Course descriptions

→ Linguistics course schedules

Course categories:
Linguistic theory
Linguistic analysis of African languages
Linguistic analysis of English
Linguistic analysis of Romance languages
Linguistic analysis of French
Linguistic analysis of Spanish
Linguistic analysis of German

Linguistic analysis of Japanese
Linguistic analysis of ASL
Linguistic analysis of other languages
Language, culture, and society
Language acquisition
Neurological aspects of language
Logic and the philosophy of language
Language education
Topics courses

Note! Effective Fall 2016, the numbers for many Linguistics (LX) courses are changing.
Linguistics Courses
Linguistic theory

GRS LX 601

Offered:
Fall 2017

Phonetics & Phonology: Introduction to Sound Systems
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.
Prerequisite: CAS LX 250 Introduction to Linguistics or consent of instructor.
[Meets with CAS LX 301]
Recently offered: Fall 2016
Previously offered as CAS LX 510 "Phonetics": Spring 2007, Spring 2008, Spring 2010, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Spring 2016

GRS LX 611

Offered:
Fall 2017

Morphology: Introduction to the Structures and Shapes of Words
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.
Prerequisite: CAS LX 250 Introduction to Linguistics or consent of instructor.
[Meets with CAS LX 311]
Previously offered as CAS LX 521 "Morphology": Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2014, Spring 2016

GRS LX 617

Not in current schedule.

"Having" and "Being" across Languages
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.
Prerequisite: CAS LX 250 Introduction to Linguistics or consent of instructor.
[Meets with CAS LX 317]
Previously offered as CAS LX 517: Spring 2015

GRS LX 621

Offered:
Fall 2017

Syntax: Introduction to Sentential Structure
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.
Prerequisite: CAS LX 250 Introduction to Linguistics or consent of instructor.
[Meets with CAS LX 321]
Recently offered: Spring 2017
Previously offered as CAS LX 522 "Syntax I": Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016

GRS LX 627

Not in current schedule.

Focus
Exploration of focus in natural language, integrating syntax, phonology, semantics, morphology, and pragmatics in pursuit of a general understanding of both the phenomena and the ways in which different aspects of linguistic knowledge cooperate in its expression.
Prerequisite: CAS LX 250 Introduction to Linguistics or consent of instructor.
[Meets with CAS LX 327]
Previously offered as CAS LX 518: Fall 2011

GRS LX 628

Not in current schedule.

Questions
Exploration of question formation across languages, and from several theoretical perspectives, integrating syntax, phonology, semantics, morphology, pragmatics, and philosophy in pursuit of a general understanding of one of the central phenomena in theoretical linguistics.
Prerequisite: CAS LX 250 Introduction to Linguistics or consent of instructor.
[Meets with CAS LX 328]
Recently offered: Fall 2016
Previously offered as CAS LX 519:

GRS LX 631

Offered:
Spring 2018

Semantics & Pragmatics: Introduction to Linguistic Meaning
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.
Prerequisite: CAS LX 250 Introduction to Linguistics or consent of instructor.
[Meets with CAS LX 331]
Recently offered: Fall 2016, Spring 2017
Previously offered as CAS LX 502 "Semantics I": Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2011, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016

GRS LX 645

Not in current schedule.

Languages in Contact: The high stakes of grammatical border-crossing
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.
Prerequisite: CAS LX 250 Introduction to Linguistics or consent of instructor.
[Meets with CAS LX 345]
Previously offered as CAS LX 515 " Languages in Contact: The high stakes of grammatical border-crossing": Fall 2014

GRS LX 660

Not in current schedule.

Historical and Comparative Linguistics
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.
Prerequisite: CAS LX 250 Introduction to Linguistics or consent of instructor.
[Meets with CAS LX 360]
Recently offered: Fall 2016
Previously offered as CAS LX 535: Spring 2007, Spring 2008, Fall 2009, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Spring 2015

GRS LX 700

Not in current schedule.

Language Acquisition and Linguistic Theory
After a general introduction to the study of language acquisition within the principles and parameters framework of generative grammar, defining the central concepts and laying out some of the theoretical issues, a number of topics will be discussed, including: the status of functional categories, verb movement and finiteness, null subjects, binding theory, and wh-questions. The first part of the course will focus on first language acquisition; the latter part on second language acquisition.
Prerequisite: CAS LX 522 or consent of instructor.
Recently offered: Spring 2007

GRS LX 703

Offered:
Fall 2017

Phonological Analysis
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.
Prerequisite: CAS LX 301/ GRS LX 601 (or CAS LX 510) or consent of instructor.
[Meets with CAS LX 403]
Previously offered as CAS LX 513 "Phonology": Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Spring 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014

GRS LX 705

Offered:
Spring 2018

Prosody
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.
Prerequisite: CAS LX 301/ GRS LX 601 Phonetics & Phonology: Introduction to Sound Systems (or CAS LX 510) or consent of instructor.
[Meets with CAS LX 405]
Previously offered as CAS LX 525: Spring 2011, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2016

GRS LX 722

Offered:
Spring 2018

Intermediate Syntax: Modeling Syntactic Knowledge
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.
Prerequisite: CAS LX 321/ GRS LX 621 Syntax: Introduction to Sentential Structure (or CAS LX 522) or consent of instructor
[Meets with CAS LX 422]
Has not been offered in recent years.

GRS LX 723

Not in current schedule.

Advanced Syntax: Issues in Modern Syntactic Theory
Exploration of advanced topics in syntax, chosen in part based on student interest, through reading and critical discussion of both foundational and recent literature.
Prerequisite: CAS LX 321 / GRS LX 621 Syntax: Introduction to Sentential Structure (or CAS LX 522) or consent of instructor.
[Meets with CAS LX 423]
Recently offered: Spring 2017
Previously offered as CAS LX 523 "Syntax II": Spring 2007, Spring 2010, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015

GRS LX 732

Offered:
Fall 2017

Intermediate Semantics: The Grammatical Construction of Meaning
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.
Prerequisite: CAS LX 331/ GRS LX 631 Semantics & Pragmatics: Introduction to Linguistic Meaning (or CAS LX 502) or consent of instructor.
[Meets with CAS LX 432]
Previously offered as CAS LX 503 "Semantics II": Spring 2010, Fall 2013, Fall 2015

GRS LX 733

Offered:
Spring 2018

Intermediate Pragmatics: Meaning in Context
Covers the main areas of linguistic pragmatics, the study of language use and the relation between meaning and context. We will study pragmatic phenomena such as presuppositions, implicatures, anaphora, and focus, from the perspective of linguistic semantics.
Prerequisite: CAS LX 331/ GRS LX 631 Semantics & Pragmatics: Introduction to Linguistic Meaning (or CAS LX 502) or consent of instructor.
[Meets with CAS LX 433]
Recently offered: Fall 2016
Previously offered as CAS LX 504 "Topics in Pragmatics": Spring 2008, Fall 2010, Fall 2012, Fall 2014

GRS LX 738

Not in current schedule.

Discourse Analysis
Review of current research literature on discourse analysis; students practice and apply current methods and techniques of discourse analysis
[No prerequisites]
[Also offered as SED LS 726]
Has not been offered in recent years.

GRS LX 795

Offered:
Spring 2018

Quantitative Methods in Linguistics
Introduces students to quantitative approaches to linguistic data, including visualization, hypothesis testing, and data modeling. Students will gain proficiency in R, an open-source statistical environment, and learn the logic behind statistical techniques, as well as practical skills for using them.
Prerequisite: Graduate standing in the Linguistics program, or consent of instructor
Has not been offered in recent years.

GRS LX 865

Not in current schedule.

Advanced Topics in Linguistic Theory: Language Acquisition
An in-depth exploration of current issues in language acquisition in relation to recent developments in linguistic theory, making use of computer-based tools and techniques in hands-on lab work. The focus is on experimental methodology and statistics, analysis of transcripts to uncover generalizations and test theoretical predictions, and use of other psycholinguistic tools. Topics to be covered will be drawn, in part, from the recent programs of the annual Boston University Conference on Language Development.
Prerequisite: CAS LX 522 or consent of instructor.
Has not been offered in recent years.

Also relating to linguistic theory:
GRS LX 659 Interrupted Acquisition and Language Attrition
GRS LX 665 Variation in Dialects of English
GRS LX 670 Romance Linguistics
CAS LX 500 Topics in Linguistics: Melodies of English (and some other languages)

Linguistic analysis of African languages

GRS LX 668

Not in current schedule.

Structure of African Languages
African language structure and status from the perspectives of theoretical and comparative linguistics (within the generative grammar framework), typology, and sociolinguistics, with focus on South African Nguni languages, especially IsiXhosa, with comparisons to its sister languages in that language group.
Prerequisite: CAS LX 250 Introduction to Linguistics or consent of instructor.
[Meets with CAS LX 368]
Previously offered as CAS LX 505:
Linguistic analysis of English

GRS LX 664

Not in current schedule.

The Linguistics of Contemporary English
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.
Prerequisite: CAS LX 250 Introduction to Linguistics or consent of instructor.
[Meets with CAS LX 364]
Recently offered: Spring 2017
Previously offered as CAS LX 406: Spring 2013, Spring 2015, Spring 2016

GRS LX 665

Not in current schedule.

Variation in Dialects of English
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.
Prerequisite: CAS LX 250 Introduction to Linguistics or consent of instructor.
[Meets with CAS LX 365; Also offered as CAS EN 313]
Recently offered: Fall 2016
Previously offered as CAS LX 530: Fall 2015

CAS EN 514

Not in current schedule.

Topics: The Linguistics of Contemporary English
[see CAS LX 406]
Prerequisite: CAS LX 250
Recently offered: Spring 2016

CAS EN 515

Not in current schedule.

History of the English Language I
How do the social and cultural experiences of young adults contribute to development of the English language? Examination of how, from Old English to current times, they learned and changed their native tongue at home, in schools, and neighborhoods.
[No prerequisites]
Recently offered: Fall 2007, Fall 2008

CAS EN 516

Not in current schedule.

History of the English Language II
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.
[No prerequisites]
Recently offered: Spring 2009, Fall 2010, Spring 2016

CAS EN 518

Not in current schedule.

Linguistic Problems in TESOL
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.
Prerequisite: consent of instructor.
Recently offered: Spring 2007, Fall 2007, Spring 2008, Fall 2008, Spring 2009, Fall 2009, Spring 2010, Fall 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Spring 2016
Linguistic analysis of Romance languages

GRS LX 670

Offered:
Spring 2018

Romance Linguistics
This course covers sound and morphosyntactic change since Latin, plus various topics in the comparative grammar of modern Romance languages. In addition, there is a module introducing students to the grammatical systems of certain less-studied Romance languages. Students deepen their linguistic knowledge and analytic skills by applying what they have learned in other Linguistics courses to this language family, and learn how data from Romance languages have contributed to our understanding of how language works in general.
Prerequisite: CAS LX 250 or consent of instructor; PLUS prior study of Latin or a Romance language at the 4th semester level or higher (e.g., CAS LF 212 or CAS LI 212 or CAS LS 212 or CAS LP 212 or equivalent).
[Meets with CAS LX 370]
Previously offered as CAS LX 532: Fall 2015
Linguistic analysis of French

GRS LX 673

Not in current schedule.

The Structure of French: Phonology
(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.
Prerequisite: CAS LF 303 and CAS LX 250 or equivalent, or permission of instructor. Note: CAS LX 250 can be taken concurrently.
[Meets with CAS LX 373; Also offered as CAS LF 503]
Previously offered as CAS LF 503: Fall 2010, Spring 2015, Spring 2016

GRS LX 674

Not in current schedule.

The Structure of French: Syntax
(Conducted in French) After an introduction to some of the main features of the sentence structure of French (with occasional excursions into Quebecois), attention will be focused on a number of specific topics in French syntax: e.g., the position of the finite and non-finite verb, formation of questions and relative clauses, different types of subject-verb inversion, quantifier floating and the position of subjects, negation, the behavior of clitic pronouns, imperative and causative constructions, right and left dislocation, as well as the relationship between specific syntactic constructions and intonation.
  • The class will be "hands-on", with sets of data presented for students to analyze and reflect upon (in class and in homework assignments).
  • Readings will include articles by the most interesting and influential French linguists.
  • Students will also engage in independent lilbrary research on a topic of interest.
Prerequisite: CAS LF 303 and CAS LX 250 or equivalent, or permission of instructor.
[Meets with CAS LX 374; Also offered as CAS LF 502]
Recently offered: Spring 2014

GRS LX 676

Not in current schedule.

Topics in French Linguistics
(Conducted in French) Topics vary by semester.

Previous topic: Parlers français d'Amérique du Nord (French dialects of North America).
Population history and demography. Dialectal divisions. Phonological, morphological, syntactic, and lexical features. French in Quebec, Acadia, NY/New England, Missouri, and Louisiana. Hypotheses on the genesis of certain dialects. Analysis of certain Creole features (Haitian, Louisiana, Lesser Antilles) from a comparative perspective.
Prerequisite: CAS LF 303 and CAS LX 250 Introduction to Linguistics or equivalent, or permission of instructor.
[Meets with CAS LX 376; Also offered as CAS LF 506]
Previously offered as CAS LF/LX 506 "Topics in French Linguistics: Parlers francais d'Amerique du Nord (French dialects of North America)": Spring 2012

CAS LF 504

Not in current schedule.

History of the French Language
(Conducted in French) Prosodic, phonetic, and morphosyntactic changes from Classical Latin to Modern French, highlighting the common roots between French and other Romance languages. Lexical influences (Gaulish, Frankish, etc.). Comparative linguistic study of texts in Old or Middle French. Sociopolitical events in the history of the French language. Standardization, linguistic unification of France after the Revolution, and the worldwide spread of the language.

Changements prosodiques, phonétiques, et morphosyntaxiques du latin classique au français moderne, mettant en relief les racines communes qui unissent le français aux autres langues romanes. Influences lexicales (gaulois, francique, etc.). Comparaison linguistique de textes en ancien ou moyen français. Evénements sociopolitiques dans l'histoire de la langue. Standardisation, unification linguistique de la France après la Révolution, et diffusion du français dans le monde.
Prerequisite: CAS LF 303 and CAS LX 250 or equivalent, or permission of instructor.
Recently offered: Spring 2011
Linguistic analysis of Spanish

GRS LX 681

Not in current schedule.

Spanish in the United States
(Conducted in Spanish) An ethnographic survey and sociolinguistic analysis of the Spanish language as it is spoken in urban USA. The course will focus on issues of language and dialect contact, language change, the fraught notion of 'heritage' speakers, and also code-switching as a sociolinguistic phenomenon.
Prerequisite: CAS LS 212 Fourth Semester Spanish and CAS LX 250 Introduction to Linguistics, or consent of instructor.
[Meets with CAS LX 381; Also offered as CAS LS 420]
Previously offered as CAS LX 420: Fall 2013

GRS LX 683

Offered:
Spring 2018

The Sounds of Spanish
(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.
Prerequisite: One 300-level Spanish course and CAS LX 250 or consent of instructor
[Meets with CAS LX 383; Also offered as CAS LS 507]
Recently offered: Fall 2016
Previously offered as CAS LX 507: Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015

GRS LX 684

Not in current schedule.

The Structure of Spanish (every spring)
(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.
Prerequisite: One 300-level Spanish course and CAS LX 250 Introduction to Linguistics, or consent of instructor
[Meets with CAS LX 384; Also offered as CAS LS 508]
Previously offered as CAS LX 508: Spring 2014, Spring 2013, Spring 2015

CAS LS 504

Not in current schedule.

History of the Spanish Language
(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.
Prerequisite: CAS LS 350 plus two CAS LS 400-level literature courses
Recently offered: Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2013
Linguistic analysis of Japanese

CAS LJ 510

Not in current schedule.

Structure of the Japanese Language: Syntax
(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.
Prerequisite: LX 250 and LJ 112 or 123 (or equivalent placement in Japanese); or consent of instructor.
Recently offered: Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015
Linguistic analysis of ASL

SED DE 672

Not in current schedule.

Structure of American Sign Language
Structural linguistic study of specific aspects of phonology, morphology, syntax, and lexicology in ASL. Concepts of language variation, dialect, creolization, and bilingualism.
Prerequisite: SED LS 560 or CAS LX 250.
Recently offered: Spring 2007, Spring 2008, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2013, Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Spring 2017
Linguistic analysis of other languages

GRS LX 669

Not in current schedule.

Creole Linguistics
Overview of pidginization and creolization. Evolution, typology, and area characteristics of creole languages. Role of contact languages and other substrata. Field and classroom research with creole language speakers.
Prerequisite: CAS LX 250 Introduction to Linguistics or consent of instructor.
[Meets with CAS LX 369]
Previously offered as CAS LX 533: Spring 2013

GRS LX 691

Offered:
Spring 2018

Linguistic Field Methods
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.
Prerequisite: CAS LX 250 Introduction to Linguistics or consent of instructor.
[Meets with CAS LX 391]
Recently offered: Spring 2017
Previously offered as CAS LX 501: Fall 2007, Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2015, Spring 2016

Also relating to linguistic analysis of other languages:
CAS LX 500 Topics in Linguistics: Variation in English Dialects

Language, culture, and society

GRS LX 641

Not in current schedule.

Sociolinguistics
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.
Prerequisite: CAS LX 250 Introduction to Linguistics or AN 351 Language, Culture, and Society; or consent of instructor.
[Meets with CAS LX 341; Also offered as CAS AN 521]
Recently offered: Spring 2007, Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Spring 2015, Spring 2017

CAS AN 524

Offered:
Spring 2018

Seminar: Language and Culture Contacts in Contemporary Africa
Concepts and theoretical approaches to study language variation and change in sociolinguistics/linguistic anthropology. This course examines internal and external factors that trigger language variations and changes and the social attitudes associated with them. The nexus between diachronic and synchronic changes will also be reanalyzed in light of the Labovian variationist model. While the course will focus on language variations and changes in Africa, it will draw from existing literature to provide students with a strong foundation on the scholarship in the field of contact linguistics, language variation and change, types of variations, the relationships between these variations and gender, ethnicity, religion, youth culture, and globalization. It will conclude by introducing students to the new field of forensic linguistics (the interface between language, crime and law). Using actual cases from the US and Europe, the use of linguistic features as evidence in criminal investigations, in authorship disputes, and in asylum cases will be examined. The course will consist of lectures and class discussions, practical exercises dealing with issues on language variation and change and their various implications in the 21st century. The course will provide students with the tools necessary to plan and execute studies on language variation and change in the world's speech communities.
Prerequisite: CAS AN 351 or consent of instructor
Recently offered: Spring 2011, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2016

CAS AN 532

Not in current schedule.

Literacy and Islam in Africa
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.
Prerequisite: Consent of the instructor
Recently offered: Fall 2013, Fall 2016

Also relating to language, culture, and society:
GRS LX 645 Languages in Contact: The high stakes of grammatical border-crossing

Language acquisition

GRS LX 649

Offered:
Spring 2018

Bilingualism
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.
Prerequisite: CAS LX 250 Introduction to Linguistics or consent of instructor.
[Meets with CAS LX 349]
Recently offered: Fall 2016
Previously offered as CAS LX 545: Spring 2016

GRS LX 650

Not in current schedule.

Crosslinguistic Approaches to Language Acquisition
Exploration, within the framework of generative grammar, of how similarities and differences in the acquisition patterns of syntax, semantics, and morphology across typologically diverse languages provide key evidence about the essential nature of first and second language acquisition.
Prerequisite: CAS LX 250 Introduction to Linguistics or consent of instructor
[Meets with CAS LX 350]
Has not been offered in recent years.

GRS LX 655

Offered:
Fall 2017

Second Language Acquisition
The goal of this course is to provide an overview of findings from the interdisciplinary field of second language acquisition (SLA), especially as they relate to differences between adult and child learners and individual variation among adult learners. The course examines data from many different language pairs, diverse theoretical perspectives on second-language attainment, and a wide range of factors influencing acquisition: language-universal, demographic, experiential, cognitive, social/affective, and environmental. The course also considers the case of third language acquisition as well as pedagogical implications.
Prerequisite: CAS LX 250 Introduction to Linguistics or consent of instructor.
[Meets with CAS LX 355]
Previously offered as CAS LX 542: Fall 2015

GRS LX 659

Not in current schedule.

Interrupted Acquisition and Language Attrition
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.
Prerequisite: CAS LX 250 Introduction to Linguistics or consent of instructor.
[Meets with CAS LX 359]
Recently offered: Spring 2017
Previously offered as CAS LX 546 "Incomplete Acquisition and Language Attrition":

GRS LX 753

Not in current schedule.

Acquisition of Phonology
The goal of this course is to examine the resources, mechanisms, and limitations underlying children's acquisition of phonology during the first years of life. Specific topics include the biological foundations of phonological acquisition; the developmental arcs of both speech perception and production; the relationship between phonological development and word learning; phonological universals as they apply to acquisition; and implicit and explicit learning mechanisms. The course considers different theoretical models of phonological development, as well as the range of variation observed among typically developing children.
Prerequisite: CAS LX 301/ GRS LX 601 Phonetics & Phonology: Introduction to Sound Systems (or CAS LX 510) or consent of instructor
[Meets with CAS LX 453]
Previously offered as CAS LX 541 "Phonological Development": Fall 2015

GRS LX 754

Offered:
Spring 2018

Acquisition of Syntax
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.
Prerequisite: CAS LX 321/ GRS LX 621 Syntax: Introduction to Sentential Structure (or CAS LX 522) or consent of instructor
[Meets with CAS LX 454]
Previously offered as CAS LX 540: Spring 2011, Spring 2012, Fall 2012

CAS PS 545

Not in current schedule.

Language Development
Language development in children. The acquisition of phonological, morphological, and syntactic systems; the role of both parent and child in the acquisition of communicative competence.
Prerequisite: CAS PS 241, PS 243, or consent of instructor.
Recently offered: Fall 2007, Fall 2016

SAR SH 708

Offered:
Fall 2017

Models of Language
A comprehensive overview of structure and process in language use and development; includes a review on the structure of language in each of the traditional areas of linguistic analysis. In addition, the course will provide an overview of normal language processing in children by reviewing the stages of typical language acquisition. Finally, experimental methods and analysis tools commonly used in language research will be covered.
[No prerequisites]
Recently offered: Fall 2016

Also relating to language acquisition:
CAS LX 500 Topics in Linguistics: Language Acquisition
GRS LX 700 Language Acquisition and Linguistic Theory
GRS LX 865 Advanced Topics in Linguistic Theory: Language Acquisition

Neurological aspects of language

CAS PS 544

Not in current schedule.

Developmental Neuropsychology
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).
Prerequisite: consent of instructor
Recently offered: Fall 2007, Spring 2009, Spring 2010, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016

SAR SH 505

Offered:
Spring 2018

Introduction to Phonological Disorders
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.
Prerequisite: SAR SH 521 and SH 524
Recently offered: Spring 2007, Spring 2008, Spring 2009, Spring 2011, Spring 2013, Spring 2014, Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Spring 2017

SAR SH 523

Offered:
Fall 2017

Introduction to Speech Science
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.
Prerequisite: SAR SH 521
Recently offered: Spring 2007, Spring 2008, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016

SAR SH 524

Offered:
Spring 2018

Language Acquisition
This course will focus on first language acquisition in infancy and childhood. We will cover the progression of language development in each of the traditional areas of linguistic analysis: phonology, semantics, syntax, and pragmatics. The course will be focused on experimental research in typical language acquisition and on different theories that strive to explain the underlying cognitive and linguistic mechanisms at work in an early learner.
[No prerequisites]
Recently offered: Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Spring 2013, Spring 2016, Spring 2017

SAR SH 531

Offered:
Fall 2017

Introduction to Communication Disorders
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
[No prerequisites]
Recently offered: Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2011, Fall 2012, Fall 2013, Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Fall 2015, Fall 2016
Logic and the philosophy of language

GRS PH 633

Offered:
Spring 2018

Logic
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.
Prerequisite: one philosophy course or sophomore standing.
[Meets with CAS PH 360]
Recently offered: Spring 2007, Spring 2008, Spring 2010, Spring 2011, Fall 2012, Spring 2013, Spring 2015, Spring 2016, Spring 2017
Language education

SED TL 509

Not in current schedule.

Foundations of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Pedagogy
Current theories of language teaching, analysis of materials, and practice in adapting and expanding textbook lessons. Focus on adult, college, and international teaching
[No prerequisites]
Recently offered: Fall 2016

SED TL 509

Not in current schedule.

Foundations of Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL) Pedagogy
Current theories of language teaching, analysis of materials, and practice in adapting and expanding textbook lessons. Focus on adult, college, and international teaching.
[No prerequisites]
Has not been offered in recent years.

GRS LX 695

Not in current schedule.

Natural Language Processing and Computational Linguistics
Approval pending
Prerequisite: CAS LX 250 or consent of instructor
[Meets with CAS LX 395]
Has not been offered in recent years.

Also relating to topics in linguistics courses:
GRS LX 676 Topics in French Linguistics

 
Linguistics Courses: Topics Courses
Topics vary by semester, and may be taken more than once with different topics. Current and recent offerings are listed below.

CAS LX 500

Not in current schedule.

Topics in Linguistics: Questions
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.
[No prerequisites]
Recently offered: Spring 2009

CAS LX 500

Not in current schedule.

Topics in Linguistics: The Linguistics of Contemporary English
[No prerequisites]
Recently offered: Spring 2012

CAS LX 500

Not in current schedule.

Topics in Linguistics: Universals of Language
Survey of a range of characteristics that differentiate possible from impossible human languages, which inform modern understanding of the human language capacity. Discussion will center on readings presenting different perspectives on issues of typology, modalities, acquisition, variation, change, and creolization.
Prerequisite: CAS LX 250
Recently offered: Fall 2010

CAS LX 500

Not in current schedule.

Topics in Linguistics: Melodies of English (and some other languages)
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.
Prerequisite: CAS LX 250 Introduction to Linguistics or consent of instructor.
Recently offered: Spring 2015

CAS LX 500

Not in current schedule.

Topics in Linguistics: Variation in English Dialects
Exploration of how dialects of English differ from each other, focusing on grammatical variation in the US, with occasional forays into British dialects. Students come to appreciate how linguists investigate grammatical diversity scientifically, revealing the complex structure of non-standard dialects.
Prerequisite: CAS LX 250 or consent of instructor
Recently offered: Fall 2014

CAS LX 500

Not in current schedule.

Topics in Linguistics: Language Acquisition
A general introduction to theoretical study of first and second language acquisition, focusing mainly on the development of syntax. Topics will include tense and agreement, word order, and constraints on pronoun use, as well as lexical semantics and discourse constraints.
[No prerequisites]
Recently offered: Spring 2010

CAS LX 500

Not in current schedule.

Topics in Linguistics: Language Acquisition
A general introduction to the study of first and second language acquisition within the framework of generative grammar, focused on the development of syntax. Topics include: the status and development of functional categories, verb-movement, finiteness, null subjects, binding, and questions.
Prerequisite: CAS LX 522 Syntax I
Recently offered: Fall 2008

CAS LX 500

Not in current schedule.

Topics in Linguistics: Mood and Modality
Modality expresses the possibility or necessity of a situation: 'John may/must be at home.' This course investigates types of modality and ways in which modality is encoded in the grammar in mood and modal systems across languages.
Prerequisite: CAS LX 250.
Recently offered: Fall 2008

CAS LX 500

Not in current schedule.

Topics in Linguistics: Acquisition of Semantics and Pragmatics
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.
Prerequisite: CAS LX 250 or equivalent
Recently offered: Spring 2009

CAS LX 500

Not in current schedule.

Topics in Linguistics: The Evolution of Language
Examines the evolution of the language faculty in the human species. Compares and contrasts language with other forms of animal communication. Explores and evaluates findings and claims from paleontology, biology, archaeology, anthropology, linguistics, and cognitive science.
Prerequisite: CAS LX 250 Introduction to Linguistics or consent of instructor
Recently offered: Fall 2012

CAS LX 500

Not in current schedule.

Topics in Linguistics: Focus
Exploration of linguistic focus from several perspectives. Developing a theoretical understanding of how languages signal focus through syntax and intonation, and how focus interacts with semantics and pragmatics, we examine how diverse aspects of language knowledge interact as a system.
[No prerequisites]
Recently offered: Fall 2009

CAS LX 500

Not in current schedule.

Topics in Linguistics: Negation
An examination of the diverse strategies for expressing negation in natural languages (cf. not, no one, un- in English). Topics include: negation and scope, polarity items/concord, antynomy and reversal, and morphosyntactic variety in the expression of negation.
[No prerequisites]
Recently offered: Spring 2010

CAS LX 500

Not in current schedule.

Topics in Linguistics: Number
Number is sometimes defined as the category marking the opposition between singular and plural. This greatly underestimates its role in the grammar. This course examines number systems in a variety of languages from morphological, syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic perspectives.
Prerequisite: CAS LX 250 or equivalent.
Recently offered: Spring 2008

CAS LX 500

Not in current schedule.

Topics in Linguistics: Language Acquisition and Linguistic Theory
A general introduction to the study of first and second language acquisition within the framework of generative grammar. The course will cover theoretical approaches to syntactic, semantic, and phonological development, reviewing studies and methodologies both classic and current.
Prerequisite: CAS LX 250 Introduction to Linguistics or consent of instructor.
Recently offered: Fall 2013

CAS LX 500

Not in current schedule.

Topics in Linguistics: Crosslinguistic Perspectives on Language Acquisition
Exploration, within the framework of generative grammar, of how similarities and differences in the acquisition patterns of syntax, semantics, and morphology across typologically diverse languages provide key evidence about the essential nature of first and second language acquisition.
Prerequisite: CAS LX 250 or consent of instructor
Recently offered: Spring 2016

GRS LX 690

Offered:
Fall 2017

Topics in Linguistics: Natural Language Processing and Computational Linguistics
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.
Prerequisite: CAS LX 250 or consent of instructor
[Meets with CAS LX 390]
Recently offered: Fall 2016
Previously offered as CAS LX 500 "Topics in Linguistics":

GRS LX 706

Not in current schedule.

Advanced Topics in Phonology (Pending approval)
TBA
Prerequisite: CAS LX 403/ GRS LX 703 Phonology or equivalent (or permission of the instructor)
Has not been offered in recent years.

GRS LX 736

Not in current schedule.

Advanced Topics in Semantics and Pragmatics (Approval pending)
TBA
Prerequisite: CAS LX 432/ GRS LX 732 Intermediate Semantics or equivalent (or permission of the instructor)
Has not been offered in recent years.

CAS LS 505

Not in current schedule.

Topics in Spanish Linguistics: The Sounds of Spanish
(Conducted in Spanish) Introduction to Spanish phonetics and phonology. Covers articulatory, acoustic, and auditory phonetics, focusing on techniques for visualizing speech sounds. Examines the phonemic inventory and phonological organization of Spanish from several perspectives, including generative and articulatory phonology as well as sociolinguistics.
Prerequisite: One CAS LS 300-level course and CAS LX 250 Introduction to Linguistics
Recently offered: Fall 2012

GRS LX 686

Not in current schedule.

Topics in Spanish Linguistics
TBA
Prerequisite: CAS LS 303 and CAS LX 250 or consent of instructor
[Meets with CAS LX 386; Also offered as CAS LS 505]
Has not been offered in recent years.