Spring 2015

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Linguistics courses
Course number Course title Section Instructor Days Time Room

CAS LX 250

Introduction to Linguistics

web A1 Barnes TR 11-12:30 LSE B01
S1 Jepson F 9-10 CAS B06
S2 Barnes F 10-11 STH 441
S3 Grillo F 11-12 STH 441
S4 Jepson F 12-1 KCB 201
S5 Jepson F 1-2 KCB 201
S6 Grillo F 2-3 KCB 201
S7 Bruso F 9-10 STH 319
S8 Bruso F 11-12 SED 210
S9 Bruso F 1-2 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 341


web A1 Ngom MWF 12-1 CAS 324
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 406

The Linguistics of Contemporary English

web A1 Alrenga TR 11-12:30 MUG 203
Systematic introduction to the linguistic analysis of modern English (phonology, morphology, syntax) from the perspective of generative grammar. Other topics include: English and its West Germanic relatives, non-standard varieties and the development of standard English, varieties of World Englishes. [Note that this will count as a course in the linguistic analysis of a specific language for purposes of satisfying requirements for the Linguistics major.] Also offered as CAS EN 514. [Prereq: CAS LX 250 Introduction to Linguistics or consent of instructor.]

CAS LX 500

Topics in Linguistics: Melodies of English (and some other languages)

web A1 Ahn TR 3:30-5 CAS B20
W 1-2 CAS 327
Exploration and analysis of English melodic patterns. Students transcribe and even gather prosodic data (intonation, grouping, and prominence), using computer software and the ToBI framework. Comparisons of the English intonational system to systems of other languages of the world. [Prereq: CAS LX 250 Introduction to Linguistics or consent of instructor.]

CAS LX 501

Linguistic Field Methods

web A1 Myler MWF 2-3 COM 210
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 502

Semantics I

web A1 Alrenga TR 3:30-5 KCB 104
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 517

"Having" and "Being" across Languages

web A1 Myler MWF 12-1 KCB 107
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.]

CAS LX 522

Syntax I

web A1 Ahn TR 12:30-2 KCB 103
W 4-5 KCB 102
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 TR 2-3:30 CAS B25A
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.
Related courses at BU
Course number Course title Section Instructor Days Time Room

CAS EN 518

Linguistic Problems in TESOL

A1 Zlateva T 4-7 CAS 235
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 LF 503

The Structure of French: Phonology

web A1 Neidle MWF 11-12 KCB 104
(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: CAS LF 303 and CAS LX 250 or equivalent, or permission of instructor. Note: CAS LX 250 can be taken concurrently.]
See testimonials.

CAS LG 315

Introduction to German Linguistics

A1 Waters TR 12:30-2 STH 636
(Conducted in English) Introduction to major subfields of German linguistics: phonetics/phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, historical linguistics, regional variation, and sociolinguistic aspects such as gender and English influence. Includes familiarization with Middle High German. Course also aims to improve students’ German pronunciation and awareness of grammar. [Prereq: CAS LG 211 or equivalent proficiency]

CAS LJ 510

Structure of the Japanese Language: Syntax

web A1 Tsuji F 12-3 STH 318
(Conducted in English) Introduction to Japanese syntax, covering a range of topics including word order, information structure, questions, types of verbs, demonstratives, anaphora, and relative clauses. Close study of Japanese data will also form the basis for comparisons with English and other languages. Lectures and discussions in English with bilingual materials. [Prereq: LX 250 and LJ 112 or 123 (or equivalent placement in Japanese); or consent of instructor.]

CAS LX 508

The Structure of Spanish

web A1 Erker MWF 10-11 CAS 325
(Conducted in Spanish) The goal of this course is to introduce students to the structure of the Spanish language, with a focus on its morphology and syntax. We examine the internal structure of words and the inflectional and derivational processes that constrain them. In addition, the course introduces key concepts such as morpheme, affix, grammatical class, linguistic gender, nominalization, and verbalization. We also investigate fundamental principles of syntactic theory and analysis, with an emphasis on the hierarchical relationships among words at the phrasal level. We use naturalistic speech data, collected from around the Spanish-speaking world, to critically examine key assumptions and tools of contemporary syntactic theory, including X-bar theory, binary branching, thematic role assignment, and the concept of the sentence. We give special attention the notion of ungrammaticality as it relates to syntactic and morphological variation and change. [Prereq: One 300-level Spanish course and CAS LX 250 Introduction to Linguistics, or consent of instructor]
[Also offered as CAS LS 508]
  • Note: This course cannot substitute for CAS LX 522 Syntax I for major or minor requirements, although it does count for the Linguistic major requirement of a course on the linguistic analysis of a specific language or as an elective for the Linguistics minor.
  • This course can also satisfy requirements for both the Spanish and the Spanish & Linguistics majors, and it can also count as one of the six courses for the Spanish minor.
  • See http://www.bu.edu/linguistics/UG/spanling.html for further details.

CAS PH 160

Reasoning and Argumentation

A1 Weiss MWF 1-2 CAS 313
B1 Webb TR 12:30-2 STH B19
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 360


A1 Floyd TR 12:30-2 CAS 235
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 505

Introduction to Phonological Disorders

A1 Strand TR 8-9:30 SAR 300
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 ]

SED DE 672

Structure of American Sign Language

A1 TBA MWF 4-7 CAS 203
Structural linguistic study of specific aspects of phonology, morphology, syntax, and lexicology in ASL. Concepts of language variation, dialect, creolization, and bilingualism. [Prereq: SED LS 560 or CAS LX 250.]