101 MWF 11:00-11:50 Professor Steve Keiser
Thematic Title: Structured Noise, Structured Motion: An Introduction to Language and English Linguistics.
Course Description:The aim of this course is to wow you with the wonder of language: its complexity, systematicity, and diversity. We will take a scientific approach to the investigation of language, that is, we will collect data, analyze it, and consider testable hypotheses to account for it. In the process you will evaluate your beliefs and attitudes about language and human beings as language speakers.
Upon completion of this course you will be able to:
Critically evaluate statements and attitudes (including your own) about language and human beings as language speakers.
Readings. Language Files 11.
Assignments. Weekly homeworks on language data collection from natural conversations and analysis of language. Two-three exams. Major research project on language and/or language data.
4170 Studies in Language:
101 MWF 9:00-9:50 Professor Christopher Maslanka
Thematic Title. From Elvish to Klingon: Geek Culture, World Peace, and Invented Languages
Course Description. This course is all about discovering what artificial or invented languages can tell us about the nature of language and its relationship to communities, cultures, and narratives. While we will not be attempting to become fluent in any one of the many hundreds of invented languages we will do some in-depth analysis of some of the more famous invented languages. We will start the course with a look at how a language can be created: What rules are necessary to call a system of sounds a language? What separates an artificial language from a model language? We will explore why languages are invented: What drove Tolkien to create the language of his fictional elves, Quenya? What goals did Zamenoff have when he constructed Esperanto? Finally, we will consider a sociolinguistic approach to invented languages and look at the ways in which the speakers and students of invented languages create communities. Through all this analysis, we will better understand why languages that were never ‘real’ have such a hold on the imagination and what such languages can tell us about the nature of communication.
Readings. Not yet available
Assignments. Evaluated work will include in-class presentations and a lengthy research/analysis project among other, smaller assignments.