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Department Courses

LIN 510 - Introduction to First and Second Language Acquisition (3)

This course introduces students to the acquisition of a native language by young children (L1 acquisition) and acquisition of a second language after childhood (L2 acquisition). The first part of the course covers the important milestones of normal L1 development in phonology, morphology, syntax and pragmatics for both spoken and signed languages. The course then explores how delays in exposure affect the acquisition process, leading to the main topics of the second part of the course: critical period effects and L2 acquisition. Readings and discussion throughout the course will reflect the perspective that acquisition studies on a broad variety of languages, both signed and spoken, are crucial for developing accurate theories of language structure and use. Application of concepts from lectures and discussion is encouraged through student collection and analysis of L1 and L2 data.

  • Prerequisites: For UG students: LIN 101, 263, 301, 302; for Grad students: Permission of Instructor

LIN 521 - Introduction to Cognitive Linguistics (3)

This course is an introduction to the cognitivist approach to linguistics, in which language and thought are taken to be grounded in basic human experiences and to grow out of the nature of the physical brain and body. Unlike some linguistic approaches, cognitive linguistics treats form and meaning as interrelated on all levels of linguistic structure. Topics include conceptual blending, metaphor, depiction, frame semantics, human categorization, mental spaces, and cognitive/construction grammar.

  • Pre-requisties: LIN 101, 263

LIN 522 - Psycholinguistics of Sign Languages (3)

Deaf and hearing people around the world acquire, produce and perceive sign languages. This course takes an in-depth look at how they acquire, produce and perceive sign languages. Psycholinguistics generally covers three domains: acquisition, use (perception and production) and brain studies. This course focuses on perception and production, as well as brain studies (aka neurolinguistics). With respect to production, we will examine studies that focus on "slips of the hands", both spontaneous and induced. With respect to perception, we will look at both online and offline cases. For brain studies, we will discuss both behavioral and imaging studies.

  • Prerequisites: For UG students: LIN 101, 263, 301, 302; for Grad students: Permission of Instructor

LIN 537 - Iconicity and Depiction (3)

In this course, students are introduced to a descriptive framework with which to identify and analyze iconicity and depiction in ASL and other signed languages. The first part of the course focuses on depiction typology, covering role-shifting, constructed action and dialogue, classifier constructions/depicting verbs, aspectual constructions, metaphorical depictions, and other imagistic uses of space. In the second part of the course, we examine depiction in artistic and academic settings as well as in everyday conversations and narratives.

  • Prerequisites: LIN 101, graduate student status, or permission of the instructor.

LIN 541 - Introduction to Sociolinguistics (3)

Sociolinguistics is the discipline that studies the interaction of language and social life. This course will examine the major areas of sociolinguistics, including multilingualism, language contact, variation, language policy and planning and language attitudes. Methodological issues pertaining to the collection of sociolinguistic data will also be examined. The application of sociolinguistics to education, the law, medicine and sign language interpretation will be covered. All issues will be considered as they pertain to both spoken and signed languages.

  • Prerequisites: For UG students: LIN 101, 263, 301, 302; for Grad students: Permission of Instructor

LIN 543 - Bilingualism (3)

This course explores bilingualism, with a special emphasis on bilingualism in the Gallaudet community. We will examine the place of bilingualism and multilingualism in the world, both historically and currently; the linguistic structure and features of bilingualism; social constructions of bilingualism; the acquisition of bilinguality, from the perspectives of both first- and second language acquisition; and we will explore the functions and meanings of bilingualism in communities. For each topic, we will examine the current state of the field, first from the perspective of spoken language bilingualism and then from the perspective of signed language (mixed modality) bilingualism, with special emphasis on the situation at Gallaudet University.

  • Prerequisites: For UG students: LIN 101, 263, 301, 302; for Grad students: Permission of Instructor

LIN 585 - Prosody in Sign and Spoken Languages (3)

This course introduces students to the theories and methods of analyzing prosody in signed and spoken languages. These prosodic features play a critical role in human communication and have a wide range of functions, including expression at linguistic, attitudinal, affective and personal levels.

  • Prerequisites: For UG students: LIN 101, 263, 301, 302; for Grad students: Permission of Instructor

LIN 595 - Special Topics (1-3)

Grading System: letter grades only.

LIN 661 - Brief Introduction to the Structure of American Sign Language (1)

A survey of the major features of the linguistics structure and social uses of American Sign Language. The course will cover four major topics: (1) Phonology: The Study of the Raw Materials of Signs, an examination of the structure of the physical signals of ASL, the customary patterns for combining them, and influence of signs on one another in connected discourse; (2) Morphology; Building and Storing Words, the study of the basic meaningful units of ASL, including discussions of word creation, compounding, borrowing, affixation, and numeral incorporation. A discussion of the use of space in ASL, including an examination of verbs with subject and object agreement and of spatial-locative verbs; (3) Syntax: Building Sentences, the word order of ASL sentences, nonmanual syntactic signals, and discourse structures; and (4) Sociolinguistic Applications, a discussion of language variation and language contact in the deaf community.

LIN 662 - Survey of American Sign Language Phonology (1)

This course has four parts. Part one covers basic phonetic notation and includes practice in the phonetic description of lexical signs of ASL. This will include an examination of hand configurations, placements, orientations, nonmanual signals, and two-hand relationships. Part two deals with phonological processes, including movement epenthesis, hold deletion, metathesis, assimilation, location neutralization, and weak hand deletion. Part three examines phonotactic patterns within the lexicon of ASL, focusing on permissible combinations of phonetic elements. Part four considers the nature of phonological change and historical shifts in the structure of the lexicon.

LIN 663 - Morphology of ASL Verbs (1)

This course will focus on the use of space and the behavior of verbs that use space in meaningful ways in American Sign Language. Major topics will include an examination of the signing space and the four functions of a locus, syntactic versus topographical space, mental representations of space, identity shift, a detailed examination of indicating verbs, locative verbs, classifier predicates (including discussions of imagery, verb roots, categories of classifier handshapes, and types of representations), and aspectual inflections that operate by changing the movement of verbs in space.

LIN 664 - Survey of American Sign Language Syntax (1)

This course begins by examining the various roles of nonmanual signals within ASL grammar and ASL discourse. This leads to the role of nonmanual signs in helping to determine the structure of ASL sentences. Next, the course examines the order of constituents within ASL sentences, including topics and topicalization, subject pronoun copy, deletion of subjects and objects, and the placement of tense markers. The next section of the course focuses on the use of space in ASL discourse, verb classes based on how space is used, verb agreement, and conceptual mapping. The course concludes by examining subordination and specific types of ASL syntactic structures including relative clauses, conditional clauses, and related constructions.

LIN 665 - Sociolinguistics of the Deaf Community (1)

This course provides an overview of the major areas of sociolinguistics and of current sociolinguistic thinking, with a focus on the Deaf community. It begins with an introduction to the field, followed by a look at bilingualism and language contact phenomena, including lexical borrowing, code-switching, code-mixing, diglossia, pidgins, and creoles. Following this look at intralanguage phenomena, the focus turns to the internal and external constraints upon them. Discourse analysis is then examined, with a focus on language and social interaction and the structure of conversations. Language attitudes are then discussed, followed by a look at language policy and planning.

LIN 670 - Introduction to First Language Acquisition by Children (1)

This course introduces students to the processes by which children acquire their first language, focusing on the major milestones of phonological and syntactic development. Children everywhere accomplish the task of learning their native language by the age of 5. They succeed despite the cognitive limitations of their age and follow the same general patterns of development regardless of what language they are learning. The efficiency with which children acquire language suggests some degree of innate linguistic knowledge, or a 'anguage instinct.' This course will overview some of the major research discoveries of how children combine this language instinct with information provided by the environment to acquire their native language. Course topics will include babbling and early phonetic development by infants, acquisition of word order, questions, and word meanings. A final segment of the course will explore the acquisition of sign languages and the ways in which deaf children's signing development parallels that of spoken language in hearing children.

LIN 671 - Introduction to Acquisition of Sign Language (1)

Modern linguistic theory, traditionally based on research conducted on spoken languages, has benefited greatly from recent linguistic investigation of sign languages. Findings of similarities between spoken and sign languages reaffirm their equivalent status as fully natural languages, while differences point to areas where existing theory must be expanded. This course introduces students to the acquisition of ASL as a first language by deaf children and the unique contributions this research makes to general theories of language development. As background preparation, we will begin with a broad overview of important milestones in the acquisition of spoken language by hearing children. This will be followed by a short discussion on the effects of modality (oral/aural vs. gestural/visual) on the acquisition process. The remaining two-thirds of the class will be devoted to language development in the gestural/visual modality. Readings and lectures will center on the acquisition of phonology and selected syntactic phenomena, including nonmanuals and questions. The course will end with a discussion of delayed exposure to sign language and its effects on acquisition, a topic of great importance to the field of Deaf education.

  • Prerequisite: LIN 670

LIN 695 - Special Topics (1-3)

Grading System: letter grades or pass/fail at the option of the instructor.

LIN 699 - Independent Study (1-3)

Grading System: letter grades or pass/fail at the option of the instructor. Individualized course of study focusing on particular problem not covered in regular courses.

  • Prerequisite: Appropriate level of matriculation, permission of instructor and Special Independent Study Form.

LIN 701 - Phonology I (4)

An introduction to the principles of linguistic study, with a concentrated focus on phonology and phonological theory as applied to English and ASL. Topics will include: phonetics, phonemics, phonological processes, syllables and syllabification, distinctive features, phonological rules, and an overview of current phonological theory.

  • Co-requisites: First year Linguistics MA courses (LIN 702 and LIN 721), or permission of instructor.

LIN 702 - Generative Linguistics I (4)

This course provides an introduction to generative linguistics and principles of syntactic argumentation within the generative tradition. Topics include Parts of Speech, Phrase Structure rules, X-bar rules, the role of the Lexicon, and various types of syntactic movement related to verbal morphology, questions and passive constructions. The course focuses initially on English and other spoken languages, but also includes application to ASL towards the end of the course.

  • Co-requisite: first semester Linguistics MA courses or permission of instructor.

LIN 703 - Proseminar (1)

This course will introduce students to the profession of linguistics, its history and subfields, as well as the research specializations of department faculty. Students will also receive general training in a variety of skills relevant to graduate studies in linguistics, such as technical writing, using library resources to locate literature, using computer and editing techniques needed for carrying out sign linguistics projects, and applying for research grants and IRB approval for student research projects.

  • co-requisite: first semester Linguistics MA courses or permission of instructor.

LIN 705 - Introduction to Language and Communication (3)

A comprehensive introduction to the science of language and communication. Topics include an introduction to levels of language and language study, language variation, discourse analysis, language in context, communication process models, cross-cultural communication; language issues in social stratification, and a brief introduction to the academic study of translation and interpretation. In conjunction with the lectures, students will spend at least seven hours observing situations where interpreting occurs.

  • Prerequisite: permission of the instructor
  • Course Fee: $0.00

LIN 707 - The Structure of Language: English and American Sign Language (4)

A comprehensive introduction to the linguistic structures of English and American Sign Language. Topics include phonetics and phonemics; phonological processes; the identification, structure, and distribution of morphemes; principles of syntactic argumentation; detailed examination of the major syntactic structures of English and ASL; and the place of phonology, morphology, and syntax in terms of the larger context of grammar.

  • Course Fee: $0.00

LIN 721 - Cognitive Linguistics I (4)

This is the first of a three-course sequence focusing on a cognitive linguistics approach to ASL. The course begins with a discussion of cognitive linguistic tenets, including (a) the view that meaning is grounded in bodily experience and (b) the view that lexicon and grammar consist of form-meaning pairing with varying degrees of abstraction and complexity. This discussion provides a theoretical background with which to investigate iconic and metaphorical expressions in ASL using previously developed cognitive linguistic models as well as standard linguistic concerns, including grammatical classes (e.g. noun and verb categories) and complex expressions (e.g. certain words and phrases) in ASL. While much of the course content will involve data from English and other languages, the primary focus will be on ASL.

  • Co-requisites: LIN 701, 702 or permission of instructor.

LIN 731 - Phonology II (3)

This course builds on foundational material presented in Phonology I. Students will investigate the phonological structure of signs in American Sign Language. Part one (I) presents a comparison of notation systems for signs and provides extensive training in sign notation. Part two (II) deals with phonological contrast. Part three (III) is concerned with the phonotactic properties of lexical signs. Part four (IV) deals with phonological processes and historical change.

  • pre-requisite: LIN 701 or permission of instructor.
  • Course Fee: $0.00

LIN 732 - Cognitive Linguistics II (3)

This course is a continuation of LIN 721. Examination of morphology, syntax, and discourse in ASL from the perspective of cognitive grammar, based in part on related insights on spoken language structure. The course is an in-depth examination of the cognitive linguistic approach to the structure of words and larger constructions, with primary focus on ASL. Topics include compounding, affixation, numeral incorporation, reduplication, depicting verbs, aspectual constructions, grammatical relations, topic marking, and complex sentences.

  • Prerequisite: LIN 721 or permission of instructor
  • Course Fee: $0.00

LIN 733 - Generative Linguistics II (3)

This course builds on foundational material presented in Generative Linguistics I and extends them to the study of ASL and other sign languages. Lectures include continued opportunity for hands-on practice in deriving various syntactic structures, and also develop students' abilities to independently read and understand articles in generative linguistics.

  • Prerequisite: LIN 702 or permission of instructor
  • Course Fee: $0.00

LIN 741 - Sociolinguistics in Deaf Communities (3)

An examination of the theories and principles of sociolinguistics with specific reference to sign languages and Deaf communities around the world. Topics include multilingualism, bilingualism, and language contact, variation, discourse analysis, language policy and planning and language attitudes.

  • pre-requisite: All first year Linguistics MA courses or by permission of instructor.
  • Course Fee: $0.00

LIN 745 - Languages and Cultures in Deaf Communities (3)

This course explores the relationships between language and culture from an anthropological and sociolinguistic point of view. Students are introduced to various approaches to qualitative analysis as research tools for understanding the interplay between language and culture in the Deaf community in which they participate.

  • pre-requisite: All first year Linguistics MA courses or by permission of instructor.

LIN 750 - Research Methods in Linguistics (3)

Guided fieldwork experience in ASL linguistics with emphasis on data gathering and analysis. Students select research topics within a specific domain of ASL established by the instructor, conduct a literature review, gather data, perform analyses of the data, and prepare a formal written report.

  • Prerequisite: LIN 732.

LIN 763 - American Sign Language Structure for Professionals in Deaf Education (3)

A survey of the major features of the linguistic structure and social uses of American Sign Language. The course will cover four major topics: 1) Phonology, an examination of the structure of the physical signals of ASL, the customary patterns for combining them, and the influence of signs on one another in connected discourse; 2) Morphology, the study of the basic meaningful units of ASL, including discussions of word creation, compounding, borrowing, affixation, reduplication, temporal and distributional aspect, numeral incorporation, and a discussion of the use of space in ASL, including an examination of verbs with subject and object agreement and of spatial-locative verbs; 3) Syntax, an examination of the word order of ASL sentences, nonmanual syntactic signals, and discourse structures; and 4) Sociolinguistic Applications, a discussion of language variation and language contact in the Deaf community and of language issues in deaf education in the United States.

LIN 771 - Field Methods (4)

This course will provide students with experience in gathering and analyzing data from a sign language other than ASL. The particular language selected will vary from year to year, with preference given to under-investigated sign languages. Students will study the lexicon, phonology, morphology, and syntax of this language; each student will focus on one topic for an in-depth research project.

  • pre-requisite: all first year Linguistics MA courses

    co-requisite: LIN 733

LIN 795 - Special Topics (1-3)

Grading System: letter grades only.

  • Course Fee: $0.00

LIN 799 - Independent Study (1-3)

Grading System: letter grades only. Individualized course of study focusing on particular problem not covered in regular courses.

  • Prerequisite: Appropriate level of matriculation, permission of instructor and Special Independent Study Form.

LIN 801 - Phonology III (3)

This course is an advanced seminar focusing on phonological theory, building on foundational material presented in Phonology I and Phonology II. Topics will vary depending upon current developments in phonological theory, focusing on both spoken and signed languages.

  • Pre-requisite: LIN 731

LIN 802 - Generative Linguistics III (3)

This course is an advanced seminar focusing on generative approaches to syntactic theory, building on foundational material presented in Generative Syntax I and Generative Syntax II. Topics will vary depending upon current developments in syntactic theory, focusing on both spoken and signed languages.

  • pre-requisite: LIN 733

LIN 803 - Dissertation Concept Paper (3)

This course serves as a transition from students' preparatory coursework to their dissertation proposal. Students will complete a concept paper that identifies research questions for their dissertation and the key concepts that underlie those research questions. The concept paper also identifies the theoretical framework(s) to be adopted for research and discusses previous literature assumed as background information.

  • Prerequisite: Successful completion of both semesters of LIN 880 Guided Research Project, including production of the Guided Research Paper.

LIN 811 - First Language Acquisition (3)

This course examines general issues in first language acquisition, focusing on the period from birth to five years. It includes critical review of literature on phonological, lexical, morphological and syntactic development for both signed and spoken first languages, from both nativist and usage-based theoretical perspectives.

  • pre-requisite: all first year Linguistics MA courses plus LIN 741, or permission of instructor.

LIN 812 - Second Language Acquisition (3)

This course will review current theory and research in second language acquisition (SLA) from linguistic and psychological perspectives, focusing on the influences of various theoretical models. Students will be introduced to the principal areas of SLA research and the major methodologies available for their study. Course material will focus on acquisition of a spoken second language, but also discuss recent studies and analyze data related to second language acquisition of a sign language.

  • pre-requisite: all first year Linguistics MA courses plus LIN 741, or permission of instructor.

LIN 822 - Brain and Language (3)

This seminar will review the literature on the neurological bases for language. Particular attention will be given to the relationship between spatial ability and linguistic ability. Models developed based on spoken-language data will be critiqued in light of data from sign languages, as production and processing of signing requires interaction of linguistic and spatial skills on several levels. Sign language data will be used to evaluate the traditional model of brain hemispheric specialization, where linguistic skills are lateralized on the left and spatial skills on the right.

LIN 824 - Introduction to Mental Space Theory (3)

A seminar focusing on mental space theory. Topics include introductory concepts in cognitive grammar, conceptual space, space builders, cross-space mappings, metaphor, analogy, metonymy, blended mental spaces, grammar, and meaning construction.

LIN 827 - Cognitive Linguistics III (3)

This seminar is the third course in the Cognitive Linguistic sequence of courses in the graduate linguistics program (the first two being LIN 721 and LIN 732). Possible major topics include cognitive grammar, cognitive semantics, conceptual blending, constructional grammar, embodiment, depiction, mental spaces, metaphor, metonymy, and the usage-based approach to language.

  • pre-requisite: LIN 732

LIN 841 - Discourse Analysis (3)

The focus of this course is a comparison among six dominant approaches to the analysis of discourse: pragmatics, speech act theory, conversational analysis, interactional sociolinguistics, ethnography of communication, and variation analysis, with close examination of different kinds of sign language discourse.

  • pre-requisite: all first year Linguistics MA courses, or permission of instructor

LIN 842 - Discourse Analysis: Conversation (3)

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to theories and methods of discourse analysis. This is a companion course, not a sequel, to Discourse Analysis: Narrative. Whereas Discourse Analysis: Narrative is concerned with discourse produced primarily by one speaker. Discourse Analysis: Conversation is concerned with dialogic or multi-party discourse.

  • pre-requisite: all first year Linguistics MA courses, or permission of instructor

LIN 843 - Discourse Analysis: Narrative (3)

The purpose of this course is to introduce students to theories and methods of discourse analysis. Narrative is chosen for study because it is primarily monologic (at least in U.S. culture) as distinct from dialogic or multi-party discourse which is covered in Discourse Analysis: Conversation. This course will focus on the analysis of ASL narratives.

  • pre-requisite: all first year Linguistics MA courses, plus LIN 741, or permission of the instructor

LIN 850 - Historical Linguistics (3)

This course focuses on language change. Topics include language families, methods of comparative reconstruction, phonological change, semantic change, and grammaticalization. We will evaluate the features of sign language in light of their relatively young age, and compare them to other "new" languages such as creoles. Attention will be paid to methods of historical reconstruction for languages that have not been written down in the past.

LIN 855 - Language Typology (3)

In this course we survey the range of variation among world languages, both spoken and signed. Topics include tense/aspect systems, modals, representations of spatial concepts, and word order, as well as a consideration of potential universals specific to sign languages.

LIN 860 - Language Variation (3)

An examination of analytical methods used in the study of variation and change in language structure and use, with a focus on sign language variation. Practice in the exploratory analysis and interpretation of sociolinguistics and discourse data, and introduction to quantitative tools, including the Varbrul program.

  • pre-requisite: all first year Linguistics MA courses plus LIN 741, or permission of instructor.

LIN 880 - Guided Research Project (3)

This course is required to be taken twice, beginning in the fall semester of students' first year in the Ph.D. program and continuing into the following spring semester. Students will design and conduct an independent research project under the guidance of a faculty member. Course requirements include a final paper and the following components, as applicable: development of an appropriate research plan, completion of the IRB human subjects review, and collection and analysis of data.

  • Prerequisite: Acceptance to Ph.D. program

LIN 890 - Dissertation Proposal Development (3)

In this course, students will develop their dissertation proposal, producing a research plan for answering the research questions posed in their Concept Paper. Emphasis will be on defining a project of appropriate scope, extending the literature review and selecting an appropriate research design and methodology. Students will meet regularly with their dissertation advisor for guidance and discussion, but are expected to pursue the bulk of the work independently.

  • Prerequisites: Successful completion of LIN 741, LIN 801, LIN 802, LIN 803, LIN 827, completion of Qualifying Paper, and passing score on Field Exam.

LIN 895 - Special Topics (1-3)

Grading System: letter grades only.

LIN 899 - Independent Study (1-3)

Grading System: letter grades only. Individualized course of study focusing on particular problem not covered in regular courses.

  • Prerequisite: Appropriate level of matriculation, permission of instructor and Special Independent Study Form.

LIN 900 - Dissertation Research (1-9)

This course is for ABD students conducting any aspect of their dissertation research and writing.

  • Prerequisite: Doctoral students in linguistics who have advanced to candidacy for the Ph.D. degree.
 
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