Courses offered since Autumn 2009
11100/39286. (= BIOS 29286, BPRO 23900, CHSS 37900, HIPS 23900, NCDV 27400, PHIL 32500). PQ: Third- or fourth-year standing or consent of instructor. Core background in evolution and genetics strongly recommended. This course draws on readings and examples from linguistics, evolutionary genetics, and the history and philosophy of science. We elaborate theory to understand and model cultural evolution, as well as to explore analogies, differences, and relations to biological evolution. We also consider basic biological, cultural, and linguistic topics and case studies from an evolutionary perspective. Time is spent both on what we do know, and on determining what we don't. Salikoko Mufwene, William Wimsatt, Winter 2010, Spring 2013
21300/31300. PQ: LING 20600/30600 & LING 20800/30800 or consent of instructor. This course deals with the issue of variation and change in language. Topics include types, rates, and explanations of change; the differentiation of dialects and languages over time; determination and classification of historical relationships among languages, and reconstruction of ancestral stages. Yaroslav Gorbachov, Spring 2010; Alan Yu, Spring 2012; Yaroslav Gorbacov, Spring 2014
23900/33900. A nontechnical general survey of human languages, examining their diversity and uniformity across space and time. Major topics include language families and historical relationships, linguistic typology and language universals, sound and structural features of the world's languages, and writing systems. Yaron McNabb, Spring 2011
1. Typology: Ergativity
2. Information structure: Focus
3. Semantics: Lexical and grammatical aspect
Each section starts with an introduction of the topic from a non-theoretical point of view, followed by an overview of the treatment of this topic in different linguistic frameworks. Based on our own analyses of selected texts, we will try to develop a method for applying linguistic models to the Anatolian material, and as a corollary assess the descriptive adequacy of previous approaches in the secondary Hittitological literature (mainly in English, German, French and Italian).
Because of the long history of several of the Anatolian languages, ca. 1500 years, we will be able to use the methods of comparative and historical linguistics to trace and explain possible changes.
All texts will be offered in transliteration and translation but without glosses. However, the availability of good grammars and dictionaries will allow students from other disciplines with linguistic interests to participate. Petra Goedegebuure, Spring 2011, Spring 2013
32850. This course will cover information-theoretic approaches to phonological grammar. We will focus on issues pertaining to model discovery and model selection, and on formal methods of model evaluation. Jason Riggle, Spring 2012
37300. Graduate level survey of approaches to analyzing language in context, including interactional sociolinguistics, politeness theory, ethnography of communication, speech act theory, information structure, topic and focus, empathy and deixis, cohesion and narrative structure. Amy Dahlstrom, Winter 2012.
40310. This course will provide training on experimental design, data collection and analysis. We will go through a range of experimental paradigms, and students will acquire hands on experience through a course project. This class will set the ground for students to explore more advanced experimental methods in the future. Ming Xiang, Autumn 2012, Spring 2014.
LANGUAGES IN LINGUISTICS (LGLN)
From Indo-European to Old Church Slavonic
32001. (=SLAV 22001/32001) Essentials of Slavic historical grammar with emphasis on the evolution of Proto-Slavic verbal and nominal morphology. Prerequisite: Some acquaintance with either Old Church Slavonic or Indo-European. Yaroslav Gorbachov, Autumn 2009
Old Church Slavonic
25100/35100. (=SLAV 22000/32000) PQ: Knowledge of another Slavic language or good knowledge of one or two other old Indo-European languages required; SLAV 20100/30100 recommended. This course is an introduction to the language of the oldest Slavic texts. It begins with a brief historical overview of the relationship of Old Church Slavonic to Common Slavic and the other Slavic languages. This is followed by a short outline of Old Church Slavonic inflectional morphology. The remainder of the course is spent in the reading and grammatical analysis of original texts in Cyrillic or Cyrillic transcription of the original Glagolitic. Victor Friedman, Winter 2010
40800. This course is an introduction to the language of the medieval Scandinavian peoples. Students acquire basic reading skills and are introduced to elements of Scandinavian dialectology and Germanic historical linguistics. Readings include selections from the Prose Edda, sagas, scaldic poetry, and runic inscriptions. Yaroslav Gorbachev, Spring 2011
28375-28376-28377/38375-38376-38377. PQ SWAH 27400 or 37400, or Instructor’s consent. This course emphasizes analysis and discussion about various literary and audiovisual works in Swahili. The presentations in class will cover novels and short stories as well as popular movies. The students also will be assigned short literary works and other authentic texts or audiovisual materials for written homework and in class discussion. In the end, the students will be able to express an informed appreciation in Swahili on original works and formal discourse in Swahili. Fidele Mpiranya. Ay 13-14.