Winter 2014 and Spring 2014 quarters
This two-quarter program explores the fascinating world of languages. What do you know when you know a language? How do you get that knowledge? Are there properties that all languages share? How do languages change over time? Why are half of the world's languages now under threat of extinction? How are communities held together or torn apart by the languages they speak?
We will consider these questions and others through the lens of linguistics. Topics to be examined for winter include: phonetics, phonology, morphology, language change, the history of English and English dialects, key issues facing multilingual communities and language planning. In spring, topics will include: syntax, semantics, pragmatics, first language acquisition, language and gender and linguistic politeness. We will look at well-known languages and lesser-known languages and discover why they matter in our lives today. Through the course of the program students will learn a variety of conceptual and empirical techniques, from analyzing speech sounds to interpreting the rationale behind current language policy.
This program will be an intensive examination of topics requiring a significant amount of reading as well as regular problem sets and essays.
Students interested in taking a language course alongside this program can arrange to take this program for 12 credits.
Fields of Study
Preparatory for studies or careers in
Location and Schedule
Offered during: Day