Linguistics Courses for Undergraduates

Linguistics Outside the Classroom

LOC Course Information


General Education Curriculum

GEC for incoming classes before 2012

GE Requirements for incoming classes Summer 2012 and after

These courses fulfill one (or more*) GE requirements:

GE Writing: Second Course/Level 2

2367.01/2367.01H Language, Sex, and Gender in American Culture*
2367.02 Language and Advertising

GE Quantitative and Logical Skills: Mathematical and Logical Analysis

2001 Language and Formal Reasoning
3802/3802H Language and Computers
2052H Theories of Linguistics: The Scientific Method for Abstractions and Unobservables

GE Quantitative and Logical Skills: Data Analysis

2051/2051H Analyzing the Sounds of Languages

GE Social Science: Individuals and Groups

1100 The Basics of Language for Language Learners*
3501 Introduction to American Indigenous Languages*
3602/3602H Language and Social Identity in the US*
3603 Language across Cultures*
3701/3701H Language and the Mind

GE Cultures and Ideas

2000/2000H Introduction to Language in the Humanities
3601 Language, Race, and Ethnicity in the US*
3901 Language Evolution and Language Change

GE Diversity: Social Diversity in the US

2367.01/2367.01H Language, Sex, and Gender in American Culture*
3601 Language, Race, and Ethnicity in the US*
3602/3602H Language and Social Identity in the US*

GE Diversity: Global Studies

1100 The Basics of Language for Language Learners*
3501 Introduction to American Indigenous Languages*
3603 Language Across Cultures*

GE Study Abroad

2797.01 Global May New Zealand   

GE Open Options: Cross-disciplinary Seminars

4597.01 Language Endangerment and Language Death
4597.02 Language and the Law

GE Open Options: Service Learning

4601-S Language and the Black Experience


Quarter-to-semester conversion chart [pdf]

Departmental Course Descriptions

1100 The Basics of Language for Language Learners

GE Social Science: Individuals and Groups; Diversity: Global Studies course
The goal of the course is to provide students with important tools to help them become successful language learners. Students will become familiar with basic elements of language such as parts of speech and the pronunciation of new sounds as a means of enabling them to anticipate and effectively deal with problems in pronunciation, vocabulary building and sentence formation that often come up in foreign language study. Students will also learn how languages differ in terms of, for example, swearing, politeness and body language. They will also learn about different language teaching and learning styles, typical mistakes language learners make, and strategies for making language learning more effective. This information will be presented in the context of the wide variety of languages taught at OSU, thus allowing students to become familiar with some of the more than 30 languages taught on campus.

2000/2000H Introduction to Language in the Humanities

GE Cultures and Ideas course
This course examines language as a system of human communication. It also provides students with the tools needed for the recording, investigation, and close analysis of language. The course consists of a general survey of language and linguistics. A number of topics relating to man's knowledge and use of language are systematically investigated. Examples are drawn primarily from the English language, although other languages are used to illustrate certain concepts. Nevertheless, the focus of the course is not on any specific language or languages; rather, it is on properties common to all languages and on ways in which languages may differ.

2001 Language and Formal Reasoning

Prereq: Math 1075 or equiv, or Math placement level R
GE Quantitative and Logical Skills: Mathematical and Logical Analysis course
The goal of this course is to lead students to think analytically about syntax, meaning, and reasoning in terms abstract enough to encompass both natural languages (like English) and artificial formal languages (in this case, first-order logic) to see underlying structural similarities and to understand some fundamental differences as well. This goal is accomplished by (1) introducing students to two kinds of formal systems, first-order logic and formal phrase-structure grammars, (2) using these systems to analyze syntax and reasoning, in symbolic form and in English, and (3) examining differences between artificial and natural language in principles of cooperative communication.

2051/2051H Analyzing the Sounds of Language

Prereq: Math 1075 or equiv, or Math placement level R
GE Data Analysis course. Cross-listed in Speech & Hearing.
In this course, we will introduce pertinent ideas and results from research in the various disciplines that have contributed to our understanding of the sounds of language. We will introduce some of the quantitative analytical tools that are used in the phonetic sciences, and do several experiments in class, to give a flavor of the diverse research methods that speech scientists have developed to try to determine how speech is produced and perceived by humans.

2052H Theories of Linguistics: The Scientific Method for Abstraction and Unobservables

GE Quantitative Reasoning - Math and Logical Analysis.
Provides a strong grounding in fundamental principles of scientific reasoning illustrated through concrete examples across the Natural and Social Sciences with emphasis on Pyschology and Lingusitics. This course is suitable for students from all backgrounds including non-science majors. Students will gain understanding of what it means to "do science."

2367.01/2367.01H Language, Sex, and Gender in American Culture

Prereq: English 1110.01, 1110.02, or 1110.03, or equiv.
GE Writing: Second Course/Level 2; Diversity: Social Diversity in the US course
This course examines how culturally enshrined ideas about gender affect language and the use of language and how linguistic conventions for the expression of gender differences reinforce these ideas. The course deals with structure and usage patterns in language as exhibited by men and women. This inquiry focuses on the following question: How do the members of each sex use language differently? How does language treat the sexes differently? How do such differences affect our perceptions, attitudes and behavior in everyday life? The learning of sex-typed languages by children and cross-cultural aspects of these questions are considered.

2367.02 Language and Advertising

Prereq: English 1110.01, 1110.02, or 1110.03, or equiv.
GE Writing: Second Course/Level 2
The goals of this course are three-fold: first, to examine the ways in which language and linguistic knowledge are used by advertisers in the United States; second, to help the student develop effective presentation skills, both written and oral; and third, to develop the student's ability to critically evaluate and effectively use information. The entire course will revolve around American advertising and related topics, such as political campaign materials. The impact of advertising on American culture, the influence of the U.S. (and, in particular, English) on international advertising, and how various populations are represented in ads will also be addressed.

3401 Words and Meanings

Prereq: Ling 2000, 2000H, or 5000, and English 1110.01, 1110.02, or 1110.03 or equiv.
An introduction to semantics focusing on word meanings, meaning in new word formation, meaning change over time, and cognitive processes involved in word learning and use. Words might seem to be the most obvious building blocks of language, but word meanings are complicated and fascinating to study. Why does word structure (prefixes, suffixes, compounds) often determine word meaning but sometimes mislead? How and why are new words always coming into our language? What are the historical sources of English vocabulary? How have word meanings changed through history? Do dictionaries determine what words mean, or does the way people use words determine what's in the dictionaries? What are the word meanings like that we carry around in our heads? (Are they like dictionary definitions? mental pictures? prototypical examples?) What can psychological experiments show us about the way words are learned, stored, retrieved, and analyzed in the mind?

3501 Introduction to American Indigenous Languages

GE Social Science: Individuals and Groups; Diversity: Global Studies course
This course is an introduction to indigenous languages of the Americas and their speakers: e.g. history of settlement, language families, linguistic properties, bilingual education, language policies and attitudes.

3601 Language, Race, and Ethnicity in the US

Prereq: English 1110.01, 1110.02, or 1110.03, or equiv.
GE Cultures and Ideas; Diversity: Social Diversity in the US course
This course examines the relationship between language and social constructs such as race and ethnicity, with particular emphasis on race relations in the United States. It is concerned with the ways in which language serves as a basis for inter-ethnic conflict, discrimination and lack of social opportunity. The main focus of the course will be the varieties of English used by members of minority ethnic and racial groups in the United States, and the general relationship between their languages and their place in American society.

3602/3602H Language and Social Identity in the US

GE Social Science: Individuals and GroupsDiversity: Social Diversity in the US course
This course examines the relationships between language and social diversity in the general American speech community. Its aim is to shed light on how individuals and social groups distinguish themselves on the basis of their choice of language, and their sharing (or not) of common norms of social evaluation and interpretation. In particular, it will investigate the relationship between language and such social parameters as social status, ethnicity, race, gender, etc. Finally, it will consider the role of language differences in the creation of social stereotypes, and their implications for social advantage or disadvantage.

3603 Language Across Cultures

GE Social Science: Individuals and Groups; Diversity: Global Studies course
This course examines the relationships between language and culture in different societies with a view to shedding light on cross-cultural similarities and differences. Topics include: (1) how language differences among members of a society reflect social differences among them, (2) the role language plays in social behavior, (3) the ways in which language reflects social organization and individual social relationships, (4) the relationship between language and such aspects of culture as kinship relations, folk classifications of nature, and interpretation of the world, and (5) the relationship between language structure and perceptual and cognitive categories.

3604 Conducting Sociolinguistic Research: Language and Identity @ OSU

This course trains students in hands-on methods of sociolinguistic and dialectology research, including study design, data collection, ethics issues and data analysis. During the course, students will participate as fieldworkers in an ongoing research project examining the relationships between language and identity among OSU students. As a class, we will collect sociolinguistic data from other OSU students and analyze it for insights into how being at OSU changes one's speech patterns, through exposure to other language varieties and/or through changes to one's identity. The data collected will be added to a corpus of OSU student speech.

3701/3701H Language and the Mind

Prereq: Ling 2000, 2000H, 5000, or Psych 1100, or permission of instructor.
GE Social Science: Individuals and Groups course. Cross-listed as Psych 3371.
The course is an introduction to the psychological processes by which humans produce and understand sentences in conversation, the means by which these processes arise in the child, and their bases in the brain. It deals with the following topics (among others): (1) Speech Perception, the process of detecting distinct 'sounds' in speech signals; (2) Lexical Access, the process of 'looking up' words in a mental dictionary; (3) Syntactic Parsing, the process of discovering the structure of sentences; (4) Semantic Interpretation, the process of using syntactic structures, word meaning and general world knowledge to interpret what we hear; (5) Language Acquisition, the process by which a child becomes able to produce and understand sentences of his or her native language(s), (f) Neurolinguistics, the study of the way language functions are implemented in the brain.

3801 Code Making and Code Breaking

This course has two main aims. It introduces old and new technologies for code making and code breaking, and it shows how good and bad choices in how codes are used can affect whether they succeed or fail. Students will learn what codes are, how they work and how they are used. The topics discussed will include code breaking, digital signatures, quantum cryptography and the decipherment of ancient languages.

3802/3802H Language and Computers

Not open to students with Freshman standing
Quantitative and Logical Skills: Mathematical and Logical Analysis course
This is an introduction to human language technology. In this subject area we study whether and how it is possible for humans and computers to communicate in ordinary language. The widening use of computers has had a profound influence on the way ordinary people communicate, search and store information. For the overwhelming majority of people and situations, the main vehicle for such information is human language. Text and speech are crucial encoding formats for the information revolution. This course will give students insight into the fundamentals of how computers are used to represent, process and organize textual and spoken information, as well as provide tips on how to effectively integrate this knowledge into their work. The course will cover the theory and practice of human language technology. Topics include text encoding, search technology, tools for writing support, machine translation, dialog systems, computer aided language learning and the social context of language technology.

3901 Language Evolution and Language Change

GE Cultures and Ideas course
In this course we survey different kinds of language evolution and change, their causes and the methods linguists use to analyze language change and to model the relationships between and among dialects and languages. Special emphasis is put on the role of linguistic variation and of external influences (e.g. social context, writing systems, contact with other speakers, contact with other cultures, self- and group-imposed ideologies and attitudes, etc.) in the historical development of languages and in bringing about linguistic differentiation and diversity. Counteracting forces of convergence through contact and of standardization are examined as well.

4100 Phonetics

Prereq: Ling 2000, 2000H, or 5000.
Cross-linguistic survey of the sounds of the world's languages.

4200 Syntax

Prereq: Ling 2000, 2000H, or 5000.
Basic elements of syntactic description and an overview of syntactic structure across languages.

4300 Phonology

Prereq: Ling 2000, 2000H, or 5000.
Introduction to phonological analysis and description, and an overview of phonological structure across languages.

4350 Morphology

Prereq: Ling 2000, 2000H, or 5000.
The grammatical and phonological analysis of words, and their significance in linguistic structure.

4400 Linguistic Meaning

Prereq: Ling 2000, 2000H, or 5000.
Introduction to linguistic meaning across languages, including word meaning, the contribution of syntactic structure, and the role of context in interpretation.

4550 Introduction to Linguistics Field Methods

Prereq or concur: Ling 4100, 4200, 4300, or 4400
Introduction to techniques for studying the grammar of an unknown language, working with a native speaker. Permission is needed to repeat the course.

4597.01 Language Endangerment and Language Death

Prereq: Jr or Sr standing
GE Cross-disciplinary Seminar course
Examines language endangerment and language death to reach an understanding of the forces threatening the survival of over half of today's 6,000 languages.

4597.02 Language and the Law

Prereq: Jr or Sr standing
GE Cross-disciplinary Seminar course
Examination of the role of interpretation of language in the law and in legal proceedings, with special consideration of issues in comparative law and multi-lingual jurisdictions.

4601 Language and the Black Experience

Cross-listed in English.
Examination of the structure, history and use of English varieties by African-Americans. Relationships between language and social life in the African-American community. Implications of language differences for social and educational opportunity.

4601-S Language and the Black Experience: A service learning course

GE Service-Learning course. Cross-listed in English.
Combines the study of language and culture in the African American community with tutoring service at a local elementary school. Tutoring provides direct experience with language use and literacy development in African American children.

4780 Undergraduate Research Seminar

Prereq: Ling 4100, 4200, 4300 or 4400, and enrollment in Ling major; or permission of instructor
Linguistics students learn about cutting-edge research by OSU linguists and get hands-on experience conducting their own linguistic research.

5000 Introduction to Linguistics

Prereq: Grad standing, or major/minor in Ling, or permission of instructor.
A broad introduction to general linguistics: survey of phonological, morphological, syntactic, and semantic analysis, and of historical and comparative linguistics.

 

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