Spring 2021

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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 3:30-4:45 GSU 219B
S1 F 9:05-9:55 NIP (remote)
S2 F 10:10-11 NIP (remote)
S3 F 11:15-12:05 NIP (remote)
S4 F 1:25-2:15 NIP (remote)
S5 F 2:30-3:20 NIP (remote)
S6 F 3:30-4:20 NIP (remote)
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 Lindsey TR 2-3:15 TBA
S1 F 9:05-9:55 CAS 222
S2 F 10:10-11 CAS 222
S3 F 11:15-12:05 CAS 222
S4 F 12:20-1:10 CAS 222
S5 F 12:20-1:10 NIP (remote)
S6 F 1:25-2:15 NIP (remote)
S7 F 1:25-2:15 NIP (remote)
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 2-3:15 CAS 316
LX332A1 Coppock M 11:15-12:05 NIP (remote)
LX332A2 Coppock M 2:20-3:20 NIP (remote)
LX332A3 Coppock M 3:35-4:25 NIP (remote)
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; Also offered as MET LX 531; Previously offered as CAS LX 502 "Semantics I"]
  • Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS.
  • Students registering for LX331 are required also to register for a section of LX332.
  • 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 1:25-2:15 CAS 218
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 355

Second Language Acquisition

A1 Chang MWF 10:10-11 STO B50
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. [Prereq: CAS LX 250 Introduction to Linguistics or consent of instructor.]
[Meets with GRS LX 655; Previously offered as CAS LX 542 "Second Language Acquisition"]

CAS LX 359

Interrupted Acquisition and Language Attrition

A1 Chang MWF 1:25-2:15 SAR 101
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. [Prereq: CAS LX 250 Introduction to Linguistics or consent of instructor.]
[Meets with GRS LX 659; Previously offered as CAS LX 546 "Incomplete Acquisition and Language Attrition"]

CAS LX 365

Variation in Dialects of English

A1 Myler TR 11-12:15 OSW 922
LX666A1 Myler F 2:30-3:20 NIP (remote)
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 and MET LX 565; Previously offered as CAS LX 530 "Variation in Dialects of English"]
  • Graduate students registering for LX665 are required also to register for the discussion section LX666.

CAS LX 391

Linguistic Field Methods

A1 Lindsey MWF 9:05-9:55 CAS 228
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; Also offered as MET LX 591; Previously offered as CAS LX 501 "Linguistic Field Methods"]
  • Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS.
  • Starting in Spring 2021, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas:
    • Ethical Reasoning
    • Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy
    • Teamwork & Collaboration

CAS LX 394

Introduction to Programming for Computational Linguistics

web A1 Hagstrom TR 12:30-1:45 NIP (remote)
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; Also offered as MET LX 594]
  • 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 Barnes TR 8:00-9:15 CAS 211
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

web A1 Hagstrom TR 3:30-4:45 NIP (remote)
LX724A1 Hagstrom M 2:30-3:20 NIP (remote)
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]
  • Graduate students registering for LX722 are required also to register for the discussion section LX724.

CAS LX 433

Experimental Pragmatics

A1 Coppock TR 9:30-10:45 CAS 313
Hands-on seminar on pragmatics, the study of how meaning beyond the literal is communicated in context. Students will study research articles in pragmatics that use experimental methods, design their own original experiment, and run a student-designed experiment as a group. [Prereq: CAS LX 331/ GRS LX 631 Semantics & Pragmatics: Introduction to Linguistic Meaning (or CAS LX 502) and previous college experience with basic statistics, or consent of instructor.]
[Meets with GRS LX 733; Previously offered as CAS LX 504 "Topics in Pragmatics"]
[This is a revised title and course description; previously offered as "Intermediate Pragmatics: Meaning in Context".]
  • Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS.
  • This course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas:
    • Quantitative Reasoning II
    • Digital/Multimedia Expressio
    • Creativity/Innovation
 
Related courses at BU
Course number Course title Section Instructor Days Time Room

CAS AN 524

Seminar: Language and Culture Contacts in Contemporary Africa

A1 Ngom TBD TBD TBA
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. [Prereq: CAS LX 250 or CAS AN 351, or consent of instructor]