For a full list of undergraduate courses in linguistics offered in recent years, see: 

Graduate Course Schedule, Fall 2024
Course No.
Course Title

CAS LX 601

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, or consent of instructor. BU Hub areas: Scientific Inquiry II, Quantitative Reasoning I, Critical Thinking.

TR 2:00-3:15

CAS LX 611

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, or consent of instructor.

MWF 11:15-12:05

CAS LX 628

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, or consent of instructor.

MWF 11:15-12:05

CAS LX 631

Systematic examination of how meaning is encoded in words and sentences, and how it can emerge from the complexity of the grammar. Also touches on various aspects of pragmatics–the study of how meaning is shaped by context.

Prerequisite: CAS LX 250, or consent of instructor.

TR 3:30-4:45

CAS LX 646

Why do languages change over time? Who leads and who follows in situations of language change? The course answers these questions by examining the link between language change and linguistic variation, focusing on how synchronic variation leads to diachronic change.

BU Hub areas: Social Inquiry I, Teamwork/Collaboration.

MWF 10:10-11:00

CAS LX 690 A1

Languages become “endangered” or “dormant” for multiple reasons, and efforts to revitalize languages take many paths. We examine key cases of language revitalization, including examples from around the world, but with a primary focus on indigenous languages of North America.

Prerequisite: CAS LX 250, or consent of instructor.

TR 9:30-10:45

CAS LX 690 B1

This course serves as an introduction to studying language as a part of broader cognitive science, exploring questions about the nature of linguistic representations, how they are processed and acquired, and how they interact with other cognitive domains.

Prerequisite: CAS LX 250, or consent of instructor.

MWF 12:20-1:10

CAS LX 690 C1

Investigation of the traditional notion of morpheme as a “minimal form-meaning pairing,” and its attendant difficulties. Students gain an appreciation of the relationship between word structure and word meaning across languages via a series of case studies.

Prerequisite: CAS LX 250, CAS LX 331/631 or equivalent, or consent of instructor. CAS LX 321/621 recommended.

TR 9:30-10:45

CAS LX 694

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 Natural Language Processing (NLP). Topics include tagging and classification, parsing models, meaning representation, and information extraction. (Not intended for students with a background in programming or computer science.)

BU Hub areas: Quantitative Reasoning II, Research and Information Literacy.

MWF 9:05-9:55

CAS LX 706

Distinctive feature theory from Structuralism to the present. Issues include the putative universality of distinctive features, their phonetic underpinnings, tension among the various roles features play in the grammar, and applicability of features to phonology beyond consonants and vowels..

Prerequisite: CAS LX 403/703.

T 3:30-6:15

CAS LX 722

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, or consent of instructor.

MWF 2:30-3:20

CAS LX 733

Covers recent developments in the theory of pragmatics and related empirical findings obtained through a variety of experimental methods. Topics include scalar implicature and its relation to vagueness and imprecision, hyperbole, metaphor, irony, politeness, and the pragmatics of reference to objects in visual scenes.

Prerequisite: CAS LX 331/631, or consent of instructor.

BU Hub areas: Quantitative Reasoning II, Creativity/Innovation, Digital/Multimedia Expression

TR 12:30-1:45

CAS LX 795

Introduces students to quantitative approaches to linguistic data, including visualization, hypothesis testing, and data modeling. Students 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.

MWF 1:25-2:15

CAS LX 801

Advanced graduate students working on their qualifying research papers or thesis present and discuss work in progress. The course is organized thematically based on students’ research areas. Readings each week are determined on the basis of the research discussed. 2 cr. per semester.

R 2:00-3:15