Linguistics (Catalog Info)

Department of English, Linguistics, and Communication

Gary Richards, Chair

Judith A. Parker, Career Advisor



Judith A. Parker

Associate Professors

Paul D. Fallon

Janie Lee


The Linguistics Program

Courses in linguistics offer the student an understanding of the fundamental structure and processes of language, and a focus on how we use language in different forms of communication from infant babbling to conversation and literature. Linguistics courses are a valuable complement to any major that deals with language, literature, the human mind and cognition, sociology, or education.

Requirements for the Linguistics Minor

The minor program in linguistics is designed to suit those students with strong interest in pursuing a diversified and well-focused course of study in linguistics as a science, a social science, and a member of the humanities. The minor in linguistics consists of 18 required credits in linguistics. The required courses are as follows:

LING 101: Introduction to Linguistics (3 credits)

LING 301: Introduction to Psycholinguistics (3 credits)

LING 302: Introduction to Sociolinguistics and Anthropological Linguistics (3 credits)

LING 309: Introduction to Phonology OR

LING 311: Introduction to Morphology (3 credits)

Any 400-level Seminar in Linguistics (3 credits)

Any other linguistics course offered through the Department of English, Linguistics, and Communication or alternate as approved by an ENLC linguistics advisor.

Linguistics Course Offerings (LING)

101 – Introduction to Linguistics (3)

Introduction to fresh perspectives on linguistic theory and applications. The course focuses on such diverse topics as animal communication, child language acquisition, human speech, language variation and change, and language as human interaction.

202 – Cross-Cultural Communication (3)

Prerequisite: Sophomore standing. This course explores the dynamic interaction of language and culture across cultures. Topics will include conversational style, miscommunication, silence, indirectness and politeness, and conflict and argument in cross-cultural communication settings involving both Western and non-Western languages and cultures.

205 – Writing Systems of the World (3)

An introduction to the major writing systems of the world, exploring the linguistic structure, history, and social context of various writing systems, including Chinese, Japanese, cuneiform, hieroglyphic, Semitic languages, English, the Greek and Roman alphabets, and more. In addition, students will learn about the decipherment of the Rosetta Stone, Linear B, and Mayan.

251 – Issues in Linguistics (3)

Significant topics in linguistics. Specific topics vary.

301 – Introduction to Psycholinguistics (3)

Prerequisite: Linguistics 101. An introduction to the mental and biological systems that enable human beings to communicate with language. Topics in psycholinguistics include the biological evolution of language, child language acquisition, speech and language processing, bilingualism, aphasia and dyslexia.

302 – Introduction to Sociolinguistics and Anthropological Linguistics (3)

Prerequisite: Linguistics 101. The course examines the relationship between language and society. At the micro level, the emphasis is on social interaction and the ways language reflects and shapes class, culture, gender, ideology, and conversational style. At the macro level, topics include language maintenance and shift; multilingualism; language variation; language, racism and ethnicity; and language and education.

305 – Linguistics and Text (3)

Prerequisite: Linguistics 101. The application of linguistic methods and theories to the analysis of texts in English.

307 – Language and Gender (3)

Prerequisite: Linguistics 101. This course focuses on research that investigates the relationship between gender and language use in a variety of contexts from talk at work and in the classroom, to talk at home. It explores how speakers (or writers) create and reflect images of masculinities and femininities in their discourse and the forces shaping these identities.

308 – Language and Race (3)

Prerequisite: LING 101.  This course examines linguistic practices and language ideologies of various ethnoracial groups in the U.S. as well as exploring the influence of historical events and sociocultural forces on sociolinguistic phenomena.

309 – Introduction to Phonology (3)

Prerequisite: Linguistics 101. An introduction to phonology–the sound patterns of language–with emphasis on both English and a variety of languages. Topics include the relation between phonetics and phonology, the role of distinctive features (the atoms of sound), types of common sound alternations and sound changes, and prosodic phenomena such as stress, rhythm, and intonation. Students will learn to describe patterns, and argue for an analysis. In addition, the course will relate theoretical findings to practical applications.

310 – History of the English Language (3)

Prerequisite: Linguistics 101. A history of the English language, with a focus on both the linguistic changes and the sociohistorical influences related to those changes. From Indo-European and Germanic times, through Old and Middle English, up to modern dialects and current developments of American, British, and World Englishes, students will learn about and analyze the changes and cultures of each period.

311 – Introduction to Morphology (3)

Prerequisite: Linguistics 101 or permission of instructor. An introduction to word formation. The course will examine in detail how English and a fascinating variety of languages build existing words from simpler parts, and how they coin new words. Topics include affixation, analogy, compounding, reduplication, the use of templates, and other types of word formation. Questions to be examined include the definition of “word”, the relation of morphology to other aspects of language, the role of psychological factors in a linguistic analysis, and the role of morphology in language change, dialect variation, and language acquisition.

312 – Language Acquisition (3)

Prerequisite: Linguistics 101 or permission of instructor. Focuses primarily on child language acquisition with some attention to adult language acquisition. The course introduces major theoretical perspectives and methodologies in developmental psycholinguistics while examining children’s developing linguistic abilities and language. The course complements focuses of other linguistics courses and those of its disciplinary relatives, education and psychology.

375 – Special Studies (3)

Prerequisite: Linguistics 101 or permission of instructor. Studies of significant topics in linguistics. Consult schedule of courses for specific topic.

470 – Seminar in Linguistics (3)

Prerequisites: Linguistics 101 and a 300-level linguistics course or permission of the instructor. Advanced work in selected topics in linguistics.

480—Seminar in Language and Speech (3)

Prerequisites: Linguistics 101 and one 300-level linguistics course. Focuses on foundational knowledge, theoretical issues, and empirical research on the nature of language and speech. Topics vary.

491, 492 – Individual Study in Linguistics (3, 3)

Individual study under the guidance of a member of the staff. By permission of th
e department. Only three credits may be counted toward the English major.

499 – Internship (1–6)

Supervised off-campus experience, developed in consultation with the department. Up to three credits may be counted toward the English major.

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