Undergraduate Adviser: Jerrold M. Sadock, Cl 308, 702-8526,
Departmental Secretary: Vanessa Wright, Cl 304, 702-8522,
World Wide Web:

Program of Study

The purpose of the Bachelor of Arts program with concentration in linguistics is to provide a solid, integrated introduction to the core subdisciplines of linguistics, as well as a language background sufficient to provide a database for the theoretical parts of the program. This introduction provides students with a general orientation and overview of the field and prepares them for productive advanced study in linguistics. Linguistics concentrators should consult annually with the departmental undergraduate adviser to discuss course selection.

Program Requirements

The B.A. degree requirements in linguistics are (1) Introduction to Linguistics (Linguistics 20100-20200-20300), usually taken during the second year; (2) the four linguistics core courses: Syntax I (Linguistics 20400), Phonetics (Linguistics 20600), Semantics-Pragmatics (Linguistics 20700), and Phonology I (Linguistics 20800), which are usually divided between the third and fourth years; (3) three language courses beyond the first year in either French, German, or Russian; and (4) a non-Indo-European language requirement usually satisfied by taking a three-quarter course in an approved language. Linguistics students often take additional linguistics courses as electives or courses in related fields such as anthropology, information science, philosophy, or sociology.

Summary of Requirements

College demonstrated competence in French, German, or

Language Russian equivalent to one year of study


Concentration 3 LING 20100-20200-20300 (introductory courses)

4 LING 20400, 20600, 20700, and 20800

(core courses)

3 courses in French, German, or Russian
beyond the first year †

3 courses in an approved non-Indo-European



Credit may be granted by examination.

†† Credit must be earned by course registration, not by placement. Approved non-Indo-Europeanlanguages are Akkadian, American Sign Language, Arabic, Aramaic, Armenian, Basque, Chinese, Coptic, Egyptian, Hebrew (classical or modern), Hungarian, Japanese, Korean, Native American Languages (Fox, Greenlandic Eskimo, and Yucatec Maya), Sanskrit, Swahili, and Yiddish.

Honors. Fourth-year students who have maintained a 3.0 or better overall grade point average and a 3.5 or better grade point average in linguistics courses may consult with the departmental undergraduate adviser about submitting an honors essay. Consultation should take place at the beginning of the student's senior year. The honors essay must be submitted by the fifth week of the quarter in which the student plans to graduate.

Grading. Letter grades are needed in all required concentration courses; otherwise, courses may be taken for the grade of P/F.

Joint Degree Program. The core curriculum for the B.A. closely follows the basic program for the M.A. degree in the Department of Linguistics. Students who have demonstrated a high ability in linguistics may apply for a joint B.A./M.A. They should consult with the Dean of Students of the Division of the Humanities (Wb 105) no later than the first week of the spring quarter of their third year. To be considered for admission to the program, the student must have maintained a 3.5 or better grade point average in Linguistics 20100, 20200, and 20300, and in the linguistics core courses (at least two of which must be completed before petitioning for admission). Joint degree program students take all the remaining required linguistics courses for the M.A. degree. Their knowledge of the content of the four core courses is tested in the qualifying examination given in the spring quarter. The remaining additional requirement is the M.A. thesis. In order for the M.A. thesis to be completed by the end of the fourth year, the following schedule must be met: (1) the two faculty members supervising the thesis must have approved the research topic, plan, and reading list by the end of the autumn quarter; (2) the supervisors must confirm completion of the research by the end of winter quarter; and (3) the thesis must be completed by the fifth week of the spring quarter.


Howard I. Aronson, Professor, Departments of Linguistics and Slavic Languages & Literatures

Amy Dahlstrom, Associate Professor, Department of Linguistics and the College

Bill J. Darden, Professor, Departments of Linguistics and Slavic Languages & Literatures

Victor Friedman, Professor, Departments of Linguistics and Slavic Languages & Literatures, and the College; Chairman, Department of Slavic Languages & Literatures

SEAN FULOP, Visiting Assistant Professor, Department of Linguistics and the College

John Goldsmith, Edward Carson Waller Distinguished Service Professor, Department of Linguistics

Gene B. Gragg, Professor, Departments of Linguistics, Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations, and Oriental Institute; Director, Oriental Institute

GUNNAR HANSSON, Assistant Professor, Department of Linguistics and the College

Karen Landahl, Associate Professor, Department of Linguistics and the College

David McNeill, Professor, Departments of Linguistics and Psychology (Cognition & Communication and Developmental Psychology) and the College

JASON MERCHANT, Assistant Professor, Department of Linguistics and the College

Salikoko S. Mufwene, Professor, Department of Linguistics and the College; Chairman, Department of Linguistics

Jerrold M. Sadock, Glen A. Lloyd Distinguished Service Professor, Department of Linguistics and the College

Michael Silverstein, Samuel N. Harper Professor, Departments of Anthropology, Linguistics, and Psychology (Cognition & Communication) and Committee on Analysis of Ideas & Study of Methods


Courses numbered 10000-19900 are introductory courses. Courses numbered 20000-29900 are intermediate, advanced, or upper-level courses and are intended for undergraduates. Courses numbered 30000 and above are graduate courses and are available to undergraduate students only with the consent of the instructor. Undergraduates registered for 30000-level courses will be held to the graduate-level requirements. To register for courses that are cross listed as both undergraduate and graduate (20000/30000), undergraduates must use the undergraduate number (20000).


20100-20200-20300/30100-30200-30300. Introduction to Linguistics I, II, III (=ANTH 27001-27002-27003/37001-37002-37003, LING 20100-20200-20300/30100-30200-30300, SOSC 21700-21800-21900). PQ: Must be taken in sequence. This course is an introductory survey of methods, findings, and problems in areas of major interest within linguistics and of the relationship of linguistics to other disciplines. Topics include the biological basis of language, basic notions of syntax, semantics, pragmatics, basic syntactic typology of language, phonetics, phonology, morphology, language acquisition, linguistic variation, and linguistic change. Staff. Autumn, Winter, Spring.

20400/30400. Syntax I (=ANTH 37801, LING 20400/30400). PQ: LING 20100, 20200, or 20300; or equivalent. This course is devoted to detailed study of the major syntactic phenomena of English, combined with exposition and critical evaluation of the principal accounts of phenomena proposed by transformational grammarians and the theoretical frameworks within which those accounts are developed. Class discussion focuses on ideas advanced in or arising out of transformational grammar with regard to the relation between syntax and semantics and the psychological status of linguistic analyses. Staff. Autumn.

20500/30500. Syntax II (=ANTH 37802, LING 20500/30500). PQ: LING 20400 or consent of instructor. The purpose of this course is to bring students to the point where they are able to follow syntactic articles in contemporary journals. Staff. Spring.

20600/30600. Phonetics (=ANTH 37700, LING 20600/30600). PQ: LING 20100, 20200, or 20300; or consent of instructor. This is an introduction to the study of speech sounds. Speech sounds are described with respect to their articulatory, acoustic, and perceptual structures. There are lab exercises both in phonetic transcription and in the acoustic analysis of speech sounds. Staff. Autumn.

20700/30700. Semantics and Pragmatics. PQ: LING 20400. This course is an introduction to the systematic study of meaning and context. Staff. Winter.

20800/30800. Phonology I (=ANTH 37300, LING 20800/30800). PQ: LING 20100, 20200, 20300, or 20600; or equivalent. This is an introduction to general principles of phonology, with emphasis on nongenerative theory. Staff. Winter.

20900/30900. Phonology II (=ANTH 37302, LING 20900/30900). PQ: LING 20800. The principles of generative phonology are introduced and studied in detail, emphasizing the role of formalism and abstractness in phonological analysis. The emphasis is on the Sound Pattern of English theory, with brief discussion of more recent autosegmental and metrical models. Staff. Spring.

21000/31000. Morphology (=ANTH 37400, LING 21000/31000). This course deals with linguistic structure and patterning beyond the phonological level, focusing on analysis of grammatical and formal oppositions, and their structural relationships and interrelationships (morphophonology). A. Dahlstrom. Spring.

21300/31300. Historical Linguistics (=ANTH 47300, LING 21300/31300). PQ: LING 20600 or 20800, or consent of instructor. This course concerns linguistic change and variation and the theory of genetic comparison and reconstruction. K. Kazazis. Winter.

21700/31700. Experimental Phonetics. PQ: LING 20600/30600 or consent of instructor. This course is an exploration of various instrumentation available for speech analysis and synthesis. Hands-on work is emphasized. This year's topic is vowel synthesis. Perception-related literature is also assigned for reading and discussion. K. Landahl. Winter.

24500/34500. Dialect Voices in Literature (=AFAM 21100, ENGL 14600, LING 24500/34500). In this course we use linguistic techniques to analyze literary texts, especially to assess how successfully dialect is represented, whether it matches the characters and cultural contexts in which it is used, and what effects it produces. About half the quarter is spent articulating linguistic features which distinguish English dialects (including standard English!) from each other and identifying some features that are associated with specific American dialects. During the second half of the quarter we read and critique some writers, applying techniques learned during the first half of the quarter. S. Mufwene. Autumn.

27200/37200. Language, Power, and Identity in Southeastern Europe: A Linguistics View of the Balkan Crisis (=ANTH 27400/37400, HUMA 27400, LING 27200/37200, SLAV 23000/33000). Language is a key issue in the articulation of ethnicity and the struggle for power in Southeastern Europe. This course familiarizes students with the linguistic histories and structures that have served as bases for the formation of modern Balkan ethnic identities and that are being manipulated to shape current and future events. Course content may vary in response to ongoing current events. V. Friedman. Winter.

28800/38800. Languages of Europe. This course examines Europe as a linguistic area. We discuss language versus dialect, linguistic convergence as a result of language contact, and traits common to various groups of European languages. K. Kazazis. Winter.

29700. Reading and Research Course. PQ: Consent of instructor and undergraduate adviser. Students are required to submit the College Reading and Research Course Form. Staff. Autumn, Winter, Spring.

29900. B.A. Paper Preparation Course. PQ: Consent of instructor and undergraduate adviser. Students are required to submit the College Reading and Research Course Form. Staff. Autumn, Winter, Spring.

Languages in Linguistics

20100-20200-20300/30100-30200-30300. Introductory Modern Hebrew I, II, III (=HEBR 20100-20200-20300, JWSC 25000-25100-25200/35000-35100-35200, LGLN 20100-20200-20300/30100-30200-30300). This course introduces students to reading, writing, and speaking modern Hebrew. All four language skills are emphasized: comprehension of written and oral materials; reading of nondiacritical text; writing of directed sentences, paragraphs, and compositions; and speaking. Students learn the Hebrew root pattern system and the seven basic verb conjugations in both the past and present tenses, as well as simple future. At the end of the year, students can conduct short conversations in Hebrew, read materials designed to their level, and write short essays. A. Finkelstein. Autumn, Winter, Spring.

20400-20500-20600/30400-30500-30600. Intermediate Modern Hebrew I, II, III (=HEBR 20400-20500-20600, JWSC 25300-25400-25500/35300-35400-35500, LGLN 20400-20500-20600/30400-30500-30600). PQ: LGLN 20300 or equivalent. This course is devised for students who had previously taken either modern or biblical Hebrew courses. The main objective is to provide students with the skills necessary to approach modern Hebrew prose, both fiction and nonfiction. To achieve this formidable task, students are provided with a systematic examination of the complete verb structure. Many syntactic structures are introduced, including simple clauses, and coordinate and compound sentences. At this level, students not only write and speak extensively, but are also required to analyze grammatically and contextually all of the materials assigned. A. Finkelstein. Autumn, Winter, Spring.

22900-23000-23100/32900-33000-33100. Advanced Modern Hebrew I, II, III (=HEBR 23000-23100-23200, JWSC 25600-25700-25800/35600-35700-35800, LGLN 22900-23000-23100/32900-33000-33100). PQ: LGLN 20600 or equivalent. This course assumes that students have full mastery of the grammatical and lexical content at the intermediate level. However, there is a shift from a reliance on the cognitive approach to an emphasis on the expansion of various grammatical and vocabulary-related subjects. Students are introduced to sophisticated and more complex syntactic constructions, and instructed on how to transform simple sentences into more complicated ones. The language of the texts reflects the literary written medium rather than the more informal spoken style, which often dominates the introductory and intermediate texts. A. Finkelstein. Autumn, Winter, Spring.

24000-24100-24200/34000-34100-34200. First Year Yiddish through Literature I, II, III (=EEUR 24000-24100-24200, HUMA 21700-21800-21900, JWSC 23700-23800-23900/36500-36600-36700, LGLN 24000-24100-24200/34000-34100-34200). The first quarter is devoted to an overview of Yiddish grammar through the reading of a series of short poems in the original. The second and third quarters are devoted to developing active knowledge of Yiddish through continued reading, grammar drill, and conversational practice. H. Aronson. Autumn, Winter, Spring.

25000/35000. Introduction to Middle High German and Early New High German Texts and Cultures (=GRMN 22400/32400, LGLN 25000/35000). PQ: Consent of instructor. Basic reading knowledge of modern German. This course serves as an introduction to classic Middle High German and Early New High German texts and as an introduction to pre-modern textual and cultural studies in general. Readings include selections belonging to texts and traditions that bridge the gap between pre-modernity and modernity (e.g., Hartmann von Aue, Gregorius, Johannes de Tepla, der Ackerman, and the anonymous Faustbuch of 1587). S. Jaffe. Autumn.

25100/35100. Old Church Slavonic (=LGLN 25100/35100, SLAV 22000/32000). PQ: Knowledge of another Slavic language or good knowledge of one or two other old Indo-European languages. This course is an introduction to the language of the oldest Slavic texts. The course begins with a brief historical overview of the relationship of Old Church Slavonic to Common Slavic and the other Slavic languages. This is followed by a short outline of Old Church Slavonic inflectional morphology. The remainder of the course is spent in the reading and grammatical analysis of original texts in Cyrillic or Cyrillic transcription of the original Glagolitic. V. Friedman. Winter.

29000/39000. History of the Greek Language (=CLAS 36000, CLCV 26000, LGLN 29000/39000). The documented history of the Greek language spans well over three millennia, starting from Mycenaean tablets of the second millennium B.C.E. and going on to the present day. In this class we trace the history of the language, reading texts from all these periods (i.e., inventory tablets from Pylos, children's letters from Egypt, and medieval ballads) and studying developments in all aspects of the language from its sounds to its syntax. H. Dik. Spring.

29700/39700. Structure of Albanian (=EEUR 20900/30900, LGLN 29700/39700). This is a rare opportunity to get a functional grasp of one of the least-studied national languages of Europe. Albanian is of relevance for Indo-Europeanists, Balkanists, Classicists, Islamicists, and any social scientist with an interest in Southeastern Europe. In addition to being the majority language in Albania, it is spoken by compact populations in all neighboring countries, as well as by old enclaves in Italy, Croatia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Romania, and Ukraine, and by more recent emigre groups in Western Europe, North America, and Australia. The course focuses on giving students an understanding of the grammatical structure of Albanian as well as sufficient reading knowledge for the independent development of the ability to pursue research. V. Friedman. Spring.

34600-34700-34800. Elementary Hittite I, II, III (=HITT 22000-22100-22200, LGLN 34600-34700-34800). This three-quarter sequence covers the basic grammar and cuneiform writing system of the Hittite language. It also familiarizes the student with the field's tools (i.e., dictionaries, lexica, and sign list). Readings come from all periods of Hittite history (1650-1180 B.C.). T. van den Hout. Autumn, Winter, Spring.

American Sign Language

10100-10200-10300. American Sign Language I, II, III. American Sign Language is the language of the deaf in the United States and much of Canada. It is a full-fledged autonomous language, unrelated to English or other spoken languages. This introductory course teaches the student basic vocabulary and grammatical structure, as well as aspects of deaf culture. D. Ronchen. Autumn, Winter, Spring.

20100-20200-20300. Intermediate American Sign Language I, II, III. PQ: LGLN 10300. In this course we continue to increase grammatical structure, receptive and expressive skills, conversational skills, basic linguistic convergence, and knowledge of idioms. Field trip required. D. Ronchen. Autumn, Winter, Spring.

Indo-European Linguistics

20100/30100. Introduction to Indo-European Linguistics. PQ: Knowledge of at least one older Indo-European language. This course examines the fundamental principles of comparison and historical reconstruction based on Indo-European data. We survey older attested languages and evidence from the subgroups of Indo-European. We also provide a sketch of correspondences, pertinent rules, and resultant reconstructed structures. B. Darden. Autumn.


25200-25300-25400/35200-35300-35400. Swahili I, II, III. This course is designed to help students acquire communicative competence in Swahili and a basic understanding of its structures. Through a variety of exercises, the students develop both oral and writing skills. Staff. Autumn, Winter, Spring.