Carol Neidle

Professor, Linguistics and French
Head of the Linguistics Program

Carol Neidle
Office phone: 617-353-6218
Fax: 617-358-4641
Office number: 101
Office address: 621 Commonwealth Ave. Boston, MA 02215
Office hours: Spring 2015: Walk-in hours: M 3:30-4:15; R 9:30-11:45; OR

BA, Yale College
MA, Middlebury College
PhD, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

Professor Neidle teaches courses in general linguistics and French linguistics. Her research interests include syntactic theory and the syntactic structure of American Sign Language (ASL).

Professor Neidle is the Director of the American Sign Language Linguistic Research Project (ASLLRP). Funding from the NSF supports linguistic research on the syntactic structure of ASL, development of computational tools (including SignStream, a MacOS application) to facilitate analysis of signed language and gesture, and collaborative research with computer scientists interested in the problem of sign language recognition. Through our National Center for Sign Language and Gesture Resources, several different types of experimental resources and analyzed data are made publicly available.

Her publications include The Syntax of American Sign Language: Functional Categories and Hierarchical Structure (MIT Press) and The Role of Case in Russian Syntax (Dordrecht: Kluwer).

Professor Neidle coordinates the undergraduate Linguistics Program.


Spring 2015

Course number Course title Section Instructor Days Time Room

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 comparison to Qu├ębecois. Questions about the mental representation of linguistic information, processes of word formation, and language variation and change are discussed. Frequent problem sets allow students to discover linguistic regularities.
  • 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 pronunication.
  • 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.]

Fall 2015

Course number Course title Section Instructor Days Time Room

CAS LX 250

Introduction to Linguistics

A1 Neidle TR 2-3:30 TBA
S1 Neidle F 9-10 TBA
S2 Neidle F 10-11 TBA
S3 Neidle F 11-12 TBA
S4 Neidle F 12-1 TBA
S5 Neidle F 1-2 TBA
S6 Neidle F 2-3 TBA
S7 Neidle F 11-12 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.
  • Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS.
  • Students signing up for CAS LX 250 A1 should also sign up for one of the Friday discussion sections.

Spring 2016

Course number Course title Section Instructor Days Time Room

CAS LF 500

French Phonetics

A1 Neidle MWF 10-11 TBA
(Conducted in French) Students work to improve their own pronunciation through study of the distribution and articulation of French sounds, liaison, "mute e" and intonation. Written exercises and phonetic transcription reinforce theoretical points. An individualized program of language lab exercises is designed for each student on the basis of a diagnostic test. Regular pronunciation exercises include memorization of short dialogs and poetry readings.
    Required texts :
    (1) Carduner et Hagiwara, D'Accord - La Prononciation du français internationale: Acquisition et perfectionnement, ISBN-10: 0471097292; ISBN-13: 978-0471097297 (can be purchased over the Internet);
    and, ordered through Schoenhof's:
    (2) Baudelaire, Les fleurs du mal.
    (3) Ionesco, La cantatrice chauve et La leçon.
For more detailed description of course coverage and aims, see course home page.

[Prereq: CAS LF 303 and CAS LX 250 or equivalent, or permission of instructor.]