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Graduate Courses

This course will introduce students to some basic concepts of language study and to the history and present status of the English language. With plenty of ground to cover, it will be intensive. We will examine texts to illustrate changes. Sound recordings will be played in class to…

The history, present status, and future prospects of American English, including standards and internal variation.

Examination of the connection between language, race, and ethnicity in the United States. Study of the origins of current ethnolects in the United States, linguistic ideologies that shape attitudes towards them, and structural factors that affect their current patterns and possible future change…

Introduction to the study of the sounds used in human languages and how sounds function as a system in individual languages. Fundamentals of articulatory and acoustic phonetics, basic phonological architecture and formalism, phonetic motivations for phonological alternations.

Detailed study of specific phonological theories and the phonetics/phonology interface, building on knowledge acquired in the introductory phonetics and phonology course.

History and structure of the speech and language styles used in the African American community; examination of linguistic and cultural issues that confront the majority of African Americans; the role of the vernacular language of African Americans in society.

Discussion and analysis of the phonological, morphological, lexical, discourse, and syntactic structures of African American English and their interaction as the grammatical system of language use in the African American community.

This is a course in the Old English language; the goal is for students to learn how to pronounce, read, and translate Old English prose and, near the end of the semester, Old English poetry. In some respects, the course is similar to any a course in any modern foreign language, with vocabulary…

The English language of the Middle English period, including the development of the language from the end of the Old English period through the transition to Modern English.

This course discusses the common confusion between different approaches to linguistics and language study, and provides a general theoretical framework under which empirically-based investigation of speech can be carried out: complex systems. Complex systems is a new science currently useful in…

Study in Hebrew grammar with attention to its historical development and dialects and to its structural relations with other Semitic languages. Focuses may include comparison to Arabic, Aramaic, Phoenician and Punic, Ethiopic, and Akkadian. No prior knowledge assumed.

Principles and methods of dictionary making with emphasis on monolingual English and bilingual dictionaries. Topics may include typology of dictionaries and dictionary users, the history of lexicography, the collection and selection of headwords and examples; the definition style, pronunciation…

An introduction to psycholinguistic theory and methodology. Topics include phonological perception, lexical access, morphological processing, and syntactic and semantic comprehension. Special focus will be placed on relating these concepts to other domains in cognitive science, including…

The positions of Greek and Latin within the Indo-European language family with special attention to the phonological evolution of both Greek and Latin from Proto-Indo-European.

An introduction to the formal analysis of sentential meaning, from a linguist's perspective. After first isolating a truth-conditional notion of literal meaning, we will use techniques from logic to describe how the meanings of sentences are built from those of their parts.

Linguistic theories of second language (L2) acquisition, including the role of universal capacities in language acquisition and individual influences and sociocultural factors that affect the rate and ultimate success of L2 acquisition. Implications of theoretical models and research findings…

The nature, structure, and varieties of the English language in vocabulary, grammar, pronunciation, and semantics.

One of the Celtic languages (for example, Welsh, Irish Gaelic, Scottish Gaelic) in medieval or contemporary form. Languages and instructors may vary from semester to semester.

The Indo-European language family: the various early Indo-European dialects, their grammatical structures, and the evolution of those structures from the proto-language.

Identification and examination of the salient structural similarities and differences between historical attestations of the Old Germanic Languages.

Topics such as formal and ordinary languages, meaning, reference, truth, definition, analyticity, ambiguity, metaphor, symbolism, and the uses of language.

The scientific study of the nature and characteristics of human languages with a specific focus on the linguistic structures (phonological, morphological, syntactic, semantic) of one or more Romance Languages and their use and variation, historical development, and acquisition. Given in English…

Identification and examination of the salient structural similarities and differences between German and English.

An introduction to quantitative and statistical approaches for analyzing human language. Topics include fundamentals of quantitative and empirical research; descriptive and analytical statistics; hypothesis testing; data modeling and visualization. Data are drawn from a wide range of linguistic…

Introduction to experimental methods in linguistics, including experimental design and stimulus creation. Methods include informal vs. formal acceptability judgments, psycholinguistic methods, and neurolinguistic techniques. Students will develop and run in-class behavioral experiments in small…

Introduction to sociolinguistics from a variationist perspective. Analysis of multiple levels of linguistic variation (e.g., phonetic, morphosyntactic) and examination of correlations between linguistic variables and social factors as observed in empirical data from different varieties of…

Linguistic and sociolinguistic structures of modern German with relevant linguistic terminology. Emphasis on phonology, morphology, and syntax. Taught in English.

Symbolic-mathematical logic, examining the propositional and predicate calculi, with emphasis on problems in translation and formalization and topics in the philosophy of logic and mathematics.

Formal semantics for sentential and first-order predicate logic, including both soundness and completeness results for first-order logic. Additional topics may include Goedel's incompleteness results, the Skolem-Lowenheim theorem, or possible world semantics for modal logics.

Introduces finite-state automata as both a theoretical framework as well as a practical tool for phonetics, (morpho)phonology, and (certain aspects of) syntax. Students will learn to use software toolkits for linguistic analysis and how to work with natural-language corpora.

Introduction to grammar formalisms as applied in computational linguistics. This course is open to graduate students with no prior background in linguistics.

The major linguistic changes in the history of the Spanish language, including the interaction of linguistic and societal changes and the representation of these changes in texts.

Computer techniques for processing human languages (e.g., English, Spanish, German), covering applied topics such as text normalization and named entity recognition, as well as theoretical matters, such as the implementation of syntactic and semantic theories.

The origins of modern standard German from the Indo-European parent language through proto-Germanic, Old and Middle High German, and the early modern period.

The phonology, morphology, and syntax of the classical Sanskrit language, emphasizing the position of Sanskrit within the Indo-European language family and its importance for Indo-European linguistics.

Continued studies in both the synchronic and diachronic grammar of classical Sanskrit.

French phonetics: the sounds of French as they relate to levels of language from the vernacular to literature. An examination of how sounds vary with relation to region and social class. Practice in class and in the language laboratory. Given in French.

Theoretical and applied German phonology and word structure. Taught in English.

The Spanish sound system using core concepts of linguistics in general and phonology in particular. Characterization and transcription of spoken Spanish. Analysis of important phenomena of language variation in the Hispanic world, including national, geographical, historical, and social dialects…

Traditional methods of historical linguistics are reviewed, with examples from several different language families. Various kinds of possible phonological and syntactic changes are investigated in relation to modern linguistic theory.

Phonology of French as it determines the underlying forms of morphology with an application to the teaching of French to non-native speakers. Emphasis on the concepts of variation, acceptability, and cultural sensitivity. Given in French.

The influence of languages on other languages spoken in the same or neighboring areas, including pidgins and creoles, with consideration of relationships in phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and vocabulary.

Introduction to language typology, which categorizes language according to distinct structural features. Methods for compiling unbiased samples and defining comparable categories across languages as the foundation for identifying typological universals (correlations and limitations on the co-…

An interdisciplinary study of language use, text analysis, and evaluation. The course will provide students with the ability to investigate and evaluate structural features of language and to identify the strategies used by different writers based on style and cultural backgrounds.

Grammar and language usage in the study of the syntactic and morphological structures of Spanish. The syntax and morphology of the pronoun and verb systems, agreement phenomena, gerunds, comparisons, and modal and aspectual distinctions. Written self-expression on a variety of issues as…

Provides an overview of the extra-linguistic factors that affect language use in historical languages; provides an introduction to conducting sociolinguistic inquiry on linguistic varieties for which direct linguistic evidence is limited. Emphasis is placed on quantifiable methods for…

The syntax of modern French through readings in descriptive analysis and examples of literary texts to see how word order contributes to meaning. Particular emphasis on levels of style and reflections of social class. Frequent compositions required. Given in French.

Study of the patterns of literary style, including language and literary stylistics, genre, and cognition and perception. Offered every odd-numbered year.

Phonetic and morpho-syntactic structures that are problematic for the English-speaking student of Spanish. Ways in which culture is encoded in language. Implications of Spanish linguistics for the teaching and learning of Spanish and the linguistic education of language teachers. Given in…

The study of language as a cultural and social phenomenon. Topics include language and meaning, language and world view, language and social behavior, and language and social issues.

The role of language and culture in the formation of philosophical assumptions about gender differentiation in society.

Introduction to linguistic fieldwork and language documentation through work with a speaker of an unknown language. Methods of eliciting, transcribing, organizing, and storing data; data analysis, formulating and testing hypotheses; and ethical issues involved in linguistic fieldwork.

A “corpus” (plural: corpora) is a computerized collection of text or speech. This course introduces the use of corpora to study language. These studies span academic disciplines from formal linguistics to literature. This course introduces tools for working with texts and quantitatively…

Explores the language of digital communication, ranging from the innovation of new words and expressions in social media to the construction of identities in cyberspace. Students will use modern tools in the analysis of language data to understand the mechanisms that shape language usage in the…

The synchronic and diachronic grammar of an older Indo-European language. Possible offerings include Avestan, Hittite, Lithuanian, or topics such as Indo-European phonology, morphology, or syntax.

An introduction to the grammar and literature of Old Icelandic, the old Nordic language with the greatest body of literature. Additionally, some historical explanations will be introduced to aid in the recognition of patterns obscured by various internal developments of the Icelandic language.…

An introduction to the grammar and literature of Classical Armenian. The presentation will employ a pedagogical textbook of the language and cover the most important points of its grammar as well as the prehistory of the language.

An introduction to Old Church Slavic, the earliest written Slavic language. Covers the grammar of Old Church Slavic, reading and translation of texts, and the prehistory of the Slavic language family.

The major changes in the history of the French language, with special attention to the interaction of linguistic and societal changes and to the representation of these changes in literary texts. Given in French.

Study of the phonology, morphology, syntax, and culture of a less-taught language. Possible offerings include Finnish, Hungarian, and other non-Indo-European languages.

Study of the phonology, morphology, syntax, and culture of a less-taught language. Possible offerings include Finnish, Hungarian, and other non-Indo-European languages.

First Language Acquisition

This course will be offered during the Spring 2024 semester

Despite the apparent complexity of human language, children generally master one (or more) within the first few years of life. How do they accomplish this, and what does this tell us about…

Semantic and pragmatic approaches to the study of meaning in Spanish. Differences between sentence meaning and speaker meaning. Analysis of types of discourse in Spanish such as narrative and free conversation. Given in Spanish.

Research while enrolled for a master's degree under the direction of faculty members.

Advanced supervised experience in an applied setting. This course may not be used to satisfy a student's approved program of study.

Thesis writing under the direction of the major professor.

Methods for teaching foreign language and development of language skills in German. For teaching assistants in German and graduate students in German and Language Education. Taught in English.

Principles and methods of second language teaching applied to Romance languages. An analysis of techniques used to teach listening, speaking, reading, writing, and culture, with an examination of current theories of language acquisition. Given in English.

Foreign language teaching and learning applied to Spanish. Theories of second language acquisition. Techniques and strategies to teach listening, speaking, reading, writing, and culture in context. Activities and procedures of classroom instruction. Issues in the professionalization of Spanish…

Introduction to the study of the sounds used in human languages and how sounds function as a system in individual languages. Fundamentals of articulatory and acoustic phonetics, basic phonological architecture and formalism, phonetic motivations for phonological alternations.

Recent issues and research in language acquisition and disorders. Major theories of development, assessment, and intervention, with emphasis on integration of theory and clinical practice.

Special topics and current issues in linguistic theory. 

An introduction to linguistics as a profession, its history, sub-fields, and methodologies. Through a combination of guest lectures, student presentations, discussion groups, teaching observations, and reading assignments, students will develop and enhance professional skills used for both…

A forum for the presentation and discussion of current research in the field and student or faculty work in progress.

A forum for the presentation and discussion of current research in the field and student or faculty work in progress.

The linguistic study of word structure and how this relates to other components of the grammar of a language (phonology, syntax, semantics). Theoretical issues and problems in the study of morphology will be discussed in connection with the analysis of data from a wide variety of languages.

Techniques and formalisms for analyzing syntactic phenomena of human languages within the framework of generative grammar. Examples will be drawn from English.

Formal analysis of syntactic phenomena, such as question formation, relative clauses, and topicalization (known as A'-dependencies), as well as the distribution of reflexive and non-reflexive pronouns with respect to their antecedents (known as binding or anaphoric relations). Examples are drawn…

Special topics in syntax, semantics, or the syntax/semantics interface.

Special topics in phonetics, phonology, or the phonetics/phonology interface. The course will be taught in English, and will focus on significant contributions to phonetics & theoretical phonology (potentially including historical and L2 scenarios) that draw on data from a variety of Romance…

Special topics and current issues in second language acquisition. Topics will vary; consult the Linguistics Program office for the specific topics to be covered in any offering of the seminar.

The original course materials dealing with such topics as formal and ordinary languages, meaning, reference, descriptions, truth, definition, analyticity, speech acts, and the uses of language.

Morphology, phonology, and history of the Gothic language based on extant texts. Emphasis on the development of earlier stages of the language and on its later language forms. Taught in English.

Phonology and grammar of the language, with extensive readings in the prose, epic, and lyric poetry of the Middle High German era.

Topics in the study of sociolinguistics and dialectology, particularly related to Romance Languages. The topics covered in the course include (but are not limited to) quantitative methods in sociolinguistics and dialectology, language change/grammaticalization, sociophonetics, and language…

Intensive investigation of a subject or topic in German linguistics. Taught in English.

Intensive investigation of synchronic and diachronic variation in German. Taught in English.

This course provides an overview of the extra-linguistic factors that either promote the maintenance of a minority/heritage language, or effect the shift towards the majority or hegemonic regional…

An in-depth study and critique of the scholarly literature and research on a representative topic or topics in the history of the Spanish language. Taught in Spanish.

Human language from a computational point of view; algorithms and techniques for computer understanding of human-language input.

Special topics and current issues in computational linguistics. Offered fall and spring semester every even-numbered year.

This year the Computational Linguistics Seminar will focus on a topic that cuts across many different ways of studying natural language: the (apparent?) conflict…

Students will work with current models of formal phonological analysis, including Optimality Theory and Exemplar Theory, as well as phonetically-informed approaches, to look at both synchronic and diachronic phenomena in the language. Data from both modern Spanish dialects and the historical…

Special topics and current issues in historical linguistics. 

The study of pidgin and creole languages. Students will examine the socio-historical background and social contexts of the languages to determine what role demographic and social factors may have played in their emergence, as well as their linguistic characteristics and their significance for…

Advanced-level description and formal linguistic analysis of major syntactic structures, particularly relating to Spanish and other Romance Languages. This includes, but is not limited to, the interfaces with morphology and semantics. Study will be undertaken within light of recent linguistic…

Topics and issues in French linguistics. Possible offerings include Old French, French dialectology, French sociolinguistics, and French semantics and pragmatics. Given in French.

Survey of issues and theories in second language acquisition and examination of current research in the acquisition of Spanish as a second language. Critiques of both theoretical and applied studies and collection and analysis of empirical data. Given in Spanish.

The techniques of recording and analyzing a foreign language by working directly with a native speaker.

Topics in pragmatics and discourse analysis related to linguistic phenomena in Spanish and other Romance languages. Topics include inferential, cognitive, and socio-cultural pragmatic theories, discourse structure/organization, reference (anaphora, deixis), speech acts and politeness, and…

Special topics and current issues in language variation and sociolinguistics.

Research while enrolled for a doctoral degree under the direction of faculty members.

Advanced directed study of a topic in linguistics.

Dissertation writing under the direction of the major professor.

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