Linguistics (LNGN)

LNGN 110  Language of Food  (3 credits)

This course explores the intersection of language and food (or speaking and eating) by investigating what we can learn about language by studying "the language of food." The course introduces fundamental aspects of language and linguistics through an exploration of topics related to food: food terms, food metaphors, the language and structure of menus and recipes, the language of wine, the language of food advertising and labeling, and language practices related to food and eating (e.g., saying grace, making toasts, sharing recipes, etc.). The course examines how people talk about food, how people use food to talk about themselves and about others, and how "food talk" conveys a range of social and cultural meanings. Cognitive aspects of the language of food and taste as well as cross-linguistic similarities and differences will be considered. Meets Gen Ed - Social Science Perspectives.

LNGN 120  Language and Computers  (3 credits)

This course introduces students to the fundamentals of how computers are used to represent, process, and organize textual and spoken information. It allows students to gain an effective understanding of how the computer works and where problems arise with the involvement of natural language. The course covers the central analytical concepts and provides students with tips on how to integrate this knowledge into their working practice.

LNGN 130  Speech Processing  (4 credits)

Students will apply laboratory methods to investigate the basic concepts of linguistics, psychology and physics that underlie our current knowledge of speech production and perception. The course also covers speech digitization, speech recognition and speech synthesis.

LNGN 210  Introduction to General Linguistics  (3 credits)

The nature and structure of language; the basic techniques for analyzing linguistic structures; phonological, morphological, syntactic and semantic structure of languages, language and dialects; language change; the comparative method in linguistics; human and animal communication; differences between first and second language learning. Meets Gen Ed - 2002 - Social Science Perspective.

LNGN 220  Structure of American English  (3 credits)

The phonology, morphology, syntax of American English, geographical and social dialects; traditional, structural and transformational approaches to grammar.

LNGN 230  Language in Society  (3 credits)

Correlations between language varieties, their functions in particular settings, and the characteristics of their speakers. Black English. The role of second languages within a society: Pidgin, Creole, Lingua Franca, Diglossia, etc.

LNGN 240  Languages of the World  (3 credits)

A survey of the languages of the world from the dual perspectives of their genealogical classification and their typological (or structural) characteristics. It is intended for both majors and non-majors, and presupposes no previous linguistic training.

LNGN 245  Language and Culture  (3 credits)

A study of language in its cultural context. Relationship of linguistic to non-linguistic variables: ethnosemantics, linguistic relativity principle, componential analysis.

LNGN 250  Language of Propaganda  (3 credits)

This course is a multidisciplinary approach to the study of the use of language to manipulate and influence opinions via advertising, innuendo, jargon, emotive language, etc.

LNGN 255  Language and Gender  (3 credits)

A sociolinguistic study of the interaction of language with sex and gender. Course includes a survey of the literature on language and gender plus practical experience in collecting and analyzing linguistic data. Meets World Cultures Requirement.

LNGN 260  Dialectology  (3 credits)

Principles of dialect study; application to American dialects. The origin and development of American dialects in historical, literary, regional, social and urban perspectives.

LNGN 280  Bilingualism  (3 credits)

Compound and coordinate bilingualism; attitudes, motivation, etc.; functions of languages in multilingual settings; problems of newly-independent, multilingual nations in establishing national and standardized languages; analysis of bilingual speech; problems of educating minority groups in this country whose native language is not English.

LNGN 284  History of the English Language  (3 credits)

English from its Indo-European origins up to and including the eighteenth-century grammarians. The Germanic strains; old, middle and modern English.

LNGN 288  Introduction to Cognitive Science  (3 credits)

Prerequisite(s): ANTH 100 or CSIT 111 or LNGN 210 or PHIL 100 or PSYC 101. An introduction to the multidisciplinary field of cognitive science. Topics include: the mind-body problem, thought as computation and the computer model of the mind, the role of representation in mental activity. Emphasis will be upon the methodological approaches found in artificial intelligence, cognitive psychology, cognitive anthropology, cognitive neuroscience, linguistics, and philosophy. Mutually Exclusive with CSIT 288, PHIL 288, and PSYC 288.

LNGN 290  Language of the Law  (3 credits)

The course explores the interface between language and our legal system. Students study the legal language up to the present day. Topics to be covered include, among others, the impact of (il)literacy on the law, the linguistic ramifications of governing bilingual societies, the functions of written laws and legal language, and the social psychological impact of language use in modern-day litigation. Mutually Exclusive with LAWS 290.

LNGN 300  Syntax  (3 credits)

Prerequisite(s): LNGN 210 or departmental approval. The study of sentence structure and the theories designed to describe it. Emphasis on structural grammar, the development of Generative Grammar and contemporary theoretical methods for describing sentence structure. Data will be taken from a number of different languages. Meets the Graduation Writing Requirement for majors in Linguistics.

LNGN 301  Semantics  (3 credits)

Prerequisite(s): LNGN 300. The systematic and objective study of meaning in language. Topics include: referential meaning, semantic fields, componential analysis, synonymy, polysemy, hyponymy, and sequential meaning. Data will be taken from a number of different languages.

LNGN 302  Pragmatics  (3 credits)

Prerequisite(s): LNGN 300. The study of pragmatics, an area of linguistics that examines language as situated speech and studies how context affects the interpretation of meaning.

LNGN 304  Principles of Discourse Analysis  (3 credits)

Prerequisite(s): LNGN 210. This course introduces students to discourse analysis, the subfield of linguistics that analyzes naturally occurring connected speech and written texts and describes the nature of socially-situated language. Central issues in the study of discourse will be examined, including the relationship between linguistic form and function, the relationship between text and context, and the question of "textuality," that is, how a randomly ordered set of sentences is distinguished from a coherent text. Various approaches to discourse will be discussed including speech act theory, interactional sociolinguistics, conversation analysis, and critical discourse analysis.

LNGN 310  Morphology  (3 credits)

Prerequisite(s): LNGN 210. Morphology is the study of the structure of words. Students will learn to analyze words by working with data from many languages, and they will study the kinds of morphological systems that exist in the languages of the world.

LNGN 320  Quantitative Linguistics  (3 credits)

Prerequisite(s): LNGN 210 or departmental approval. Language is a complex yet systematic natural phenomenon. Linguists seek to uncover the underlying systems of language using the tools of mathematics: we count, measure or model various aspects of linguistic behavior in order to test hypotheses and discover patterns about how language works. This hands-on course will guide students through the most common quantitative methods in a range of linguistic subfields, using R or other statistical software packages.

LNGN 325  Principles of Second Language Learning  (3 credits)

Prerequisite(s): LNGN 210. Restriction(s): Open to Linguistics majors or admission into Teacher Education program. Theories of second language acquisition; error analysis; individual learner differences; the roles of input, interaction, and formal instruction in language acquisition.

LNGN 330  Scripting Tools for Text Analysis  (3 credits)

Prerequisite(s): LNGN 210. The course provides an introduction to text analysis by computer with a primary emphasis on building software to perform analyses. The course will concentrate on scripting tools available in the Linux operating system and in Python. The course emphasizes the specific applications of computing to issues in linguistics and computational linguistics using these tools and combinations of the tools in short scripts.

LNGN 331  Phonetics  (3 credits)

Prerequisite(s): LNGN 210 or departmental approval. Restriction(s): Cognitive Science majors. A comprehensive introduction to phonetics, the study of the production of speech sounds and their acoustic characteristics. Students will learn to identify, classify, and transcribe sounds from a variety of languages. While intended primarily for Linguistics majors, this course will also be of interest to prospective language teachers and to majors in Speech, in Psychology, and in Communication Sciences and Disorders.

LNGN 332  Phonology  (3 credits)

Prerequisite(s): LNGN 331 or departmental approval. Phonology studies how languages make use of a particular subset of all the possible speech sounds in a systematic way to produce meaningful units like words and sentences. The objectives of this course will be to give students experience in analyzing phonological data from a wide variety of languages and to survey current theories of phonology.

LNGN 340  Linguistic Annotation  (3 credits)

Prerequisite(s): LNGN 210 or departmental approval. Linguistic annotation of natural language is the practice of adding interpretative linguistic information to a corpus. Linguistic annotation of natural language corpora “adds value” to the corpus. It allows to manually or automatically extract linguistic examples to evaluate a theoretical hypothesis, help formalize and study linguistic phenomena. It is also the backbone of supervised methods for statistical natural language processing. This course introduces the students to the major aspects of linguistic annotation, such as creation/evaluation of annotation schemes, methods for automatic and manual annotation, use and evaluation of annotation software and frameworks, representation of linguistic data and annotations, evaluation of manual and automatically-produced annotations.

LNGN 350  Linguistics of American Sign Language and Other Signed Languages  (3 credits)

Prerequisite(s): LNGN 210. This course takes a linguistic approach to signed languages and examines how linguistic analysis from phonetics and phonology to syntax and semantics applies to signed languages. The course also addresses acquisition, psycholinguistic, and sociolinguistic aspects of sign languages. Focus is on American Sign Language, the sign language of the Deaf in the United States, but other signed languages are also studied. Knowledge of American Sign Language is not required.

LNGN 351  Gesture, Sign, and Speech: The Multi-Modality of Communication  (3 credits)

Prerequisite(s): LNGN 210. Humans communicate using language, but they also communicate using gesture. This course examines these spontaneous movements of the hands and body and how they contribute to human communication. Topics include form-meaning patterns in gesture (e.g., pointing vs. iconic gestures), how gesture helps in language learning, and the role of gesture in thinking. Students will learn about gestural communication that accompanies both signed and spoken languages and how gesture is different from signed languages.

LNGN 370  Comparative and Historical Linguistics  (3 credits)

Prerequisite(s): LNGN 210 or LNGN 284. Similarities and differences among languages and language families at one point in time and as these develop in time; reconstructing the common ancestor of related languages and determining general laws of linguistic change.

LNGN 380  Corpus Linguistics  (3 credits)

Prerequisite(s): LNGN 210 or departmental approval. This course is an introduction to the use of corpora (electronic texts) in the study of language. Students are introduced to the field of corpus linguistics, learn how to utilize existing corpora, acquire the basic computational skills and quantitative methods necessary in carrying out a corpus investigation, find out how corpora are influencing recent trends in linguistic research, and have opportunities to apply corpus‐based methods in their own work.

LNGN 403  Methods and Material of TESL  (3 credits)

Prerequisite(s): LNGN 325. The theory and practice of ESL instruction covering the major methodologies, planning lessons, testing language skills, selecting and developing materials and related topics.

LNGN 405  Field Experience in Teaching English as a Second Language  (3 credits)

Prerequisite(s): LNGN 325. Opportunity to teach English as a second language will be arranged for each student in the program.

LNGN 420  Language and the Mind  (3 credits)

Prerequisite(s): LNGN 210 or PSYC 288 or LNGN 288 or PHIL 288 or CSIT 288. An introduction to the major theoretical and methodological principles of Noam Chomsky's theory of Universal Grammar and what they tell us about structure of the human mind.

LNGN 430  Field Methods  (3 credits)

Prerequisite(s): LNGN 210 or departmental approval. Collecting linguistic data from an informant; human factors in field work; qualifications of the informant; elicitation techniques.

LNGN 445  Natural Language Processing  (3 credits)

Prerequisite(s): LNGN 300 or departmental approval. Computational approaches to the problem of processing, understanding and generating natural language text and speech, including speech processing, morphological and phonological analysis, syntactic parsing, semantic interpretation, discourse meaning, and the role of pragmatics and world knowledge. The course will examine both rule-based and data-driven techniques.

LNGN 450  Special Topics in Linguistics  (3 credits)

Prerequisite(s): LNGN 210 or departmental approval. Study of special problems and topics in linguistics. Topics announced each semester. May be repeated once for a maximum of 6 credits as long as the topic is different.

LNGN 460  Special Topics in the Structure of a Selected Language  (3 credits)

Prerequisite(s): Departmental approval. An exploration of a single topic or a small set of topics related to a specific language. Selections of the topic(s) and language will depend on the interests of the students and the instructor, and on the availability of relevant material. The topics will be of general relevance to linguistics, and might relate to phonological, morphological, syntactic, semantic, sociolinguistic, historical, or other issues. May be repeated once for a maximum of 6 credits as long as the topic is different.

LNGN 478  Independent Study  (3 credits)

Prerequisite(s): Departmental approval. This course is designed (1) to allow students to explore areas of linguistics that are not covered in the normal course offerings of the department; (2) to permit an in-depth analysis of a given subject beyond the scope of a regular semester course; or (3) to provide advanced students with the possibility of research in areas of linguistics that are of special interest to them. May be repeated once for a maximum of 6 credits.

LNGN 488  Seminar in Cognitive Science  (3 credits)

Prerequisite(s): LNGN 300 or CSIT 288 or LNGN 288 or PHIL 288 or PSYC 288. Seminar discussion of foundation works and contemporary research articles in Cognitive Science. With the instructor's guidance and supervision, each student will define an area of Cognitive Science for comprehensive in-depth review of research and write a literature review. Professional issues in Cognitive Science are discussed. Mutually Exclusive with PSYC 488.