2020 Fall Courses

Through teaching, scholarship and research, the Department of Applied Linguistics strives to advance the understanding of human identity, lifespan development and life participation, as reflected in language patterns, first and subsequent language learning and language use.

“The horse raced past the barn fell”

Did that sentence give you pause? Language is full of puzzles that we may not fully appreciate until we stop to reflect.

  • Want to understand what makes the first sentence you read here a challenge to comprehend?
  • Interested in learning more about the intricacies of human language and in unravelling some of the numerous puzzles we encounter in linguistics?

In this course, students are introduced to each of the major subfields of linguistics including phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, and semantics. Students will learn to characterize the sounds and sound patterns of language, the structure and meanings of words and the relationships among them, and the rules and principles that govern the structure of sentences (including sentences like the one that began this paragraph).

This course provides the foundation for those keen to continue their study in linguistics in advanced areas such as first and subsequent language acquisition, language teaching, and communication disorders. It’s also a great stand-alone course for students from any of the many disciplines which informs, and is informed by, linguistics, including psychology, sociology, child and youth studies, literature, education, computer science, and communication sciences and disorders. If careers like language teaching, literary studies, translation, psycholinguistics, speech-language pathology, and audiology interest you, you’ll find that this course will introduce you to the critical concepts, while engaging you in exploring the fascinating structure of human language.

For non-linguistic majors, LING 1F25 is about how language works and how it is used.

This one-year course explores various topics about language (with a major focus on the English language), including its origin, nature, history, use and misuse in politics, business, media, and everyday life (including profanity!).

This course will enhance your awareness of language and encourage you to think critically and analytically about your own language use as well as how others use it – no prerequisites necessary.

Sociolinguists are interested in explaining why people speak differently in different social contexts.

They are also interested in the effect of social factors such as (social distance, social status, age, gender, class) on language varieties (dialects, registers, genres, etc), and they are concerned with identifying the social functions of language and the way they are used to convey social meanings.

The course will explain, for example, why humans move from one code (language, dialect, or style) to another during speech in order to signal solidarity, to reflect one’s ethnic identity, to show off, to hide some information from a third party etc.- no prerequisites necessary.

Between the ages one and three, children add about 1,000 words to their vocabularies.

  • How do they learn so many words so quickly?
  • When do children learn to say their first word?
  • Why do young children make the mistakes they do? (Why do they say: “I breaked it” “My feets” and “Where the little one is”?).
  • When should a child accurately produce all the sounds of a language (Say “cat” instead of “tat”?).
  • What kinds of things do adults do that support language learning?

In this course we explore theory, research and methods in early language development. We also examine the milestones in each linguistic domain – phonology (the sound system), morphology (word structure), syntax (sentence structure), semantics (word meaning), pragmatics (social language use). Special topics include: language acquisition in bilingual children and language acquisition in special populations (Down Syndrome, Hearing Impairment, Autism Spectrum Disorder). A culminating assignment allows students to analyze the language skills of a young child conversing with an adult.

This course is open to students who have completed LING 1P92 (Introduction to the Psychology of Language) or PSYC 1F90 (Foundations of Psychology) and is cross-listed for Child & Youth Studies and Psychology students. Some background in linguistics is recommended. Students who complete this course can also take the companion course LING 3P90: Child Language Disorders, offered in the Winter Term.