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Instructor Class Description

Time Schedule:

Laura Wilbur Mcgarrity
LING 200
Seattle Campus

Introduction to Linguistic Thought

Language as the fundamental characteristic of the human species; diversity and complexity of human languages; phonological and grammatical analysis; dimensions of language use; language and writing; impact of historical linguistics on contemporary theory. Not open for credit to students who have completed LING 201 or LING 400.

Class description

This course will introduce you to the field of linguistics, the scientific study and analysis of human language. The central goal of this course is to develop and understanding of what language is, how it is structured, and how it is represented in the mind. In this course, you will learn both about the diversity of human language as well as some of its universal characteristics.

The first half of the course will be devoted to surveying some of the core subfields of linguistics: phonetics (the study of the perception/production of speech sounds), phonology (the study of sound systems and patterns), morphology (the study of word formation and structure), and syntax (the study of sentence structure). In the latter part of the course, we will take and interdisciplinary approach to studying language and how it relates to other fields such as psychology, neurology, sociology, and the speech and hearing sciences.

Student learning goals

General method of instruction

Three large lectures (MWF) with two weekly discussion sections (TTH).

Recommended preparation

Required textbook: (2011) Language Files: Materials for an introduction to language and linguistics (11th ed.). Mihalicek & Wilson (eds). Columbus: Ohio State University Press.

Class assignments and grading


The information above is intended to be helpful in choosing courses. Because the instructor may further develop his/her plans for this course, its characteristics are subject to change without notice. In most cases, the official course syllabus will be distributed on the first day of class.
Last Update by Laura Wilbur Mcgarrity
Date: 10/31/2012