Undergraduate Course Offerings

Fall 2014

Linguistics Courses

L103 Intro to the Study of Language

This course is a general introduction to the nature of human language. We will examine language as a structured system of form and meaning, taking into account the core areas of linguistic analysis: phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics. We will consider the ways that language is shaped by features of the human mind that guide its acquisition and use. We will also discuss how language interacts with different aspects of society, including topics such as dialect differences, multilingualism, and sociocultural identity. Lectures will be integrated with in-class activities that allow students to practice the techniques of linguistic analysis. By the end of the course, you should be acquainted with the tools of linguistic analysis, be aware of ways that languages may differ (and ways they may not), and have an informed perspective on language issues that have an impact on our society.

L203 Intro to Linguistic Analysis

Course Goal: Linguistics 203 has been designed to lead students into a sharper awareness of the structure and nature of language by introducing them to the nuts and bolts of linguistic analysis. Particularly in this class we will do two things, focusing on how to construct models of two portions of a language. The first part will investigate how languages harness human sound-producing capabilities to signal information. The second part of the course will focus on how to model (mostly English) sentence and word grammar.
Outcomes: In the first part of the course, we will learn how to represent the dynamic and fluid activities that comprise speech using physical and linguistic representations. We will gather experience reading the physical representations and relating these to linguistic transcription. Finally, we will learn how to create language-specific transcription systems for examples of the world’s languages by categorization analysis.

L210 Phonetics

The course offers a survey of the basic writing system in Japanese called kana. The genesis and evolution of this writing system will be investigated, which gradually reveals how it has acquired systematicity as well as irregularity involved in its present form.
In this course, the students will first learn the basic linguistic characterization of the pronunciation system of English and other languages. Then, they will learn how to apply such linguistic knowledge in their examination and learning of the pronunciation and alphabets of Japanese. Some concrete benefits the students will enjoy in the course are: (i) they will master the basic phonetic alphabets, which can be used to transcribe pronunciation of many different unfamiliar languages, and (ii) they will learn the basic Japanese characters and practice them in handwriting. No previous course or knowledge of linguistics or the Japanese language is required. This course is NOT for Japanese or linguistic majors, who are encouraged to take L490 (The Linguistic Structure of Japanese).

L306 Phonetics

Course Overview: This course provides a basic introduction to the study of phonetics. Topics addressed include the anatomy and physiology of the speech production apparatus, the production and transcription of speech sounds, basic acoustics, computerized methods for speech analysis, acoustic characteristics of sounds, and phenomena such as stress and intonation.

1.     Course objectives

In this course, you will learn about:

  • The physiology of the vocal tract: what our articulators are and how we use them to create speech sounds
  • Phonetic transcription: apply a set of symbols (IPA) to transcribe the sounds of any language; what is the difference between a broad and narrow transcription
  • Sounds not encountered in English, such as clicks and ejectives
  • Basic speech acoustics: frequency, duration, and amplitude
  • The relation between articulation and acoustics: what are the acoustic consequences of a specific articulation
  • Suprasegmentals: stress, tone, and intonation
  • Conducting an independent acoustic study in which you record a speaker and analyze her/his vowels

L307 Phonology

This course is an introduction to phonology, the study of how sounds pattern in languages. The main goals of the course are to develop descriptive and analytical skills in phonology through problem solving, to describe patterns in language data, to be able to recognize phonological units that are fundamental to understanding how sounds pattern, and to become familiar with the range of phonological phenomena that occur in the languages of the world.

L308 Morphology

Introduction to the study of the internal structure of words and the underlying principles of word formation.  Examination of basic processes of word formation, inflection versus derivation.  Focus on techniques for analyzing and describing word structure, with extensive practice on data from unfamiliar languages.

L310 Syntax

This introductory course examines the syntax (sentence structure) of human language. We will explore the ways in which syntactic structure reflects a common human cognitive capacity, as well as how individual languages differ — in precise and limited ways — from each other. During the course the students will be introduced to the basic concepts and terminology, exposed to the modes of argumentation and methods used in syntactic analysis within the framework of generative grammar, and develop some basic skills in solving syntactic puzzles. Emphasis will be made on promoting a critical understanding of the underlying assumptions of the generative framework as it has developed in recent work in syntactic theory, as well as on providing a hands-on experience of constructing and evaluating grammatical analyses.

L315 Intro to Sociolinguistics

Examines the relationship between language and society. Issues include the nature of sociolinguistics; the important of age, sex, socioeconomic status, language ideologies; why people use different dialects/languages in different situations; bilingualism and multilingualism; language choice, language attitudes, language endangerment; the relevance of sociolinguistics to general linguistics theory.

L325 Semantics

An introduction to the relationship between linguistic forms and their meanings, use, and interpretation. Students will investigate the domain of linguistic semantics and acquire the “tools” to do semantic analysis and to critically evaluate those of others.

L415 Corpus Linguistics

Advances in computer technology have revolutionized the ways linguists can approach their data. By using computers, we can access large bodies of text (corpora) and search for the phenomena in which we are interested. Corpora give us a chance to uncover complexities in naturally-occurring data and explore issues related to frequency of usage.

In this course, we will approach the following questions such as the following: What exactly is a corpus, and what isn’t? What corpora exist? How are corpora developed? What is XML, and why do we need it? How do we find a specific phenomenon in a large corpus? What is a concordancer? Do we need part-of-speech, syntactic, or semantic annotation? Are there programs that do the annotation for me? Are there tools that help me search in linguistically annotated corpora?

No programming experience is assumed, familiarity with computers is presupposed.

L431 Field Methods

Introduction to the procedures involved in the structural description of language, using a native speaker of an unfamiliar language whose speech will be analyzed.

L435 Foundations Computational Ling

This course is geared towards students in Computational Linguistics and Linguistics with little or no experience in programming. It will lay a platform for computational linguistics, by establishing the fundamentals of programming and computer science and covering practical skills for text processing. While we will work with Python and the Natural Language Toolkit (NLTK), the main focus is on introducing basic concepts in programming, such as loops or functions. In contrast to similar courses in Computer Science, we will concentrate on problems in Computational Linguistics, which generally involve managing text, searching in text, and extracting information from text. For this reason, one part of the course will concentrate on regular expression searching.

Through lectures, lab sessions, and (bi-)weekly assignments, students will learn the essentials of Python and NLTK and how to apply these skills to natural language data.

By the end of the course, you should be able to:

* Feel comfortable using a unix/linux/mac command line
* Understand key programming concepts such as conditionals, iteration, recursion, functions, and objects
* Be able to write your own programs to help answer linguistic questions and solve everyday problems
* Work with the Natural Language Toolkit (NLTK)

L490 Structure of Estonian

Estonian belongs to the Baltic Finnic branch of the Uralic (Finno-Ugric) family. While typologically agglutinative, it is more fusional and analytic than other languages in the group. The course will provide an overview of Estonian morphology, phonology & phonetics, (morpho)syntax and lexical semantics. Topics from acquisition, pragmatics and sociolinguistics will be briefly introduced. Other Finno-Ugric languages will be discussed as needed for comparative purposes.

We will study and de-mystify some of the well-known features of Estonian and/or Finnic, such as the “three degrees of phonemic length,” the rich case morphology (14 cases), the split between nominal and verbal systems in terms of their agglutinative vs. inflectional characteristics, grammatical aspect as object case alternation and the combination of V2 and discourse-configurational word order.

The readings will include research articles in several fields of linguistic inquiry, including typology and universals as well as cognitive linguistics.

The students will be encouraged to pursue a selected topic of interest for class presentation and final paper. Graduate students will write a longer research paper, undergraduates will have a choice between the final exam and paper. The course will provide hands-on practice in transcription and morphological glossing.

L490 Structure of Central Eurasian Languages

This course examines the structure of the major modern Central Eurasian languages and recent linguistic work on them. The languages selected for coverage belong to the Finno-Ugric, Iranic, Serbi-Mongolic, Japanese-Koguryoic, Tibeto-Burman, Tungusic, and Turkic families. When relevant, the treatment focuses on linguistic topics that are of special interest to the instructor and students, e.g., classifiers, evidentials, mimetics or ‘ideophones’, ‘vowel harmony’, etc. Students will acquire a basic knowledge of each selected language, which is examined in some detail using a hands-on approach to actual linguistic materials via “accessible” publications. Typological features common to Central Eurasian languages are noted and discussed. The major relationship theories, including divergent or ‘genetic’ theories and convergent theories, are also examined, as is the recent ‘sudden diachronic change by creolization’ theory of Johanna Nichols et al., which is based explicitly on Central Eurasian linguistic history.

No prior knowledge of Central Eurasian languages is assumed or required, but some background in linguistics is necessary.


Spring 2014

http://registrar.indiana.edu/browser/soc4142/LING/index.shtml

Linguistics Courses

L103 Introduction to the Study of Language

This course is a general introduction to the nature of human language. The first part of the course focuses on the core areas of language study: morphology, syntax, semantics, phonetics, and phonology. This will serve as necessary background for the second part of the course, which will focus on larger issues that relate language to different aspects of society. These will include such topics as dialects, American Sign Language (ASL), language acquisition, and the controversy about African American English (Ebonics). By the end of the course you should be acquainted with the systematic methods of studying language, be aware of the fundamental similarities of all human languages as well as their differences, and have an informed perspective on issues of language that have an impact on our society.

L203 Intro to Linguistic Analysis

Course Goal: Linguistics 203 has been designed to lead students into a sharper awareness of the structure and nature of language by introducing them to the nuts and bolts of linguistic analysis. Particularly in this class we will do two things, focusing on how to construct models of two portions of a language. The first part will investigate how languages harness human sound-producing capabilities to signal information. The second part of the course will focus on how to model (mostly English) sentence and word grammar.

Outcomes: In the first part of the course, we will learn how to represent the dynamic and fluid activities that comprise speech using physical and linguistic representations. We will gather experience reading the physical representations and relating these to linguistic transcription. Finally, we will learn how to create language-specific transcription systems for examples of the world’s languages by categorization analysis.

L210 Topics in Language and Society: Language and Harry Potter

Description missing.

L306 Phonetics

Introduction to the nature of speech, and the physiology and process of speech production, and training in IPA transcription of utterances drawn from the languages of the world, including various English dialects. The course includes an emphasis on naturally occurring speech and understanding physical aspects of speech behavior. Some laboratory work is included.

L307 Phonology

This course is an introduction to phonology, the study of how sounds pattern in language. The main goals of the course are to develop descriptive and analytical skills in phonology through problem solving and to become familiar with the range of phonological phenomena that occur in the languages of the world.

L310 Syntax

This introductory course examines the syntax (sentence structure) of human language. We will explore the ways in which syntactic structure reflects a common human cognitive capacity, as well as how individual languages differ – in precise and limited ways – from each other.

During the course the students will be introduced to the basic concepts and terminology, exposed to the modes of argumentation and methods used in syntactic analysis within the framework of generative grammar, and develop some basic skills in solving syntactic puzzles. Emphasis will be made on promoting a critical understanding of the underlying assumptions of the generative framework as it has developed in recent work in syntactic theory, as well as on providing a hands-on experience of constructing and evaluating grammatical analyses.

L399 Readings in Linguistics (Honors)

Prerequisite: Consent of departmental honors committee. Honors course.

L408 Readings in Linguistics

Directed reading in various fields of linguistics. May not duplicate a regularly offered course. May be repeated up to a maximum of 12 credit hours. (Recommended: 12 credit hours of linguistics, or L103 and advanced work in a foreign language.)

L432 Advanced Field Methods

This course is a continuation of the fieldwork begun in L431/L653. The language being studied is Zarma, a Nilo-Saharan (Southern Songhai) language, spoken in Niger, Nigeria, Benin, Burkina Faso and Mali in West Africa. Students will meet with the language consultant individually once a week. During this semester of work, students are expected to identify and investigate in greater depth and detail particular areas of the language that are of interest to general linguistics (phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, etc.). The goal is to produce a paper in a manner appropriate for publication in a journal and to prepare a talk appropriate for a conference. The semester ends with a mini-conference-like setting at which students present their work in public.

L441 Field Methods in Sociolinguistics

Description missing.

L480 Intro to African Linguistics

Introduction to the linguistic study of African languages; questions of language distribution, typological and genetic classification, comparative reconstruction, and structural aspects of individual languages. (Prerequisite: L303 or linguistics major.)

L490 Linguistic Structures

The linguistic analysis of particular aspects of the structure of one language or a group of closely related languages. Language varies by semester.

L499 Honors Project

Description missing.

African Languages and Linguistics

A400 Adv. Individual Study of an African Language

Description missing.

B102 Elementary Bamana II

Introduction to Bamana, a Mande language of West Africa, and aspects of Bamana culture. Basic grammatical structures and vocabulary. Emphasis on the spoken language.

B202 Intermediate Bamana II

Prerequisite: Grade of C or higher in B102 or equivalent proficiency. Study of more complex grammatical structures, with emphasis on active skills: speaking and writing. Reading of elementary texts.

B302 Advanced Bamana II

Prerequisite: Grade of C or higher in B202 or equivalent proficiency. Examination of subtle nuances in grammatical structures. Advanced readings of traditional and modern literature. Composition. Oriented to the needs of students enrolled.

K102 Elementary Akan II

4 credits. Prerequisite: Grade of C or higher in K101 or W101, or equivalent proficiency. Basic grammatical structures and vocabulary. Emphasis on spoken language—oral and listening comprehension, language use in specific social settings like the market, school, hospital, doctor’s office, among others. Important cultural points such as food, clothing, marriage. Credit given for only one of K102 or W102.

K202 Intermediate Akan II

3 credits. Prerequisite: Grade of C or higher in K102 or W102, or equivalent proficiency. Study of more complex grammatical structures, with emphasis on active skills, speaking and writing. Reading of elementary texts. Credit given for only one of K202 or W202.

K302 Advanced Akan II

3 credits. Prerequisite: Grade of C or higher in K301 or W201, or equivalent proficiency. Study of complex grammatical structures and more complex contextual discourse patterns. Advanced readings of traditional and modern literature. Advanced oral and written compositions, advanced reading and listening comprehension and translation of complex texts from English to Akan. Credit given for only one of K302 or W302.

S102 Elementary Swahili II

4 credits. Introduction to Swahili, a Bantu language spoken in East Africa, and aspects of Bantu culture. Basic grammatical structures and vocabulary. Emphasis on the spoken language.

S202 Intermediate Swahili II

3 credits. Study of more complex grammatical structures, with emphasis on active skills: speaking and writing. Reading of elementary texts.

S302 Advanced Swahili II

3 credits. Examination of subtle nuances in grammatical structures. Advanced readings of traditional and modern literature. Composition. Oriented to needs of students enrolled.

X102 Elementary Wolof II

Introduction to the Wolof language. Focus on basic sounds, basic sentence structure of the language, combining written, oral practice based on cultural aspects of Wolof society. Exercises include oral, listening, and reading comprehension, writing with emphasis on the foreign language national standards.

X202 Intermediate Wolof II

This is an intermediate Wolof class, a continuation of X102. Students will deepen basic skills acquired in previous Wolof courses such as pronunciation, reading, speaking, listening and writing.

Y102 Elementary Yoruba II

Description missing.

Z102 Elementary Zulu II

4 credits. Prerequisite: Grade of C or higher in Z101 or equivalent proficiency. Basic grammatical structures and vocabulary. Emphasis on the spoken language, oral and listening comprehension, and language use in specific social settings. Uses videos and Internet resources.

Z202 Intermediate Zulu II

3 credits. Prerequisite: Grade of C or higher in Z201 or equivalent proficiency. Study of more complex grammatical structures, with emphasis on active skills of speaking, writing, and reading texts. Emphasis on oral and written compositions, reading and listening comprehension, and translation of texts. Description of cultural events through the use of videos and Internet resources.

Z302 Advanced Zulu II

3 credits. Prerequisite: Grade of C or higher in Z301 or equivalent proficiency. Study of more complex grammatical structures and of more complex contextual discourse patterns. Advanced readings of traditional and modern literature. Advanced oral and written compositions, advanced listening comprehension and translation of complex texts. Uses videos and Internet resources.


Fall 2013

http://registrar.indiana.edu/browser/soc4138/LING/index.shtml

Linguistics Courses

L103 Intro to the Study of Language (syllabus)

This course is a general introduction to the nature of human language. The first part of the course focuses on the core areas of language study: morphology, syntax, semantics, phonetics, and phonology. This will serve as necessary background for the second part of the course, which will focus on larger issues that relate language to different aspects of society. These will include such topics as dialects, American Sign Language (ASL), language acquisition, and the controversy about African American English (Ebonics). By the end of the course you should be acquainted with the systematic methods of studying language, be aware of the fundamental similarities of all human languages as well as their differences, and have an informed perspective on issues of language that have an impact on our society.

L203 Intro to Linguistic Analysis (syllabus)

Course Goal: Linguistics 203 has been designed to lead students into a sharper awareness of the structure and nature of language by introducing them to the nuts and bolts of linguistic analysis. Particularly in this class we will do two things, focusing on how to construct models of two portions of a language. The first part will investigate how languages harness human sound-producing capabilities to signal information. The second part of the course will focus on how to model (mostly English) sentence and word grammar.

Outcomes: In the first part of the course, we will learn how to represent the dynamic and fluid activities that comprise speech using physical and linguistic representations. We will gather experience reading the physical representations and relating these to linguistic transcription. Finally, we will learn how to create language-specific transcription systems for examples of the world’s languages by categorization analysis.


L214 Animal Communication

This course deals with the communication systems of non-human animals, addressing them both on their own terms and in comparison with the major communication systems of human animals — languages. The primary focus is on communication in bees, birds, frogs, and primates, though we will also consider other creatures (and perhaps vice versa), including such cetaceans as dolphins and whales. Considerable attention is devoted to differences between animals’ communicative achievements in the wild vs. in contact with humans. Based on all this, we assess what implications can be drawn from animal communicative behavior about animal cognition more generally.

L245 Language & Computers (syllabus)

Present-day computer systems work with human language in many different forms, whether as stored data in the form of text, typed queries to a database or search engine, or speech commands in a voice-driven computer system. We also increasingly expect computers to produce human language, such as user-friendly error messages and synthesized speech. Through readings, exercises, demonstrations, and in-class discussion, this course will survey a range of issues relating natural language to computers, covering real-world applications. Topics include text encoding, search technology, tools for writing support, machine translation, dialogue systems, and intelligent language tutoring systems. There are no prerequisites for this course. This course satisfies a Natural and Mathematical Sciences (N&M) Breadth of Inquiry credit.

L306 Phonetics (syllabus)

Introduction to the nature of speech, and the physiology and process of speech production, and training in IPA transcription of utterances drawn from the languages of the world, including various English dialects. The course includes an emphasis on naturally occurring speech and understanding physical aspects of speech behavior. Some laboratory work is included.

L307 Phonology (syllabus)

This course is an introduction to phonology, the study of how sounds pattern in language. The main goals of the course are to develop descriptive and analytical skills in phonology through problem solving and to become familiar with the range of phonological phenomena that occur in the languages of the world.

L310 Syntax (syllabus)

This introductory course examines the syntax (sentence structure) of human language. We will explore the ways in which syntactic structure reflects a common human cognitive capacity, as well as how individual languages differ – in precise and limited ways – from each other.

During the course the students will be introduced to the basic concepts and terminology, exposed to the modes of argumentation and methods used in syntactic analysis within the framework of generative grammar, and develop some basic skills in solving syntactic puzzles. Emphasis will be made on promoting a critical understanding of the underlying assumptions of the generative framework as it has developed in recent work in syntactic theory, as well as on providing a hands-on experience of constructing and evaluating grammatical analyses.

L367 Languages of the World (syllabus)

An overview of selected languages of the world, including their chief phonological, grammatical, and typological characteristics, geographical distribution and cultural setting, and social status. Examination of the methods and evidence for language grouping as well as possible causes for language diversity. Each student will adopt a language for more detailed study. Grade based on several assignments, mini-exams, a final exam, and a short paper. (Prerequisite: LING L103 or L303).

L431 Field Methods (syllabus)

This course is a practical introduction to sociolinguistic research, including methods of data collection and quantitative analysis. Students gain experience in all stages of sociolinguistic research and write an original research paper. Possible topics for the course include: social variation among Bloomington natives, regional variation in the Midwest, gender differences among IU students, politeness strategies, and register differences in different contexts. Students will be required, among other things, to prepare readings, complete several assignments and hand in a final project. The textbook for the course is: Tagliamonte, Sali A. 2006. Analysing sociolinguistic variation. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. (L307 is a prerequisite for this course, and L315 is strongly recommended.)

L490 Structure of Turkish (syllabus)

The linguistic analysis of particular aspects of the structure of one language or a group of closely related languages. Language varies by semester.

African Languages and Linguistics Courses

B101 Elementary Bamana I (syllabus)

Introduction to Bamana, a Mande language of West Africa, and aspects of Bamana culture. Basic grammatical structures and vocabulary. Emphasis on the spoken language.

B201 Intermediate Bamana I (syllabus)

Prerequisite: Grade of C or higher in B101 or equivalent proficiency. Study of more complex grammatical structures, with emphasis on active skills: speaking and writing. Reading of elementary texts.

B301 Advanced Bamana I (syllabus)

Prerequisite: Grade of C or higher in B201 or equivalent proficiency. Examination of subtle nuances in grammatical structures. Advanced readings of traditional and modern literature. Composition. Oriented to the needs of students enrolled.

K102 Elementary Akan II

4 credits. Prerequisite: Grade of C or higher in K101 or W101, or equivalent proficiency. Basic grammatical structures and vocabulary. Emphasis on spoken language—oral and listening comprehension, language use in specific social settings like the market, school, hospital, doctor’s office, among others. Important cultural points such as food, clothing, marriage. Credit given for only one of K102 or W102.

K202 Intermediate Akan II

3 credits. Prerequisite: Grade of C or higher in K102 or W102, or equivalent proficiency. Study of more complex grammatical structures, with emphasis on active skills, speaking and writing. Reading of elementary texts. Credit given for only one of K202 or W202.

K302 Advanced Akan II

3 credits. Prerequisite: Grade of C or higher in K301 or W201, or equivalent proficiency. Study of complex grammatical structures and more complex contextual discourse patterns. Advanced readings of traditional and modern literature. Advanced oral and written compositions, advanced reading and listening comprehension and translation of complex texts from English to Akan. Credit given for only one of K302 or W302.

S102 Elementary Swahili II

4 credits. Introduction to Swahili, a Bantu language spoken in East Africa, and aspects of Bantu culture. Basic grammatical structures and vocabulary. Emphasis on the spoken language.

S202 Intermediate Swahili II

3 credits. Study of more complex grammatical structures, with emphasis on active skills: speaking and writing. Reading of elementary texts.

S302 Advanced Swahili II

3 credits. Examination of subtle nuances in grammatical structures. Advanced readings of traditional and modern literature. Composition. Oriented to needs of students enrolled.

Z102 Elementary Zulu II

4 credits. Prerequisite: Grade of C or higher in Z101 or equivalent proficiency. Basic grammatical structures and vocabulary. Emphasis on the spoken language, oral and listening comprehension, and language use in specific social settings. Uses videos and Internet resources.

Z202 Intermediate Zulu II

3 credits. Prerequisite: Grade of C or higher in Z201 or equivalent proficiency. Study of more complex grammatical structures, with emphasis on active skills of speaking, writing, and reading texts. Emphasis on oral and written compositions, reading and listening comprehension, and translation of texts. Description of cultural events through the use of videos and Internet resources.

Z302 Advanced Zulu II

3 credits. Prerequisite: Grade of C or higher in Z301 or equivalent proficiency. Study of more complex grammatical structures and of more complex contextual discourse patterns. Advanced readings of traditional and modern literature. Advanced oral and written compositions, advanced listening comprehension and translation of complex texts. Uses videos and Internet resources.