Natural languages are systematic and this course will examine how this fact makes human communication possible. An introduction to modern methods of linguistic analysis, the course will enable students to understand the structure of their own language and to compare it with other languages. By familiarizing them with the basic concepts of linguistics, the course will prepare students for more advanced courses in linguistics.
The course offers a close study of the lexical, syntactic and rhetorical choices in very short selections of prose writing from 1500 to the present. The passages will be studied in chronological order, with a view to observing developments in prose style in each period.
This course is an introduction to the production, acoustic properties, and perception of the sounds used in English and other languages. Skills developed include: systematic transcription of speech sounds using the International Phonetic Alphabet, description of sounds in articulatory terms, and recognition of linguistically relevant properties of sounds from spectrograms and waveforms.
Phonology is the study of the sound patterns of language. The universal principles by which sounds are organized in language through phonological rule systems are examined, as well as the processes which account for language-specific diversity. Students will learn how to analyze phonological data from natural languages, and how to formulate hypotheses about how sounds are represented and manipulated in speakers’ mental grammars.
The course will examine the nature of modern English semantics (meaning), syntax (‘wordings’), and morphology (word formation). Some attention is also paid to intonation (soundings). The course is presented using contemporary grammatical theories.
A course for students beyond the intermediate level who wish to improve their pronunciation. Knowledge of intermediate level grammar is assumed.
This course examines the role of language in forming popular perceptions about the position of women and men in society. The topics include a comparison between English and other languages in matters of grammar, vocabulary, and semantics; a comparison between modern English and earlier stages; and an enquiry into the origin of authoritarian notions of correctness. The historical role of women as users and teachers of language is also considered. Present-day attitudes, implementation of non-sexist language guidelines, and the struggle to establish non-discriminatory language practices are also included in the study.
Syntax is the study of sentence structure: how words are organized into larger meaningful units. The course examines the nature of speakers’ underlying knowledge of the rules for combining words into higher-order structures. The fundamental similarities in sentence patterning among different languages will be addressed.
This course analyzes how words and sentences convey meaning in language. Students will learn how lexical items can be represented in terms of their semantic components and how interrelated groups of words form semantic fields. At the sentence level, grammatical, pragmatic and logical aspects of meaning are introduced. The course also explores idiomatic expressions and the ubiquity of metaphor.
This course charts the history and development of language in Ireland from earliest times to the present. Students learn about the origins and growth of Irish, the influence on it of Latin, Norse and English, and the emergence of Hiberno-English. A series of texts which demonstrate the changing linguistic landscape of Ireland and the interrelationship of languages are considered.
Students explore the relationship between language and culture in diverse ethnographic settings. Attention will be paid to the unique contributions of anthropology to the study of language.
This course develops skills in recognition, description and analysis of segmental and prosodic organization, and discusses recent phonological theory.
Morphology is the study of word formation and structure. The course is an examination of how words are made up of smaller, contrastive elements. Processes of word formation such as derivation and compounding are analyzed. Inflectional morphology is investigated. The manner in which morphology relates to the other components of language is discussed. Morphologically based linguistic typologies are explored.
This course presents recent developments in syntactic theory focusing on form and meaning of different types of sentences. Building on universal principles and specific parameters of syntactic structures, it provides necessary tools for description and advanced analysis of sentences in a cross-linguistic perspective.
This course investigates the application of linguistics to particular fields such as forensic linguistics, clinical linguistics, clinical discourse analysis, neurolinguistics. Students will gain experience working in an interdisciplinary context.
Learning a field language is an essential part of anthropological fieldwork. Students learn concepts and methods related to language elicitation, and acquisition of communicative competence in an unknown language. The practical application of these methods in ethnographic settings is stressed.
Geographically vast and linguistically diverse, Canada offers an ideal case study of contemporary issues in the study of language. Topics include official bilingualism, functional multilingualism, heritage languages, and indigenous languages. Questions of maintenance, revitalization, contact and change will be examined throughout.
A survey of the development of the English language from its earliest stages to the present. Representative texts are used from each period so that students can acquire first-hand knowledge of the successive changes in grammar (syntax, morphology, and phonology) and vocabulary.
3 credit hours
These courses allow students to study a special topic at an advanced level. Such topics will either (a) not be covered by other LING courses or (b) handle the subject matter in alternative models. Seminar: 3 hrs. a week.
This course will examine concepts and trends in the development of linguistic theory. Perspectives may include (a) particular areas of enquiry, such as language diversity, pragmatics, neurolinguistics, etc., and how they have informed linguistic theory; (b) schools of linguistics from Saussure to the present; and (c) specific theoretical approaches such as Functionalism, Minimalism, or Optimality Theory.
This course will examine the major features which distinguish Canadian French from European French, as well as the characteristics of the different varieties of French spoken in Canada, in particular Acadian and Quebecois French. The relationship between language and society will be studied both as a source of linguistic change and as a determining factor in current speech patterns. Authentic recorded speech samples will be used to illustrate the various aspects studied and will also serve to familiarize students with the French language as spoken in Canada.
This course examines topics in the field of linguistic anthropology, combining a sophisticated understanding of the structure of language with the cultural realities of its use. Students will learn about current debates and advanced concepts in the field, while being given the opportunity to conduct their own research on language behaviour.
Linguistic anthropologists analyze the dynamics of communication through the medium of ethnography. This course critically examines how anthropologists collect and convey their findings on language use. Case studies combine ethnographic texts with theoretical background to allow students to evaluate recent anthropological research.
The focus is on learning how to do discourse analysis. We will focus on developing skills in the analysis of talk and text using models drawn from linguistics, structuralism and semiotics. The course will explicitly develop skills in analyzing discourse functions as configurations of interaction, experience and organization meaning.
Linguistic, structural, post-structural, and semiotic perspectives on discourse analysis are addressed through reading and discussion of key works by authors of “landmark” texts such as R. Jakobson, J. L. Austin, H. P. Grice, etc. The goals of the course are to (a) familiarize students with some of the “landmark” texts and perspectives on discourse analysis and (b) to develop abilities to develop abilities to relate analyses to cultural and situationally relevant contexts.
Supervised preparation of a significant research paper for honours students in linguistics.
This course will examine topics in applied linguistics. The course may focus on linguistic approaches to literacy, first or second language acquisition, bilingualism, or a similar topic. The goal of the course is to develop knowledge of primary literature addressing linguistic contributions to the area under focus, but also to develop skills in problem based interdisciplinary thinking, research and collaboration.
These courses allow students to study a special topic at an advanced level. Such topics will either (a) not be covered by other LING courses or (b) handle the subject matter in alternative models.
These courses provide the opportunity to study a particular subject(s) in detail. They are designed to examine at an advanced level topics not covered in other linguistics courses or in courses cross-listed as linguistics courses, or to allow for a different approach to the study of topics already covered in other courses.
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