Topic Courses

Below you will find topic descriptions for the Special Topics in Linguistics Theory Courses we are offering in the 2017-2018 Academic year.  Topics courses may be taken more than once if the course content is different year to year or section to section.

Course Information

Fall 2017
LING 499 A1/599 A1


Indigenous Languages topic 
Winter 2018
LING 499 B6
Sally Rice
in Language
 Multimodal Lingistics is an emerging sub‐discipline in linguistics that puts speakers, their bodies, and the context of use back into the analysis of the speech stream. Interactional approaches examine phenomena such as turn‐taking, back‐channeling, sequencing, repair, repetition, alignment, perspective, and stance during a conversation, what interlocutors are doing with their hands and bodies and faces while they speak or listen, and how they successfully negotiate the course of the conversation and their joint attention to aspects of it within the overall usage context. We’ll survey major studies, learn how to do transcription of real conversation (both audio & video), and see how a multimodal approach may help with language documentation, L2 teaching, and even linguistic theory. LING 314 - Discourse Analysis is the recommended prerequisite for this topic course.

Winter 2018
LING 499 B1

Anja Arnhold
Prosody Students will explore prosody, i.e. the rhythm and melody of speech (e.g. stress and accentuation). Students will learn about the functions that prosody performs in different languages and different groups of people. They will gain an understanding of the basics of linguistic analysis of prosody as a part of grammar and will acquire the practical skills for conducting experimental prosody research. The course will further familiarize students with reading and discussing academic literature and enable them to train their presentation and academic writing skills. 
Winter 2018
LING 499B7/599 B5
TBA   Phonetics/Phonology topic
Winter 2018
LING 499B3/599 B2

 Lila Daskalaki
Heritage Languages
This class examines heritage languages and their speakers. Heritage speakers (HSs) are early, sequential bilinguals, whose first language is different from the dominant language of the society in which they live. The recognition of HSs as a special group of bilinguals has given rise to a number of theoretical and experimental studies concerning the grammatical domains in which their performance diverges from that of monolingual speakers or L2 speakers, as well as the possible sources of these divergent performances. In order to explore the existing scholarship regarding this topic, the class will focus on three inter-related issues: (i) the linguistic characteristic displayed by heritage speakers; (ii) the extra- and intra-linguistic factors that influence the outcome of heritage language acquisition; and (iii) the experimental and socio-linguistic methods that are used to study heritage languages.