Linguistics

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  • CAS LX 110: Say What? Accents, Dialects, and Society
    Exploration of how variation in accents and dialects interacts with various aspects of society and human life. Students examine how dialect variation arises, how it can be described, and how it interacts with literature, film, humor, and music. Cannot be taken for credit by students who have previously taken, or are currently taking, CAS LX 250 or a higher-level linguistics course. Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS. Effective Fall 2018, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Social Inquiry I, The Individual in Community, Research and Information Literacy.
    • Social Inquiry I
    • The Individual in Community
    • Research and Information Literacy
  • CAS LX 208: The Language of Our Ancestors: Introduction to Indo-European Linguistics
    Panorama of ancient and medieval Indo-European languages and cultures. English, Irish, Hindi, Russian, Armenian, and Farsi languages are all related and belong to Indo-European family: they descended from a common ancestor, Proto-Indo-European. This protolanguage can be reconstructed using historical-comparative method.
  • CAS LX 235: Language in the Contemporary World: Language, Society, and the Law
    Exploration of the role of human language in society, focusing on language in legal settings. Addresses governmental policy on language; language crimes such as perjury, solicitation, and bribery; the meaning of consent; and the linguistics of legal interpretation. Carries humanities divisional studies credit in CAS. Effective Fall 2018, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Ethical Reasoning, Oral and/or Signed Communication, Teamwork/Collaboration.
    • Ethical Reasoning
    • Oral and/or Signed Communication
    • Teamwork/Collaboration
  • CAS LX 250: Introduction to Linguistics
    Properties that languages share and how languages differ with respect to structure (sound system, word formation, syntax), expression of meaning, acquisition, variation, and change; cultural and artistic uses of language; comparison of oral, written, and signed languages. Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS. Effective Fall 2018, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Scientific Inquiry I, Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy, Critical Thinking.
    • Scientific Inquiry I
    • Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy
    • Critical Thinking
  • CAS LX 301: Phonetics & Phonology: Introduction to Sound Systems
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS LX 250; or consent of instructor.
    Undergraduate Corequisites: CAS LX 302.
    (Students must also register for required co-req CAS LX 302.) Introduction to the nature and patterning of sounds in human language. Presents articulatory and acoustic phonetics, and basic phonological analysis, focusing on cross-language typology and comparison. Hands-on development of practical skills, including IPA transcription, field techniques, and digital speech analysis. Effective Fall 2018, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Scientific Inquiry II, Quantitative Reasoning I, Critical Thinking.
    • Scientific Inquiry II
    • Quantitative Reasoning I
    • Critical Thinking
  • CAS LX 311: Morphology: Introduction to the Structures and Shapes of Words
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS LX 250; or consent of instructor.
    Morphology, the study of the internal structure and the shapes of words across languages, straddles the boundary between syntax and phonology. This course covers the major empirical and theoretical issues in the study of morphology, emphasizing links to other components of grammar. Carries humanities divisional credit in CAS. Also offered as GRS LX 611. This course cannot be taken for credit in addition to the course entitled "Morphology" that was previously numbered CAS LX 521.
  • CAS LX 317: "Having" and "Being" across Languages
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS LX 250; or consent of instructor.
    Languages differ startlingly in how they express the apparently basic concepts of "possession" and "essence". Students explore this variety and its implications, addressing fundamental questions about linguistic relativism, language universals, and the relationship between structure and meaning. Also offered as GRS LX 617. This course cannot be taken for credit in addition to the course with the same title that was previously numbered CAS LX 517.
  • CAS LX 321: Syntax: Introduction to Sentential Structure
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS LX 250; or consent of instructor.
    Undergraduate Corequisites: CAS LX 322.
    (Students must also register for required co-req CAS LX 322.) Introduction to syntax as an object of inquiry. Students build an increasingly sophisticated model of syntactic knowledge to account for data from English and other languages, constructing and evaluating alternative hypotheses about how sentence structure works. Carries humanities divisional studies credit in CAS. This course cannot be taken for credit in addition to the course entitled "Syntax I" that was previously numbered CAS LX 522.
    • Scientific Inquiry II
    • Quantitative Reasoning I
    • Critical Thinking
  • CAS LX 331: Semantics & Pragmatics: Introduction to Linguistic Meaning
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS LX 250; or consent of instructor.
    (Students must also register for required co-req CAS LX 332.) Systematic examination of how meaning is encoded in words and sentences, and how it can emerge from the complexity of the grammar. Also touches on various aspects of pragmatics--the study of how meaning is shaped by context. Carries humanities divisional studies credit in CAS. This course cannot be taken for credit in addition to the course entitled "Semantics I" that was previously numbered CAS LX 502. Effective Fall 2018, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: The Individual in Community, Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy, Critical Thinking.
    • The Individual in Community
    • Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy
    • Critical Thinking
  • CAS LX 341: Sociolinguistics
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS LX 250 or CAS AN 351; or consent of instructor.
    Introduction to language in its social context. Methodological and theoretical approaches to sociolinguistics. Linguistic variation in relation to situation, gender, socioeconomic class, linguistic context, and ethnicity. Integrating micro- and macro-analysis from conversation to societal language planning. Also offered as CAS AN 521 and GRS LX 641.
  • CAS LX 342: Language, Race, and Gender
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS LX 250; or consent of instructor.
    Do women talk differently from men? How do race and ethnicity relate to the way people use language? This course examines these interrelated questions from the perspective of modern sociolinguistic theory, analyzing a range of languages and communities throughout the world. Effective Fall 2019, this course fulfills a single unit in the following BU Hub areas: Social Inquiry I, Teamwork/Collaboration.
    • Social Inquiry I
    • Teamwork/Collaboration
  • CAS LX 346: Language Variation and Change
    Why do languages change over time? Who leads and who follows in situations of language change? The course answers these questions by examining the link between language change and linguistic variation, focusing on how synchronic variation leads to diachronic change. Effective Spring 2020, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Social Inquiry I, Teamwork/Collaboration.
    • Social Inquiry I
    • Teamwork/Collaboration
  • CAS LX 349: Bilingualism
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS LX 250; or consent of instructor.
    The psycholinguistics and sociolinguistics of life with two languages. Topics include bilingual language use, processing, acquisition, organization; effects of bilingualism on cognition and development; the bilingual brain; the bilingual speech community; bilingual education; bilingualism in the media and public eye. Carries humanities divisional studies credit in CAS. Effective Fall 2018, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Social Inquiry II, The Individual in Community, Critical Thinking.
    • The Individual in Community
    • Social Inquiry II
    • Critical Thinking
  • CAS LX 355: Second Language Acquisition
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS LX 250; or consent of instructor.
    Overview of second language acquisition at all linguistic levels. Topics include the role of the native language; markedness; universals; environmental variables; cognitive and affective factors; social dimensions; individual differences among learners; and application of theory to third language acquisition. Also offered as GRS LX 655. This course cannot be taken for credit in addition to the course with the same title that was previously numbered CAS LX 542.
  • CAS LX 359: Interrupted Acquisition and Language Attrition
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS LX 250; or consent of instructor.
    Examines native language knowledge and change in speakers who have become dominant in another language. Topics include differences among heritage speakers, international adoptees, and adult second language learners; language change in expatriates; and environmental and affective factors conditioning language loss. Also offered as GRS LX 659. This course cannot be taken for credit in addition to the course entitled "Incomplete Acquisition and Language Attrition" that was previously numbered CAS LX 546.
  • CAS LX 360: Historical and Comparative Linguistics
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS LX 250; or consent of instructor.
    Introduction to language change and the methodology of historical linguistic analysis, using data from a wide array of languages. Investigates genetic relatedness among languages, language comparison, historical reconstruction, and patterns and principles of change in phonology, morphology, syntax, and semantics. Carries humanities divisional studies credit in CAS. Also offered as GRS LX 660. This course cannot be taken for credit in addition to the course with the same title that was previously numbered CAS LX 535. Effective Spring 2020, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy, Historical Consciousness, Creativity/Innovation.
    • Historical Consciousness
    • Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy
    • Creativity/Innovation
  • CAS LX 365: Variation in Dialects of English
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS LX 250; or consent of instructor.
    Exploration of how dialects of English differ from each other, focusing on grammatical variation in the US, with occasional forays into British dialects. Students come to appreciate how linguists investigate grammatical diversity scientifically, revealing the complex structure of non-standard dialects. Also offered as CAS EN 313 and GRS LX 665. This course cannot be taken for credit in addition to the course with the same title that was previously numbered CAS LX 530.
  • CAS LX 367: Indigenous Languages of Latin America
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS LX 250; and First-Year Writing Seminar (e.g. CAS WR 100; WR 120)
    Exploration of the structure, history, and varieties of indigenous languages of Latin America, and of the communities that speak them. Effective Fall 2020, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Writing-Intensive Course, Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy, Research and Information Literacy.
    • Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy
    • Research and Information Literacy
    • Writing-Intensive Course
  • CAS LX 370: Romance Linguistics
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: CAS LX 250; and prior study of some Romance language at the 4th semester level orhigher (e.g. CAS LF 212 or LI 212 or LP 212 or LS 212 or CL 212, or equivalent); or consent of instructor.
    Covers sound and morphosyntactic change since Latin, plus various topics in the comparative grammar of modern Romance languages. Students deepen their linguistic knowledge and analytic skills by applying what they have learned in other linguistics courses to this language family. Also offered as GRS LX 670. This course cannot be taken for credit in addition to the course with the same title that was previously numbered CAS LX 532.
  • CAS LX 373: The Structure of French: Phonology
    Undergraduate Prerequisites: one CAS LF 300-level course and CAS LX 250 or equivalent; or consent of instructor.
    The sound system of standard French and dialect variation in France, Canada, and other Francophone regions. Questions about mental representation of linguistic information, processes of word formation, and language variation and change. Students discover linguistic regularities through frequent problem sets. Conducted in French. Also offered as CAS LF 503 and GRS LX 673.