Fall 2009 Course Schedule
Download the (tentative) course schedule in PDF
79100 Field Syntax + lab
Monday 2:00 - 4:00 pm, 3 credits, Prof Kaufman
In this course we investigate the syntax of three endangered and under- described languages with the help of native speakers. We seek to properly document, describe and begin accounting for the syntactic structures involved in complementation, question formation, relative clause formation and case/agreement facts among other phenomena in the relevant languages. In addition to syntactic topics, techniques of language documentation and syntax fieldwork are also covered. Each student group focuses on a single language and meets weekly with native speakers for data gathering and consultation.
Students must also register for the following 1 credit lab section:
In this section we will be conducting field work with native speakers and gathering data to be discussed and analyzed in class. Techniques for audio recording in the field will also be covered. Meeting days and time will be announced at the first class.
Registration for this lab will be done via registration for an Independent Study (1 credit) course with Prof. Gita Martohardjono. Please contact Nishi for the course registration number.
82100 QP 1 Workshop
Monday 4:15 - 6:15 pm, 3 credits, Prof Fodor
There is no pre-established syllabus for this course. Each student will work out their own program of consultation, literature search and writing, to achieve their aims for the semester. Students will identify published papers to serve as a model for their QP, and will provide feedback for each other on their early drafts. Class participation is essential.
Please come to the first class prepared to report on how far along in your planning or writing you are, and to explain what kinds of assistance you will need during the semester. It is not a problem if you are only just beginning to think about your QP, but be ready to start thinking now!
There is no obligatory textbook, but you may find some useful tips in:
Projects in Linguistics (Second Edition)
Authors: Alison Wray, Kate Trott and Aileen Bloomer
ISBN13: 9780340905784ISBN10: 0340905786 paper, 320 pages
Price: $35.00 (06) A Hodder Arnold Publication Oxford University Press
79300 Introduction to Spanish Phonology
Monday 4:15 - 6:15 pm, 3 credits, Prof Otheguy
The course offers in-depth study of the phonological system of Spanish, seen in the context of the major functional approaches to the study of sound systems. Students will learn about the organizational structure of sound in several varieties of Spanish, and will place Spanish phonological patterns in the context of generalizations and constraints on the likely, possible and impossible types of organizations of sound in languages of the world. Phonemic inventories, permissible syllable structures, markedness, and variable processes of assimilation and deletion will receive special attention. Usage-based phonology and its application to Spanish will be one of the main theoretical paradigms that will serve to organize the presentations. Classes will be conducted in Spanish. Class participation and written work can be in Spanish or English.
78000 Corpus Analysis
Monday 6:30 - 8:30 pm, 3 credits, Prof Chodorow
This course will introduce students to the statistical methods most often used to analyze categorical, ordinal, and interval data in computational linguistics, psycholinguistics, and sociolinguistics. Topics will include descriptive statistics, correlation, regression, analysis of variance, logistic regression, and non-parametric tests. In the practicum for the course, students will use the statistical packages SPSS and R to analyze data representing a variety of linguistic phenomena.
Johnson, K. (2008) Quantitative Methods in Linguisics. Blackwell. ISBN 978-1-4051-4425-4
Field, A. (2009). Discovering statistics using SPSS (3rd edition). Los Angeles, CA: Sage. ISBN 978-1847879073
Additional readings from research articles.
73700 Corpus Analysis Practicum
Wednesday 6:30 - 8:30 pm, 3 credits, Prof Chodorow
79200 Semantics of Imaginative Discourse
Tuesday 2:00 - 4:00 pm, 3 credits, Prof Orenstein
The course will be organized about four topics. What is fiction? Can there be a systematic account of how our imaginings about a work of fiction are generated? What is the sematic/ontological status of objects peculiar to fiction such as Emma Bovary and Lilliput.? What are the issues in formulating a correct theory of metaphor? We will concentrate on current research in the semantics and pragmatics of fiction and metaphor.
1.) The nature of fiction. Walton characterizes fiction in terms of a propositional attitude involved in its uptake. Currie, in opposition to writers such as Walton and Searle, relies heavily on a Gricean model of communication according to which fiction emerges as a speech act.
2.) How can something be "true in the story" when it is not explicitly stated in the text? Thus, nowhere in the text of Madame Bovary is it actually stated either that her husband had two legs or that he ate pizza, yet the first is sanctioned by the text and the second isn't. We will consider David Lewis's classic piece "Truth in Fiction" in which he develops two principles for settling such questions. Walton and Currie contribute significantly to the discussion. Walton argues that there can be no satisfactory principles for generating such "fictional truths", while Currie making use of Gricean intentions and themes from the logic of belief sentences provides the most refined version of such a principle in the literature.
3.) What is the correct semantics for fictional names e.g., "Emma Bovary"? Are there fictional characters as the semantic values of such names, and if so, are they best thought of in terms of possible world semantics [Kripke maintains that fictional objects don't merely happen not to exist, but that they could not possibly exist], Meinongian semantics, or in some other way?
4.) The question of which semantic framework is right for figurative language, such as irony and metaphor, will be dealt with in the last section of the course. Here we will discuss the views of Searle, Davidson, Fogelin, and Lakoff among others. Some texts: Gregory Currie, The Nature of Fiction, Cambridge Univ. Press, 1990 Kendalll Walton, Mimesis as Make-Believe; On the Foundations of the Representational Arts, Harvard Univ. Press, 1990. Robert J. Fogelin, Figuratively Speaking, Yale Univ. Press, 1986. Steven Davis ed. Pragmatics, Oxford University Press, 1991 Papers by John Searle, Peter Strawson, Gareth Evans, Notes from Kripke's Lectures on Fiction, David Lewis, Donald Davidson etc.
70100 Introduction to Theoretical Linguistics
Tuesday 4:15 - 6:15 pm, 3 credits, Profs Bradley & Fiengo
73800 Introduction to Theoretical Linguistics Practicum
Friday 4:15 - 6:15 pm, 3 credits, Profs Bradley & Fiengo
86600 Languages in Contact
Tuesday 4:15 - 6:15 pm, 3 credits, Prof Otheguy
The construct ‘languages in contact’ has long-served as the explanation for differences observed between a language as it is spoken in bilingual or multilingual communities and the same language when spoken in monolingual settings. Establishing that these differences in fact exist, that they represent grammatical as opposed to usage changes, and that they can confidently be attributed to cross-linguistic influences are all contested territory. Taking a sociolinguistic approach, the course will investigate these and other issues in language contact theory, such as whether syntax is impermeable to contact; whether contact-induced change always results in simplification; whether frequency changes in form usage should count as evidence of contact; whether one can distinguish between contact change and incomplete acquisition; and whether the outcome of creolization is typologically different from that of other forms of contact. Related to language contact, issues of dialect leveling will be covered. Course work will involve class presentations, a term paper, and a final examination.
79500 Perception and Production
Tuesday 4:15 - 6:15 pm, 3 credits, Profs Strange & Martin
There is a growing research literature on speech perception and production in non-optimal conditions with speakers and listeners who have hearing impairment, who are not native speakers of the language, or who are developing native language perception skills. This seminar will compare and contrast research on how speakers adjust their output when talking to these groups of listeners (“clear” vs. conversational speech, infant/child directed vs. adult directed speech, speech produced in noisy environments) and how perceptual performance changes as a function of this coordination between speaker and listener. Implications for general theories of speech perception and production will be discussed and students will propose a research project in one of the areas covered in the seminar.
70500 Second Language Acquisition
Wednesday 2:00 - 4:00 pm, 3 credits, Prof Klein
This course is an introduction to second language acquisition (L2A or SLA), examining some of the fundamental issues in the field. These include: Differences between first (L1) and L2 acquisition, the nature and development of second language grammars, the role of prior linguistic experiences in non-native acquisition, and some of the individual factors affecting variability and differential attainment across child and adult learners, including cognitive and input factors, as well as the biological factor of age in the form of the Critical Period Hypothesis. Various theoretical models of SLA will be discussed, with focus on the UG model of acquisition and how it compares to other SLA models. Throughout the course, we will look critically at the design, methodology and results of SLA studies that test hypotheses related to the fundamental issues that we examine. Importantly, students will indicate their understanding of the course material by collecting data from an L2 learner and developing a case study related to an issue in the field.
79400 Brain and Language
Wednesday 2:00 - 4:00 pm, 3 credits, Prof Obler
In this class we start out reviewing classic theory, reading translations of late 19th and early 20th century localizationist (e.g., Broca, Wernicke, Lichtheim,) and holist (e.g., Hughlings Jackson) authors before turning to late 20th and 21st century imaging work (especially fMRI and ERP) to see how it expands classic understanding of brain bases for language.
72100 Syntax I
Wednesday 4:15 - 6:15 pm, 3 credits, Prof Tortora
This course provides an introduction to Principles and Parameters Theory (P&P). A relatively recent development within the framework of Chomsky’s Generative Grammar, P&P intends to account for cross-linguistic syntactic variation by pursuing the idea that a pre-determined set of principles underlies the grammars of all languages; the apparent differences we see among languages are the result of parameter settings. Although we will examine similarities and differences between languages, English (and other European languages) will be a main point of reference in our understanding of the theory. This course will also train the student to "do" syntax and to become proficient at engaging in syntactic argumentation.
73600 Syntax I Practicum
Monday, 4:15 - 6:15 pm, 3 credits, Prof Tortora
79400 Normativity and Ideology in Spanish
Wednesday 6:30 - 8:30 pm, 3 credits, Prof Delvalle
This seminar will introduce students to classical and post-modern theories of language standardization (Haugen 1972, Kaplan & Baldauf, Lara 1976, Joseph 1987, Cameron 1995, Milroy & Milroy 1999, Del Valle 2007) and review the emergence of studies on language ideologies from within the fields of linguistic historiography (Joseph & Taylor 1991, Del Valle & Gabriel-Stheeman 2004, Arnoux & Bein 1999, Arnoux 2008) and linguistic anthropology (Schieffelin, Woolard & Kroskrity 1998, Kroskrity 2000, Blommaert 1999). As we unfold this theoretical landscape, we will review the historical development of standard Spanish and focus mostly on its post-colonial codification and elaboration as well as on the struggles over control of its symbolic status. We will examine the role played in these processes by a series of key intellectual figures as well as central institutions: Andrés Bello, Rufino José Cuervo, Miguel Antonio Caro, the Royal Spanish Academy, the Association of Academies of the Spanish Language, Ramón Menéndez Pidal and the Madrid School of Spanish Philology among others.
The class will be conducted in Spanish although students may participate and write papers in both Spanish and English.
71400 Phonology II
Thursday 2:00 - 4:00 pm, 3 credits, Prof Bradley
79500 Statistical Natural Language Processing
Friday 11:45 am - 1:45 pm, 3 credits, Prof Heng
78100 Methods in Computational Linguistics I
Friday 2:00 - 4:00 pm, 3 credits, Prof Sakas
This is the first of a two-part course sequence to train students with a linguistics background in the core methodologies of computational linguistics. Successful completion of this two-course sequence will enable students to take graduate-level elective courses in computational linguistics; both courses offered by the Graduate Center's Linguistics Program, as well as courses offered by the Computer Science Program. This course [as the first part--Methods in Computational Linguistics I—of the new two-part sequence] will introduce computer programming at a level that will allow students to begin building computer applications that address various computational linguistic tasks. No previous programming experience is required. The programming language we will use is Perl. We begin by learning the syntax of Perl and how to program generally; we then focus specifically on linguistic applications.
73900 Methods in Computational Linguistics I Practicum
Friday 9:30 - 11:00 am, 3 credits, Prof Sakas