Show The Graduate Center Menu

Please note that course schedules for upcoming terms are subject to change.

Fall 2021 Courses

Download the Fall 2021 course schedule (PDF).

If you are a degree GC student and are interested in taking any linguistics courses, contact the instructor directly for permission before you register. 

If you completed one year or more in our PhD program, you may register for certain courses within the Inter-University Doctoral Consortium with permission from the Executive Officer and approval of the Student Affairs Office.

If you are student at another CUNY college, contact the instructor directly for permission to enroll. Follow the e-Permit procedures from your college’s Registrar’s Office once you receive permission.

If you are a non-degree/non-matriculated student, or a non-CUNY / non-Consortium student, contact the instructor directly for permission, then forward the instructor's approval to the Assistant Program Officer or Executive Officer for the necessary forms to begin the registration process. 

Introduction to Methods in Computational Linguistics (LING78100)

Day/Time: Thursday, 11:45 a.m.– 1:45 p.m.
Instructor: Elena Filatova

Download Syllabus (PDF)

Course Description: 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. As the first part of the two-part sequence, Methods in Computational Linguistics I 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 Python. We begin by learning the syntax of Python and how to program generally; we then focus specifically on linguistic application. Who Should Take This Course: This course is required for students pursuing the MA in Computational Linguistics or the PhD Certificate in Computational Linguistics at CUNY Graduate Center. Further, this course would be excellent for students who may be interested in research in computational linguistics or natural language processing (NLP). Other graduate students (including those outside of linguistics) who wish to gain basic programming skills in the Python language, which is useful for text processing and various linguistics and web applications, may also benefit from this course. Because this course introduces basic programming concepts, it would not be appropriate for graduate students in Computer Science.

Seminar in Speech Production (LING79200)

Day/Time: Monday, 2:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m.
Instructor: Douglas H. Whalen

Course Description: This class will examine the ways in which language is expressed by the human vocal tract. Combining insights from motor control studies, linguistic analysis, and brain imaging techniques, the theoretical side of the class will explore the intricacies of expressing the meaningful elements of a language’s phonology. This will be combined with more practical examination of various means of measuring articulation: electroglottography (EGG), optical tracking, electromagnetic articulometry, and ultrasound. Applications to special populations and to cross-language comparisons will be discussed. The final project will either be a survey paper or a small physiological experiment. Familiarity with phonetics is assumed.

Syntax I Practicum (LING73700)

Day/Time: Thursday, 2:00 p.m.– 4:00 p.m.
Instructor: Jason Kandybowicz
(led by LeeAnn Stover)

Language Technology (LING83600)

Day/Time: Wednesday, 4:15 p.m.–6:15 p.m.
Instructor: Kyle Gorman

Download Syllabus (PDF)

Course Description: This course explores how computers process human language. Key technologies emphasized include word similarity, computational morphology and syntax, topic modeling, machine translation, and speech recognition and synthesis. Students are expected to be familiar with basic linguistic notions like phoneme, morpheme, (syntactic) head, constituent, etc., and to be comfortable developing in the Python program language.

Introduction to Theoretical Linguistics Practicum (LING73800)

Day/Time: Monday, 2 p.m. - 4 p.m.
Instructors: Samer Al Khatib, Jason Kandybowicz 
(led by Alaa Sharif)

Phonology I (LING71300)

Day/Time: :Tuesday, 4:15 p.m.– 6:15 p.m.
Instructor: Juliette Blevins

Download Syllabus (PDF)

Course Description: Phonology is the study of sound patterns, including inventories of contrastive categories, patterns of sound distribution, and alternations of sounds and their conditioning.  In this course, the foundations of modern generative phonology are introduced. Topics covered include: distinctive feature theory; phonological rules and representations; derivations; the phonetic foundations of phonology; theories of syllables and syllabification; autosegmental phonology; metrical theories of stress; and prosodic morphology. The primary method of learning in this class is through problem sets: we will work through phonology problem sets together in class, and similar problem sets will be assigned as homework throughout the semester.​

Phonology I Practicum (LING73700)

Day/Time: Wednesday. 6:30 p.m. - 8:30 p.m
Instructors: Juliette Blevins
(led by K.Kistanova)

Syntax I (LING72100)

Day/Time: Tuesday, 2 p.m.- 4 p.m.
Instructor: Jason Kandybowicz

Download Syllabus (PDF)

Course Description: This course provides an introduction to Principles and Parameters Theory (P&P), the foundation of current mainstream generative approaches to phrase and sentence structure. P&P aims to explain the acquisition and cross-linguistic variation of syntactic phenomena by pursuing the idea that a predetermined set of principles underlies the grammars of all languages and that the apparent differences we see among languages are the result of differences in 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.

Introduction to Theoretical Linguistics (LING70100)

Day/Time: Wednesday, 11:45 a.m.-1:45 p.m.
Instructors: Jason KandybowiczSamer Al Khatib

Download Syllabus (PDF)

Course Description: An introduction to the intellectual foundations, methods, and motivations of theoretical Linguistics. What kinds of questions do linguists ask? What do some of the answers look like? And why? The course will cover fundamental concepts in the core areas of theoretical Linguistics (Phonology, Morphology, Syntax, and Semantics). A substantial component of the course will be the discussion and demonstration of analytical techniques used in contemporary linguistics and applied to problem sets. A practicum (LING 73800) is attached to this course, taught by a graduate student teaching assistant.

Semantics II (LING72400)

Day/Time:  :Monday, 11:45 a.m.-1:45 p.m.
Instructor: Samer Al Khatib

Download Syllabus (PDF)

Course Description: More natural language semantics; investigation of issues beyond extensional truth conditional semantics; possible world/time semantics and its use in the analysis of attitude predicates, modals, conditionals, tense, aspect, and degree constructions. Practicums begin in Week 3, and will include practice sessions of formal semantics as well as logic, and (later) short student-led reports on term paper progress.

Language Science (LING79400)

Day/Time: Thursday, 11:45 a.m.-1:45 p.m.
Instructor: Valerie Shafer

Course Description: The purpose of this class is to introduce students to the theoretical constructs, methods and terminology of the Language Sciences. Students will become familiar with the major theoretical approaches (e.g., Principle and Parameters; Non-linear Phonology), and the principal methods (e.g., grammaticality judgments, psycholinguistic experiments), and the basic terminology (e.g., feature, agreement, prototype, cohesion) used in linguistics, psycholinguistics, and neurolinguistics.

Second Language Acquisition and Bilingualism (LING86100)

Day/Time: Wednesday, 2:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.
Instructor: Gita Martohardjono

Course Description: As the field of generative second language acquisition has come of age, the stark separation between “second language acquisition” “bilingualism” and “multilingualism” has become more blurred. In addition, the use of more sophisticated methodologies, borrowed from psycho and neurolinguistics, such as eye-tracking and ERP are becoming increasingly common. These are positive developments, as they allow us to question whether, and to what degree, adult second language learning is different from child language acquisition and closely investigate the notion of “language(s) in the human mind/brain”

In this seminar we will read and discuss research articles related to adult second language acquisition and the development of bi-multilingualism. Several topics will be addressed (see below) through a critical examination of fundamental issues and assumptions in the field.

  1.  The nature of non-primary language acquisition or and its development: how is it different from/similar to child language acquisition?
  2. The role of the first language in non-native acquisition or “transfer”: how is it different from/similar to “cross-linguistic influence”?
  3. Age effects in SLA or the “Critical Period Hypothesis”
  4.  Models of multi-lingual acquisition (multicompetence, “heritage” speakers)
  5. The role of experience and the speaker’s environment (exposure, input and output).

The main model we will examine is Universal Grammar (UG)-based Second Language Acquisition with some comparison to Functionalist models.

Introduction to Psycholinguistics (LING70600)

Day/Time: Monday, 4:15 p.m.-6:15 p.m.
Instructor: Irina Sekerina

Download Syllabus (PDF)

Course Description:  Psycholinguistics is a broad field of research ranging from speech perception to sentence processing to language development to bilingualism. Throughout the course we will consider the relationship between theoretical linguistic concepts and constructs and psycholinguistic data through the lens of one particular method, i.e., the Visual World eye-tracking Paradigm (VWP). We discuss what language is, how it is organized, represented, and acquired, and what cognitive factors influence it, with the focus on both production and comprehension. We will delve into current and ongoing issues in psycholinguistics while examining the basic processes underlying speech production and perception, word recognition, processing of morphology, and sentence processing. We will explore these issues from cross-linguistic and cross- populational perspectives. The course will also incorporate a lab component that will provide the students with an opportunity to design and conduct their own pilot VWP experiment. The course has no prerequisites, and does not assume any particular background. Special attention will be afforded to topics of particular interest to students registered for the class. We explore both classic and recent psycholinguistic literature on eye-tracking, the point above all being to clarify what questions are being asked, for what reason, and to assess the arguments that are typically pursued and the evidence on which those arguments are based.

Seminar in Language Science (LING79300)

Day/Time: Tuesday, 4:15 p.m.- 6:15 p.m.
Instructor: Loraine Obler

Course Description: The purpose of this class is to introduce students to the theoretical constructs, methods and terminology of the Language Sciences and the application of these theories to the understanding of typical and atypical language behavior. Students will become familiar with the major theoretical approaches (e.g., Principle and Parameters; Non-linear Phonology), the principal methods (e.g., grammaticality judgments, psycholinguistic experiments), and the basic terminology (e.g., feature, agreement, prototype, cohesion) used in linguistics, psycholinguistics, and neurolinguistics.

Introduction to Learnability Theory (LING72800)

Day/Time: Tuesday, 9:30 a.m.- 11:30 a.m.
Instructor: William Sakas

Download Syllabus (PDF)

Language in Late Capitalism (LING79100)

Day/Time: Tuesday, 11:45 a.m.-1:45 p.m.
Instructor: Jose del Valle

Download Syllabus (PDF)

Statistics for Linguistics Research (LING82200)

Day/Time: Monday, 6:30 p.m. -8:30 p.m.
Instructor: Martin Chodorow

Download Syllabus (PDF)

Statistics for Linguistics Research Practicum (LING73600)

Day/Time: Tuesday, 11:45 a.m. - 1:45 p.m.
Instructor: Martin Chodorow
(led by A. Ma)

Introduction to Methods in Computational Linguistics I Practicum (LING73600)

Day/Time: Friday, 11:45 a.m.-1:45 p.m.
Instructor: Elena Filatova
(led by Arundhati Sengupta)

Spring 2021 Courses

Download the Spring 2021course schedule (PDF).

All courses are 3 credits unless noted otherwise.

Speech Science (LING79600)

Day/Time: Monday, 11:45 a.m.–1:45 p.m.
Instructor: Jason Bishop

Download Syllabus (PDF)

Course Description: This is a basic course which includes topics in speech acoustics, articulation, and speech perception.  Lectures and discussions are accompanied by a laboratory in which students learn basic acoustical analysis, direct measurement of articulators and perceptual testing techniques.

Semantics I Practicum (LING73600)

Day/Time: Monday, 11:45 a.m.–1:45 p.m.
Instructors: Samer Al Khatib, Alaa Sharif
(1 credit)

Seminar in Speech Science: Birds and Babies - The Acquisition of Communication (LING79100)

Day/Time: Monday, 2:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.
Instructor: Douglas Whalen

Course Description: Communication within a species is critical for survival.  Many species have limited vocabularies that require little learning.  Birds and humans share a great reliance on learning from parents and peers to master their communication systems.  This course will explore the similarities and differences between them.  Behavioral, acoustic and neurolinguistics evidence will illuminate the critical stages of learning, the role of variability in production and perception, and the abilities that seem to be necessary at birth for the acquisition to be successful. We will attempt to connect the individual and mechanistic neuronal levels to network and multi-generational collective processes, giving a broad perspective on the biology of communication.

Language and Identity (LING79500)

Day/Time: Monday, 2:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.
Instructor: Cecelia Cutler

Course Description: Course Description: The course explores the relationship between language and identity by introducing students to the theoretical, methodological, and ideological developments in sociolinguistics for studying how subjects construct, project, and perform different aspects of their identities in interaction. How much agency do people have in choosing and projecting their gender, sexual, racial, ethnic, class, and identities through linguistic, discursive, and other semiotic devices in interaction? How do individuals linguistically and discursively contest the ways in which they are imagined, defined and labeled by others? How can we bring in multimodal semiotic analysis to the study of how individuals construct and project identity? The course will analyze how speakers enact, project, and contest their culturally specific subject positions through communicative interactions and discourses. Topics to be explored include theories and methods for studying language and identity and contemporary topics such as embodiment, racialization and transracialization, stylization, passing, crossing, multilingual identities, second language learner identities, post-coloniality, indigeneity, and race.

Methods in Computational Linguistics II (LING83800)

Day/Time: Monday, 4:15 p.m.-6:15 p.m.
Instructor: Kyle Gorman

Download Syllabus (PDF)

Course Description:This course is the second of a two-semester series introducing computational linguistics and softwaredevelopment. The intended audience are students interested in speech and language processing technologies,though the materials will be beneficial to all language researchers. Using the Python programming language, students will learn core algorithms used to build speech and languagetechnologies, and best practices for evaluation and basic statistical analysis.

Foundational Issues in Linguistics (LING70400)

Day/Time: Tuesday, 11:45 a.m. p.m.-1:45 p.m.
Instructors: Samer Al Khatib, Jason Kandybowicz

Download Syllabus (PDF)

Course Description: The goal of this course is to provide and encourage discussion of foundational issues in Linguistics. Training in the subdisciplines of Linguistics often starts with pre-established assumptions about the direction of inquiry, and the methods used to pursue it. But equally important to the results of inquiry is the motivation behind the commitments that shape it. In Linguistics these include commitments as to what the subject matter of Linguistics is, what constitutes knowledge of language, what counts as relevant data, and how data are best collected and modeled. In this course we provide a forum for discussing these issues.

Corpus Analysis (LING78000)

Day/Time: Tuesday, 4:15 p.m.–6:15 p.m.
Instructor: Alla Rozovskaya

Download Syllabus (PDF)

Course Description:  This course provides an overview of advanced topics in Natural Language Processing (NLP), with an emphasis on state-of-the-art techniques that require advanced understanding of machine-learning, statistical and deep learning methods that are standard in many NLP applications used today. The course will consist of lectures on advanced topics, paper readings and discussions, and research projects that the students will complete individually or in small groups. The focus of this class will be on developing the necessary skills to read, understand, and implement ideas presented in conference-style NLP papers, as well as to advance the NLP research.

Historical Linguistics (LING70200)

Day/Time: Tuesday, 4:15 p.m. p.m.-6:15 p.m.
Instructors: Juliette Blevins

Download Syllabus (PDF)

Course Description: 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. The primary method of learning in this class is through problem sets; we will work through historical problem sets together in class, and similar problem sets will be assigned as homework throughout the semester. Though this is an introductory graduate course, students should have some background in basic descriptive linguistics.

Syntax II (LING72200)

Day/Time: Wednesday, 11:45 a.m. p.m.-1:45 p.m.
Instructors: Jason Kandybowicz

Download Syllabus (PDF)

Course Description: This course lays the foundation for current Minimalist syntactic theory. It examines the empirical and conceptual motivations for the shift from the Government & Binding framework to the Minimalist Program that took place in the early 1990s and explores recent developments in Minimalist theory.

Qualifying Paper I Workshop (LING79400)

Day/Time: Wednesday, 2:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m.
Instructor: Christina Tortora

Semantics I (LING72300)

Day/Time: Thursday, 11:45 a.m. -1:45 p.m.
Instructors: Samer Al Khatib, Alaa Sharif

Download Syllabus (PDF)

Course Description: This course is about the interaction of meaning and grammar. We represent meaning as truth conditions, using basic propositional/predicate logic and set theory. We then work on developing a generalized mapping from structures of natural language to meaning-as-truth-conditions. The course focuses on issues of thematic selection, adjectival predication/modification, pronouns and binding, quantification, and ellipsis.

Bilingualism Across the Lifespan (LING79200)

Day/Time: Thursday, 11:45 a.m.-1:45  p.m.
Instructor: Valerie Shafer

Download Syllabus(PDF)

Sociolinguistics and the Politics of Language (LING79300)

Day/Time: Thursday, 2:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.
Instructor: José del Valle

Download Syllabus (PDF)

Course Description: In this seminar, we will trace the emergence and development of sociolinguistics, that is, of the study of language as a form of social practice. However, rather than simply follow a chronological, historiographic, and descriptive approach to different schools of sociolinguistic thought, we will focus our examination on the degree to which those schools incorporate politics as a component—whether peripheral or integral—of their object. How do different approaches to language as social practice conceptualize—whether explicitly or implicitly—the relationship between language and politics? In order to tackle this broad question, we will examine the theory of power that underpins variationist sociolinguistics, the geopolitical frameworks that resulted in the emergence of language policy and planning, and the specific impact of critical theory in the development of critical discourse analysis and glottopolitical studies.

Teaching Linguistics Across CUNY Campuses (LING73700)

Day/Time: Thursday, 4:15 p.m.-6:15 p.m.
Instructor: Gita Martohardjono

Past Courses

Fall 2020
Spring 2020
Fall 2019
Spring 2019