Spring 2020 (tentative)

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Linguistics courses
Course number Course title Section Instructor Days Time Room

CAS LX 110

SAY WHAT ? Accents, Dialects, and Society

A1 Myler TR 12:30-1:45 TBA
S1 TBA F 9:05-9:55 TBA
S2 TBA F 11:15-12:05 TBA
S3 TBA F 12:20-1:10 TBA
S4 TBA F 1:25-2:15 TBA
S5 TBA F 2:30-3:20 TBA
S6 TBA F 3:35-4:25 TBA
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 250

Introduction to Linguistics

A1 Barnes TR 2-3:15 TBA
S1 TBA F 9:05-9:55 TBA
S2 TBA F 11:15-12:05 TBA
S3 TBA F 12:20-1:10 TBA
S4 TBA F 1:25-2:15 TBA
S5 TBA F 2:30-3:20 TBA
S6 TBA F 2:30-3:20 TBA
S7 TBA F 3:35-4:15 TBA
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 331

Semantics & Pragmatics: Introduction to Linguistic Meaning

A1 Coppock TR 12:30-1:45 TBA
Systematic examination of how meaning is encoded in words and sentences, and how it can emerge from the complexity of the grammar. This course also touches on various aspects of pragmatics—the study of how meaning is shaped by context. [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 631; Previously offered as CAS LX 502 "Semantics I"]
  • Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS.
  • This course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas:
    • The Individual in Community
    • Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy
    • Critical Thinking

CAS LX 341

Sociolinguistics

A1 Ngom MWF 9:05-9:55 TBA
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 345

Languages in Contact: The high stakes of grammatical border-crossing

web A1 Erker MWF 12:20-1:10 TBA
Examines the mechanisms and outcomes of language contact by surveying cases around the globe from the past and present. Topics include lexical-borrowing, code-switching, pidgins and creoles, language death, and the emergence of entirely new linguistic systems. [Prereq: CAS LX 250 Introduction to Linguistics or consent of instructor.]
[Meets with GRS LX 645; Previously offered as CAS LX 515 " Languages in Contact: The high stakes of grammatical border-crossing"]

CAS LX 365

Variation in Dialects of English

A1 Myler TR 9:30-10:45 TBA
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 391

Linguistic Field Methods

A1 Barnes TR 11-12:15 TBA
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.]
[Meets with GRS LX 691; Previously offered as CAS LX 501 "Linguistic Field Methods"]

CAS LX 394

Natural Language Processing and Computational Linguistics

A1 Hagstrom M 2:30-5:15 TBA
Introduction to computational techniques to explore linguistic models and test empirical claims. Serves as an introduction to programming, algorithms, and data structures, focused on modern applications to NLP. Topics include tagging and classification, parsing models, meaning representation, and information extraction.

Note: Intended for students with no background in computer programming. Cannot be taken concurrently with or after CAS CS 111. [Prereq: CAS LX 250 or consent of instructor]
[Meets with GRS LX 694]
  • Carries divisional credit for Math and Computer Science in CAS.
  • This course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas:
    • Quantitative Reasoning II
    • Research & Information Literacy

CAS LX 403

Phonological Analysis

A1 TBA MWF 1:25-2:15 TBA
Survey of phonological theory and analysis, with focus on crosslinguistic typology of phonological systems. Phonological reasoning and argumentation skills are developed. Empirical coverage includes contrast, distinctive features, rules and constraints, opacity, tone, syllabification, stress, and interactions with morphology and syntax. [Prereq: CAS LX 301/ GRS LX 601 (or CAS LX 510) or consent of instructor.]
[Meets with GRS LX 703; Previously offered as CAS LX 513 "Phonology"]

CAS LX 422

Intermediate Syntax: Modeling Syntactic Knowledge

A1 Hagstrom TR 2-3:15 TBA
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]
 
Related courses at BU
Course number Course title Section Instructor Days Time Room