Linguistics (LING)

Linguistics is the study of the human language faculty. It requires the investigation of a highly structured system of knowledge within the mind of the speaker (a mental grammar), which is examined empirically and modeled formally. Linguists seek to establish the general principles governing the organization, emergence, and use of language, including a model of how languages vary across space and time. Language is treated as a natural object, like other cognitive faculties, serving as a natural point of entry into scientific discovery and the tools of scientific reasoning, such as pattern recognition, experimental design, and hypothesis construction and testing. Linguistics serves as a “bridge” discipline between the sciences and the humanities, since language is at the center of humanistic inquiry, from philosophy and history to literary theory and language and cultural studies.

Linguistics Major

The major in linguistics includes a two-semester introductory sequence, intermediate work in theoretical grammar, intermediate work in the cognitive mechanisms of language, an advanced seminar, and two electives, as outlined below. Research opportunities are available within the major in the areas of language production and comprehension, language acquisition, and theoretical grammar.

The requirements for the major are as follows:

May be taken in any order.
LING 105Linguistic Analysis: Sounds and Words1
LING 110Linguistic Analysis: Sentences and Dialects1
Three 200-level courses, one of each pair:
LING 205Phonetics and Phonology1
or LING 206 Morphology
LING 215Syntax1
or LING 216 Semantics
LING 225Language and the Brain1
or LING 230 Psycholinguistics
Select at least one of the following seminars (may count toward the Culminating Experience):1
Advanced Syntax
Advanced Topics in Psycholinguistics
Typology and Universals
Select two of the following:2
Any linguistics course offered in addition to:
Applied Research Methods Seminar in Language
Language Development
Topics in Hispanic Linguistics
Select one of the following:1
Advanced Syntax 1
Advanced Topics in Psycholinguistics 1
Typology and Universals 1
1

Fulfills the Culminating Experience

The Culminating Experience draws together and integrates the knowledge and analytical methods mastered by majors in the course of their study. It is satisfied by taking one seminar normally in the spring of the senior year. These 300-level seminars are designed to investigate one area in depth, while highlighting interactions between this area and other sub-disciplines studied in the course of the major.

Linguistics Minor

The linguistics minor consists of five courses.

LING 105Linguistic Analysis: Sounds and Words1
LING 110Linguistic Analysis: Sentences and Dialects1
Three 200 or 300-level linguistics courses3

Courses

LING 105. Linguistic Analysis: Sounds and Words. 1 Credit.

Offered Fall Semester Only; Lecture hours:3
One semester of a two-semester introduction to linguistics. Topics include: phonetics, phonology, word forms, language change, language acquisition.

LING 110. Linguistic Analysis: Sentences and Dialects. 1 Credit.

Offered Spring Semester Only; Lecture hours:3
One semester of a two-semester introduction to linguistics. Topics include: syntax, semantics, language variation, language and society.

LING 1NT. Linguistics Non-traditional Study. 1 Credit.

Offered Fall, Spring, Summer; Lecture hours:Varies,Other:3
Nontraditional study in Linguistics. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

LING 205. Phonetics and Phonology. 1 Credit.

Offered Alternate Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
An investigation into the articulatory and acoustic properties and patterns of speech sounds, with applications to speech pathology, processing, and phonological theory. Prerequisite: LING 105.

LING 206. Morphology. 1 Credit.

Offered Alternate Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
Explores the mental lexicon, the internal structure of words, and the processes by which words are formed in a wide variety of languages. Prerequisite: LING 105.

LING 210. Language and Race. 1 Credit.

Offered Alternate Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
An introduction to "non-standard" dialects of English with a primary focus on African-American Vernacular English (AAVE). This course explores the linguistic and non-linguistic factors that give rise to language variation.

LING 215. Syntax. 1 Credit.

Offered Fall Semester Only; Lecture hours:3
Contemporary generative theories of phrase structure and its relation to meaning. Focus on comparative syntax and its implications for Universal Grammar. Prerequisite: LING 110 or permission of the instructor.

LING 216. Semantics. 1 Credit.

Offered Alternate Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
An introduction to the fundamental notions, arguments, and techniques of linguistic semantics. Focus on how meaning is structured and represented by the human mind. Prerequisite: LING 110 or permission of the instructor.

LING 220. Bilingualism. 1 Credit.

Offered Occasionally; Lecture hours:3
An introduction to the processes involved in the use of two or more languages. The course also examines the acqusition of multiple languages in infancy and after childhood.

LING 225. Language and the Brain. 1 Credit.

Offered Alternate Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
An examination of the physical basis for language. Topics include the nature of language as a cognitive faculty, language evolution, language acquisition, atypical language development in childhood, and acquired aphasia.

LING 230. Psycholinguistics. 1 Credit.

Offered Either Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3
Analysis of psychological processes involved in language. Topics include language production and perception in children, adults, bilinguals, and exceptional populations.

LING 241. Teaching Foreign Languages. 1 Credit.

Offered Spring Semester Only; Lecture hours:3
The objectives, materials, and methods of teaching foreign language skills. Prerequisites: LING 105 and a course in the structure of one foreign language.

LING 295. Topics in Linguistics. 1 Credit.

Offered Alternate Fall or Spring; Lecture hours:3; Repeatable
A specific linguistic topic, to be selected. Prerequisite: LING 105 or LING 110 or permission of the instructor. May be repeated for credit.

LING 2NT. Linguistics Non-traditional Study. 1 Credit.

Offered Fall, Spring, Summer; Lecture hours:Varies,Other:3
Nontraditional study in Linguistics.

LING 315. Advanced Syntax. 1 Credit.

Offered Alternating Spring Semester; Lecture hours:3
Topics in advanced generative syntax, emphasis on new developments in syntactic theory. Prerequisite: LING 215 or LING 216.

LING 319. Undergraduate Research. .5-1 Credits.

Offered Both Fall and Spring; Lecture hours:Varies,Other:1.5; Repeatable
Research in psycholinguistics. Research topics may be posed by students or faculty. Prerequisite: LING 230 and permission of the instructor.

LING 326. Language and Cognition. 1 Credit.

Offered Occasionally; Lecture hours:3
Advanced study of language perception, production, acquisition, evolution, computational models and neural mechanisms. Focus on recent developments in the field. Prerequisite: 200-level course from Cluster A in psychology or 200-level linguistics course.

LING 330. Advanced Topics in Psycholinguistics. 1 Credit.

Offered Alternating Spring Semester; Lecture hours:3; Repeatable
Advanced study in psycholinguistics. Includes topics such as language production, language comprehension, and bilingualism. Prerequisite: LING 230 or permission of the instructor.

LING 340. Typology and Universals. 1 Credit.

Offered Alternating Spring Semester; Lecture hours:3
Examination of the wide range of features in the world's languages. The course is mainly descriptive, with some theory regarding the source of linguistic universals. Prerequisite: one of the following: LING 205, LING 206, LING 215, or LING 216.

LING 390. Independent Study. .5-1 Credits.

Offered Both Fall and Spring; Lecture hours:Varies,Other:Varies; Repeatable
Subject to be selected by the student in consultation with the instructor. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

LING 395. Honors in Linguistics. 1 Credit.

Offered Both Fall and Spring; Lecture hours:Varies,Other:3
Honors thesis in Linguistics. Prerequisite: permission of the instructor.

Faculty

Professor: James E. Lavine (Director)

Assistant Professor: Heidi Lorimor