Spring 2011 Course Schedule
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74200 Semantics II
Monday, 2:00 - 4:00 PM, 3 credits, Prof. William McClure
86100 Second Language and Loanword Phonology
Monday, 4:15 - 6:15 PM, 3 credits, Prof. Dianne Bradley
72300 Semantics I
Monday, 6:30-8:30 PM, 3 credits, Prof. William McClure
An introduction to Montague semantics, also known as model-theoretic semantics or truth conditional semantics. The course covers some of the philosophical background as well as the intersection of semantics with syntax and pragmatics. Specific topics include: definitions of truth, predicate logic, quantification, and intensionality. The course assumes a bit of syntax but no mathematical or logical background. The text is Meaning and Grammar, 2nd edition (Chierchia and McConnell-Ginet, MIT Press). Students will also be encouraged to look at Logic, Language, and Meaning (L T F Gamut, Chicago Press) as well as other texts. The course is evaluated with a series of assignments during the semester (50%) and a final take-home assignment (50%)
70200 Historical Linguistics
Tuesday, 11:45am - 1:45 PM, 3 credits, Prof. Juliette Blevins
Historical linguistics is the study of language change. In this course we survey change at phonetic, phonological, morphological, lexical, syntactic, and semantic levels, present and practice methods of historical reconstruction, explore relationships between variation and change, study change in the context of language contact, language birth and language death, and explore new methods in comparative linguistics. Though this is an introductory graduate course, students should have some background in basic descriptive linguistics.
The textbook for the course is Lyle Campbell (2004). Historical Linguistics, 2nd Edition: An Introduction. ISBN-10: 0262532670 , ISBN-13: 978-0262532679
71300 Phonology I
Tuesday, 2-4 PM, 3 credits, Prof. Juliette Blevins
This course, assuming no more than general familiarity with phonological concepts, offers an intensive introduction to the formal apparatus of modern generative phonology, with an emphasis on the development of fluency in analyzing phonological data. The presentation of material in class therefore assumes concurrent registration in the associated practicum (Phonology I Practicum).
The basics of phonological description and theory -- inventories, distinctive features, natural classes, alternations, levels of representation, rule or constraint formulation -- are first introduced within the linear framework of classic generative phonology. With these basics in place, we motivate additions to the formalism -- feature geometry, autosegmental architecture, notions of underspecification, metrical representation -- in terms of their better capture of typologically common phonological phenomena. Finally, we review an altogether different analytic framework, Optimality Theory.
79100 Anaphora, Scope, and De Se Belief
Tuesday, 4:15-6:15 PM, 3 credits, Profs. Robert Fiengo and Richard Mendelsohn
We will cover the standard literature in both linguistics and philosophy that grounds our understanding of reference, coreference, binding, scope, anaphora, and the propositional attitudes, drawing from Castaneda, Chomsky, Evans, Fiengo and May, Fine, Frege, Geach, Heim, Kamp, Kaplan, Kripke, Lasnik, Lewis, Perry, and Russell. Among the goals of the seminar will be to reach a clear characterization of de se belief attribution.
On one characterization of the problem, it appears that there are beliefs about an individual that only that individual can have. In English these are expressed by sentences such as Mary wants to win, and, on one understanding, John thinks he is foolish. Current theories of anaphora about to the behavior of the element 'PRO' that appears in the former sentence, and the pronoun 'he' that appears in the latter are not adequate to capture de se attribution.
This raises some very general concerns. Are all facts about the world expressed in purely general terms, as Frege, Russell and Wittgenstein have held? Or are there some facts that cannot be expressed in general terms? David Lewis is among those who held the latter view, and he introduced the term de se for just such attributions to oneself. The issue has been a central concern in philosophy of language and metaphysics for half a century. In linguistics, the notions of anaphora, coreference, and binding play a central theoretical role, and the parallel question posed is whether so-called de se attributions are handled purely within the referential apparatus by PRO, and other pronouns, or whether a special Fregean mode of presentation for the individual needs to be invoked. We present and utilize tools from each of the two disciplines to tackle this shared problem.
85100 Phonology and Speech Perception
Wednesday, 2:00 - 4:00 PM, 3 credits, Prof. Kathleen Hall
In this course, we will examine how speech perception affects phonological structure and how phonological structure is reflected in speech perception. Examples of the former include the idea that phonological features reflect quantal perceptual spaces (e.g., Stevens); theories of vowel dispersion in which inventories are thought to make maximal use of perceptual space (e.g., Lindblom, Flemming, Padgett); theories of sound change in which perception is thought to drive phonological changes (e.g., Ohala); and other more general theories in which phonological representations are thought to be affected by the perceptual filter (e.g., Steriade, Hume & Johnson, etc.). Examples of the latter include literature in second / foreign language acquistion in which it is shown that the phonological structure of one's first / native language affects the acquisition of second language phonological structures (e.g., Werker, Strange, Best, Flege, etc.) and evidence from native language perception tasks in which it is shown that language users perceive the same acoustic signal differently depending on their native language or that phonological structures have perceptual correlates (e.g., Jaeger, Werker, Whalen, Kazanina, Boomershine, etc.).
Wednesday, 4:15-6:15 PM, 3 credits, Prof. Marcel den Dikken
This course will offer a comprehensive overview of the major theories of morphology in the field, with particular reference to the interfaces between morphology and phonology, and between morphology and syntax. Starting out from the debates between strong and weak lexicalism (culminating in Chomsky's 1970 'Remarks on nominalization') and the classic Kiparskian level-ordered morphology/phonology model, the course will work its way to current theories of morphology, including Anderson's (1992) 'a-morphous morphol¬ogy', Aronoff's (1994) 'morphology by itself' and Halle & Marantz's (1993) 'distributed morphology', as well as approaches to morphology which deny morphology independent status as a module of the theory and perform both inflectional and derivational word formation in the syntax (the strongly non-lexicalist model of Baker 1988), and the revival of strong lexicalism in Chomsky's (1995) minimalism. Students registering for this course are expected to have successfully completed their coursework for Syntax I (LING 72100), but no prior knowledge of phonology or more advanced syntax will be presupposed. As textbooks providing background reading on morphological theory and the issues in the interfaces between morphology and syntax/phonology, Spencer (1991) and Aronoff & Fudeman (2004) may be consulted. Literature
Aronoff, Mark & Kirsten Fudeman (2004). What is Morphology? Oxford: Blackwell.
Spencer, Andrew (1991). Morphological Theory. Oxford: Blackwell. II. Primary literature
Anderson, Stephen (1992). A-Morphous Morphology. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Aronoff, Mark (1976). Word Formation in Generative Grammar. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Aronoff, Mark (1994). Morphology by Itself: Stems and Inflectional Classes. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.
Baker, Mark (1988). Incorporation. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.
Chomsky, Noam (1970). Remarks on Nominalization. In R.A. Jacobs & P.S. Rosenbaum (eds), Readings in English Transformational Grammar. Waltham: Ginn & Co. 184–221.
Halle, Morris & Alec Marantz (1993). Distributed Morphology. In K. Hale & S.J. Keyser (eds), The View from Building 20. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press. 111–76.
Lapointe, Steven, Diane Brentari & Patrick Farrell (eds) (1998). Morphology and Its Relation to Phonology and Syntax. Stanford: CSLI Publications.
Spencer, Andrew & Arnold Zwicky (eds) (1998). The Handbook of Morphology. Oxford: Blackwell.
72200 Syntax II
Wednesday,6:30-8:30 PM, 3 credits, Prof. Marcel den Dikken
73600 Semantics I Practicum
Thursday, 11:45AM-1:45PM, 1 credit, Prof. William McClure
73700 Semantics II Practicum
Thursday, 11:45AM-1:45PM, 1 credit, Prof. William McClure
70600 Introduction to Psycholinguistics
Thursday 2:00 - 4:00 PM, 3 credits, Prof Bradley
This introductory course is designed for students in linguistics with no necessary background in experimental psychology. It is intended to acquaint them with the questions that psycholinguists ask about language phenomena, and the research techniques through which answers to those questions are pursued. It surveys current research and theory in human language processing, construed broadly.
The core concerns of psycholinguistics lie in the mechanisms by which speaker-hearers deploy their abstract knowledge of a language's grammar to produce the remarkably fluent performance that characterizes everyday language use. And, since our uses of language routinely invoke our construal of an external world, we concern ourselves also with how the language faculty interfaces with other cognitive domains. We focus primarily on the variety of mental structures and processes supporting the adult monolingual speaker's primary language behaviors -- comprehension and production -- and on the coordination of these processes in real time. This provides the basis for considering illustrative examples of performance in, e.g., bilingual speakers.
Every class emphasizes the issues of experimental design and method that are standard in research gathering evidence about language behaviors. The aim is to equip students for careful and considered reading of current research reports in the field, and to build towards the skills set required for conducting their own research projects.
Assigned Reading There is no prescribed textbook for the course. Instead, readings are assigned to accompany each class throughout the semester; these are made available through the E-Reserves webpage for the course. Typically, there is one obligatory reading plus at least one optional reading in support of each meeting of the class.
Course Assessment Regular (short) writing assignments, plus final term-paper on a topic approved by the instructor.
83600 Language Technology
Friday, 11:45am-1:45pm, 3 credits, Prof. Matt Huenerfauth
Applications of speech and language processing are found everywhere today. Automated telephone systems, for example, incorporate voice recognition and synthesis. This seminar will explore how computers deal with natural language in such areas as speech recognition, speech generation, and machine translation. Intended as an introduction to the field, the course will survey a range of methodologies in speech and language processing and will cover the basic components of natural language systems, including the lexicon, syntax and parsing, semantic analysis and representation, discourse processing, and pragmatics.
73900 Syntax II Practicum
Friday, 2:00-4:00 PM, Prof. Marcel den Dikken
83800 Methods in Computational Linguistics II
Friday, 4:15 -6:15 PM, 3 credits, Prof. Heng Ji
This is the second 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 are offered by the Graduate Center's Linguistics Program, as well as courses offered by the Computer Science Program. This course (Methods in Computational Linguistics II) will provide training in: the use of computational libraries built specifically for computational linguistics, the techniques used in performing computational analyses of electronic natural language corpora, and the foundational mathematics, probabilistic methods and statistics that are the backbone of modern computational linguistics. The course will go significantly beyond a survey of these topics. By completing the Methods in Computational Linguistics sequence, at the end of the first year, Computational Linguistics Master's students will have the skills they need to engage in further study of state-of-the-art topics in natural language processing.
73800 Phonology I Practicum
Day & Time: tba, 1 credit, Prof. Juliette Blevins
89900 Independent Research, 1-3 credits 90000
Dissertation Supervision, Level 3 PhD Students Only, 1 credit