For a full list of undergraduate courses in linguistics offered in recent years, see:
Undergraduate Course Schedule, Spring 2023
CAS LX 110
Exploration of how variation in accents and dialects interacts with various aspects of society and human life. Students examine how dialect variation arises, how it can be described, and how it interacts with literature, film, humor, and music. Cannot be taken for credit by students who have previously taken, or are currently taking, CAS LX 250 or a higher-level linguistics course. (Students must also register for a discussion section.)
BU Hub areas: Social Inquiry I, The Individual in Community, Research and Information Literacy.
CAS LX 250 / MET LX 250
Properties that languages share and how languages differ with respect to structure (sound system, word formation, syntax), expression of meaning, acquisition, variation, and change; cultural and artistic uses of language; comparison of oral, written, and signed languages. Also offered through Metropolitan College as MET LX 250. (Students must also register for a discussion section.)
BU Hub areas: Scientific Inquiry I, Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy, Critical Thinking.
CAS LX 331
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. (Students must also register for a discussion section, CAS LX 332.)
Prerequisite: CAS LX 250, or consent of instructor. BU Hub areas: The Individual in Community, Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy, Critical Thinking.
CAS LX 345
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, or consent of instructor.
CAS LX 365
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. Also offered as CAS EN 313.
Prerequisite: CAS LX 250, or consent of instructor.
CAS LX 384
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. Also offered as CAS LS 508. Conducted in Spanish.
Prerequisites: one 300-level Spanish course and CAS LX 250, or consent of instructor.
CAS LX 390
Topics and pre-requisites vary by semester and section. May be repeated for credit as topics change. Topic for Spring 2023, Section A1: Metrics and Evaluation in Natural Language Processing.
Prerequisite: CAS LX 250, Introduction to Linguistics, and LX 496/796, Computational Linguistics, or equivalent, by permission of instructor.
CAS LX 403
Survey of phonological theory and analysis, with focus on cross-linguistic 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, or consent of instructor.
CAS LX 422
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.
CAS LX 423
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 422, or consent of instructor.
CAS LX 433
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, or consent of instructor. BU Hub areas: Quantitative Reasoning II, Digital/Multimedia Expression, Creativity/Innovation.