The interdisciplinary Linguistics minor offers academic courses across a variety of disciplines. The minor was established in 1993 by faculty from the departments of Anthropology, Classics, Communication, Education, English, German-Russian, Humanities, and Romance Languages. The minor is currently directed by Professor Jerid Francom who is assisted by a core group of faculty members who are actively involved in the minor as well as their own research and teaching.
By nature and approach, linguistics is integrated tightly with the core mission of the University. Linguistics encourages students to analyze data and to “ask why,” to evaluate evidence of various kinds that bears on issues of language acquisition and use, and to see multiple perspectives on problems and evaluate them critically. It is inherently interdisciplinary and stimulates an interconnected perspective, drawing on social sciences, liberal arts, and even physical sciences, as in phonetics (acoustics) and psycholinguistics (neuroscience, imaging techniques); and it is oriented towards the many cultural heritages of the world. It investigates language in all its forms (oral, written, signed) as a distinctive and universal trait of what makes us human — arguably, the field that is most “Pro-Humanitate” of all. And it emphasizes both the diversity of an estimated 6,000 languages and their common core in human cognition and sociocultural functions.
LIN 150. Introduction to Linguistics. (3 h)
The social phenomenon of language: how it originated and developed, how it is learned and used, its relationship to other kinds of behavior; types of language (oral, written, signed) and language families; analysis of linguistic data; social issues of language use. Also listed as ANT 150. (CD)
LIN 301. Semantics and Language in Communication. (3 h)
A study of how meaning is created by sign processes. Among the topics studied are language theory, semiotics, speech act theory, and pragmatics.
LIN 310. Sociolinguistics and Dialectology. (3 h)
Study of variation in language: effects of regional background, social class, ethnic group, gender, and setting; social attitudes toward language; outcomes of linguistic conflicts in the community; evolution of research methods for investigating language differences and the diffusion of change. P- LIN 150/ANT 150 or POI.
LIN 330. Introduction to Psycholinguistics and Language Acquisition. (3 h)
A psychological and linguistic study of the mental processes underlying the acquisition and use of language; how children acquire the structure of language and how adults make use of linguistic systems.
LIN 333. Language and Gender. (3 h)
Uses an anthropological perspective to examine relationships between language structure, language use, persons, and social categories. Also listed ANT 333.
LIN 337. TESOL Linguistics. (3 h)
Introduces the theoretical and practical linguistics resources and skills for teaching English to speakers of other languages (TESOL) within the United States or abroad. Also listed as EDU 337. P-LIN 150/ANT 150 or ENG 304 or POI; knowledge of a second language is recommended.
LIN 340. Topics in Linguistics. (3 h)
Interdisciplinary study of selected topics, such as morphology, phonology/phonetics, syntax, historical linguistics, history of linguistic theory, semiotics, and ethnolinguistics, issues in Asian linguistics, language and gender. May be repeated for credit if topic varies. P-LIN 150/ANT 150 or POI.
LIN 350. Language, Indigeneity and Globalization. (3 h)
Taking a global case-study approach, this seminar explores the role language plays in contemporary identity formation and expression, from indigenous to transnational contexts. Addresses relationships among language and: colonialism, postcolonialism, nationalism, cultural revitalization, standardization, social and economic inequality, boundary-formation, and processes of cultural inclusion and exclusion. Also listed as ANT 350. (CD)
LIN 351. Comparative Communication. (1.5, 3 h)
A comparison of communicative and linguistic processes in one or more national cultures with those of the United States. Also listed as COM 351. (CD)
LIN 351A. Comparative Communication Japan. (1.5, 3 h)
LIN 351B. Comparative Communication Russia. (1.5, 3 h)
LIN 351C. Comparative Communication Great Britain. (1.5, 3 h)
LIN 351D. Comparative Communication Multiple Countries. (1.5, 3 h)
LIN 351E. Comparative Communication China. (1.5, 3 h)
LIN 352. Linguistics Cross-Cultural Communication. (3 h)
Introduction to the nature of language, communication practices, nonverbal communication, and their cross-cultural variability. Teaches awareness of and respect for a range of culturally-specific communicative practices and provides analytic skills (linguistics, semiotic, and ethnographic) with which to recognize and assess such practices. This course differs from COM 350 (Intercultural Communication) in its greater emphasis on approaches from linguistics and anthropology. (CD)
LIN 354. Field Methods in Linguistic Anthroplogy. (4 h)
Trains students in basic skills of collectiong and analyzing linguistic data at the levels of phonetics-phonology, grammar, lexico-semantics, discourse, and sociocultural context. Students will learn about the research questions that drive linguistic fieldwork as well as the relevant methods, tools and practical and ethical concerns. Also listed as ANT 354. P-ANT 150/LIN 150 or POI.
LIN 355. Language and Culture. (3 h)
Covers theoretical and methodological approaches to the study of language and culture, including: semiotics, structuralism, ethnoscience, the ethnography of communication, and sociolinguistics. Topics include: linguistic relativity; grammar and worldview; lexicon and thought; language use and social inequality; language and gender; and other areas. Also listed as ANT 355.
LIN 375. Philosophy of Language. (3 h)
A study of such philosophical issues about language as truth and meaning, reference and description, proper names, indexicals, modality, tense, the semantic paradoxes, and the differences between languages and other sorts of sign systems. Also listed as PHI 375. P-POI.
LIN 380. Language Use and Technology. (3 h)
Introduction to the fundamental concepts of creating and accessing large linguistic corpora (electronic collections of “real world” text) for linguistic inquiry. Course surveys a variety of cross-discipline efforts that employ corpus data for research and explores current applications. P- POI.
LIN 383. Language Engineering: Localization and Terminology. (3 h)
Introduction to the process of making a product linguistically and culturally appropriate to the target locale, and to computer-assisted terminology management. Surveys applications in translation technology. P-POI.
LIN 398. Individual Study. (1-3 h)
Director, Associate Professor of Spanish Jerid Francom
Associate Professor of Anthropology Margaret Bender
Associate Professor of English Laura Aull
Associate Professor of French Stéphanie Pellet
Associate Professors of Spanish Irma Alarcón, Diego Burgos, Luis González
Professor of Russian Linguistics William S. Hamilton