Linguistics Courses

Fall 2015 courses:


001            TR 9:30-10:45            Staff

A general survey of the history, structure, and use of the English language. Topics investigated include: the history of the English language; elements of the structure of English; the distinctive characteristics of spoken and written English and the varied registers of English; the diversity of the English lexicon; regional and social dialects of English and their representation in literature and film; and the ideological dimensions of English language use, especially those relating to social and political issues and controversies. (Counts as an English pre-major requirement; UK Core in the Humanities.)


001            MWF 10:00-10:50      Andrew Byrd              

002            TR 9:30-10:45             Staff

This course studies the history of English, tracking the linguistic and socio-historical development of the language through space and time. The history of English will be studied in its rich breadth, examining the geographical expansion that has covered all five continents and the linguistic extension that has led to the wealth of English varieties in the world today. The history of English will also be studied in its full depth, investigating the linguistic development from its “humble beginnings” as a variety of Proto-Germanic through the modern multi-faceted profile that it has today. Particular focus will be placed on reading the various stages of English in their original form.


001            MWF 11:00-11:50      Fabiola Henri            

This course is designed to give you a broad introduction to the field of Linguistics, the scientific study of human language.  This course is divided into two parts. The first will provide students with a basic foundation in the study of grammar, introducing the five core components of human grammar: syntax, morphology, phonetics, phonology and semantics. We will then build upon this knowledge in the second section, surveying a number of subfields of linguistics, including historical linguistics, sociolinguistics, language acquisition, and language and the brain. Intended for non-linguistics majors.


001            MWF 11:00-11:50      Kevin McGowan

This course is the first semester of an intensive two-course introductory sequence to the scientific study of human language, geared primarily for majors and minors in Linguistics. Through frequent practice of linguistic analysis in the form of problem sets, LIN/ENG 221 will provide students with a core foundation in Linguistics, examining the five components of grammar: phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics. Linguistics major requirement


001            TR 11:00-12:15             Jennifer Cramer                                      

The Appalachian Mountains, which range from New York to Mississippi, making up part of the landscape of 13 different states, are known to many Americans as being home to a unique cultural and linguistic experience. In this course, we will examine the extent to which this uniqueness is true, considering the nature of many myths and stereotypes that exist about this variety. We will discuss certain lexical, phonetic, syntactic, and other linguistic features that set this variety apart from other American varieties while also noting the features the speech of Appalachia shares with others. We will examine the history, origins, and development of English in Appalachia and address issues of identity, education, and standardness with respect to the English of Appalachia.

LIN 317● LANGUAGE & SOCIETY: Language and Gender

001            TR 9:30-10:45                 Rusty Barrett

This course presents an overview of current research on language, gender and sexuality, emphasizing work across a wide range of linguistic and cultural contexts. We will first examine cross-linguistic variation in categories related to gender and sexuality and linguistic variation in representations of gender and sexual differences. We will then examine gendered variation within specific languages and gendered patterns of conversational interaction. The course will then turn to the role of language in regulating sexual markets and in the perception of the body. The course will conclude by examining intersections between gender and other social categories (such as age, race, and social status) and issues related to globalization. Although the course will cover research on English, emphasis will be given to understudied languages and post-colonial contexts.

LIN 317● LANGUAGE & SOCIETY: Introduction to Judeo-Spanish

002            MWF 10:00-10:50         Haralambos Symeonidis

In this course we are going to deal with the language of the Sephardic Jews and its characteristics from the linguistic point of view. It´s going to be mainly a language class with an important linguistic, cultural and literature component. This will help us understand not only the language structure of Judeo Spanish but also the importance of the Sephardic culture which is an important component in the preservation of the language.


MWF 9:00-9:50                       Kevin McGowan

This course will examine speech production from articulatory (how sounds are formed) and acoustic (waveforms of sounds) perspectives. Topics will include airstream mechanisms and the articulation of sounds in the world’s languages, suprasegmental features (stress, tone, rhythm, pitch, intonation, etc.), phonation types, typological approaches to sound systems, and the use of phonetic analysis in research in phonology and sociolinguistics. Particular attention will be given to developing skills in phonetic transcription using the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA) and the acoustic analysis of speech.  Prereq: LIN 221 or equivalent or consent of instructor.

LIN 505 ● MORPHOLOGY       

TR 2:00-3:15                            Greg Stump

In this course, we will investigate the structure of words from different perspectives.  We will examine the syntagmatic structure of complex word forms (how they are created from simpler parts) as well as the complex of paradigmatic oppositions both (i) among a lexeme’s inflected forms and (ii) among distinct lexemes.  We will also scrutinize the interface of a language’s morphology with its phonology, its syntax and its semantics, identifying a range of factors that suggest that morphology is an autonomous grammatical component (not plausibly subsumable by any other component).  Throughout, we will make substantial use of linguistic evidence from languages other than English, including several languages with which students are unlikely to have had prior experience.  We will conclude by considering the psycholinguistic significance of morphology and the diachronic development of morphological systems.   There will be several short written homework assignments, a midterm and a final exam.


MWF 2:00-2:50                       Mark Lauersdorf

This course presents the major theories and methods of sociolinguistics, the study of the relationship between language and society.  We will look at the relationship between language variation and forms of social difference, including age, ethnicity/ethnic background, gender, sexuality, class, socio-economic status, and regional identity.  We will also examine the relationship between language and social context, the ways in which individuals adjust their speech across social contexts, and the structure of social interactions.  In addition, the course will examine issues of multilingualism, including questions of language choice and the effects of language contact.  We will examine how new languages emerge from language contact and the factors involved in the maintenance or loss of languages in contact situations.  The course will also examine the applications of sociolinguistics in education and language planning and approaches to studying the relationship between language and power. (Same as ANT/SOC 506).             


TR 3:30-4:15                            Andrew Hippisley

Computational linguistics addresses the problem of ‘information overload’, the result of huge advances in processing speeds and memory size.  This course shows the methods and techniques for automatically analyzing and modeling natural language data in order to redress the balance of information acquisition and information analysis, turning information into knowledge.  The focus will be word-based, sentence-based and meaning-based computational approaches. Students will have the opportunity to practically apply their theoretical knowledge in a computer environment.  Computer languages used will be Python and DATR, as well as some basic UNIX-based scripting languages.  No experience with computers is necessary.  By the end of the course students will have acquired a host of transferable skills for an increasingly digitally dominated job market.

LIN 517 SPECIAL TOPICS IN LINGUISTICS: Second Language Acquisition

T 5:00-7:30                               Alan Brown

Second Language Acquisition (SLA) is a theoretical and experimental field of study that examines development of languages other than the first language.  The term second includes "foreign" and "third", "fourth" (etc.). The dominant aim behind this research is to extend our understanding of the complex processes, phases, and mechanisms that drive language acquisition.  SLA differs from second language teaching, methodology, and curriculum studies although findings from SLA research may inform practices in foreign language education. The purpose of this course is to introduce students to theories and research in Second Language Acquisition SLA. The course is designed to provide an introductory overview of the linguistic, psycholinguistic, and sociolinguistic aspects of second language acquisition (SLA) and to provide a basis for understanding the SLA research related to second language teaching.  (Same as MCL 517.)


MWF 12:00-12:50                  Andrew Byrd

In this course, we will discuss the historical development of languages across time, examining the internal mechanisms and external influences involved in linguistic change.  Our discussion will encompass all levels of linguistic structure (orthographic, phonetic, phonological, morphological, syntactic, semantic and lexical) and will systematically address a number of pertinent topics, including the genealogical and typological classification of languages, the reconstruction of extinct linguistic systems and the social context of language change.  Students will gain insights into the causes of language change and their effects on languages structure; into the evolution and development of writing systems; into the genetic relationships among the world's languages; and into the origins of the sounds, words, and structures of the languages we speak today.  Discussion will include extensive reference to languages other than English.


TR 12:30-1:45                          Jennifer Cramer

Students pursuing an MA degree in Linguistic Theory & Typology (MALTT) must be equipped with a toolbox of suitable methods for gathering, analyzing, and modeling linguistic data. This course introduces a range of research methods which are widely applied in linguistic investigation, emphasizing the scientific method of inquiry, a recursive and cumulative process of gathering data and building, testing, and refining hypotheses, and interpreting results. The course also introduces students to major primary and secondary resources for linguistic research, including bibliographic services, professional journals, disciplinary organizations, collections of linguistic data, etc.  Prerequisite: LIN 221 or equivalent. Required for both tracks.


MW 4:00-5:15                                           Fabiola Henri

In this course we survey the basic aspects and results of Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar (HPSG), a well-developed, mathematically precise, framework for grammatical analysis via simultaneous constraint satisfaction. Because HPSG is a precise and well-defined linguistic framework, it has for many years been used in large-scale computational grammar development. We will review phenomena such as complementation, raising and control, long distance dependencies, etc and cover concepts involving the morphology-syntax-semantics interface. We will emphasize formal encoding of linguistic hypotheses and the design of grammars. In so doing, we will be progressively building up a grammar fragment of English using the LKB platform. Wherever possible, we include comparisons with competing approaches in other frameworks.

LIN 617 (002) ● ADV TOPICS IN LING: Sociolinguistics of Central & Eastern Europe     

MWF 3:00-3:50                       Mark Lauersdorf

This course pursues in-depth investigation in selected areas of sociolinguistics, chosen according to the areas of interest represented in the enrolled student cohort.  With the rich and varied linguistic environment of Central and Eastern Europe as the source of the datasets and social contexts, the areas selected for exploration may include (but are not limited to): language variation and social variables of age, ethnicity/ethnic background, gender, sexuality, class, socio-economic status, regional identity; language variation in language contact - multilingualism, language choice, language maintenance, language shift, language death; language planning and policy; language and power; all in historical or contemporary contexts.


TR 12:30-1:45                         Rusty Barrett

This course is designed to train students in research practices and professional activity proper to the discipline of linguistics.  Each student will design and conduct a project culminating in a 20- to 30-page research report; project milestones will include the creation of an annotated bibliography of relevant publications; the formulation of an abstract suitable for submission to a competitive conference; a written reflection on good practice in linguistics research; a public research presentation; and a wider reflection on professional aspects of a career in linguistics. Indirect goals of the course include those of identifying a suitable thesis committee and making progress on the thesis itself.  Prerequisite: students will have typically taken LIN 601.  Required for both tracks.

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Fall 2014 courses

Spring 2015 Courses

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