Courses

All of the course offerings for 2019-2020 are available in the Courses at a Glance.

The Linguistics Department offers language courses in American Sign Language, Modern Greek, and Swahili. 

In addition to the Linguistics course offerings, various other Departments at the University provide languages courses.

ASLG 10100 American Sign Language-1

American Sign Language is the language of the deaf in the United States and much of Canada. It is a full-fledged autonomous language, unrelated to English or other spoken languages. This introductory course teaches the student basic vocabulary and grammatical structure, as well as aspects of deaf culture.

2019-20 Autumn

ASLG 10400 Intermediate ASL-1

This course continues to increase grammatical structure, receptive and expressive skills, conversational skills, basic linguistic convergence, and knowledge of idioms. Field trip required

2019-20 Autumn

LING 20001 Introduction to Linguistics

This course offers a brief survey of how linguists analyze the structure and the use of language. Looking at the structure of language means understanding what phonemes, words, and sentences are, and how each language establishes principles for the combinations of these things and for their use; looking at the use of language means understanding the ways in which individuals and groups use language to declare their social identity and the ways in which languages can change over time. The overarching theme is understanding what varieties of language structure and use are found across the world's languages and cultures, and what limitations on this variety exist.

2019-20 Autumn

LING 20201 Introduction to Syntax

This course is an introduction to basic goals and methods of current syntactic theory through a detailed analysis of a range of phenomena, with emphasis on argumentation and empirical justification. Major topics include phrase structure and constituency, selection and subcategorization, argument structure, case, voice, expletives, and raising and control structures.

2019-20 Autumn

LING 23920 The Language of Deception and Humor

Crosslistings
SIGN 26030

In this course we will examine the language of deception and humor from a variety of perspectives: historical, developmental, neurological, and cross-cultural and in a variety of contexts: fiction, advertising, politics, courtship, and everyday conversation. We will focus on the (linguistic) knowledge and skills that underlie the use of humor and deception and on what sorts of things they are used to communicate.

2019-20 Autumn

LING 26040 Code Making, Code Breaking

Crosslistings
SIGN 26002

This course investigates the nature and use of codes and ciphers: what they are, how they are constructed and solved, and the significant roles they have played throughout history. We will begin by looking at the development of writing, the most basic tool for encoding thought and experience, and at the techniques for deciphering it. We will then turn to a deeper examination of the ideas and methods of cryptography and cryptanalysis, and their roles in concealing and revealing information in different areas of humanistic inquiry, including literature, religion, and philosophy. Finally, we will turn to the role of code making and code breaking in contemporary society, with particular focus on the development of computation and computational theories of intelligence and the relation between encryption, privacy, and freedom of information in a democratic society.

2019-20 Autumn

LING 27220 Professional Persuasions: The Rhetoric of Expertise in Modern Life

Crosslistings
ANTH 27505

This course dissects the linguistic forms and semiotics processes by which experts (often called professionals) persuade their clients, competitors, and the public to trust them and rely on their forms of knowledge. We consider the discursive aspects of professional training (e.g., lawyers, economists, accountants) and take a close look at how professions (e.g., social work, psychology, medicine) stage interactions with clients. We examine a central feature of modern life-the reliance on experts - by analyzing the rhetoric and linguistic form of expert knowledge.

2019-20 Autumn

LING 28630 Geometric Models of Meaning

This course is an introduction to geometric approaches to meaning in natural language. We will discuss methods which represent the meaning of linguistic entities (words, paragraphs, etc.) as objects in Euclidean space, and seek to find meaningful patterns in the relative positions of these objects. The course will motivate the approach, examine its strengths and limitations, and prepare students for further study in an active field of research.

Daniel Edmiston
2019-20 Autumn

LING 28710 Undergraduate Experimental Methods

Linguists use a variety of different tools to answer a diverse set of questions. This course will focus on the experimental methodologies linguists use in the laboratory, and will address all aspects of experimentation, including design, data collection and analysis. First, this course will provide a foundational overview to the different experimental paradigms from across the subfields of linguistics. Then, as a class, we will workshop a phonetics experiment using eye-tracking, with hands-on opportunities for students through each step of the process. By the end of the quarter, students will have the tools to propose and pilot an experiment of their own design in any area of linguistics.

Jacob Phillips
2019-20 Autumn

LING 30201 Syntax I

Graduate student standing. Undergraduates with a grade of A or A- in Intro to Syntax may petition the instructor for admission. This course is an advanced survey of topics in graduate syntax examining current syntactic theory through detailed analysis of a range of phenomena and readings from the primary research literature.

Prerequisites

Graduate student standing. Undergraduates with a grade of A or A- in Intro to Syntax may petition the instructor for admission.

2019-20 Autumn

LING 30101 Phonological Analysis I

This course introduces cross-linguistic phonological phenomena and methods of analysis through an indepth examination of fundamental notions that transcend differences between theoretical approaches: contrast, neutralization, natural classes, distinctive features, and basic non-linear phonological processes (e.g., assimilation, harmony, dissimilation).

2019-20 Autumn

LING 30301 Semantics and Pragmatics I

This is the first in a two-course sequence designed to provide a foundation in the scientific study of all aspects of linguistic meaning. The first quarter focuses primarily on pragmatics: those aspects of meaning that arise from the way that speakers put language to use, rather than through the formal properties of the linguistic system itself, which is the domain of semantics. However, a central goal of the course will be to begin to develop an understanding of the relation between pragmatics and semantics, by exploring empirical phenomena in which contextual and conventional aspects of meaning interact in complex but regular and well-defined ways, and by learning analytical techniques that allow us to tease these two aspects of linguistics meaning apart.

2019-20 Autumn

LING 31100 Language in Culture I

Crosslistings
ANTH 37201, CHDV 37201, PSYC 47001

Among topics discussed in the first half of the sequence are the formal structure of semiotic systems, the ethnographically crucial incorporation of linguistic forms into cultural systems, and the methods for empirical investigation of "functional" semiotic structure and history.

2019-20 Autumn

LING 26550/LING 36555 Battle in the Mind Fields

Crosslistings
KNOW 40104

The goal of this course is to better understand both the ruptures and the continuity that we find in the development of linguistics, psychology, and philosophy over the period from early in the 19th century up until around 1960. Among the topics we will look at are the emergence of 19th century linguistics through the methods developed to reconstruct Proto Indo-European, and at the same time, the emergence of two wings of German psychology (exemplified by Brentano and by Wundt); the transplanting of both of these disciplines to the United States at the end of the 19th century; the rise of behaviorism in psychology and its interaction with Gestalt psychology as German scholars were forced to leave their homes in Europe in the years before World War II; the development of an American style of linguistics associated with the Linguistic Society of America; and the interactions after World War II of cybernetics, cognitively-oriented psychology, and a new style of linguistic theory development, and the relationship between generative grammar and the work in phonology and syntax during the 1950s in the United States.

2019-20 Autumn

LING 27150/LING 37150 Chicago Linguistic Landscape

The field of Linguistic Landscapes examines the public display of languages, dialects, and writing systems: who is the author and audience of such messages? which languages are chosen for official signage? what can we learn about present or past multilingualism? what is conveyed by nonstandard dialect forms or stylized writing? In this course students will collaborate on creating an online map of Chicago with geo-tagged images. At least three weekend days will be spent on field trips to Chicago neighborhoods.

2019-20 Autumn

LING 28610/LING 38610 Computational Linguistics I

This course is an introduction to topics at the intersection of computation and language, oriented toward linguists and cognitive scientists. We will study computational linguistics from both scientific and engineering angles -- the use of computational modeling to address scientific questions in linguistics and cognitive science, as well as the design of computational systems to solve engineering problems in natural language processing (NLP). The course will combine analysis and discussion of these approaches with training in the programming and mathematical foundations necessary to put these methods into practice. Our goal in this quarter is for students to leave the course able to engage with and evaluate research in cognitive/linguistic modeling and NLP, and to be able to implement intermediate-level computational models.

2019-20 Autumn

LING 40310 Experimental Methods

This course will cover the basic methods for experimental studies, including experimental design, data collection and statistical analysis. To demonstrate different design and analysis tools, we will look at data set from different types of studies, including self-paced reading, acceptability judgment, eye tracking, ERP, etc. Students will also gain hands-on experience on different paradigms.

2019-20 Autumn

LING 46000 Seminar: Syntax

Undergraduates who have taken both may petition the instructor for admission. This course is an advanced graduate seminar in syntax. Through readings from the primary research literature, we will investigate the nature, properties, and precise formulation of some of the elementary (and perhaps some not-so-elementary) operations that build the syntactic structures of human language.

Prerequisites

PQ: LING 30201 and 30202.

2019-20 Autumn

LING 47800 Linguistics Pedagogy: Proseminar

This course deals with a variety of topics specific to Linguistic Pedagogy.

2019-20 Autumn

LING 47850 Placement Seminar

The Placement Proseminar is designed for Ph.D. students who are nearing completion of the degree and focuses strongly on the academic job search. The Placement Proseminar is normally taken by 5th and 6th -year doctoral students (assuming a 6-year program timeline) so that they complete the seminar prior to entering or as they are entering the job market. The weekly workshop-style seminar includes intensive work on the “core” application documents (c.v., job application letter, research statement, and statement of teaching philosophy); advice on choosing and preparing an appropriate writing sample; and job interview strategies and practice.

2019-20 Autumn

LING 47900 Research Seminar

The course aims to guide students on their research in a structured way and to present professionalization information crucial to success in the field. The course is organized largely around working on the research paper, with the goal of making it a conference-presentable and journal-publishable work. Topics covered include abstracts, publishing, handouts, presentation skills, course design, creating and maintaining a CV, cover letters, webpages, and in general everything that is required for you to successfully compete for jobs in linguistics.

2019-20 Autumn

MOGK 20100 Intermediate Modern Greek-1

This course aims to enable students to attain conversational fluency and to become independent users of the language who deal effectively and with a good deal of accuracy. They are expected to handle successfully a variety of uncomplicated communicative tasks and to express personal meaning by creating with the language; to ask a variety of questions to obtain simple information to satisfy needs, such as directions, prices and services. Overall they are expected to have a significant quantity and quality of language. Prerequisite(s): MOGK 10300/30300 Equivalent Course(s): NELG 20100

Prerequisites

MOGK 10300/30300 Equivalent Course(s): NELG 20100

2019-20 Autumn

MOGK 10100/MOGK 30100 Elementary Modern Greek I

This course aims to develop elementary proficiency in spoken and written Modern Greek and to introduce elements of cultural knowledge. The course will familiarize the students with the Greek alphabet, Modern Greek pronunciation rules and the basic morphology and syntax, with an emphasis on reading and conversational skills. The students will be able to communicate minimally with formulaic and rote utterances and produce words, phrases and lists.

2019-20 Autumn

SWAH 25200/SWAH 35200 Swahili I

This course is designed to help students acquire communicative competence in Swahili and a basic understanding of its structures. Through a variety of exercises, students develop both oral and writing skills.

2019-20 Autumn