College of Humanities & Social Sciences

Fall 2019 400-Level Courses

Fall 2019 400-Level Courses

*Please note, if you plan on registering for more than one LING 402 course per quarter, you must register in person at the Registrar's Office in OM 230

LING 402: The Structure of Spanish - Dr. R. Mata

TR 2-3:50

Prerequisite: LING 310; one course from: LING 204, ENG 270 or ANTH 347

Credits: 5

Course Description: This course surveys aspects of Spanish phonetics, phonology (syllable structure and the main phonological processes of Spanish), morphology (inflectional & derivational morphology), morphosyntax (nominal & verbal agreement and clitics), and syntax (dependent clauses). In addition to exploring the descriptive grammar of Spanish, we investigate dialectal differences in the Spanish-speaking world from a historical and contemporary viewpoint.

LING 402 / ENG 436: The Structure of English - Dr. Catherine McDonald

TR 10-11:50

Prerequisite: LING 310; one course from: LING 204, ENG 270 or ANTH 347

Credits: 5

Course Description: This is primarily an English course, linked to four seats in linguistics. The description below applies to both sections.

“Throw the cow over the fence some hay.” Hey, that sentence structure doesn’t make sense. Let’s study how English does put groups of words together. It’s like a puzzle for sentences. And it’s called syntax (not grammar).

Most everyone has a story about a past English teacher with a big red pen who stood guardian of Standard English (and gave the word “grammar” a very bad name). This “grammar” class will not be like that. English 436 will not prescribe “correct “rules of English but rather describe and explore our intuitive knowledge of language. In fact, we will focus on the sticky debate over the very question of teaching grammar in schools. Should prescriptive rules be enforced in order to maintain standard English? Isn’t that the very reason that educators teach English? Linguists have an understanding of the ever-changing nature of language that brings another perspective to that discussion. By the end of this course you will be able to make your own reasoned and informed decisions about these questions, regardless of your stance on one side or the other (or in the middle).

English 436 provides an overview of the fundamentals of English syntax, with particular attention to areas of interest and relevance to English majors (study of literature, writing, and English education). Along with our study of the structure of English, we will explore language in context: ways in which grammar plays a role in shaping education (particularly teaching writing), our attitudes about good and bad language, and the study of literature (poetry, genre, style, for example). We will look at functional grammar and how language is actually used to achieve real-world goals and solve real-world communication problems.

This course, then, will be much more than a typical grammar course.  It will not only introduce you to the fundamentals of English sentence structure, but will also provide you with an important context for the study of grammar, its influence on other areas of modern thought, and the study of language more generally. As such, it applies to linguistic majors who study the nature of language and to English major who study the way words work in English.

LING 402 / ANTH 490: Raciolinguistics - Dr. Judith Pine

MWF 2:30-3:50

Prerequisite: LING 310; one course from: LING 204, ENG 270 or ANTH 347

Credits: 5

Course Description: The concept of a raciolinguistic perspective, a term coined by Rosa and Flores (2017), works to make sense of the way that language and race, as ideas, are entangled with one another as humans perform socially recognized identities and perceive one another’s performance. In this class, we will look at the ways that this relatively new, powerful theoretical tool has been taken up by linguistic anthropologists and other scholars of language-in-action. The concept of the raciolinguistic as a semiotic process allows us to step away from common misconceptions about both language and race, and to view the ways that language and race are processes taking place in context, considering the role of colonial and post-colonial ideas as an important element of that context.

Rosa and Flores propose the raciolinguistic both as a theoretical and a practical tool. In individual projects, students will draw on the rapidly emerging scholarship on this topic to develop ideas for potential pragmatic approaches beyond the ivory tower.

LING 402: Language and Society: Language(s) of the Balkans

MWF 8:30-9:50

Prerequisite: LING 310; one course from: LING 204, ENG 270 or ANTH 347

Credits: 5

Course Description: Since ancient times The Balkan peninsula has been an important crossroads of different peoples, cultures, and languages. Owing to coexistence of diverse, genetically unrelated or distantly related languages (Romance, Greek, Albanian, Slavic, Turkish, Romani) in a relatively small territory, the Balkan linguistic area was the first one to be studied from the perspective of language contact. In modern times, however, the Balkans have become a synonym for divisions and ethno-nationalisms. Social changes brought about by the demise of the great empires/states and the creation of nation-states have had great impact on language(s) and its role in society. Language issues have been abused in the rise of ethnic tensions, discrimination, and violation of human rights. For example, in Bosnia and Herzegovina children are being physically divided during first language classes based on their ethnicity although they all speak the same language, which is now officially called by three different names based on ethnic concerns (Bosnian, Croatian, Serbian). In this course, we will explore the relation between society and language in the Balkans by addressing the following topics: language and identity, language contact and multilingualism, language preservation, language and ideology, language policy, standardization, and language and education. Our focus will be on the Balkan Slavic.

LING 411: Topics in Phonology - Dr. Jordan Sandoval

MWF 8:30-9:50

Prerequisite: LING 311; one course from: LING 204, ENG 270 or ANTH 347

Credits: 5

WP3

Course Description: This quarter's 411 topic is going to be on the phonetics and phonology of Second Language Acquisition (and teaching?). We'll focus primarily on native English speakers' learning of other languages, but will also read some about other language learners of English. If you're interested in learning other languages, interested in sounding more like a native speaker of those languages, or interested in talking to other folks about how to sound more like a native speaker of Language X, this might be a good fit for you. If you're excited about a seminar style class where there's a lot of reading and a lot of discussing, but not a lot of lecturing, this also might be a good fit for your fall quarter!