LING - Linguistics

LING200 Introductory Linguistics (3 Credits)

An exploration of the nature of human language, designed for non-majors. Introduction to the basic concepts and methodology of modern linguistic analysis (sound systems, word formation, sentence structure). Additional topics may include: semantics, pragmatics, social aspects of language, dialects, language change, acquisition, writing systems, typology, language universals, comparison with other communication systems, etc.

Credit Only Granted for: HESP120 or LING200.

Additional Information: Does not count toward the Linguistics major and does not fulfill prerequisite requirements for all upper-level courses.

LING210 Structure of American Sign Language (3 Credits)

Overview of phonology, morphology and syntax of American Sign Language. History of the language and the unique social, political and linguistic situation of the deaf.

LING240 Language and Mind (3 Credits)

The study of language as a cognitive phenomenon. Focus on mastering the concepts and technical skills required for further courses in linguistics. Ways of representing people's knowledge of their native language, ways in which that knowledge is attained naturally by children, and how it is used in speaking and listening. Additional topics may include: animal communication, language and the brain, language and thought.

Additional Information: Required for Linguistics majors and recommended for students in related fields.

LING248 Introduction to Laboratory Research in Linguistics (2-3 Credits)

Individualized, collaborative research course aimed at developing skills for laboratory research in language acquisition, sentence processing or neurolinguistics. Learning to conduct research in laboratory linguistics as part of a research team that will create original research in the field.

Recommended: LING200 or LING240.

Restriction: Permission of instructor.

Repeatable to: 6 credits if content differs.

Additional Information: A two-semester commitment is required, i.e. Ling248 is followed by Ling448.


An interdisciplinary examination of the phenomenon of heritage language (a bilingual's home language which is distinct from the dominant language of the wider society). Relationship between linguistic structure, cultural and social aspects of language use, and language change. Interpretations of experimental and theoretical work. Relevance of heritage languages for linguistic theory, language policy, and education.

Additional Information: One class per week will be in-field instruction in collecting data from heritage speakers.

LING269 Special Topics in Study Abroad II (1-6 Credits)

Special topics course taken as part of an approved study abroad program.

Repeatable to: 15 credits if content differs.

LING272 Biophysics of Language (3 Credits)

Examines the nature of mental representation of language in the physiology of the mind/brain, how it evolved, how it emerges in learners' minds, and how it decays through injury and illness. Insights from linguistics, cognitive psychology, neuroscience, animal behavior, molecular biology, and biophysics are brought to bear on how an abstract systematic behavior can arise within an animal brain.

LING311 Syntax I (3 Credits)

Basic concepts, analytical techniques of generative syntax, relation to empirical limits imposed by viewing grammars as representations of a component of human mind. Aspects of current theories.

Prerequisite: LING240.

LING312 Syntax II (3 Credits)

Continuation of LING311. Development of theories of syntax. Criteria for revising theories. Methods and strategies of scientific efforts to explain natural phenomena.

Prerequisite: LING311.

LING320 Phonetics (3 Credits)

Representations and models of acoustic and articulatory phonetics. Develops concepts and skills for description, measurement and scientific analysis of the sound systems of human languages, including various varieties of English.

Prerequisite: Minimum grade of C- in LING200.

Recommended: LING240.

Additional Information: This course counts as a core course for the linguistics major. Only one of Ling320 or HESP403 can be used to count towards the Linguistics major.

LING321 Phonology I (3 Credits)

Properties of sound systems of human languages, basic concepts and analytical techniques of generative phonology. Empirical limits imposed by viewing grammars as cognitive representations. Physiological properties and phonological systems; articulatory phonetics and distinctive feature theory.

Prerequisite: LING240.

LING322 Phonology II (3 Credits)

Continuation of LING321. Further investigation of phonological phenomena and phonological theory. Revising and elaborating the theory of the phonological representation; interaction of phonology and morphology.

Prerequisite: LING321.

LING330 Historical Linguistics (3 Credits)

A traditional presentation of language change. Language types and families, sounds and writing systems, grammatical categories. Reconstruction of proto-languages by internal and comparative methods.

Prerequisite: LING321.

Recommended: LING311.

LING350 Philosophy of Language (3 Credits)

The nature and function of language and other forms of symbolism from a philosophical perspective.

Prerequisite: PHIL170 or LING311. Cross-listed with PHIL360.

Credit Only Granted for: LING350 or PHIL360.

LING369 Special Topics in Study Abroad (1-6 Credits)

Special topics course taken as part of an approved study abroad program.

Repeatable to: 15 credits if content differs.

LING386 Experiential Learning (3-6 Credits)

Prerequisite: Must have a Learning Proposal approved by the Office of Experiential Learning Programs, faculty sponsor, and student's internship sponsor.

Restriction: Junior standing or higher.

LING410 Grammar and Meaning (3 Credits)

The basic notions of semantic theory: reference, quantification, scope relations, compositionality, thematic relations, tense and time, etc. The role these notions play in grammars of natural languages. Properties of logical form and relationship with syntax.

Prerequisite: Permission of instructor; or LING311.

LING411 Comparative Syntax (3 Credits)

Comparison of data from a variety of languages with respect to syntactic theory in order to investigate how parameters of universal grammar are fixed differently in different languages. Attempts to work out fragments of grammars for some languages.

Prerequisite: LING312; or permission of instructor.

LING419 Topics in Syntax (3 Credits)

Topics vary.

Prerequisite: LING311.

Repeatable to: 12 credits if content differs.

LING420 Word Formation (3 Credits)

Examination of shape and meaning of possible words, both across languages and within particular languages. Interaction between principles of word formation and other components of a grammar: syntax, logical form and phonology.

Prerequisite: LING321 and LING311.

LING429 Topics in Phonology (3 Credits)

Advanced seminar in phonology. Topics vary.

Prerequisite: LING322.

Repeatable to: 6 credits if content differs.

LING439 Topics in Diachronic Linguistics (3 Credits)

Repeatable to: 6 credits if content differs.

LING440 Grammars and Cognition (3 Credits)

Relationship between the structure, development and functioning of grammars and the structure, development and functioning of other mental systems. Interpretations of experimental and observational work on children's language, aphasia, speech production and comprehension.

Prerequisite: LING321 and LING311.

LING444 Child Language Acquisition (3 Credits)

Examines language acquisition in infancy and early childhood: the nature of children's linguistic representations and how these develop naturally. Role of (possible) innate linguistic structure and interaction of such structure with experience. Evaluation of methods and results of current and classic research leading to contemporary models of language development.

Prerequisite: LING311.

LING448 Advanced Laboratory Research in Linguistics (2-3 Credits)

Individualized, collaborative research course aimed at developing skills for laboratory research in language acquisition, sentence processing or neurolinguistics. Conducting a research project in laboratory linguistics as part of a team creating original research relevant to current issues in linguistics.

Prerequisite: LING248; and (LING200 or LING240).

Restriction: Permission of instructor.

Repeatable to: 6 credits if content differs.

Additional Information: This course is part of a two-semester sequence. Ling248 is a prerequisite. Ling248 and Ling448 must be completed in the same laboratory.

LING449 Topics in Psycholinguistics (3 Credits)

Critical evaluation of primary research in psycholinguistics. Relating theoretical hypotheses to experimental hypotheses and predictions. Evaluation of experimental results. Emphasis on hands-on experience and experimental methodologies. Specific topics vary.

Prerequisite: LING321 and LING311; or permission of ARHU-Linguistics department.

Repeatable to: 6 credits if content differs.

LING451 Grammars and Variation (3 Credits)

Grammars and the use of language in a variety of styles: formal, casual, literary, etc. Consequences for concepts of grammars. Variation theory. Literary styles.

Prerequisite: LING311.

LING453 Mathematical Approaches to Language (3 Credits)

The aspects of mathematics used in linguistic discussions: recursion theory, Chomsky's hierarchy of grammars, set theory, Boolean algebra, finite state grammars, context-free grammars, etc. Applications to theories of grammars. Formalizations of grammatical theories.

Prerequisite: LING312.

LING455 Second Language Acquisition (3 Credits)

Examines second language acquisition from the perspective of Chomsky's 'Universal Grammar'. Relationship between theories of grammars, first language acquisition by children and the learning of second languages by adults.

Prerequisite: LING311.

LING460 Diversity and Unity in Human Languages (3 Credits)

Fundamentals of grammatical typology as they relate to issues in social attitudes towards language. Linguistic structure of standard and non-standard languages and dialects. Relationship of different writing systems to linguistic structure. Issues in bilingualism and multilingualism.

Prerequisite: LING240 or LING200.

LING487 Computer Science for Cognitive Studies (3 Credits)

List processing and discrete mathematics. Preparation for the study of artificial intelligence and other mathematically oriented branches of cognitive studies. Intended for students of linguistics, philosophy, and psychology. LISP computer language, graphs and trees, the concept of computational complexity, search algorithms.

Credit Only Granted for: LING487 or PHIL487.

LING499 Directed Studies in Linguistics (1-3 Credits)

Independent study or research on language under the supervision of a faculty member.

Prerequisite: Permission of ARHU-Linguistics department.

Repeatable to: 6 credits if content differs.