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Linguistics courses
Course number Course title Section Instructor Days Time Room

CAS LX 110

SAY WHAT ? Accents, Dialects, and Society

web A1 Myler TR 9:30-10:45 MOR 101
S1 Dionne F 9:05-9:55 CAS 228
S2 Vidal Covas F 11:15-12:05 PSY B 51
S3 Dionne F 12:20-1:10 SOC B 61
S4 Vidal Covas F 1:25-2:15 CAS B 27
S5 Dionne F 2:30-3:20 CAS 227
S6 Vidal Covas F 3:35-4:25 CAS 227
When people from different regions of the US and from various parts of the English-speaking world meet for the first time, they are immediately struck by differences in the way they speak. For speakers of so-called “non-standard” dialects, this can give rise to insecurity and frustration, and dialect prejudice may lead such speakers to suppress aspects of their native variety (an experience familiar to many American college students). But is there any objective reason to consider non-standard dialects as inferior? What are the implications of dialect diversity for education, civil rights, and other aspects of public policy? How are dialects and their speakers represented in literature, film, humor, music, and other aspects of popular culture? How exactly does English vary across different places and social groups? Where do these accents and dialects come from in the first place? This course, which assumes no previous background in linguistics, investigates these questions from both a linguistic and a more broadly humanistic perspective. [Prereq: None. Students who have already taken CAS LX 250 or any higher-level linguistics course (or are doing so concurrently) are not eligible to take CAS LX 110.]
  • Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS.
  • This course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas:
    • Social Inquiry I
    • Individual in Community
    • Research and Information Literacy

CAS LX 235

Language in the Contemporary World: Language, Society, and the Law

web A1 Coppock MWF 3:35-4:25 CAS 222
Exploration of the role of human language in society, focusing on language in legal settings. Addresses governmental policy on language; language crimes such as perjury, solicitation, and bribery; the meaning of consent; and the linguistics of legal interpretation. [Prereq: none]
  • Please note that for the Linguistics major, students may count up to 1 course below the level of CAS LX 250. This course will not count, however for degree credit in the Linguistics honors program or in the joint majors.
  • Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS.
  • This course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas
    • Ethical Reasoning
    • Oral and/or Signed Communication
    • Teamwork/Collaboration

CAS LX 250

Introduction to Linguistics

web A1 Barnes TR 2-3:15 LSE B 01
S1 Reffel F 9:05-9:55 CAS 204 A
S2 Reffel F 10:10-11 CAS 204 A
S3 Reffel F 11:15-12:05 CAS 204 A
S4 Hanlin F 12:20-1:10 PSY B 36
S5 Hanlin F 2:30-3:20 CAS 324
S6 Clapp F 9:05-9:55 PSY B 40
S7 Hanlin F 11:15-12:05 MCS B19
S8 Clapp F 2:30-3:20 PSY B 57
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 301

Phonetics & Phonology: Introduction to Sound Systems

web A1 Chang MWF 10:10-11 CAS 237
Introduction to the nature and patterning of sounds in human language. Presents articulatory and acoustic phonetics, and basic phonological analysis, focusing on cross-language typology and comparison. Hands-on development of practical skills, including IPA transcription, field techniques, and digital speech analysis.

[Prereq: CAS LX 250 Introduction to Linguistics or consent of instructor.
Please note that this course cannot be taken for credit towards the MA or PhD program in Linguistics.]
[Meets with GRS LX 601; Previously offered as CAS LX 510 "Phonetics"]
  • Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS.
  • This course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas:
    • Scientific Inquiry II
    • Quantitative Reasoning I
    • Critical Thinking

CAS LX 321

Syntax: Introduction to Sentential Structure

web A1 Hagstrom TR 3:30-4:45 MUG 205
Introduction to syntax as an object of inquiry. Students build an increasingly sophisticated model of syntactic knowledge to account for data from English and other languages, constructing and evaluating alternative hypotheses about how sentence structure works. [Prereq: CAS LX 250 Introduction to Linguistics or consent of instructor.
Please note that this course cannot be taken for credit towards the MA or PhD program in Linguistics.]
[Meets with GRS LX 621; Previously offered as CAS LX 522 "Syntax I"]
  • Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS.

CAS LX 359

Interrupted Acquisition and Language Attrition

web A1 Chang MWF 12:20-1:10 CAS 228
Examines native language knowledge and change in speakers who have become dominant in another language. Topics include differences among heritage speakers, international adoptees, and adult second language learners; language change in expatriates; and environmental and affective factors conditioning language loss. [Prereq: CAS LX 250 Introduction to Linguistics or consent of instructor.]
[Meets with GRS LX 659; Previously offered as CAS LX 546 "Incomplete Acquisition and Language Attrition"]

CAS LX 360

Historical and Comparative Linguistics

web A1 Nikolaev TR 2:00-3:15 MUG 424
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.]
[Meets with GRS LX 660; Previously offered as CAS LX 535 "Historical and Comparative Linguistics"]
  • Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS.

CAS LX 365

Variation in Dialects of English

web A1 Myler TR 12:30-1:45 MCS B 19
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.]
[Meets with GRS LX 665; Also offered as CAS EN 313; Previously offered as CAS LX 530 "Variation in Dialects of English"]

CAS LX 373

The Structure of French: Phonology

web A1 Neidle TR 9:30-10:45 CAS 208
(Conducted in French) The sound system of standard French, with exploration of dialect variation in France, Canada, and other Francophone regions of the world. Questions about mental representation of linguistic information, processes of word formation, and language variation and change. Students discover linguistic regularities through frequent problem sets.
  • Learn how different sounds are produced, and how they fit into the overall phonological system of the French language.
  • Discover ways in which your own pronunciation of French may deviate from that of native speakers, to improve your pronunciation.
  • Explore the kinds of phonological changes have occurred in the evolution of French, as well as the kinds of phonological differences that account for dialectal variations.
  • Reflect upon questions concerning the mental representation of linguistic information, and formulate and evaluate arguments in favor of specific hypotheses.
[Prereq: One French course at the CAS LF 300 level or higher, and CAS LX 250 or equivalent, or permission of instructor. ]
[Meets with GRS LX 673; Also offered as CAS LF 503; Previously offered as CAS LF 503 "The Structure of French: Phonology"]

CAS LX 422

Intermediate Syntax: Modeling Syntactic Knowledge

web A1 Hagstrom TR 11-12:15 CAS 222
Using linguistic data drawn from a wide variety of languages, students develop a precise model of syntactic knowledge through evaluation of hypotheses and arguments. Exploration of major discoveries and phenomena from the linguistic literature. [Prereq: CAS LX 321 / GRS LX 621 Syntax: Introduction to Sentential Structure (or CAS LX 522) or consent of instructor.]
[Meets with GRS LX 722]

CAS LX 432

Intermediate Semantics: The Grammatical Construction of Meaning

web A1 Coppock MWF 1:25-2:15 CAS 204 B
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 331/ GRS LX 631 Semantics & Pragmatics: Introduction to Linguistic Meaning (or CAS LX 502) or consent of instructor.]
[Meets with GRS LX 732; Previously offered as CAS LX 503 "Semantics II"]
Related courses at BU
Course number Course title Section Instructor Days Time Room

CAS AN 351

Language, Culture, and Society

A1 Smith-Hefner MWF 11:15-12:05 SCI 117
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 516

History of the English Language II

A1 Appleford T 6:30-9:15 pm CAS 318
Everyone who uses English has reason to wonder about its idiosyncrasies and its history. How can words with such different spellings as “eight” and “ate” be pronounced alike? Why do we say “a twenty foot” pole, rather than “twenty feet”? And why is it “feet” rather than “foots”? What did Shakespeare’s spoken language sound like? What happened to the word “thou”? What is an Anglo-Saxon rune (∑∏∑) and how do you read it? This course will address everyone’s curiosity about these and other features of the English language through analysis of medieval and early modern literary texts, noting especially changes in pronunciation, syntax, spelling, and vocabulary. We will also explore the pre- and early print culture of England, locating these early forms of English in relation to the material forms onto and into which they were written; students will learn to read and analyze not only handwritten scrolls, manuscripts and early printed books but also other media including sword belts, jewels, illuminated manuscripts, goblets, stone cross monuments, pregnancy girdles, barrow tombs and king’s coffins. We will also give some thought to constructed and fictional languages that draw on medieval British languages, such as JRR Tolkien’s Orkish, Elvish, and Mannish. No previous knowledge of linguistics or medieval literature required. Fulfills English major Pre-1800 Literature requirement.

CAS LJ 410

The History of the Japanese Language

A1 Ishikawa MWF 3:35-4:25 SOC B 65
(Conducted in English) Overview of major issues in the history of Japanese: genetic relationships, changes in sound system, word and sentence structures, and pragmatics. Special attention to the process leading to the current writing system. Representative texts used to demonstrate different literary languages. [Prereq: CAS LJ 211.]

CAS PH 160

Reasoning and Argumentation

A1 Webb MWF 9:05-9:55 CAS 211
B1 Anderson TR 5-6:15 CAS B12
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 Webb MWF 12:20-1:10 CAS 227
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 Tarullo T 12:30-3:15 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 12:20-2:05 CNS B 03
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 2-3:15 KCB 107
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