Fall 2019

→ Full list of Linguistics course offerings

Jump to semester:
Fall 2019
(Spring 2020)

Jump to section:
Linguistics courses
Related courses at BU

Show descriptions

Hide descriptions

Linguistics courses
Course number Course title Section Instructor Days Time Room

CAS LX 120

Language and Music

web A1 Erker
Chang
TR 12:30-1:45 STH B19
Is the co-occurrence of music and language in human societies coincidental or inevitable? This course examines this question by defining what language and music are, exploring their structural similarities and differences, and surveying global diversity in musical and linguistic expression. [Prereq: none]
  • Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS.
  • This course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas:
    • Aesthetic Exploration
    • Scientific Inquiry I
    • Research and Information Literacy

CAS LX 205

The Origins of Writing

web A1 Nikolaev MWF 11:15-12:05 CAS 226
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 235

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

web A1 Coppock MWF 10:10-11 CAS 223
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 Neidle TR 2-3:15 COM 101
S1 Kpogo F 9:05-9:55 PSY 212
S2 Brown F 9:05-9:55 PSY B47
S3 Kohut F 11:15-12:05 SHA 202
S4 Brown F 11:15-12:05 CGS 525
S5 Kpogo F 1:25-2:15 CAS B27
S6 Brown F 2:30-3:20 CGS 113
S7 Kpogo F 2:30-3:20 EPIC 206
S8 Kohut F 3:35-4:25 CAS 212
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 Lindsey TR 5-6:15 CAS 313
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; Also offered as MET LX 501; 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 311

Morphology: Introduction to the Structures and Shapes of Words

web A1 Myler MWF 9:05-9:55 CAS 201
Morphology, the study of the internal structure and the shapes of words across languages, straddles the boundary between syntax and phonology. This course covers the major empirical and theoretical issues in the study of morphology, emphasizing links to other components of grammar. [Prereq: CAS LX 250 Introduction to Linguistics or consent of instructor.]
[Meets with GRS LX 611; Also offered as MET LX 511; Previously offered as CAS LX 521 "Morphology"]
  • Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS.

CAS LX 317

"Having" and "Being" across Languages

web A1 Myler MWF 1:25-2:15 CAS 315
Languages differ startlingly in how they express the apparently basic concepts of “possession” and “essence”. Students explore this variety and its implications, addressing fundamental questions about linguistic relativism, language universals, and the relationship between structure and meaning. [Prereq: CAS LX 250 Introduction to Linguistics or consent of instructor.]
[Meets with GRS LX 617; Also offered as MET LX 517; Previously offered as CAS LX 517 ""Having" and "Being" across Languages"]

CAS LX 321

Syntax: Introduction to Sentential Structure

web A1 Hagstrom TR 11-12:15 CAS 426
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; Also offered as MET LX 521; Previously offered as CAS LX 522 "Syntax I"]
  • Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS.

CAS LX 349

Bilingualism

web A1 Chang TR 3:30-4:45 CAS 426
The psycholinguistics and sociolinguistics of life with two languages. Topics include bilingual language use, processing, acquisition, organization; effects of bilingualism on cognition and development; the bilingual brain; the bilingual speech community; bilingual education; bilingualism in the media and public eye. [Prereq: CAS LX 250 Introduction to Linguistics or consent of instructor.]
[Meets with GRS LX 649; Also offered as MET LX 549; Previously offered as CAS LX 545 "Bilingualism"]
  • 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
    • Critical Thinking
  • CAS LX 383

    The Sounds of Spanish

    web A1 Erker TR 9:30-10:45 CAS B06A
    (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]
    [Meets with GRS LX 683; Also offered as CAS LS 507; Previously offered as CAS LX 507 "The Sounds of Spanish"]
    • If you are trying to register for this course as CAS LS 507 and it appears full, you can just as well register for the LX number. These 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.

    CAS LX 405

    Prosody

    web A1 Barnes MWF 10:10-11 CAS 426
    Exploration of the melodic and rhythmic aspects of the languages of the world. Emphasis on theoretical and experimental approaches to cross-linguistic typology. Specific topics include: syllables and syllable-weight, rhythm and speech timing; stress and metrics; tone and intonation. [Prereq: CAS LX 301/ GRS LX 601 Phonetics & Phonology: Introduction to Sound Systems (or CAS LX 510) or consent of instructor.]
    [Meets with GRS LX 705; Previously offered as CAS LX 525 "Prosody"]

    CAS LX 432

    Intermediate Semantics: The Grammatical Construction of Meaning

    web A1 Coppock MWF 12:20-1:10 CAS 426
    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"]

    CAS LX 454

    Acquisition of Syntax

    web A1 Hagstrom TR 2-3:15 CAS B06A
    Exploration of the character and course of acquisition of syntactic knowledge in both first and second language contexts. Covers methodological principles for conducting studies and analyzing data, and topics such as development of verb movement, binding theory, and tense. [Prereq: CAS LX 321/ GRS LX 621 Syntax: Introduction to Sentential Structure (or CAS LX 522) or consent of instructor]
    [Meets with GRS LX 754; Previously offered as CAS LX 540 "Acquisition of Syntax"]
     
    Related courses at BU
    Course number Course title Section Instructor Days Time Room

    CAS AN 351

    Language, Culture, and Society

    A1 Smith-Hefner MWF 12:20-1:10 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 AN 532

    Literacy and Islam in Africa

    A1 Ngom TR 11-12:15 PLS 505
    Ajami comes from the Arabic word for non-Arab, or foreigner. It also refers to the practice of writing other languages using a modified Arabic script. Although written records are rarely regarded as part of sub-Saharan Africa’s intellectual heritage, important bodies of Ajami materials have existed in numerous communities in Africa for centuries. In South Africa, Muslim Malay slaves produced the first written record of Afrikaans in Ajami. Africa’s Ajami traditions developed in communities with a long history of practicing Islam, and who sought to adapt the Arabic alphabet to their own tongues, first for religious purposes such as prayers, writing magical protective devices, and disseminating religious materials and edicts, and later for secular functions such as commercial and administrative record-keeping, writing eulogies and family genealogies, recording important events such as births, deaths and weddings, and writing biographies, poetry, political satires, advertisements, road signs, public announcements, speeches, and personal correspondence. The course will examine both major and minor African Ajami traditions. It will investigate (1) the Islamization of Africa and the subsequent development of Ajami literary traditions in the continent, (2) the forms, contents, and goals of Ajami materials, (3) their role in the spread of Islam and the reverse effect of African influences on Islam, (4) the past and current secular functions of Ajami materials, and (5) the Arabic and Ajami materials written by enslaved Africans in the Americas. The primary goal of this course is to enable students to have access to the unique sources of knowledge generally missed in the studies on Africa written in Arabic and European languages, and to provide them with a deeper understanding of the spread of Islam and its Africanization in the continent. The course will open new research opportunities for students interested in the histories and traditions of sub-Saharan African Muslim communities. [Prereq: Consent of the instructor]

    CAS CS 591

    Topics in Computer Science: Toward Universal Natural Language Understanding

    web W1 Wijaya TR 9:30-10:45 PSY B35
    This is a graduate course on statistical natural language processing (NLP) that is research oriented and geared towards extending natural language processing approaches to more languages in the world even those without large annotated data. The course will start off with instructor-led presentations that introduce students to NLP. The rest of the course will focus on understanding the state-of-the-art machine learning algorithms for multilingual NLP or algorithms that are relevant to learning with few annotated data by discussing research papers. Participants take turns as discussion leaders. [Prereq: The prerequisites are the ability to program/code. If students have taken machine learning, statistics, and calculus before, that would be helpful.]
    There is a wait list form available here: http://www.bu.edu/cs/undergraduate/undergraduate-life/courses/cs-waitlists/ . Please sign up right away if you would be interested in taking the course in Fall 2019.

    CAS PH 160

    Reasoning and Argumentation

    A1 Webb MWF 9:05-9:55 CAS 211
    B1 Anderson MWF 12:20-1:10 CAS 211
    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

    SAR SH 523

    Introduction to Speech Science

    A1 Stepp MW 12:20-2:05 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 2-3:15 CAS 226
    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