Linguistics

  • MET 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. Effective Fall 2019, 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
  • MET LX 501: Phonetics & Phonology: Introduction to Sound Systems
    Prereq: (METLX250) or consent of instructor. 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 2019, 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
  • MET LX 510: Special Topics in Linguistics
    LX510 is the designation for "Special Topics in Linguistics". The subject matter for LX510 courses changes from semester to semester, and more than one LX510 can be offered in a given semester. Course descriptions for all LX510 sections are listed below.
  • MET LX 511: Morphology: Introduction to the Structures and Shapes of Words
    Prereq:(METLX250) 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.
  • MET LX 517: "Having" and "Being" across Languages
    Prereq:(METLX250) 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.
  • MET LX 521: Syntax: Introduction to Sentential Structure
    Prereq:(METLX250) or consent of instructor. *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.
  • MET LX 522: Intermediate Syntax: Modeling Syntactic Knowledge
    Prereq: MET LX 521, or consent of instructor. *Using linguistic data drawn from a wide variety of languages, students develop a precise model of syntactic knowledge through evaluation of hypotheses and arguments. Exploration of major discoveries and phenomena from the linguistic literature.
  • MET LX 531: Semantics & Pragmatics: Introduction to Linguistic Meaning
    Prereq: (METLX250) or consent of instructor. Systematic examination of how meaning is encoded in words and sentences, and how it can emerge from the complexity of the grammar. This course also touches on various aspects of pragmatics--the study of how meaning is shaped by context. Effective Fall 2019, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Individual in Community, Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy, Critical Thinking.
    • The Individual in Community
    • Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy
    • Critical Thinking
  • MET LX 542: Language, Race, and Gender
    Prereq: (METLX250) 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. This course fulfills a single unit in the following BU Hub areas: Social Inquiry I, Teamwork/Collaboration.
    • Social Inquiry I
    • Teamwork/Collaboration
  • MET LX 546: Language Variation and Change
    Prereq:(METLX250) or consent of instructor. 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 Fall 2019, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Social Inquiry I, Teamwork/Collaboration.
    • Social Inquiry I
    • Teamwork/Collaboration
  • MET LX 549: Bilingualism
    Prereq: (METLX250) 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. This course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Social Inquiry II, Individual in Community, Critical Thinking.
    • The Individual in Community
    • Social Inquiry II
    • Critical Thinking
  • MET LX 565: Variation in Dialects of English
    Prereq:(METLX250) 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.
  • MET LX 591: Linguistic Field Methods
    A team-based in-depth investigation of the phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and lexicon of an African or other non-Indo-European language. Bi-weekly sessions with language consultant. Weekly trainings on methodology, ethics, analysis, and presentation of results. Effective Fall 2020, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Ethical Reasoning, Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy, Teamwork/Collaboration.
    • Global Citizenship and Intercultural Literacy
    • Ethical Reasoning
    • Teamwork/Collaboration
  • MET LX 596: Computational Linguistics
    Prereq:(METLX250) or consent of instructor. Introduction to computational techniques to explore linguistic models and test empirical claims. Serves as an introduction to concepts, algorithms, data structures, and tool libraries. Topics include tagging and classification, parsing models, meaning representation, corpus creation, information extraction. [Students who have already taken CAS LX 394/GRS LX 694 are not eligible to take this course.] Effective Fall 2019, this course fulfills a single unit in each of the following BU Hub areas: Quantitative Reasoning II, Research and Information Literacy.
    • Quantitative Reasoning II
    • Research and Information Literacy