Fall 2012

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Linguistics courses
Course number Course title Section Instructor Days Time Room

CAS LX 245

Language and Mind

web A1 Alrenga MWF 11-12 CAS 221
Foundations of linguistics as a science, in relation to cognitive science, philosophy, and psychology, including a critical overview of the research program initiated by Noam Chomsky. Specific questions that we will consider include: what exactly is a language--a set of utterances, a set of sentences, a set of cognitive abilities? Do humans possess an innate "instinct" to acquire a language? How are our linguistic abilities realized in the brain? Does the language we speak determine the structure and content of our thoughts? Is language a uniquely human ability? Students read and discuss original works, and write short essays.
  • Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS.

CAS LX 250

Introduction to Linguistics

web A1 Neidle TR 2-3:30 LSE B01
S1 Orman F 9-10 KCB 104
S2 Hawkes F 10-11 KCB 104
S3 Hawkes F 11-12 KCB 104
S4 Hawkes F 12-1 KCB 104
S5 Orman F 1-2 KCB 104
S6 Orman F 2-3 KCB 104
Study of the fundamental properties that all languages share, and of how languages differ, with respect to structure (sound system, word formation, syntax), expression of meaning, acquisition, variation, and change; cultural and artistic uses of languages; comparison of oral, written, and signed languages. [Prereq: none]
  • Students signing up for CAS LX 250 A1 should also sign up for one of the Friday discussion sections.
  • Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS.
  • This course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas:
    • Scientific Inquiry I
    • Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy
    • Critical Thinking

CAS LX 500

Topics in Linguistics: The Evolution of Language

A1 Erker TR 11-12:30 KCB 104
Examines the evolution of the language faculty in the human species. Compares and contrasts language with other forms of animal communication. Explores and evaluates findings and claims from paleontology, biology, archaeology, anthropology, linguistics, and cognitive science. [Prereq: CAS LX 250 Introduction to Linguistics or consent of instructor]

CAS LX 504

Topics in Pragmatics

web A1 Alrenga M 4-7 CAS 114A
Covers the main areas of linguistic pragmatics, the study of language use and the relation between meaning and context. We will study pragmatic phenomena such as presuppositions, implicatures, anaphora, and focus, from the perspective of linguistic semantics. [Prereq: CAS LX 502 Semantics I or consent of instructor.]

CAS LX 510


web A1 Barnes MWF 10-11 CAS 316
Introduction to phonetic and phonological theory at an elementary level. Transcription and production of sounds, International Phonetic Alphabet, the anatomy and physiology of speech, speech acoustics, phonological rules, analysis of data from a variety of languages. [Prereq: CAS LX 250 Introduction to Linguistics or consent of instructor.]
  • Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS.

CAS LX 522

Syntax I

web A1 Hagstrom TR 3:30-5 CAS B18A
Introduction to the logical structure and organization of language, and to generative theory. Application of principles of syntactic analysis to students' own and other languages through data-oriented problems from different language types. [Prereq: CAS LX 250 Introduction to Linguistics or consent of instructor.]
  • Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS.

CAS LX 535

Historical and Comparative Linguistics

web A1 Barnes MWF 12-1 KCB 107
Introduction to language change and the methodology of historical linguistic analysis, using data from a wide array of languages. Investigates genetic relatedness among languages, language comparison, historical reconstruction, and patterns and principles of change in phonology, morphology, syntax, and semantics. [Prereq: CAS LX 250 Introduction to Linguistics or consent of instructor.]
  • Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS.

CAS LX 540

Acquisition of Syntax

web A1 Hagstrom TR 12:30-2 KCB 103
A general introduction to the study of first and second language acquisition within the framework of generative grammar, focused on the development of syntax. Topics include: the development of syntactic structure, verb movement, finiteness, null subjects, binding, and questions. [Prereq: CAS LX 250 Introduction to Linguistics or consent of instructor.]
Related courses at BU
Course number Course title Section Instructor Days Time Room

CAS AN 351

Language, Culture, and Society

A1 Eric Kelley MWF 12-1 GCB 205
Introduction to basic concepts, problems, and methods used by anthropologists in the investigation of relationships among language, culture, and society. Topics include language and conceptual systems, language and role, language and social context, and language and thought.

CAS EN 518

Linguistic Problems in TESOL

A1 Saitz T 4-7 CAS 312
Application of linguistic concepts to the teaching of English as a foreign language. Includes description of contemporary English grammatical structures that pose problems for learners and teachers. [Prereq: consent of instructor.]

CAS LS 505

Topics in Spanish Linguistics: The Sounds of Spanish

A1 Erker TR 3:30-5 CAS 324
(Conducted in Spanish) Introduction to Spanish phonetics and phonology. Covers articulatory, acoustic, and auditory phonetics, focusing on techniques for visualizing speech sounds. Examines the phonemic inventory and phonological organization of Spanish from several perspectives, including generative and articulatory phonology as well as sociolinguistics. [Prereq: One CAS LS 300-level course and CAS LX 250 Introduction to Linguistics]
Syllabus [This is a topics course, and can be taken more than once for credit, with different topic.]
This course can substitute for CAS LS 504 History of the Spanish language for satisfaction of requirements for both the Spanish and the Spanish & Linguistics majorss, and it can also fulfill Elective requirements in both; it can also satisfy the Linguistics major requirement for a course in the linguistic analysis of a specific language.

CAS PH 160

Reasoning and Argumentation

A1 Bokulich MWF 10-11 CAS 522
B1 Floyd TR 11-12:30 GCB 207
A systematic study of the principles of both deductive and informal reasoning, calculated to enhance students' actual reasoning skills, with an emphasis on reasoning and argumentation in ordinary discourse.

CAS PH 261

Puzzles and Paradoxes

A1 Liebesman TR 2-3:30 CAS 324
Some of our most basic beliefs, when scrutinized, lead to absurd conclusions. For example, using only beliefs that seem uncontroversial, we can conclude that motion is impossible, that everyone is bald, and that it is impossible to give a surprise exam. Carefully scrutinizing the reasoning that leads to these absurdities often yields substantial philosophical insight. This course examines a number of such puzzles and paradoxes in detail. [Prereq: CAS PH 160 or consent of instructor]

CAS PH 360


A1 Webb MWF 11-12 FLR 134
Study of the basics of modern logic, including propositional logic, quantifiers, identity and functions, completeness and incompleteness. A special emphasis is placed on strategies of deductive reasoning. [Prereq: one philosophy course or sophomore standing.]
[Meets with GRS PH 633]

SAR SH 523

Introduction to Speech Science

A1 Stepp MW 1-2:30 TBA
Lecture, laboratory, and demonstrations. Introduction to the basic physics of sound, including the decibel scale, spectral analysis, and sound resonance. Acoustic theory of speech production. Effects of contact on speech acoustics. Suprasegmental characteristics of speech production. Introduction to speech perception. [Prereq: SAR SH 521]

SAR SH 531

Introduction to Communication Disorders

A1 Parris TR 9:30-11 SAR 218
Introduction to various speech and language disorders found across linguistically and culturally diverse populations. Characteristics underlying biological systems and methods for evaluation and treating a variety or communication disorders are examined. Exploration of the professions of speech pathology and audiology