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Department of Linguistics

This is an archived copy of the 2023-2024 catalog. To access the most recent version of the catalog, plesae visit


  • Alan Yu


  • Karlos Arregi
  • Diane Brentari
  • Susan Gal, Anthropology
  • Anastasia Giannakidou
  • John Goldsmith
  • Lenore Grenoble
  • Chris Kennedy
  • Jason Merchant
  • Salikoko Mufwene
  • Michael Silverstein, Anthropology
  • Alan Yu

Associate Professors

  • Amy Dahlstrom
  • Itamar Francez
  • Jason Riggle
  • Ming Xiang (Director of Graduate Studies)

Assistant Professors

  • Tinks (Royâle) Bermúdez
  • Monica Do
  • Allyson Ettinger
  • Sharese King
  • Erik Zyman

Postdoctoral Scholars

  • Jinghua Ou

Humanities Teaching Fellows

  • Ömer Eren
  • Daniel Lam
  • Matthew Hewett
  • Aurora Martinez del Rio
  • Laura Stigliano

Instructional Professors

  • Stefanos Katsikas
  • Fidèle Mpiranya
  • David Reinhart

Emeritus Faculty

  • Howard I. Aronson, Linguistics and Slavic Languages & Literatures
  • Kali C. Bahl, Linguistics and South Asian Languages & Civilizations
  • Bill Darden, Linguistics and Slavic Languages & Literatures
  • Peter Dembowski, Linguistics, Romance Languages & Literature, and Medieval Studies
  • Victor Friedman, Linguistics
  • John Goldsmith, Linguistics and Computer Science
  • Gene Gragg, Linguistics and Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations
  • Carolyn G. Killean, Linguistics and Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations
  • John A. Lucy, Comparative Human Development and Psychology
  • David McNeill, Linguistics and Psychology
  • Jerrold Sadock, Linguistics
  • Norman Zide, Linguistics and South Asian Languages & Civilizations

Founded in the mid-1930s, the Department of Linguistics at the University of Chicago is the oldest linguistics department in the United States.

We are theory-oriented with a deep empirical interest in languages. One of the outstanding characteristics of this department is our commitment to a wide range of approaches to the study of language. Interdisciplinary, interdepartmental study is encouraged, and students regularly work with faculty in several other departments.

The faculty are involved in synchronic and diachronic research on languages from around the world. These varied interests are reflected in the range of topics of the dissertations that have been written in the Department.

Graduate students are expected to become active researchers as soon as possible after their arrival here. Many students come with strong undergraduate training in linguistics, or with a Master's degree; others come with strong training in fields such as philosophy, mathematics, or a particular language or language group.


The graduate program in linguistics, which culminates in a PhD degree, is intended to be completed in six years. The University of Chicago operates on the quarter system. Graduate students normally register for three courses per quarter, for three quarters per year. Students generally take three to four years of coursework.

Students must take eight foundational courses (selected from fourteen available options), a methods course, and three additional graduate-level courses in linguistics. All of these must be taken within the first four years, and six of them during the first year. In addition, all eight foundational courses must be taken during the first two years.

In the second and third years, students continue taking courses and write two qualifying papers under faculty supervision. In addition to these major landmarks, students are required to satisfy a non-Indo European language requirement and to pass a reading examination in an additional language other than English. In years two and three, when students are writing qualifying papers, they must also take the Research Seminar course.

Upon completion of the qualifying papers and course and language requirements and defense of a dissertation proposal by the end of the fourth year students are admitted to candidacy for the PhD; the only remaining requirement is the dissertation.

The program also includes professionalization seminars, which help prepare students for presenting their work at different venues and for the job market.

Students enrolled in the program must also fulfill certain teaching requirements (3 CAships and 1 stand-alone lectureship), which are normally completed during their third, fourth, and fifth years in the program, as well as pedagogical training.

Application and Admission

Completed applications for admission and aid, along with all supporting materials, are due mid-December of the year prior to the Autumn in which applicants would begin the program. Four parts of the application are critically important:

  • The student's academic record. 
  • Letters of recommendation submitted by persons able to describe the student's achievements and promise. 
  • The student's statement of purpose, which describes the intellectual issues and subjects that they hope to explore at Chicago
  • sample of pertinent written work that demonstrates the applicant's research interests or capabilities. The sample may consist of published essays, class term papers, or an MA thesis.

Applicants are not required to submit GRE scores.

Students whose first language is not English must submit scores from the Test of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) internet-based test (iBT) or International English Language Testing System (IELTS). UChicagoGRAD has more information about these tests and the University's English language proficiency requirement and waivers. Applications and all supporting materials should be submitted online. We no longer accept materials sent on paper.

Applicants to Linguistics should also prepare and upload a document that lists all courses the applicant has taken or will have taken by the time of enrollment which have relevance to graduate study in linguistics (in particular, language courses and courses in linguistics, mathematics/statistics, computer science, psychology, anthropology, and language of philosophy). This list should include the complete title of each course, the instructor's full name, the grade earned (if available), and a brief (at most a paragraph) description of the contents of the course (a list of topics covered, for example), along with the titles and authors of any texts used or papers read.

When completing the application form, it is of benefit to the applicant to be as specific as possible in describing their research interests. General comments are of relatively little use. Applicants are encouraged to discuss specific linguistic subject matters that they are interested in. We have received in years past interesting discussions of, for instance, the relationship of signed languages to spoken languages; the status of the Specified Subject Condition; evidence that English is creole-like with a Celtic substratum; grammatical tone in Twi; and the semantics of idiomatic expressions. The department looks forward to broadening the list of topics of interest to our applicants.

If an applicant knows faculty members with whom they might work, the latter's names should be given as well. The faculty of the Linguistics Department would be happy to answer any questions that prospective students may have. Please contact them individually regarding their research or classes, or contact the Chair for more general and/or administrative questions.

In keeping with its long-standing traditions and policies, the University of Chicago, in admission, employment, and access to programs, considers students on the basis of individual merit and without regard to race, color, religion, sex, national or ethnic origin, handicap, or other factors irrelevant to fruitful participation in the programs of the University.

Linguistics Courses

LING 30002. Cognitive Models. 100 Units.

A foundational principle of cognitive science is that the workings of cognitive systems--whether biological, mechanical, or digital--can be productively represented by the operation of formal computational models. This course provides a survey of popular modeling frameworks (such as Bayesian rational agents, connectionist networks, dynamical systems, etc.), as well as the cognitive phenomena that these models have been used to simulate. We will discuss the theoretical commitments of these models, assess strengths and weaknesses of each framework for addressing different types of cognitive questions, and analyze the implications of these models' successes and failures for our understanding of the mind.

Instructor(s): Yu Ji, Eugene     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): COGS 20002, LING 20002

LING 30100. Intro To Linguistics-1. 100 Units.


Equivalent Course(s): ANTH 37001, ANTH 27001, SOSC 21700, LING 20100

LING 30101. Phonological Analysis I. 100 Units.

This course introduces cross-linguistic phonological phenomena and methods of analysis through an indepth examination of fundamental notions that transcend differences between theoretical approaches: contrast, neutralization, natural classes, distinctive features, and basic non-linear phonological processes (e.g., assimilation, harmony, dissimilation).

Instructor(s): Jacob Phillips     Terms Offered: Winter

LING 30150. Language and Communication. 100 Units.

This course can also be taken by students who are not majoring in Linguistics but are interested in learning something about the uniqueness of human language, spoken or signed. It covers a selection from the following topics: What is the position of spoken language in the usually multimodal forms of communication among humans? In what ways does spoken language differ from signed language? What features make spoken and signed language linguistic? What features distinguish linguistic means of communication from animal communication? How do humans communicate with animals? From an evolutionary point of view, how can we account for the fact that spoken language is the dominant mode of communication in all human communities around the world? Why cannot animals really communicate linguistically? What do the terms language "acquisition" and "transmission" really mean? What factors account for differences between "language acquisition" by children and by adults? Are children really perfect language learners? What factors bring about language evolution, including language speciation and the emergence of new language varieties? How did language evolve in mankind? This is a general education course without any prerequisites. It provides a necessary foundation to those working on language at the graduate and undergraduate levels.

Instructor(s): Salikoko Mufwene     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): LING 20150, CHDV 30150, EDSO 20150, CHDV 20150

LING 30201. Syntactic Analysis I. 100 Units.

This course is an advanced survey of topics in graduate syntax examining current syntactic theory through detailed analysis of a range of phenomena and readings from the primary research literature.

Instructor(s): Andy Murphy     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): Graduate student standing. Undergraduates with a grade of A or A- in Intro to Syntax may petition the instructor for admission

LING 30202. Syntactic Analysis - II. 100 Units.

This course is a continuation of Syntax I. The emphasis will be on A'-movement and ellipsis operations within the framework of Principles and Parameters and the Minimalist Program. Although we will examine different types of movement and ellipsis constructions, as well as their interactions, the objective will be to understand to what extent we can develop a general theory of syntax. The course will have a strong cross-linguistic aspect to it, examining data from Irish, Austronesian languages, Mayan languages, Wolof, Russian, Romance, Germanic, and others. The topics will include wh-movement in questions, relative clauses, and other constructions, islands and other constraints on movement, sentence fragments (sluicing, split questions), VP-ellipsis, and gapping.

Instructor(s): Karlos Arregi     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): LING 30201

LING 30301. Semantics and Pragmatics I. 100 Units.

This is the first in a two-course sequence designed to provide a foundation in the scientific study of all aspects of linguistic meaning. The first quarter focuses primarily on pragmatics: those aspects of meaning that arise from the way that speakers put language to use, rather than through the formal properties of the linguistic system itself, which is the domain of semantics. However, a central goal of the course will be to begin to develop an understanding of the relation between pragmatics and semantics, by exploring empirical phenomena in which contextual and conventional aspects of meaning interact in complex but regular and well-defined ways, and by learning analytical techniques that allow us to tease these two aspects of linguistics meaning apart.

Instructor(s): Itamar Francez     Terms Offered: Winter

LING 30302. Semantics and Pragmatics II. 100 Units.

This is the second in a two-course sequence designed to provide a foundation in the scientific study of all aspects of linguistic meaning. The second quarter focuses on the syntax-semantics interface and cross-linguistic semantics. The class will introduce in detail a theory of the way in which the meaning of complex linguistic expressions is formed compositionally from the meaning of constituent parts, and the interaction of semantic and syntactic composition. This theory will form the basis for exploring some empirical questions about the systematicity of cross-linguistic variation in the encoding of meaning.

Instructor(s): Chris Kennedy     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): LING 30301

LING 30310. Introduction to Semantics and Pragmatics. 100 Units.

This course familiarizes students with what it means to study meaning and use in natural language. By "meaning" we refer to the (for the most part, logical) content of words, constituents, and sentences (semantics), and by "use" we intend to capture how this content is implemented in discourse and what kinds of additional dimensions of meaning may then arise (pragmatics). Some of the core empirical phenomena that have to do with meaning are introduced: lexical (i.e., word) meaning, reference, quantification, logical inferencing, presupposition, implicature, context sensitivity, cross-linguistic variation, speech acts. Main course goals are not only to familiarize students with the basic topics in semantics and pragmatics but also to help them develop basic skills in semantic analysis and argumentation.

Instructor(s): Anastasia Giannakidou     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): LING 20001
Equivalent Course(s): LING 20301

LING 30401. Psycholinguistics: Language Processing. 100 Units.

This is an advanced introduction to the field of psycholinguistics. We will do an in-depth overview of both the empirical findings and the methodologies used on various topics in language comprehension/production, including areas of speech perception, lexical processing, syntactic parsing, and semantic/pragmatic processing. Models at both the computational and the mechanistic levels will also be examined.

Instructor(s): Monica Do     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): PSYC 30401

LING 31200. Language in Culture II. 100 Units.

This is the second part of a two-quarter sequence on the role of language in social life. Building on the first quarter's focus on the interaction order, this quarter explores how ideologies regiment and reflexively mediate between discursive/expressive practices of the interaction order and the wider organization of social life. How are people's ideas about ways of speaking and modes of expression shaped by their social positions and values? And how do their ideas shape interaction and vice versa? How is difference, in language and in social life, made - and unmade? How and why are some differences persuasive as the basis for action, while other differences are ignored or erased? The course proposes that ideologies are neither true nor false, they are positioned and partial visions of the world, relying on comparison and perspective; they exploit differences in expressive features - linguistic and otherwise - to construct convincing images of people, spaces and activities in sociopolitical processes.

Instructor(s): Susan Gal     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Language in Culture-1
Note(s): CHDV Distribution: 5*
Equivalent Course(s): PSYC 47002, ANTH 37202, CHDV 37202

LING 31300. Historical Linguistics. 100 Units.

This course deals with the issue of variation and change in language. Topics include types, rates, and explanations of change; the differentiation of dialects and languages over time; determination and classification of historical relationships among languages, and reconstruction of ancestral stages; parallels with cultural and genetic evolutionary theory; and implications for the description and explanation of language in general.

Instructor(s): Tulio Bermúdez     Terms Offered: Winter
Prerequisite(s): Intro to Linguistics and Intro to Phonetics and Phonology or Graduate student status
Equivalent Course(s): LING 21300, ANTH 47300

LING 31720. Sociophonetics. 100 Units.

Variation is a ubiquitous feature of speech, yet much of the variation observed is non-random. This class will examine this type of structured heterogeneity (Weinreich et al., 1968) from the point of view of sociophonetics. We will focus on the interrelationships between phonetic/phonological form and social factors such as speaking style and the background of the speaker, with a particular interest in explaining the origins and transmission of linguistic change. Our goals will be to (a) acquire the phonetic and phonological foundation necessary to conduct sociophonetic research through practical exercises; (b) survey new sociolinguistic research that addresses issues in phonetic and phonological theories and (c) locate and explain phonetic variation in its social context while drawing on current approaches to the relationship between language and society.

Instructor(s): Alan Yu     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): COGS 21720, LING 21720, COGS 31720, CHST 21720

LING 32550. Speech Play and Verbal Art. 100 Units.

Course Description TBA

Instructor(s): Tulio Bermúdez     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): LACS 22550, LACS 32550, LING 22550

LING 33700. Crosslinguistic Perspectives on Language Development. 100 Units.

This discussion-based course covers cross-linguistic evidence concerning similarities and dissimilarities in how children learn language across diverse language communities. Each year will revolve around a central topic. This year we will focus on the acquisition of phonology.

Instructor(s): M. Tice     Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): satisfies UG category: B and Grad categories: 2, M
Equivalent Course(s): LING 23701, PSYC 23720, CHDV 33700, PSYC 33720, CHDV 23700

LING 33920. The Language of Deception and Humor. 100 Units.

In this course we will examine the language of deception and humor from a variety of perspectives: historical, developmental, neurological, and cross-cultural and in a variety of contexts: fiction, advertising, politics, courtship, and everyday conversation. We will focus on the (linguistic) knowledge and skills that underlie the use of humor and deception and on what sorts of things they are used to communicate.

Instructor(s): Jason Riggle     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): LING 23920, SIGN 26030

LING 34650. African American Language. 100 Units.

In this course, we explore how African American speech is defined and what it suggests about the relationship between race and language. Specifically, we explore the dialect's earliest linguistic descriptions, trace its historical development, interrogate its significance in entertainment and pop culture, and evaluate language attitudes and their implications in the education and courtroom settings. By the end of the course, you will recognize and describe dialectal patterns, as well as be able to challenge linguistic prejudice against the variety and its speakers.

Instructor(s): Sharese King     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): LING 24650, CRES 24650

LING 35680. Ideologies of the Hebrew Language. 100 Units.


Instructor(s): Itamar Francez     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): LING 25680

LING 36002. Language in Society. 100 Units.

This course is an introduction to sociolinguistics, the study of language in its social context. We will look at variation at all levels of language and how this variation constructs and is constructed by identity and culture, including relationships between language and social class, language and gender, and language and ethnicity. We will also discuss language attitudes and ideologies, as well as some of the educational, political, and social repercussions of language variation and standardization.

Instructor(s): 2022-2023: Sharese King 2023-2024: Lenore Grenoble     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): LING 20001
Equivalent Course(s): LING 26002

LING 36050. Race, Ethnicity, Language, and Citizenship in the United States. 100 Units.

This course is intended to help students make sense of the current discourse on diversity and inclusion/exclusion from a historical perspective. They will be trained to read critically the evolution of political discourse on citizenship in the United States since the American Revolution. They will learn to detect the role of shifting interpretations of race and ethnicity, after that of European nationality, in determining who is (not) a (full) citizen. For instance, who counted as "American" in the early stages of the Republic? Why were Native Americans and (descendants of) forced immigrants from Africa excluded at the outset? How did English become the unofficial language of American citizenship and inclusion? What factors favored its rise and drove to extinction the competing European national languages?

Instructor(s): Salikoko Mufwene     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): RDIN 26050, CHDV 36055, CHDV 26050, LING 26050

LING 36520. Mind, Brain and Meaning. 100 Units.

What is the relationship between physical processes in the brain and body and the processes of thought and consciousness that constitute our mental life? Philosophers and others have puzzled over this question for millennia. Many have concluded it to be intractable. In recent decades, the field of cognitive science--encompassing philosophy, psychology, neuroscience, computer science, linguistics, and other disciplines--has proposed a new form of answer. The driving idea is that the interaction of the mental and the physical may be understood via a third level of analysis: that of the computational. This course offers a critical introduction to the elements of this approach, and surveys some of the alternative models and theories that fall within it. Readings are drawn from a range of historical and contemporary sources in philosophy, psychology, linguistics, and computer science. (B) (II)

Instructor(s): J. Bridges; L. Kay; C. Kennedy     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): NSCI 22520, LING 26520, COGS 20001, PSYC 36520, PHIL 36520, PSYC 26520, PHIL 26520

LING 36601. Intro to Python and R for Linguists. 100 Units.

In this class we will cover computational techniques for collecting linguistic data. We will also cover various methods for using algorithms to analyze that data and some basic computational theory to understand the complexity and efficiency of our algorithms. We will use the programming language Python and focus on real-world applications to gain experience in gathering, manipulating, and analyzing data from sources such as field-work, corpora, or experiments. No previous knowledge of programming is required.

Instructor(s): Riggle, Jason.     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): LING 26601

LING 36810. Bilingualism and Heritage Languages. 100 Units.


Instructor(s): Anastasia Giannakidou, Zoe Gavriilidou     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): LING 26810

LING 37131. Lexical Semantics. 100 Units.


Instructor(s): Francez, Itamar     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): LING 27131

LING 38345. Language, Identity, and Development in Africa. 100 Units.

With more than a quarter of the languages of humanity, the linguistic diversity of Africa represents a richness in terms of world heritage and linguistic description, but also a challenge for trans-community communication and for the integration of small minorities in larger national communities. Additionally, the persistent use of former colonial languages in most official functions may constitute an impediment, with regard to productive communication between educated elites and ordinary community members and the involvement of the latter in national development. The present course addresses these different issues in a descriptive perspective and through open discussions about potential resolutions in terms of language valorization and language planning. At the end of the course, the students will be able to classify African languages of wider communication in their respective families and identify key features of the latter; identify and discuss potential issues and / or advantages relating to the use of those languages in connection with endogenous development of African communities.

Instructor(s): F. Mpiranya     Terms Offered: Autumn
Prerequisite(s): This is a general introductory course with no specific prerequisites.
Equivalent Course(s): LING 28345

LING 38370. African Languages. 100 Units.

One-third of world languages are spoken in Africa, making it an interesting site for studying linguistic diversity and language evolution. This course presents the classification of different African language families and explains their historical development and interactions. It also presents the most characteristic features of African languages, focusing on those that are common in Africa but uncommon among other world languages. Additionally, the course addresses the issue of language dynamics in relation to socioeconomic development in Africa. Using living audio and written material, students will familiarize themselves with at least one major language selected from the Niger-Congo family, the most prevalent family in sub-Saharan Africa. This is a general introduction course with no specific prerequisites.

Instructor(s): Fidele Mpiranya     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): LING 28370

LING 38620. Computational Linguistics. 100 Units.

This course is a mixed level introduction to topics at the intersection of computation and language. We will study computational linguistics from both scientific and engineering angles: the use of computational modeling to address scientific questions in linguistics and cognitive science, as well as the design of computational systems to solve engineering problems in natural language processing (NLP). The course will combine analysis and discussion of these approaches with training in the programming and mathematical foundations necessary to put these methods into practice. The course is designed to accommodate students both with and without prior programming experience. Our goal is for all students to leave the course able to engage with and critically evaluate research in cognitive/linguistic modeling and NLP, and to be able to implement intermediate-level computational models for novel computational linguistics research.

Instructor(s): Allyson Ettinger     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): LING 28620, CMSC 35620

LING 38951. The Development of Communicative Competence. 100 Units.

This course examines the emergence of communicative skills in humans. We will focus on how children glean information about language structure and language use from their home environments. We will also discuss the proposed cognitive and evolutionary roots of communicative behaviors, with a focus on current gaps in our knowledge and possible pathways forward. The course will consider these issues from multiple perspectives including linguistics, psychology, and linguistic anthropology. We will also briefly cover a range of methods associated with these different areas of study. It is expected that, by the end of the course, you should be able to think and write critically about how human communication and human language are intertwined in both adults and children.

Instructor(s): M. Casillas     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): Subject area: UG: B, C; Grad: 2
Equivalent Course(s): EDSO 38950, CHDV 38950, PSYC 38960

LING 39286. Biological and Cultural Evolution. 100 Units.

This course draws on readings in and case studies of language evolution, biological evolution, cognitive development and scaffolding, processes of socialization and formation of groups and institutions, and the history and philosophy of science and technology. We seek primarily to elaborate theory to understand and model processes of cultural evolution, while exploring analogies, differences, and relations to biological evolution. This has been a highly contentious area, and we examine why. We seek to evaluate what such a theory could reasonably cover and what it cannot.

Instructor(s): W. Wimsatt, S. Mufwene     Terms Offered: Not offered in 2022-2023
Prerequisite(s): Third- or fourth-year standing or consent of instructor required; core background in evolution and genetics strongly recommended.
Equivalent Course(s): CHSS 37900, LING 11100, ANTH 28615, CHDV 33930, ANTH 38615, BPRO 23900, PHIL 32500, PHIL 22500, HIPS 23900, NCDV 27400, CHDV 23930

LING 39404. Multilingualism and Multilingual Education. 100 Units.

This course focuses on current approaches to multilingualism and multilingual education from psycholinguistic, sociolinguistic, and educational perspectives. Topics to cover include multilingualism and minority languages, the effect of bilingualism on the acquisition of additional languages, definitions and typologies of multilingual education. The course includes different theoretical and research perspectives in the study of multilingual competence and evaluation of multilingual programs in education, such as translanguaging or the study of the linguistic landscape. The course pays specific attention to the analysis of different research methodologies and to the role of minority languages in education and in society.

Instructor(s): Jasone Cenoz     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): BASQ 29423, LING 29404, BASQ 39423

LING 39406. Seminar: Formal Diachronic Semantics (in Hebrew and other languages) 100 Units.

The course seeks to bring together two sub-disciplines within linguistics: historical linguistics and formal semantics. Both of these sub-disciplines have evolved from distant intellectual fields: the first comes from the philological world, while the second has its origins in the world of mathematical logic. Recently, there has been a rapprochement between these fields dealing mostly with the study of changes of meaning, grammaticalization and reanalysis. This course aimes to examine the research paradigms that attempt to integrate them and explore new methodologies for building bridges between them. The course will focus on examples from Hebrew, but there is no requirment of Hebrew, and studies and examples from many other languages will be provided as well.

Instructor(s): Elitzur Bar-Asher Siegal     Terms Offered: Autumn
Equivalent Course(s): LING 29406, JWSC 29406

LING 40301. Field Methods I. 100 Units.

The field methods course is a two-quarter course, taken by graduate students and advanced undergraduates. (Students may elect to take the course more than once.) This course is devoted to the elicitation, transcription, organization, and analysis of linguistic data from a native speaker of a language not commonly studied. Students will also gain practical experience in the use of fieldwork equipment. Language chosen may vary from year to year.

Instructor(s): Natalia Bermudez     Terms Offered: Autumn

LING 40302. Field Methods II. 100 Units.

The field methods course is a two-quarter course, taken by graduate students and advanced undergraduates. (Students may elect to take the course more than once.) This course is devoted to the elicitation, transcription, organization, and analysis of linguistic data from a native speaker of a language not commonly studied. Students will also gain practical experience in the use of fieldwork equipment. Language chosen may vary from year to year.

Instructor(s): Jessica Kantarovich     Terms Offered: Winter

LING 40310. Experimental Methods. 100 Units.

This course will cover the basic methods for experimental studies, including experimental design, data collection and statistical analysis. To demonstrate different design and analysis tools, we will look at data set from different types of studies, including self-paced reading, acceptability judgment, eye tracking, ERP, etc. Students will also gain hands-on experience on different paradigms.

Instructor(s): Monica Do     Terms Offered: Autumn

LING 41920. The Evolution of Language. 100 Units.

This course is designed to review critically some of the literature on the phylogenetic emergence of Language, in order to determine which questions have been central to the subject matter, which ones have recurred the most, and to what extent the answers to these are now better informed. The class will also review new questions such as the following: What is the probable time of the emergence of modern language(s)? Should we speak of the emergence of Language or of languages, in the plural?

Instructor(s): Salikoko Mufwene     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): CHSS 41920, PSYC 41920, CHDV 41920, CHDV 21920, ANTH 47305, EVOL 41920, LING 21920

LING 42000. Seminar: Semantics/Pragmatics. 100 Units.

Course Description TBA

Instructor(s): Chris Kennedy, Ming Xiang     Terms Offered: Spring

LING 42001. Seminar: Computational Psycholinguistics. 100 Units.


Instructor(s): Ettinger, Allyson; Xiang, Ming.     Terms Offered: Winter

LING 42002. Seminar in Semantics. 100 Units.


Instructor(s): Francez, Itamar.     Terms Offered: Winter

LING 42100. Seminar: Semantics: Formal Discourse Models. 100 Units.

Alternative-sensitive particles cross-linguistically This class will examine expressions whose semantic contribution is argued to be sensitive to contextually given or compositionally derived alternatives of some sort (including so-called "questions under discussion" or "issues"), and to induce complex at-issue and non-at issue meanings in context. A fascinating aspect of crosslinguistic variation in interpretation is how different languages express the range of such alternative-based meanings. For example, some of the meanings available to the English expressions 'even', 'still' and 'yet' is covered in Hebrew by one additive expression, and the meanings available to English `until' are split between different expressions, some obviously temporal and some not, in other languages (like German, Ngamo, Hebrew or Greek). We will look at classic and more recent work on a select set of such expressions and the analyses they have been given, with two parallel goals in mind: First, to try and discover / uncover patterns in the crosslinguistic semantic distribution of alternative-sensitive expressions. Second, to see what the analysis of alternative sensitivity tells us about how to tease apart and articulate the lexical, the compositional, the contextual, and the pragmatic.

Instructor(s): Itamar Francez     Terms Offered: Spring

LING 44400. Lexical Functional Grammar. 100 Units.

This course is an overview of the syntactic framework of Lexical Functional Grammar (LFG), a constraint-based, non-transformational approach particularly well suited to typologically diverse languages and to computational implementation. Topics covered include nonconfigurationality, treatments of passive, applicative and other relation-changing rules, control, long-distance dependencies, anaphora, and logophoricity.

Instructor(s): Amy Dahlstrom     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): For undergraduates: having taken LING 20201 Introduction to Syntax is recommended.
Equivalent Course(s): LING 24400

LING 44500. Language and Environment. 100 Units.

This seminar will explore the many ways that language influences and is influenced by the environment. Appropriate for those interested in the socio-cultural foundations of language and language-use, infrastructural dimensions of communication and interaction, and existence as semiotic.

Instructor(s): T. Edwards     Terms Offered: Autumn
Note(s): Distributions: grad 3
Equivalent Course(s): ANTH 24501, CHDV 24500, ANTH 44501, CHDV 44500

LING 46000. Seminar: Syntax. 100 Units.

Psycholinguistics Seminar: Language, Thought, and their Interactions In this seminar we investigate the complex relationship between language and thought. We will cover topics such as the relationship between words and ideas, the role of perception in language, and the extent to which language can affect thought. Readings will incorporate cross-linguistic, cross-cultural, and cross-disciplinary perspectives on language and cognition.

Instructor(s): Karlos Arregi     Terms Offered: Spring
Prerequisite(s): Graduate student in Linguistics of consent of instructor
Note(s): This course has a different topic each quarter it is offered.

LING 46001. Seminar: Causative Language. 100 Units.

Causation stands at the heart of all sciences, and as such, philosophers, linguists, and cognitive scientists explore the exact nature of this concept as they seek to understand how causal structures are represented in the human cognitive systems. This course aims to understand what causative constructions are, what they assert, what they presupposed and to what extent they differ one from the other. In addition, it will explore how the semantics of these linguistic expressions are related to the way we model our causal knowledge of the world. In this context we will explore the uniqueness of the linguistic inquiry about causation and how it corresponds with studies on causation in philosophy and in cognitive sciences. In the course we will also consider typological studies, with focus on causative constructions in English and in Hebrew.

Instructor(s): Elitzur Bar-Asher Siegal     Terms Offered: Autumn

LING 46002. Seminar: Contact Induced Change and Language Shift. 100 Units.


Instructor(s): Grenoble, Lenore.     Terms Offered: Autumn

LING 46003. Seminar: Computational Psycholinguistics. 100 Units.


Instructor(s): Allyson Ettinger, Ming Xiang     Terms Offered: Winter

LING 50510. Seminar: Psycholinguistics. 100 Units.

Please visit the Linguistics website for course topic and description.

Instructor(s): Monica Do     Terms Offered: Spring
Note(s): This course has a different topic each quarter it is offered.

LING 52400. Seminar: Phonology. 100 Units.

Seminar on Sound Change. One of the great mysteries of linguistics is the so-called actuation problem (Weinreich, Labov, and Herzog 1968), that is, what causes the inception of language change, if the linguistic conditions favoring particular changes are always present? Recent work has drawn on interspeaker variation for a solution to the actuation puzzle. The main impetus for considering individual differences in the context of sound change comes from the need to build a linking theory that bridges the gap between the emergence of new linguistic variants and their eventual propagation. This seminar will explore sources of individual linguistic differences, and the role they may play in the initiation and propagation of sound change. By "individual differences", we refer to those psychological, sociological, genetic and/or behavioral differences between the individuals who make up a speech community at the levels of production, perception and cognitive representation. Some questions we will consider in detail at this seminar include: How do individual differences affect variation? How do they affect the initiation, phonologization, and propagation of changes? How do they relate to community patterns?

Instructor(s): Alan Yu     Terms Offered: Winter
Equivalent Course(s): LING 22460

LING 58012. Language, Evidence, and Mind. 100 Units.

The observation that ordinary uses of predicates such as "tasty" and "beautiful" trigger an acquaintance inference-they suggest that the speaker has first-hand knowledge of the item under consideration-has received immense attention by philosophers as well as by linguists in recent years. The goal of this seminar is to arrive at a comprehensive and systematic understanding of this phenomenon. We will explore the significance of the acquaintance inference in semantics and philosophy of language (in particular for our understanding of the interaction between literal meaning and discourse pragmatics) but also for aesthetics and meta-ethics. From the linguistics side, we will explore intricate questions surrounding the projection properties of acquaintance inferences as well as issues surrounding "subjective" attitude verbs. The guiding hypothesis of this interdisciplinary seminar is that natural language predicate expressions lexically specify what it takes for their use to be properly 'grounded' in a speaker's state of mind-what state of mind a speaker must be in for a predication to be in accordance with the norms governing assertion-and that these grounding constraints may compositionally interact with other other natural language expressions in interesting ways.

Instructor(s): Chris Kennedy (Linguistics) and Malte Willer (Philosophy)     Terms Offered: Spring
Equivalent Course(s): PHIL 58012