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Linguistics courses
Course number Course title Section Instructor Days Time Room

CAS LX 205

The Origins of Writing

web A1 NIkolaev MWF 11-12 CAS 426
An overview of the major writing systems of the world: Egyptian and Mayan hieroglyphs, Sumerian and Akkadian cuneiform, West Semitic consonantal scripts (abjads), East Asian scripts, runes, and Greek and Roman alphabets. This course has a considerable linguistic component supplemented by historical information about ancient languages and cultures.
    Also offered as CAS CL 205. [Note that this course does *not* satisfy the prerequisite of CAS LX 250 for higher level linguistics courses.]
  • Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS.
  • This course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas:
    • Historical consciousness
    • Global Citizenship and Intercultural Communication
    • Teamwork/Collaboration

CAS LX 250

Introduction to Linguistics

web A1 Barnes TR 2-3:30 LSE B01
S1 Dickinson F 9-10 KCB 104
S2 Dickinson F 10-11 KCB 104
S3 Scott F 11-12 KCB 104
S4 Dickinson F 9-10 KCB 104
S5 Scott F 1-2 KCB 104
S6 Scott F 2-3 KCB 104
S7 Robinson F 11-12 KCB 103
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 502

Semantics I

web A1 Alrenga MWF 10-11 KCB 107
Semantics is the study of linguistic meaning. In this course, we will examine meaning from a variety of perspectives, including: how it is encoded in words and sentences, how native speakers interpret language, and how truth and falsehood can emerge from the complexity of the grammar. We will also touch on various aspects of pragmatics - the function of meaning in a communicative setting. [Prereq: CAS LX 250 Introduction to Linguistics or consent of instructor.]
  • Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS.

CAS LX 503

Semantics II

web A1 Alrenga MWF 2-3 KCB 102
Introduction to the semantics of natural language at an intermediate level. Topics include (but are not limited to) predication and quantification, scope and anaphora, problems of discourse analysis, various issues at the interface of semantics and pragmatics, and crosslinguistic semantics. [Prereq: CAS LX 502 Semantics I or consent of instructor.]

CAS LX 510


web A1 Barnes TR 9:30-11 CAS 235
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 523

Syntax II

web A1 Hagstrom M 4-7 KCB 102
Investigation of syntactic commonalities and differences across languages. Scrutiny of evidence and argumentation from past and current analyses, focusing on construction of strong arguments. Topics include movement, passives, question formation, syntactic micro-structure, and interaction with semantics, pragmatics, and phonology. [Prereq: CAS LX 522 Syntax I or consent of instructor.]

CAS LX 530

Variation in Dialects of English

web A1 Myler TR 2-3:30 CAS 116
This course explores how dialects of English differ from each other, focusing on grammatical variation in the US, with occasional forays into British dialects. The class will examine grammatical diversity on a number of levels (including accents, dialectal vocabulary, and social factors in language variation), but the main focus will be on studying and accounting for morphosyntactic differences amongst varieties. Students come to appreciate how linguists investigate grammatical diversity scientifically, revealing the complex structure of non-standard dialects. [Prereq: CAS LX 250 Introduction to Linguistics or consent of instructor.]

CAS LX 532

Romance Linguistics

web A1 Myler TR 11-12:30 MUG 203
This course covers sound and morphosyntactic change since Latin, plus various topics in the comparative grammar of modern Romance languages. In addition, there is a module introducing students to the grammatical systems of certain less-studied Romance languages. Students deepen their linguistic knowledge and analytic skills by applying what they have learned in other Linguistics courses to this language family, and learn how data from Romance languages have contributed to our understanding of how language works in general. [Prereq: CAS LX 250 or consent of instructor; PLUS prior study of Latin or a Romance language at the 4th semester level or higher (e.g., CAS LF 212 or CAS LI 212 or CAS LS 212 or CAS LP 212 or equivalent).]

CAS LX 541

Phonological Development

web A1 Chang MWF 12-1 KCB 102
The goal of this course is to examine the resources, mechanisms, and limitations underlying children's acquisition of phonology during the first years of life. Specific topics include the biological foundations of phonological acquisition; the developmental arcs of both speech perception and production; the relationship between phonological development and word learning; phonological universals as they apply to acquisition; and implicit and explicit learning mechanisms. The course considers different theoretical models of phonological development, as well as the range of variation observed among typically developing children. [Prereq: CAS LX 250 Introduction to Linguistics or consent of instructor.]

CAS LX 542

Second Language Acquisition

web A1 Chang MWF 3-4 KCB 104
The goal of this course is to provide an overview of findings from the interdisciplinary field of second language acquisition (SLA), especially as they relate to differences between adult and child learners and individual variation among adult learners. The course examines data from many different language pairs, diverse theoretical perspectives on second-language attainment, and a wide range of factors influencing acquisition: language-universal, demographic, experiential, cognitive, social/affective, and environmental. The course also considers the case of third language acquisition as well as pedagogical implications. [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 Smith-Hefner MWF 12-1 CAS 216
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.
  • Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS.
  • This course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas:
    • Social Inquiry II
    • Individual in Community
    • Research and Information Literacy
  • CAS EN 518

    Linguistic Problems in TESOL

    A1 Michaud TR 4-7 CAS 428
    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 LX 507

    The Sounds of Spanish

    web A1 Erker TR 9:30-11 CAS 323B
    (Conducted in Spanish) The goal of this course is to introduce students to the linguistic analysis of speech, with a focus on the Spanish language. We examine the vowels and consonants of Spanish from the perspective of articulatory and acoustic phonetics. In addition, the course introduces core concepts in phonological analysis, surveying the phonemic inventory and phonological organization of Spanish. We also investigate a range of regional variation demonstrated by so-called ‘dialects’ of Spanish, with an emphasis on the historical and social significance of such variation in Spain, Latin America, and the United States. In summary, this course aims to examine the sounds of Spanish as physical, mental, and social phenomena. [Prereq: One 300-level Spanish course and CAS LX 250 or consent of instructor]
    [Also offered as CAS LS 507]
    • If you are trying to register for this course as CAS LS 507 and it appears full, you can just as well register for CAS LX 507. These two courses are identical, meet together, and satisfy all of the same requirements :-) .
    • This course can satisfy requirements for both the Spanish and the Spanish & Linguistics majors; it can also satisfy the Linguistics major requirement for a course in the linguistic analysis of a specific language, as well as counting toward both the Spanish and Linguistics minors. See http://www.bu.edu/linguistics/UG/spanling.html for further details.

    CAS PH 160

    Reasoning and Argumentation

    A1 Webb MWF 9-10 CAS 211
    B1 Bokulich TR 11-12:30 CAS 313
    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.
    • Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS.
    • This course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas:
      • Philosophical Inquiry and Life's Meanings
      • Critical Thinking

    CAS PH 261

    Puzzles and Paradoxes

    A1 Gasser TR 3:30-5 CAS 315
    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 PS 544

    Developmental Neuropsychology

    A1 Carrillo R 11-2 PSY 210
    Study of the neural mechanisms underlying behavioral development. Topics include the plasticity of the developing brain in response to deprivation or damage and mechanisms underlying specific syndromes (e.g., aphasia, dyslexia, learning disabilities, hyperactivity, autism, and Tourette's syndrome). [Prereq: consent of instructor]

    SAR SH 523

    Introduction to Speech Science

    A1 Stepp MW 1-2:30 SAR 300
    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 Constantino TR 2-3:30 MET B02B
    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