Winter 2022 Special Topics Course Descriptions

LING 204: Language and Society

Dr. Emily Curtis

  • Credits: 5
  • GUR: SSC

Topic  

Slang as a Sociolinguistic Phenomenon 

Description

Slang is all around us. It's imaginative and funny and cool. But what is slang in academic terms?  

What counts as slang and what slang a person knows are socially determined, so, since Sociolinguistics examines how language use reflects social identities, a sociolinguistic lens can shed much light on this interesting phenomenon. And in turn, slang can help us to better understand our sociolinguistic world. In this course, we'll examine slang by applying and comparing sociolinguistic concepts such as gendered language, dialects, politeness, and code-switching.  Readings, discussions, building a slang database, and group research projects. Gonna be fire. 

Ling 302: Korean Linguistics

Dr. Emily Curtis

  • Credits: 5
  • Prerequisites: One course from: LING 201, ANTH 247, ENG 370, TESL 401 or HNRS 217; or instructor permission.

Description

The Oxford English Dictionary just added 26 new words from Korean! What do those words look like, morphologically? What word-shapes are possible in Korean? What are any of the linguistic structures of Korean like?  

In this course, we will explore the linguistics of Korean from phonetics to sociolinguistics and see some of what is peculiar to Korean and what is not so rare. This course will help solidify your understanding of linguistic constructs (phonemes, inflectional morphology, subjects, verbs, and objects, sociolinguistic variation, etc.) as we see how they work in a very different-shaped language from English. Along the way, we can compare Korean with other languages and consider hypotheses (and myths) about Korean – is it related to Japanese? Or Mandarin? What influences have these and other languages had on its current forms?  

In addition to lectures, readings, and data analysis, students will come up with their own questions to steer class discussions and undertake research projects. No prior knowledge of Korean is expected. 

한국어에 대해 배우고 싶은 사람을  환영 합니다!  

LING 402: Chinese Linguistics

Dr. Janet Xing

  • Credits: 5
  • Prerequisites: LING 310; one course from: LING 204, LING 207, or ANTH 347.

Description

This course is designed for students who major in Chinese and/or Linguistics to gain a comprehensive understanding of the structure and usage of Mandarin (Modern standard) Chinese. Through class discussion, reading materials, and comparative studies of Chinese and English languages, students explore all core areas of the Chinese language and linguistics: phonetics/phonology, morphology, semantics, syntax, as well as dialect variations. Development of grammatical features and the evolution of Chinese scripts will also be examined. Included as part of the course is a cursory look at the relationship between language and culture. This course is taught in English. No prior knowledge of Chinese is expected.

LING 402: Field Methods

Dr. Virginia Dawson

  • Credits: 5
  • Prerequisites: LING 310; one course from: LING 204, LING 207, or ANTH 347.

Description

As linguists, we spend a lot of time talking about how the world’s languages are structured and how they differ from one another. But how do we know so much about so many languages? In this class, we’ll get hands on experience of how linguists research languages that are unfamiliar to them. Working together as a class, we will develop skills in linguistic fieldwork, including eliciting, recording, transcribing, and analyzing data by working with a native speaker of a particular language. We will discuss fieldwork ethics and our responsibilities as researchers and work together to create a shared database based on our individual data collection. Students will also individually develop a detailed description and analysis of an area of the language, which will culminate in a final project.

LING 421: Morphology

Dr. Edward Vajda

  • Credits: 5
  • Prerequisites: LING 321

Description

This course provides a thorough analysis of concepts and theories involving the internal structure of words (morphology). It covers English word formation by comparing it with the morphologies of many other languages. It also studies the interface between morphology and syntax (morphosyntax) and morphology and phonology (morphophonology) across languages. The course examines many examples of morphological and syntactic patterns from languages radically different from English that illustrate the concepts being covered. Learning outcomes include: 1) acquiring a theoretical grasp of all aspects of morphology and a solid understanding of morphological theory; 2) gaining a clear understanding of which syntactic concepts tend to be encoded morphologically across languages; and 3) developing an awareness of how English word formation contrasts with that of other languages.