course is training in the decoding of grammar. Through practice in problem-solving, you will develop expertise in the grammatical systems of a wide sample of the world's language types. (4 credits)

LING 309-01

Intro to Hispanic Linguistics

  • Days: MWF
  • Meeting Time: 12:00 pm-01:00 pm
  • Room: NEILL 216
  • Instructor: Susana Blanco-Iglesias

Notes: *Cross-listed with HISP 309-01; first day attendane required*

A linguistic survey of the Spanish language aimed at improving pronunciation and increasing comprehension of the structure of the language, deepening students' understanding of the sound system, word formation, grammar and meaning. Study will emphasize phonetics and provide an introduction to transcription, phonology, morphology and syntax, as well as provide an overview of linguistic change and geographic variation. Cross-listed with Hispanic Studies 309. (4 credits)

LING 378-01

Psychology of Language

  • Days: W
  • Meeting Time: 07:00 pm-10:00 pm
  • Room: OLRI 352
  • Instructor: Brooke Lea

Notes: *Cross-listed with PSYC 378-01*

An examination of psychological factors that affect the comprehension of oral and written language. Topics include the origin of language, how language can control thought, the role of mutual knowledge in comprehension, and principles that underlie coherence in discourse. Includes readings from psycholinguistics, philosophy, sociolinguistics, social psychology, and especially from cognitive psychology. Emphasis is placed on current research methods so that students can design an original study. Student led component. (4 credits)