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Linguistics courses
Course number Course title Section Instructor Days Time Room

CAS LX 235

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

web A1 Zabbal MWF 11-12 KCB 103
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

A1 Barnes TR 11-12:30 LSE B01
S1 Barnes F 9 CAS B06A
S2 Barnes F 10 CAS B06A
S3 Barnes F 11 CAS B06A
S4 Barnes F 12 CAS B06A
S5 Barnes F 1 CAS B06A
S6 Barnes F 2 CAS B06A
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 341


A1 M. Catherine O'Connor M 4-7 CAS 325
Sociolinguistics, broadly construed, is the investigation of relations between linguistic phenomena and human social life. This course covers several recent theoretical approaches to the study of language and society: variational sociolinguistics, ethnography of communication, and international sociolinguistics. Also covered are development of pidgins and creoles, multilingualism, language choice, and other aspects of language and culture. [Prereq: CAS LX 250 Introduction to Linguistics or AN 351 Language, Culture, and Society; or consent of instructor.]
[Meets with GRS LX 641; Also offered as CAS AN 521]

CAS LX 372

French Phonetics

web A1 Neidle TR 11-12:30 TBA
(Conducted in French) Students improve their pronunciation and aural comprehension by applying linguistic principles governing the articulation and distribution of French sounds, liaison, "mute e," and intonation. Written exercises reinforce theoretical points; oral exercises and audio and video recordings allow focus on individual difficulties. Includes readings from literary texts.
[Prereq: vNote that CAS LX 250 can be taken concurrently.]
[Also offered as CAS LF 500]
Enrollment is limited, so that students can receive individual attention :-)

CAS LX 500

Topics in Linguistics: Questions

web B1 Hagstrom TR 12:30-2 KCB 201
Exploration of a central issue in theoretical linguistics, the typology of question formation across languages, from several perspectives. Syntactic universals and variation, semantic interpretation and discourse effects, and intonational effects will be brought to bear in developing a theoretical understanding.

CAS LX 500

Topics in Linguistics: Acquisition of Semantics and Pragmatics

A1 Zabbal MWF 2-3 KCB 104
How does a child acquire an adult grammar, and the ability to interpret words and complex phrases? This course examines the acquisition of meaning, both the literal meaning of words and phrases and their implied meaning in conversation. [Prereq: CAS LX 250 or equivalent]

CAS LX 501

Linguistic Field Methods

web A1 M. Catherine O'Connor TR 9:30-11 KCB 201
An in-depth investigation of the phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and lexicon of an African or other non-Indo-European language. Weekly sessions with language consultant. [Prereq: CAS LX 250 Introduction to Linguistics or consent of instructor.]

CAS LX 510


A1 Barnes TR 2-3:30 KCB 107
[Prereq: CAS LX 250 Introduction to Linguistics or consent of instructor.]
  • NOTE: Offered ONLY IN SPRING SEMESTER during 2016-17.

CAS LX 523

Syntax II x

A1 Hagstrom T 4-7 PSY B49
Study of recent developments in syntactic theory, including the principles and parameters framework of generative grammar (the Minimalist Program, Antisymmetry) and certain other generative approaches (including Optimality Theory). This course builds on the background from established in LX 522 and provides an introduction to current issues in the field and proposals from the current theoretical linguistics literature. [Prereq: CAS LX 522 or equivalent]
Related courses at BU
Course number Course title Section Instructor Days Time Room

CAS AR 208

Lost Languages and Decipherments

A1 Danti TR 2-3:30 CAS 316
An overview of the archaeology of writing focusing on modern decipherments of ancient texts. Related topics include characteristics of the world's major language families, the nature of linguistic change, and the origin and history of the alphabet.

CAS EN 516

History of the English Language II

A1 Green MWF 9-10 CAS 228
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 EN 518

Linguistic Problems in TESOL

A1 Zlateva T 4-7 CAS 204B
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 LJ 410

The History of the Japanese Language

A1 Okita MWF 10-11 TBA
(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 LS 504

History of the Spanish Language

A1 Zaderenko MWF 10-11 CAS 218
(Conducted in Spanish) Study of the structure of sounds, general concepts of language change, and specific phonological, morphological and syntactic changes in the history of Spanish. Begins with the modern language and proceeds to successively earlier stages; includes reading of representative medieval and dialectal texts. [Prereq: CAS LS 350 plus two CAS LS 400-level literature courses]
  • 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 PS 544

Developmental Neuropsychology

A1 Liederman R 4-7 TBA
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 505

Introduction to Phonological Disorders

A1 Oppenheimer F 12-2:30 SAR 218
This course provides an overview of current models of normal and disordered phonological development. Students examine and practice evidenced-based principles and practical applications of assessment, analysis, diagnosis, and remediation approaches and procedures to facilitate critical thinking and problem-solving abilities to apply to working with individuals with a variety of phonological disorders. [Prereq: SAR SH 521 and SH 524 ]