GC Linguistics doctoral students may register for courses within the Inter-University Doctoral Consortium (IUDC) after completion of 2 semesters in the Program. GC Linguistics Master's students are not eligible to register for classes via the IUDC as per the Student Affairs Office. 

All GC Linguistics students interested in taking courses at another CUNY college must follow the Permit-Out procedures as per the Registrar's Office.

Degree GC-wide students interested in taking linguistics courses are recommended to courtesy contact instructors directly for permission before enrollment. 

Students at another CUNY college must contact instructors directly for permission to enroll. Follow the e-Permit procedures from your college’s Registrar’s Office once you receive permission.

Non-degree/non-matriculated students are required to contact course instructors directly for permission to enroll their class. Forward the instructor's approval to the Assistant Program Officer, nbissoondial@gc.cuny.edu (or Executive Officer) for the necessary forms to begin the registration process.  The deadline for non-matriculated student application is January 2, 2023.

Up-to-date course details, including room assignment is available in CUNYFirst.

Dynamic Course Schedule

Current Courses

All courses are 3 credits unless noted otherwise.

Download the Spring 2023 course schedule (PDF)

 

Please contact professors for course description / syllabus, if something is not posted here.

LING79800: Theorizing Language Across Disciplines 
Prof. José del Valle, jdelvalle@gc.cuny.edu

A cursory look at the language sciences reveals a heterogeneous object of intellectual inquiry, a diverse collection of uncanningly similar and diverging portraits. Even within Linguistics—only one among many disciplines devoted to understanding verbal interaction—we do encounter tensions—at times even hyperbolically referred to as “Linguistics Wars” (Harris 1993)—between apparently irreconcilable conceptualizations of language. Much more so if we dare cross the heavily guarded—yet inevitably porous—walls that separate the different realms of knowledge production. This seminar is designed as a daring commando raid across several of those borders; a suicidal mission, as it were, in search of (with Umberto Eco´s permission) the perfect language on language.
Syllabus, Theorizing Language.docx

LING71300: Phonology I
Prof. Juliette Blevins jblevins@gc.cuny.edu

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.
PHON1syllSp23.docx

LING 82100:  Foundational Issues in Linguistics        
Profs. Sam Al Khatib (alxatib@alum.mit.edu), Jon Nissenbaum (jnissenbaum@brooklyn.cuny.edu)

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.
Prerequisites:
Syntax I and Phonology I. Permission from instructors is required for interested students who have not taken Syntax I or Phonology
Course goals: 
This seminar provides a discussion forum for questions concerning the place of Linguistics in the cognitive sciences, and questions concerning the validity of the empirical and analytical methods employed by linguists. As such, the course is aimed to strengthen the grounds that more specialized courses build on, by encouraging critical assessment of the assumptions that linguists make (or take for granted) in their research.
Learning objectives:
The course aims to familiarize students with foundational issues and debates in linguistic research and to encourage unbiased critical reflection and discussion of linguistic methodology. Students will engage with primary literature, and (a) gain proficiency in topics that are not covered in more specialized Linguistics classes, and (b) exercise unbiased critical analysis and evaluation of linguistic argumentation. Students will develop and strengthen oral and written communication skills through in-class roundtable discussions and written reviews/reactions to readings.

LING72300: Semantics I
Prof. Sam Al Khatib sal_khatib@gc.cuny.edu

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.
Course goals: To familiarize you with the basic methods and tools used in current research on formal semantics of natural language. By the end of the semester you will have learned: 

  1. where ‘interpretive’ semantics fits into generative linguistics,
  2. how argument structure and argument selection is formally represented, and
  3. how compositionality is implemented, with some detailed investigation of relative clauses, movement chains and related dependencies, and quantification.

Course objectives: To develop a concrete model of form-meaning interaction; practice use of mathematical tools in developing such models, including set theory, basic propositional/predicate logical language, functions, λ -calculus, role/place of extralinguistic reasoning in inference calculation.
Registered students are required to attend practicum even if they are not officially enrolled in it.

LING79200: Seminar in Speech Science: Birds and Babies- The Acquisition of Communication
Prof. Douglas Whalen dwhalen@gc.cuny.edu  

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.

LING79700:Seminar in Language Science: Brain Plasticity and Language
Prof.
 Loraine Obler lobler@gc.cuny.edu

In this course we will consider the range of meanings of the term 'plasticity' in neuroscience and the cell-level phenomena that have been determined to contribute to plasticity. After reading Lenneberg, 1967, on the critical period, and several subsequent papers on sensitive periods,  We will review recent literature on it as it pertains to child-language development after left-hemisphere damage or ablation, adult recovery from stroke, and adult learning and experience, including bilingualism. Students will write weekly journal entries on the papers we read and prepare a lecture on a related topic for the final project. Grading is pass-fail.

LING83800: Introduction to Methods in Computational Linguistics II
Prof. Kyle Gorman kgorman@gc.cuny.edu

This course is the second of a two-semester series introducing computational linguistics and software development. 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 language technologies, and best practices for evaluation and basic statistical analysis.
There is no textbook, but some readings will be assigned. Students are strongly encouraged to bring a laptop computer to the practicum. In some cases, the practicum may be held in the Computational Linguistics Laboratory (7400.13) currently under construction.

LING79600: Speech Science
Dr. Suzanne van der Feest  svanderfeest@gc.cuny.edu

This course presents basic knowledge about speech acoustics, production, and perception in a combined lecture/laboratory format. Laboratories using Praat are to be completed outside of class (approximately 2 hrs/week). This course is good preparation for a Speech Science First Exam or for courses and research in phonetics and phonology. Students will write several short papers on various topics in speech science and acoustic phonetics: e.g., source-filter theory; myoelastic/aerodynamic theory of phonation, speech sound sources (how, where, and by what physiological mechanisms they are produced), acoustic cues for vowels and for consonant manner, place, and voicing; categorical perception.

Download the Fall 2022 Course Schedule (PDF)

LING79400: Linguistic Typology

Prof. Juliette Blevins

Download Syllabus (PDF)

Description:
Linguistic typology involves the cataloguing and classification of significant linguistic patterns, regularities, and contrasts. A central component of typology is to classify the nature and degree of linguistic diversity, and to assess proposed universals in light of this diversity. An additional goal of typological studies is to evaluate linguistic features that may cluster together, or conversely, show strong dissociative effects. In this course, we explore typology in order to determine a set of basic facts that linguistic theories should, ideally, account for. The course will include an overview of the world's languages and major language families, where they are spoken, and some of the more notable linguistic characteristics associated with particular language families and geographical areas, as well as issues related to language sampling in the creation of typological databases. After this, we turn to a detailed investigation of typology in each of the major grammatical components, starting with phonetics and phonology, then moving to morphology, syntax, and semantics. Typological databases in all of these areas will be curated by students in the class.
 


LING79100: Articulatory Phonology

Prof. Doug Whalen

Description:
Articulatory Phonology is a theory of the phonological structure of speech that takes the gesture as its main primitive. Phonological distinctions are based on the presence vs. absence of gestures, differences in specifications of the gestures (such as degree of constriction) and the temporal coordination of gestures within a unit. Certain phonological patterns fall out more naturally in this model than in feature-based systems, while the reverse is true for other patterns. This course will explicate and evaluate Articulatory Phonology both on its own terms and in relation to featural accounts. Possible redefinitions of clinical disorders (e.g., misarticulation of segments) in these terms will be explored.
 


LING 70100: Introduction to Theoretical Linguistics

Prof. Sam Al Khatib
Prof. Christina Tortora

Description:
An introduction to the intellectual foundations, methodologies, and motivations of 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 linguistics, i.e., phonetics and phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics. Their role in fields such as first and second language acquisition, sentence processing, language change, sociolinguistics and pragmatics, may be explored depending on faculty specialization.

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 will be attached to this course, taught by graduate student assistants.
 


LING78100: Methods in Computational Linguistics I

Prof. Kyle Gorman

Download Syllabus (PDF)

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.

A Note on Pre-requisites:
There are no pre-requisites for this course. However, this course is a prerequisite for Methods in Computational Linguistics II, usually offered in the spring.
 


LING72100: Syntax I

Prof. Jason Kandybowicz

Download Syllabus (PDF)

This course provides an introduction to Principles and Parameters Theory (P&P), the foundation of current mainstream generative approaches to sentence structure. P&P aims to explain the acquisition and cross-linguistic variation of syntactic phenomena by pursuing the idea that a pre-determined 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.

Learning goals:
By the end of this course, students will be expected to be able to:
1. Reproduce all core ingredients of P&P theory
2. Apply principles and parameters to perform syntactic analysis
3. Engage with primary literature employing P&P theory
4. Be proficient at engaging in syntactic argumentation
 


LING79500: Field Methods

Prof. Jason Kandybowicz

Download Syllabus (PDF)

Description:
The elicitation and analysis of phonological, grammatical, and discourse data from a language unknown to members of the class. Through in-depth research on the language, techniques of research design, methods of phonetic transcription, grammatical annotation, and analysis of language data are taught.
 


LING74200: Semantics II

Prof. Sam Al Khatib

Description:
This course covers advanced topics in the semantics of natural language. We introduce and discuss representations of meaning that are beyond those permitted in extensional frameworks, and focus on how syntactic structures of natural language expressions can be composed and related to these enriched representations. Likely topics: the semantics of attitude verbs, modality, conditionals, questions, degree semantics, plurals and events, tense and aspect. The course assumes background in material covered in Semantics I, particularly the coverage of extensional semantics in Heim and Kratzer (1998).
 

 


LING83600: LANGUAGE TECHNOLOGY

Prof. Sarah Ita Levitan

Download Syllabus (PDF)

Description:
This course explores how computers process human language. It covers core problems in natural language processing and speech processing and presents algorithms for solving these problems. Topics include: language models, parsing, machine translation, word embeddings, and speech recognition. Students are expected to be comfortable programming in Python.

 


 

Download the Spring 2022 course schedule (PDF)

Speech Perception (LING79200)

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

Download Syllabus (PDF)

Course Description: Speech perception seems simple because all typically developing humans perform it easily, but humans are biologically geared to overcome the complications thanks to thousands of years of evolution. In this class, we will explore some of the phenomena that show speech perception to be quite involved, such variability, categoricity, categorical perception, loss of phonetic sensitivity during acquisition, and the effect of first language on second language perception. Major theories, such as Quantal Theory, the Motor Theory, acoustic theories generally and exemplar theory, will be discussed in detail. Implications for linguistic sound systems, language impairment, and second language learning will be explored. The course assumes familiarity with phonetics.
 


Introduction to 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 software development. The intended audience are students interested in speech and language processing technologies, though the materials will be beneficial to all language researchers.
 


Language Standardization and Social Inequality (LING79600)

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

Download Syllabus (PDF)

Course Description: In this seminar, using Ayres-Bellamy and Bennett recent handbook (2021) as a reference for the state-of-the-art in language standardization studies, we will discuss the currency of various theories developed over several decades. We will approach these theories with a view to understanding standardization´s implication in the construction of different forms of social inequality and its potential to support emancipatory efforts. First, we will focus on the analysis of the classic paradigm as represented by Einar Haugen (1972). We will examine its connections to the historical emergence of the public sphere (Habermas 1962) and the nation-state (Anderson 1983, Gellner 1983, Hobsbawm 1990); and we will identify the ideal representations of citizen and community explicitly or implicitly invoked in this model. Secondly, we will focus on critical approaches to language standardization, as a site of power struggles (Joseph 1987), as an ideological process (Milroy and Milroy 1985/2012), as a colonial undertaking (Parakrama 1995), and as an expression of social anxiety (Cameron 1995/2012). We will consider the extent to which these critical approaches offer a better understanding of standardization as a potentially emancipatory strategy. And we will conclude by assessing the degree to which current research has furthered (or not) the research and views of classic and decades-old work.
 


Phonology II (LING71400)

Day/Time: Tuesday 2:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.
Instructor: Juliette Blevins

Download Syllabus (PDF)

Course Description: This course continues the study of sound patterns presented in Phonology I, with an emphasis on explanation. Why do certain sound patterns recur again and again in the world’s languages while others are extremely rare? What sound patterns are best explained in terms of articulatory properties of speech, and which are best viewed as a consequence of aspects of human speech perception? What phonological universals have been proposed and what is their current status? What sound patterns can be analyzed as emergent properties of linguistic systems? How do various theories explain sound patterns?
 


Advanced Natural Language Processing (LING83700)

Day/Time: Tuesday, 2:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m.
Instructor: Alla Rozovskaya

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.
 


Language Science, Current Topics in Aphasiology (LING79300)

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

Download Syllabus (PDF)
 


First Language Acquisition (LING72700)

Day/Time: Tuesday, 4:15 p.m.-6:15  p.m.
Instructor: Virginia Valian

Download Syllabus (PDF)

Course Description: This course emphasizes readings and discussion of: the child's initial state and evidence for it, the role of input, and the syntax acquisition mechanism. We will contrast two broad views of acquisition. In one, the child begins with abstract specifications of syntactic features and the form of the grammar and must learn language-specific details. In the other, the child begins with lexically-specific details and builds abstractions over time. What types of empirical evidence can help us decide between these two views?
 


Philosophy of Language (LING79500)

Day/Time: Wednesday, 11:45 a.m.-1:45 p.m.
Instructor: Stephen Neale

Download Syllabus (PDF)

Course Description: This seminar will explore the distinction between semantics and pragmatics by developing Grice’s work on meaning and intention, conversational implicature, the relation between what is said (understood as part of speaker meaning) and occasion-meaning (understood as a property of linguistic or conventional meaning), and higher-order speech acts. The seminar will turn to the role of a compositional semantic theory within the Gricean program and the extent to which articulating a proper theory of the occasion-meanings of lexical items forces us to confront anew matters of lexical ambiguity and the underdetermination of what is said by any notion of linguistic meaning that is the input to semantic composition.
 


Semantics I (LING72300)

Day/Time: Wednesday, 11:45 a.m.-1:45 p.m.
Instructors: Samer Al Khatib, Aidan Malanoski

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. Registered students are required to attend practicum even if they are not officially enrolled in it.
 


Qualifying Paper I Workshop (LING79400)

Day/Time: Wednesday, 2:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.
Instructor: Samer Al Khatib
 


Language Contact (LING79700)

Day/Time: Wednesday, 4:15 p.m.-6:15 p.m.
Instructor: Matt Garley

Download Syllabus (PDF)

Course Description: This course examines language contact phenomena from varied theoretical and methodological perspectives, including codeswitching and linguistic borrowing accounts alongside codemeshing and translanguaging accounts. The course begins with a structural and definitional examination of these phenomena, and continues with an exploration of the social contexts and sociolinguistic outcomes of language contact through the discussion of contact-induced language change and contact languages such as pidgin and creole languages. In addition, this course will feature readings on language contact in computer-mediated communication and the implementation of language contact and multi- or plurilingual models in computational linguistics. The course will culminate in a research project on language contact, which may employ methods from sociolinguistics, corpus linguistics, and/or computational linguistics.
 


Speech Science (LING79100)

Day/Time: Thursday, 11:45 a.m.-1:45 p.m.
Instructor: Suzanne van der Feest

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.
 


Introduction to Sociolinguistics (LING76100)

Day/Time: Thursday, 2:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.
Instructor: Michael Newman

Download Syllabus (PDF)

Past Courses

Download the Fall 2021 course schedule (PDF)

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

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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

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Language in Late Capitalism (LING79100)

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

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Statistics for Linguistics Research (LING82200)

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

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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)

Download the Spring 2021 course schedule (PDF)

Speech Science (LING79600)

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

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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 H. 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

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Course Description:This course is the second of a two-semester series introducing computational linguistics and software development. 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 language technologies, 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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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Sociolinguistics and the Politics of Language (LING79300)

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

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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

Download the Fall 2020 course schedule (PDF)

Introduction to Methods in Computational Linguistics (LING78100)

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

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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.


Articulatory Phonology (LING79200)

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

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Course Description: After completing this course students will be able to:

  • Understand the major aspects of the theory of Articulatory Phonology.
  • Be able to evaluate the literature on phonology by relating Articulatory Phonology concepts to other theories.
  • Recognize the kind of evidence that bears on issues in Articulatory Phonology.
  • Have experience with evaluating evidence from physiological experiments reported in the literature.
  • Write concise yet informative evaluations of Articulatory Phonology's successes and failures and how they relate to treatment of these issues in other theories.

Syntax I Practicum (LING73700)

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


Language Technology (LING83600)

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

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Coursse 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, 4:15 p.m.–6:15 p.m.
Instructors: Samer Al Khatib, Jason Kandybowicz 
led by Carolina Fraga


Phonology II (LING71400)

Day/Time: Tuesday, 2:00 p.m.–4:00 p.m.
Instructor: Juliette Blevins

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Course Description: This course continues the study of sound patterns presented in Phonology I, with an emphasis on explanation. Why do certain sound patterns recur again and again in the world’s languages while others are extremely rare? What sound patterns are best explained in terms of articulatory properties of speech, and which are best viewed as a consequence of aspects of human speech perception? What phonological universals have been proposed and what is their current status? What sound patterns can be analyzed as emergent properties of linguistic systems? How do various theories explain sound patterns?


Sociolinguistics and the Politics of Language (LING79300)

Day/Time: Tuesday, 4:15 p.m.-6:15 p.m.
Instructors: Matt Garley, Cecelia Cutler

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Course Description: This course examines recent quantitative and qualitative sociolinguistic research on language use, attitudes, ideologies, and practices in computer-mediated communication (CMC) with a special focus on Spanish language data. It explores research on topics such as multilingualism, creative orthography, script choice, language play, stance-taking, expressions identity and other topics across various CMC platforms such as Twitter, Facebook, online fora, blogs, microblogs, YouTube, SMS/texting, WhatsApp, and Instagram. The course will provide students with the chance to collect a small corpus of data and analyze it using sociolinguistic methods and frameworks.


Syntax I (LING72100)

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

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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.


Seminar in Linguistics: Writing Systems (LING82100)

Day/Time: Wednesday, 2:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.
Instructor: Kyle Gorman

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Course Description: This class will tackle two questions: what is writing, and how does it encode language? The first half of the class will consist of lectures on the definition, origins, and typology of writing systems. The second half of the class will be a student-led seminar on topics in writing systems with a focus on text normalization, the decipherment of lost scripts, orthographic reform, and the psycholinguistics of literacy. (We are not discussing the sociolinguistics of writing because that is roughly the topic of a separate seminar being offered in Fall 2020.) Since (as I will argue in the first portion of the class), writing encodes language primarily by means of (morpho)phonological analysis, students should have completed graduate coursework in phonology.


Introduction to Theoretical Linguistics (LING70100)

Day/Time: Wednesday, 4:15 p.m.-6:15 p.m.
Instructors: Jason KandybowiczSamer Al Khatib

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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: Thursday, 11:45 a.m.-1:45 p.m.
Instructor: Samer Al Khatib

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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.


First Language Acquisition: Lexical Development (LING72700)

Day/Time: Thursday, 2:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.
Instructor: Sandeep Prasada

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Course Description: Children acquire new words with astonishing ease and speed. This course will explore theoretical and empirical research pertaining to the mechanisms by which children acquire the meaning of words. Questions to be examined include: Are there special word learning mechanisms? If so, what are some of them? If not, what are the sources of constraint on the acquisition of word meaning? Are the meanings of words from different syntactic categories learned in the same way? How do morpho-syntactic differences between languages influence the acquisition of word meanings? How do statistical properties of the input impact the course of lexical development? What is the role of parental input? Where do syntax-semantics correspondences in lexical development come from? What kinds of errors do children make in acquiring the meanings of novel words? How do they learn to correct these errors? What are the cognitive resources that the child must bring to the task of learning various different kinds of word meanings? We will cover research on the acquisition of the meanings of nouns, verbs, adjectives, spatial prepositions, and personal pronouns. Students will be introduced to the methods available for studying lexical development as well as their limitations.


Introduction to Methods in Computational Linguistics I Practicum (LING73600)

Day/Time: Friday, 11:45 a.m.-1:45 p.m.
Instructor: Kyle Gorman
led by Arundhati Sengupta

Download the Spring 2020 course schedule (PDF)

Speech Perception (LING79200)

M 2:00 – 4:00pm
Prof. Doug Whalen

Speech perception seems simple because all typically developing humans perform it easily, but humans are biologically geared to overcome the complications thanks to thousands of years of evolution. In this class, we will explore some of the phenomena that show speech perception to be quite involved, such as variability, categoricity, categorical perception, loss of phonetic sensitivity during acquisition, and the effect of first language on second language perception. Major theories, such as Quantal Theory, the Motor Theory, acoustic theories generally and exemplar theory, will be discussed in detail. Implications for linguistic sound systems, language impairment, and second language learning will be explored. The course assumes familiarity with phonetics.

Readings: These will be downloadable or available from the instructor.

Assignments: One-page synopses of two of the articles due at the beginning of each class. These synopses will count for half of the final grade. Beginning in the third week, one student will be assigned as a “pro” voice for a paper while another will be a “con” voice. During class, the “con” student will discuss problems they see with the paper. The “pro” will then rebut those arguments.

Final project: Either an experiment, a design for an experiment, or a survey paper. Topic to be approved by instructor. Oral presentation in class. Written and oral presentation together will count for half of the final grade. Student

Learning Outcomes: After completing this course students will be able to: • Understand the major theories of speech perception. • Be able to evaluate the literature on speech perception as to the appropriateness of the methods used and the interpretation of results. • Recognize which methods would be both useful and practical for topics in the students' own work. • Have experience with recording data from at least one perceptual experiment. • Write concise yet informative descriptions of experimental designs and results.


Prosody and Intonation (LING79500)

T 11:45am – 1:45pm
Prof. Jason Bishop

 

Course Description: This course is an introduction to the Autosegmental-Metrical (AM) framework for study- ing sentence-level prosody and intonation. We will first concentrate on the AM modeling of American English intonation, and on use of the corresponding ToBI (Tones and Break Indices) transcription conventions. We will then expand to other languages (e.g., Japanese, Korean, Bengali, and French) and discuss a broader prosodic typology. The course will provide students with the tools for sophisticated prosodic analysis that can be applied to the study of phenomena in segmental phonetics/phonology, syntax, semantics, information structure, sentence processing, computational linguistics, sociolinguistics, disordered speech and language, and L1/L2 language acquisition. Relating our phonological model of prosodic and intonational structure to these other areas of inquiry will be an emphasis of the course.

Prerequisites: Phonology I (LING 71300) is recommended; Speech Science (SPCH 70500, or an equivalent course in acoustic phonetics) would be extremely useful.

Texts:

—[Required] Bu ̈ring, D. (2016). Intonation and Meaning. Oxford University Press.
—[Recommended] Ladd, R. (2008). Intonational Phonology. Cambridge University Press.
—Other readings will be provided.

Course requirements:

  • Several homework/lab assignments, mostly related to ToBI annotation training.

  • 1-2 page written summaries of/reflections on each reading.

  • Occasional presentation (or co-presentation) of readings.

  • Term project (required for students in the Linguistics PhD program; optional for oth- ers): fully design a research project utilizing the prosodic theory and analytical tools developed in class. This is an especially good opportunity to explore the interface between prosody and another linguistic subfield. Students will be required to discuss their project topics with me before the 9th class meeting.

 

Some possible project topics (general areas):

  1. The role of prosody in conditioning articulatory dynamics, coarticulatory timing, or other phonetic phenomena; the extent to which higher-level prosodic structure serves as a relevant domain for segmental phonological alternations/processes.

  2. Any of the many interactions between prosody and the interpretation of focus, topic, quantifier scope; the relation between intonational phrasing and syntactic phrasing; prosodic properties of children’s speech or Motherese (i.e., infant-directed speech); L2 speech; disordered speech.

  3. The role of prosody in the (on-line) processing of linguistic information, including (but not limited to) lexical access, syntactic parsing, and reference resolution.

  4. A (sketch of a) phonological model of the intonation of a dialect of any language for which the “standard” variety has already been described in intonational phonology.

  5. A (sketch of a) phonological model of the intonation of any language for which there is no current description in the AM framework.

  6. Describe and analyze prosody associated with a special discourse meaning or sociolin- guistic function. This could include, but is not limited to, political speech, announce- ment/newscaster or read speech, advertisements, or the speech of some particular social group.

Tentative Schedule

Subject to change somewhat, depending on the composition of the class (in terms of linguis- tic subfields) and any unexpected but interesting issues that arise during the course.

Week 1: Prosody & Intonation: Introduction to Representation & Interpretation —Readings: Bu ̈ring (Chapter 1); Beckman & Edwards (1994) (non-phoneticians and non- (laboratory)phonologists can stop at section 2.5 if they wish)

Week 2: Intonational Phonology / Autosegmental Metrical Theory
—Assignment: Preliminaries to transcription: presence of accent; simple pitch accents —Readings: Beckman & Pierrehumbert (1986); Arvaniti (in press)

Week 3: AM Theory and Prosodic Transcription: The ToBI system —Assignment: Complex pitch accents I
—Readings: Beckman, Hirschberg, & Shattuck-Hufnagel (2005); Jun (in press)

Weeks 4-5: The ToBI system: Pitch Accents
—Assignment: ToBI transcriptions each week
—Readings: Readings from the ToBI manual (Beckman & Ayers, 1997) and the MIT ToBI course materials each week

Weeks 6-7: The ToBI System: Phrasing (Phrase Accents, Boundary Tones, Break Indices) —Assignment: ToBI transcriptions each week
—Readings: Readings from the ToBI manual (Beckman & Ayers, 1997) and the MIT ToBI course materials each week

Weeks 8-9: Prosodic Typology
—Readings: Jun (2005) on Korean; Khan (2014) on Bengali; Delais-Roussarie et al. (2015) on French; Chahal & Hellmuth (2014) on Lebanese & Egyptian Arabic; possibly other lan- guages depending on student interest.

Weeks 10-11: Prosody and Syntax
—Likely readings: Nespor & Vogel (1986); Truckenbrodt (1999); Bu ̈ring (Chapter 6)

Weeks 12-14: Prosody and Meaning (and wraping up)
—Likely readings: Pierrehumbert (in press); Pierrehumbert & Hirschberg (1990); Selkirk (1995); Bu ̈ring (Chapters 3 and 7); Beaver & Velleman (2011); time-permitting, possibly Gussenhoven (2016) as well
—Brief presentation of student projects on the last day


Semantics I Practicum (LING73700)

T 11:45am – 1:45pm
Prof. Al Khatib 
(Led by André Eliatamby)


Phonology I (LING71300)

T 2 – 4pm
Prof. Juliette Blevins
 

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.

Requirements and grading: This is a graduate course. Students are expected to attend weekly lectures, to do required readings, to complete and turn in all assignments when they are due, and to participate in class discussions and problem-solving. Assessment will be based on nine homework assignments, each worth 10% of the final grade (9 x 10 = 90%). There will be one extra-credit assignment at the end of term that can be used to replace your lowest homework grade, if you choose. Attendance and class participation will count as the additional 10% of the final grade. There is no final paper or exam for this class.

Readings and problem sets: The textbook for the course is:
Hayes, Bruce. 2009. Introductory Phonology. Oxford: Wiley-Blackwell. Download: https://acasearch.files.wordpress.com/2015/03/hayes_2009.pdf
Most required readings are from this text, and some problem sets will also be from the text. Please bring the textbook to class every week to facilitate our discussion of the readings, and to ensure that you have a copy of the problem sets with you for group work sessions. Additional required readings are listed on p.2; they will be on reserve at the GC library, or sent as pdfs. Other suggested readings are on p.3.

Course learning goals: The learning goals of this course contribute to the Graduate Center Institutional Learning Goals and the Linguistics Program Learning Goals. In short:

Students in this course will gain specialized knowledge of phonology, and will develop oral and written communication skills appropriate to the sub-discipline of phonology.

Course Outline and Schedule: Readings should be done before each class meeting. Chapters below are from the Hayes 2009 textbook,. Homework problem sets are passed out on Tuesday and due the following Tuesday at the beginning of class. (See “Problem Set Guide” for advice on assignments.)


Speech Science (LING79100)

T 2 – 4pm
Prof. Jason Bishop

Course Description: This course presents basic knowledge about speech acoustics, production, and perception in a combined lecture/laboratory format. Laboratories are to be completed outside of class (approximately 2 hrs/week on average). This is good preparation for the Speech Science First Exam, phonetics-related Qualifying Papers, or for courses in phonology. Students will write several short papers on various topics in speech science and acoustic phonetics (e.g., source-filter theory; myoelastic/aerodynamic theory of phonation, speech sound sources, among others), acoustic cues for vowels and for consonant manner, place, and voicing; perceptual processes.
 
Course Learning Goals: Students in this course will gain specialized knowledge related to the study of speech production, including source-filter theory and the acoustic analysis of vowels and constants. Students will also learn to communicate experimental designs and results in a concise (but informative) way, in both written and oral forms.
 
Texts:  Please purchase the first two books. I will provide you with the necessary readings from the other texts, although you will likely want to own them in the long run (Baken & Orlikoff in particular is the kind of book you pull down from the shelf on a regular basis for years).
 

  1. Kent, R.D., & Read, C.  (2002, 2nd edition).  The Acoustic Analysis of Speech.  San Diego: CA:  Singular. (ISBN 0-7693-0112-6).
  1. Raphael, L. J., Borden, G. J. & Harris, K. S. (2007).  Speech Science Primer:  Physiology, Acoustics, and Perception of Speech. (Fifth Edition). Baltimore, MD:  Lippincott Williams and Wilkins.  (ISBN 0-7817-7117-X)
  1. Pickett, J. M. (1999)  The Acoustics of Speech Communication:  Fundamentals, Speech Perception Theory and Technology.  Needham Heights, MA:  Allen & Bacon (ISBN 0-205-19887-2).
  1. Baken, R. J. & Orlikoff, R. F. (2000). Clinical Measurement of Speech and Voice. San Diego, CA: Singular. (ISBN 1-5659-3869-0)
  1. Ladefoged, P. (2006) A Course in Phonetics (Fifth Edition). Fort Worth, TX: Harcourt. (ISBN 0-15-507319-2). (Other editions are fine, although the ones co-authored by Keith Johnson are considerably different than the ones prior to that).
  1. Gick, B., Wilson, I., & Derrick, D. (2013). Articulatory phonetics. Chichester, UK: Wiley-Blackwell.

 
PA sites: You are expected to know, or learn, the International Phonetic Alphabet (IPA).  If you don’t know it already, please begin learning it. These are two interactive sites for hearing examples of the sounds of the IPA:
 
http://www.phonetics.ucla.edu/course/chapter1/chapter1.html
 
http://www.yorku.ca/earmstro/ipa/
 
https://tanakayu.doshisha.ac.jp/teaching.html
 
 
The following site has the sounds along with either ultrasound or MRI images of the tongue:
http://www.seeingspeech.arts.gla.ac.uk
 
You can download an app here:
https://www.uvic.ca/humanities/linguistics/resources/software/ipaphonetics/index.php


Phonology I Practicum (LING73600)

T 4:15 – 6:15 pm
Prof. Blevins
Led by Ekaterina Kistanova


Seminar in Language Science (LING79300)

T 4:15 – 6:15 pm
Prof. Loraine Obler

Course Description: In this course we will focus on the tertiary association region of the left hemisphere of the brain which has been called "Geschwind's area" or "Geschwind's region", or "angular gyrus and/or supramarginal gyrus". Classically, this tertiary association area brings together information from secondary association areas involved in visual, auditory, and somasthetic processes including language processing.
 
We will read Geschwind's classic 1965 paper, Price (2010), Friederici  (2012) to place Geschwind's area in behavioral and connectivity contexts and then turn to current neuroimaging research including indications of the higher cognitive ablilities Geschwind's area participates in. Among them, semantics will be one of our foci.
 
Students will read papers weekly to prepare for class presentations and discussions. A final paper will review a set of related studies that lead to a research question and hypothesis. Grading is pass-fail.
 
Learning Goals: Students in this course will gain specialized knowledge of neurolinguistics, and will develop oral and written communication skills appropriate to neurolinguistics.
 
Learning Objectives:

-Students will review classic 19th, 20th and 21st century approaches to understanding brain regions and interconnectivity
-Students will learn to read research articles critically and link them to each other
-Students will further master academic writing skills relating to synthetic literature reviews as they identify gaps, contradictions, or uncertainties in the literature that result in research questions and hypotheses.


W 11:45am - 1:45pm
Prof. Jason Kandybowicz


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.

Learning Goals:

  • Engage with primary syntactic literature employing Minimalist theory

  • Be capable of carrying out original independent syntax research using Minimalist theory

Learning Objectives:

  • Understand the conceptual and theoretical motivations for the core components of Minimalist theory

  • Be proficient at engaging in syntactic argumentation within the Minimalist framework

Textbook: There is no required textbook for the course. Instead, we will read the primary Minimalist literature. All readings are posted on the course Dropbox folder.

Course Requirements & Grading Policy:

• Attendance and participation:  20%
• Article review:                          40%
• Squib or additional review:      40%

Article Review: Students will write a 5-10 double-spaced page review of an article related to the material covered in class. Some suggested readings are provided in the Bibliography on pages 3-4. The article review will include: (i) a summary of the general point (or points) made in the article; (ii) one or two points of criticism regarding either the reasoning, argumentation, and/or data; and (iii) one or two well-articulated open questions regarding the analysis (or analyses) in the article (for example, the open questions could have to do with predictions made but not discussed in the article or with general theoretical and/or conceptual problems). The article you will review must be approved by: April 7. The article review is due May 6.

Squib / Additional Review: Ph.D. students will write an 8-12 page double-spaced “squib” (i.e. a short research paper) on a topic inspired by either the class readings/discussions or by their article review. The paper should either (i) provide a novel proposal/analysis or (ii) provide a discussion of novel data (from any language) collected by the student and spell out the theoretical implications of that data.

M.A. students have the option of either writing a squib or doing an additional article review (same guidelines as the first article review).

Your squib/additional review topic must be approved by: May 13. The squib/additional review is due May 29.


Seminar in Bilingualism (LING86600)

W 2 – 4pm
Prof. Dianne Bradley

This seminar course explores phenomena in bilingualism, bringing together two perspectives.  The primary perspective is a psycholinguistic one; i.e., we ask questions about the character of language representations and processing mechanisms in the mind of the adult bilingual speaker/hearer, and of their development in the young bilingual.  How is language knowledge organized and accessed to support the behavioral “juggling act” of bilingualism, in which there is ready yet normally selective availability of more than one system of grammatical knowledge?  And, since any adequate empirical investigation of linguistic representation and process in the bilingual must crucially be conducted with well-defined populations under situationally appropriate protocols, we also review the classic sociolinguistic literature.  That literature raises questions about, e.g., varieties of bilingualism, language choice in different domains, and the analysis of code-switching behavior.


Statistics for Linguistic Research (LING82100)

W 4:15 – 6:15pm
Prof. Kyle Gorman

Synopsis: This class provides an introduction to statistical data analysis from various areas in linguistics research. Topics covered include probability theory, descriptive statistics, non-parametric statistics, simple parametric tests, randomization techniques, linear regression, logistic regression, and mixed-effects models.

Objectives: Students will learn to use the R statistical environment and a wide variety of methods for statistical inference. They will learn best practices for reporting statistical results. They will learn to critique statistical methods commonly used in the linguistics literature.

Materials: Readings will be assigned from two sources: Analyzing Linguistic Data: A Practical Introduction to Statistics using R (Baayen 2008) and Quantitative Methods in Linguistics (Johnson 2008). Readings are intended to provide additional background and details to the lectures, and as such, students can choose to consume the readings either before or after the associated lecture depending on their personal preferences.

Computing: Students are encouraged to bring a laptop to the practicum and are welcome to bring one to the lecture as well. Students are also invited to make use of the Computational Linguistics Laboratory (7400.13) for practice and assignments.

Assignments: Some assignments will be "pencil-and-paper" exercises. Others will require the student to turn in valid R code to solve some given problem. Students will turn in assignments using GitHub Classroom.

Grading: 80 % of students' grades will be derived from assignments and exams; the remaining 20 % will be reserved for participation and attendance. Assignments must be submitted on time or will receive a 0 grade (barring a documented emergency).

Accommmodations: The instructor will attempt to provide all reasonable accommodations to students upon request. If you believe you are covered under the Americans With Disabilities Act, please direct accommodations requests to Matthew G. Schoengood, Vice President for Student Affairs.

Attendance: Students are extended to attend all lectures and practica. The instructor reserves the right to tie grades to attendance records. The instructor and practicum leader are not responsible for reviewing materials missed due to absence.

Integrity: In line with the Student Handbook policies on plagiarism, students are expected to complete their own work. The instructor reserves the right to refer violations of this policy to the Academic Integrity Officer.

Respect: For the sake of the privacy, students are asked not to record lectures. Students are expected to be considerate of your peers and to treat them with respect during class discussions.
 
References: 

Baayen, R. H. 2008. Analyzing Linguistic Data: A Practical Introduction to Statistics using R. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Johnson, K. 2008. Quantitative Methods in Linguistics. Malden: MA: Blackwell.


Statistics for Linguistic Research Practicum (LING73900)

W 6:30 – 8:30pm
Prof. Kyle Gorman
led by Amy Ma


Semantics I (LING72300)

Th 11:45am-1:45pm
Prof. Sam Al Khatib

Textbook: Heim, Irene and Angelika Kratzer (1998). Semantics in Generative Grammar. Blackwell.

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. Registered students are required to attend practicum even if they are not officially enrolled in it.


Course goals. To familiarize you with the basic methods and tools used in current research on formal semantics of natural language. By the end of the semester you will have learned:

(i)  where ‘interpretive’ semantics fits into generative linguistics,

(ii)  how argument structure and argument selection is formally represented, and

(iii)  how compositionality is implemented, with some detailed investigation of relative clauses, movement chains and related dependencies, and quantification.

Course objectives. To develop a concrete model of form-meaning interaction; practice use of mathematical tools in developing such models, including set theory, basic propositional/predicate logical language, functions, λ-calculus, role/place of extralinguistic reasoning in inference calculation.

Expectations and grading. You are absolutely *required* to do all the assigned readings, attend all lectures, attend all practicum sessions, and submit all homework/exams. You are encouraged to discuss homework with your classmates, but you must submit your answers individually. When you work on your individual submission you have to write your own answers with your own words. You may not discuss the take-home exams with each other. Please work on the exams separately. The final grade breakdown is:
 

Homework 25%
Midterm (take-home) 25%
Final (take-home) 30%
Participation 20%


You will not receive any numeric scores on your homework, but you will receive detailed comments and you will be kept up to date on whether your overall performance is satisfactory. The midterm/final will be graded numerically. Regarding submissions, *please* send your work to me in reasonably-sized PDFs (avoid all other formats), and not in separate files. If you take individual shots of a handwritten sheets, compile them into a single PDF and send it to me.


Structure of an Individual Language: Ikpana (LING73100)

Th 11:45am – 1:45pm
Prof. Jason Kandybowicz

*Fulfills a foreign language requirement (with passing grade)

Course Description: This course investigates the grammar of an unfamiliar language with a focus on syntax, morphology, and phonology. This semester we will investigate the structure of Ikpana, an endangered Kwa language of Ghana belonging to the Ghana-Togo Mountain group of languages.

Course Goals: Students in this course will gain specialized knowledge of the syntax, morphology and phonology of the Ikpana language. Students will develop oral and written communication skills in these linguistic subfields.

Learning Objectives: Students will become proficient in the analysis of a variety of syntactic, morphological and phonological structures in the Ikpana  language. Students will engage with the existing Ikpana literature and become capable of carrying out independent research on the language based on this literature.

Textbook: There is no required textbook for the course. All readings are posted on the course Dropbox folder.

Course Requirements & Grading Policy

  • Attendance and participation: 20%
  • One-page summaries of readings: 40%
  • Course project: 40%

Course Project: Students may choose one of the following course projects.

Option 1: write a 10-15 page research proposal for a project concerning any aspect of the grammar of Ikpana. This involves a) providing a full description of the phenomenon and a summary of any existing literature on the topic (if it exists), b) a statement of what is known/understood and what is not known or understood, c) a detailed description of the kind of data we’d need to collect in order to provide a full analysis of the phenomenon, and d) some predictions or speculations on what we might find, given what we do know about the language.

Option 2: write a 10-15 page paper giving a detailed analysis or reanalysis of some structure or phenomenon featured in class or in the readings. 


Seminar in Electrophysiological Methods (LING79600)

Th 11:45am – 1:45pm
Dr. Valerie Shafer

Abstract: This course focuses on training students in basic skills and knowledge necessary to design, carry out and interpret research using electrophysiological methods to test sensory and cognitive processing.  Students will learn how to design a study that will maximize the probability of obtaining good data. They will also learn the basic instrumentation for collecting electrophysiological data.  Issues, such as stimulus selection and delivery, maximizing signal/noise ratio, as well as considerations of study length, fatigue factors, habituation, etc. will be discussed.  Analysis approaches for data reduction, cleaning and source separation (e.g., global field power, principal components analysis, dipole analysis) will be introduced and discussed. Students will participate in data collection in a laboratory experiment and perform analyses on the acquired data.
 
Learning Outcomes: 1) The student will gain specialized knowledge about the instrumentation necessary to record electrophysiological responses (e.g., amplifier settings, electrode application) and of commonly used analysis approaches (e.g., Eye-blink correction; Epoching, Averaged Event-Related Potentials). 2) The student will gain introductory knowledge about commonly used experiment designs in electrophysiological research that focuses on cortical sensory and cognitive processes and the brain measures elicited in these designs (e.g., visual N170; Lexical N400; auditory Mismatch Negativity). 3) The student will gain familiarity with some of the more recent novel approaches to analysis (e.g., Time-Frequency Analysis; Coherence).
 
Course Requirements

  • Weekly readings: to be assigned
  • 4 lab assignments carried out in groups (Instrumentation; Design: Analysis: Interpretation)
  • two critiques of published experiment research papers
  • Final paper consisting of a proposed research study using an electrophysiological method.

Grading

  • 20% effort (participating in class discussions)
  • 20% critiques (these can be revised and resubmitted)
  • 20% lab assignments
  • 40% final paper

Assignments
 
Critique 1.  Select a research paper to critique, focusing on the method. Read at least 5 related papers (which can be listed in a bibliography and/or referred to in the critique). Due Week 7.
 
Critique 2. Same as above, but due Week 11.
 
Proposal Abstract: Due Week 11 (I will approve your topic, or suggest changes based on this).
 
Proposal: Due Week 16.
 
Lab Assignments: Students will complete data analysis assignments.


Qualifying Paper I Workshop (pass/fail) (LING79400)

Th 2 – 4 pm
Prof. Dianne Bradley

Students contemplating an enrollment in the first qualifying paper (QP1) workshop are advised to review guidelines for the paper they must write to fulfill the "First Examination" requirement of the PhD Program in Linguistics.  Make sure to look at the guidelines.

The purpose of the workshop is to enhance students' research, argumentation and writing skills.  There is no pre-established syllabus for the workshop.  Students work collaboratively to devise programs of consultation appropriate to their aims and needs, taking into account the availability of their advisors and of other sources providing information, technical assistance and commentary.  They identify published papers to serve as models for their QPs, and increase their skills in searching and exploiting literature and research databases of various kinds.  They support each other in negotiating the administrative hurdles that are often part of the research experience, e.g., Institutional Research Board (IRB) approval for research with human subjects.  They learn to critique their own arguments and their own writing, and also that of fellow students, providing feedback for each other at all stages in the development of papers from preliminary ideas to more mature drafts.  Class participation is essential!

Please come to the workshop's first meeting with your approved abstract ready to distribute to fellow students.  Be prepared, also, to report how far your planning or writing has progressed, and to identify the kinds of assistance you might need or can offer to others, throughout the semester.  Above all, be ready to begin thinking and talking about your QP, however preliminary your ideas or how sketchy your written drafts might be.


Corpus Analysis (LING78000)

Th 2 – 4pm
Prof. Alla Rozovskaya 

Language expression is a physical process that is inextricably tied to high-level mental processes. As such, it has the potential to shed light on the inner workings of an individual's thoughts and psyche. This course covers topics in psychology that are uniquely associated with written and oral language expression and how they can be modeled using natural language processing techniques. The goal of the course is to introduce students to research topics at the intersection of the two disciplines, focusing on how natural language processing techniques can help test psychological theories, and how psychological theories can help inform approaches to NLP applications. 
Topics covered will include: gender, deception, emotion, entrainment, trauma, mental illnesses, psychopathy, autism, liking and conflict, personality, dominance and influence.


Learning outcomes: The student will be able to

  • critically read a research paper in natural language processing or psychology
  • use spoken and natural language processing tools and techniques
  • evaluate spoken and natural language processing applications
  • design a natural language processing approach to a research problem in psychology
  • use knowledge of psychology to inform an approach to a spoken or natural language processing task

In addition, the student will be familiar with research topics and state of the art at the intersection of the two disciplines of natural language processing and psychology.


Teaching Linguistics Across CUNY Campuses (pass/fail) (LING73800)

Th 4:15 - 6:15pm
(Nove)
Prof. Gita Martohardjono
 

*Required for first year doctoral students.


Case and Voice in Austronesian: From Taiwan to Tahiti (LING82200)

F 11:45am – 1:45pm
Prof. Daniel Kaufman and Bill Foley

*Fulfills a foreign language requirement (with passing grade)


Overview:In this seminar, we will explore grammatical voice and case in Austronesian languages, which have long challenged analysts with patterns that seem to defy classic alignment typologies (e.g. accusative, ergative, active, etc.). After an overview of voice, case and alignment, we will discuss particular analyses of Philippine-type grammars, which have been argued to show four “symmetrical" voices, and move on to a range of developments from this historically conservative system, as found in the languages of Indonesia and the Pacific. The course will be grounded in a rich set of cross-linguistic data and a general typological orientation, although we will be drawing from work in GB/Minimalism, Relational Grammar, RRG and LFG. Previous coursework in syntax is recommended.


Learning Goals: Students will learn about the typology, historical development and theoretical analysis of case and voice in Austronesian languages. Students will learn how to critically evaluate work in theoretical linguistics and do their own research based on original fieldwork or the reanalysis of published data. This includes the general development of oral and written communication skills necessary to be a professional linguist.


Participation: There will be a reading each week, which students should have read carefully before class. We aim to have a lively discussion of the pros and cons of each analysis rather than just presenting a summary of the work. Students will also have the opportunity to present articles with their own critiques to the group.


Assignments: Students will submit a 1-2 prospectus for a paper by the middle of the semester and will write a ~20 page paper based on an approved prospectus. This can involve original fieldwork or a novel reanalysis of published data. The paper will be due by the end of the semester and we will aim to have a day of student presentations during finals week, as well. The final grade will be based on the final paper (50%), presentations and participation in class discussion (50%).


Readings: We will be reading a wide variety of papers in the typology, historical and theoretical linguistics of Austronesian languages as they relate to case and voice. A full reading list will be supplied at the start of the semester. The following are important reference books on both the Austronesian language family as well as case and voice.


Adelaar, Alexander K. and Nikolaus Himmelmann (eds.). 2005. The Austronesian Languages of Asia and Madagascar. London: Routledge.
Lynch, John, Malcolm Ross, and Terry Crowley (eds.). 2002. The Oceanic Languages. Routledge, London and New York.
Malchukov, Andrej, Andrew Spencer. 2009. Oxford Handbook of Case. Oxford: OUP.
Manning, Christopher. 1996. Ergativity: Argument Structure and Grammatical Relations. CSLI Publications, Stanford.
Travis, Lisa,  Jessica Coon, and Diane Massam (eds.). 2017. Oxford Handbook of Ergativity. Oxford: OUP. Wouk, Fay and Malcolm Ross (eds.). 2002 . The History and Typology of Western Austronesian Voice Systems.
Canberra: Pacific Linguistics, Research School of Pacific Asian Studies, ANU.


Methods in Computational Linguistics II (LING83800)

F 11:45am – 1:45pm
Prof. Michael Mandel

Synopsis: This course is the second of a two-semester series introducing computational linguistics and software development. The intended audience is students interested in speech and language processing technologies, though the materials will be beneficial to all language researchers.

Learning goals: Using the Python programming language, students will learn core algorithms used to build speech and language technologies, and best practices for evaluation and basic statistical analysis.

Topic list: Topics may include, but are not limited to:

1. Probability
2. Git
3. Formal languages
4. Finite automata
5. Language models
6. Finite-state grammars
7. Generative classifiers
8. Hidden Markov models
9. Discriminative classification
10. Evaluation
11. Descriptive data analysis
12. Inferential data analysis

Materials: Chapters from several textbooks will be provided as reading assignments in addition to several published papers. Students are strongly encouraged to bring a laptop computer to the practicum.

Assessment: Assessment will be based on three main components: homework assignments throughout the semester, a final project, and participation and attendance in class meetings.

Homework assignments will take the form of small software development projects accompanied by write-ups describing the general approach taken and any challenges encountered. Students will often be able to verify the technical correctness of their code by running provided tests. Students will also be graded on the readability of their code, the quality of documentation, and the write-up. We will use GitHub Classroom for assignment turn-in.

The final project will be an open-ended project which will either extend earlier homeworks or build and evaluate a speech and language technology system. Students are encouraged to conceive of projects relevant to their research interests. Students should discuss project plans with the instructor to confirm that it is both feasible and of appropriate scope.

The final grade in the course will be curved, weighting the above components as follows:

 

Assignment Assesses
Participation / attendance 10% Theoretical and applied Topics
Homework assignments (×3) 20% Applied Topics
Final project presentation    10% Applied Topics
Final project paper    20% Applied Topics

 

Online Resources: Slides, assignments, and readings will be posted on the course website:

http://mr-pc.org/t/ling83800/

The course will also have a Blackboard site for distributing readings.

Grading: All homeworks and projects should be turned in via github classroom at least 30 minutes prior to the beginning of the corresponding class period. Homeworks turned in late will be penalized 10% for each day they are late. A project that is turned in two days late and would have received a 100% will instead receive an 80%.

University policy on Academic Integrity: The faculty and administration of CUNY support an environment free from cheating and plagiarism. Each student is responsible for being aware of what constitutes cheating and plagia- rism and for avoiding both. The complete text of the CUNY Academic Integrity Policy can be found at http://www.cuny.edu/about/administration/offices/legal-affairs/policies-resources/academic-integrity-policy/. CUNY guide- lines for avoiding and detecting plagiarism can be found at /sites/default/files/2021-07/AvoidingPlagiarism.pdf. If a faculty member suspects a violation of academic integrity and, upon investigation, confirms that violation, or if the student admits the violation, the faculty member MUST report the violation.

Course policy on Academic Integrity: While you are encouraged to discuss the course material and assignments with your classmates and anyone else you might like, all submitted individual assignments must be strictly your own work. If you incorporate any work from other sources, including existing web pages, publications, books, or conversations, it should be explicitly cited with proper credit given to the original author. In the case of copying, both the copier and the copy-ee may be equally guilty.

You may work in small groups for the final project, in which case the groups will be established early in the term and each group will turn in a single final project report and present a single project presentation.


*Informal Practicum for Methods II  led by Arundhati Sengupta.

Download the Fall 2019 course schedule (PDF)

Introduction to Sociolinguistics (LING76100)

M 11:45am-1:45pm
Prof. Cecelia Cutler

This course explores contemporary questions facing the field of sociolinguistics: What is the purpose of sociolinguistics? What theoretical and sociocultural questions does it address? What theories and new forms of data are sociolinguists analyzing in order to answer these questions? Should sociolinguists take an activist role in sharing their findings with the public? In seminar style discussions, participants will engage with these questions through a series of readings and develop a research paper (or student-devised project) based on data, theories, and methodologies discussed in class.


Seminar in Speech Production (LING79100)

M 2:00pm – 4:00pm
Dr. Douglas Whalen

This class will examine the ways in which language is expressed by the human vocal tract. Combining insights from motor control studies and linguistic analysis, 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), static palatography, 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.


Introduction to Methods in Computational Linguistics I (LING78100)

M 4:15pm – 6:15pm
Prof. Kyle Gorman

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 a 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 Python. We begin by learning the syntax of Python and how to program generally; we then focus specifically on linguistic applications.


Semantics II (LING72400)

T 11:45am – 1:45 pm
Prof. Sam Al Khatib

This course covers advanced topics in the semantics of natural language. We introduce and discuss representations of meaning that are beyond those permitted in extensional frameworks, and focus on how syntactic structures of natural language expressions can be composed and related to these enriched representations. Likely topics: the semantics of attitude verbs, modality, conditionals, questions, degree semantics, plurals and events, tense and aspect. The course assumes background in material covered in Semantics I, particularly the coverage of extensional semantics in Heim and Kratzer (1998).


Advanced Natural Language Processing (LING79600)

T 11:45am - 1:45pm
Prof. Alla Rozovskaya

Recent break-throughs in AI in general, and Natural Language Processing in particular, are due to the extensive development and use of neural networks and deep learning. This course will cover 1) fundamentals of NLP (including, part-of-speech tagging, syntactic and semantic parsing, word sense disambiguation); 2) statistical methods used for NLP tasks (classification, feature selection); 3) fundamentals of neural networks and deep learning (gradient decent, back propagation, forward propagation, convolutional neural networks, recurrent neural networks, long-short-term-memory models); 4) application of deep learning techniques to natural language processing tasks (word vector representations, word embeddings, etc.).

Recommendations for the students taking the class

Proficiency in Python: All class assignments will be in Python (numpy, pandas, Keras). Jupiter Notebooks will be used for in-class examples and assignment submissions. Below are several links to Python-related tutorials.

  • Python tutorial: https://docs.python.org/3/tutorial/
  • NumPy tutorial: https://docs.scipy.org/doc/numpy-1.15.1/user/quickstart.html
  • Keras API: https://keras.io/
  • Keras API and Python vectorization operations will be discussed in class.

Completion of Language Technology or Natural Language Processing is strongly recommended. Speech and Language Processing (3rd edition) by Jurafsky and Martinon -line version:

https://web.stanford.edu/~jurafsky/slp3/

College Calculus, Linear Algebra: you should be comfortable taking derivatives and understanding matrix vector operations and notation.

Basic Probability and Statistics.

Topics List

The area of deep learning is neural nets is large and developing rapidly. The instructor can adjust the topics to students’ interest, and accordingly, the instructor can narrow or extend the list of topics below.

History of NLP:

  • how various NLP tasks are casted as classification problems;
  • document categorization;
  • machine translation;
  • use of classification methods: Naïve Bayesian, SVM, logistic regression, etc.;
  • feature selection for classification.

Neural nets and deep learning:

  • logistic regression example;
  • gradient decent;
  • back propagation;
  • forward propagation;
  • convolutional neural networks;
  • recurrent neural networks;
  • long-short-term-memory models.

NLP-specific deep learning methods:

  • word vector representations;
  • word embeddings;
  • sequence learning.

Discussion of Deep Learning application in the field of NLP using papers published in NLP conferences (ACL, EMNLP, CONLL, etc.)

Assessment:

The class does not have either midterm or final exam. The assessment will be based on the three completed homework assignments, final project which students present in class, class participation, research papers discussion.


Introduction to Methods in Computational Linguistics I Practicum (LING73600)

T: 11:45am-1:45pm
led by Jon Manczur


Introduction to Second Language Acquisition (LING70500)

T 2:00pm – 4:00pm
Prof. Alberta Gatti

This course is a general introduction to Second Language Acquisition (SLA), a theoretical and experimental field that studies how people learn a second (third, etc.) language. The course examines factors that affect second language acquisition and development, which include: the role of the first language; issues of age and ultimate attainment; psychological factors (language aptitude, motivation, etc.); social dimensions (language socialization, social identity); and cognitive perspectives, with a focus on the role of input and interaction. Additionally, the course considers instructed SLA, specifically the role of explicit and implicit instruction in the acquisition of a second language.


Introduction to Theoretical Linguistics (LING70100)

T 4:15pm – 6:15pm
Prof. Christina Tortora & Jason Bishop


Introduction to Theoretical Linguistics Practicum (LING73700)

W: 11:45am-1:45pm
led Katya Kistanova


Syntax I (LING72100)

W 2:00pm - 4:00pm
Prof. Jason Kandybowicz

This course provides an introduction to Principles and Parameters Theory (P&P), the foundation of current mainstream generative approaches to sentence structure. P&P aims to explain the acquisition and cross-linguistic variation of syntactic phenomena by pursuing the idea that a pre-determined 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.

Learning Goals 
By the end of this course, students will be expected to be able to:

  1.  Reproduce all core ingredients of P&P theory
  2.  Apply principles and parameters to perform syntactic analysis
  3.  Engage with primary literature employing P&P theory
  4.  Be proficient at engaging in syntactic argumentation

Introduction to Psycholinguistics: Eye- Tracking (LING70600)

W 4:15pm – 6:15pm

Prof. Irina Sekerina

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.


First Language Acquisition LING72700)

W 6:30pm – 8:30pm
Dr. Virginia Valian

This course emphasizes readings and discussion of:  the child's initial state and evidence for it, the role of input, and the syntax acquisition mechanism.  We will contrast two broad views of acquisition.  In one, the child begins with abstract specifications of syntactic features and the form of the grammar and must learn language-specific details.  In the other, the child begins with lexically-specific details and builds abstractions over time.  What types of empirical evidence can help us decide between these two views?

Specific topics will include:  syntactic categories (ranging from proto-categories in infancy to full-fledged categories in 3-year-olds), the content of early syntactic representations (underspecification vs misspecification), early word combinations, errors of omission and commission, the role of performance limitations, the role of parental input, and models of learning.

Classes will use a combined lecture-seminar format.  Students will read original theoretical, empirical, and computational articles.  Students will also a) perform some transcription and data analysis, b) write a 5-10 page midterm paper – a critical review of a recent journal article, c) make one class presentation, and d) write a final paper or take a final examination.  Students are encouraged to think of their final paper as preparation for a qualifying paper.

An important goal of the course is for students to think like researchers in language acquisition.  By transcribing and analyzing child data, students will learn how to ask and answer questions in language acquisition.
Overview

This course emphasizes readings and discussion of mechanisms of language acquisition.  The course will examine two broad views of acquisition.  In one, the child begins with innate abstract specifications of syntactic features and the form of the grammar; the child must learn language-specific details.  In the other view, the child begins with no innate syntax but observes lexically-specific details in the input and builds abstractions over time.  The course addresses the two perspectives through readings on typical and non-typical first language acquisition; the role of input in monolingual and bilingual acquisition; and computational modeling.  
Specific topics will include:  syntactic features, categories, and structures, the content and form of early syntactic representations, the role of parental input, the role of performance limitations, and models of learning.

Classes will use a combined lecture-seminar format.  
Students will read original theoretical, empirical, and computational articles.  Students will also a) perform some data analysis (and optional transcription), b) write a 5-10 page midterm paper (a critical review of a recent journal article), c) make one 15-min class presentation, and d) write a final paper or take a final examination.  Students are encouraged to think of their final paper as preparation for a qualifying paper.  All of the assignments can have the same focus.  In the ideal case, each assignment will feed into the next so that the final paper will benefit from the earlier work.

An important goal of the course is to help students think like researchers in language acquisition and, where relevant, to consider the applied implications of basic research findings.  By (transcribing and) analyzing child data, critiquing published work, and developing research plans, students can learn how to ask and answer questions in language acquisition.
  
There are numerous conferences to which students might be able to submit abstracts, such as:
• BU Conference on Language Development • ASHA• LSA

6 course objectives; in this course you will:
• Acquire a grounding in the basic issues and controversies in language acquisition • Develop skills for analyzing children's spontaneous language • Learn the basic experimental procedures for testing children's linguistic knowledge • Learn how to analyze research papers • Design a study, resolve a theoretical disagreement, or demonstrate your knowledge of acquisition via a test.


Language Technology (LING83600)

W 4:15pm – 6:15pm
Prof. Kyle Gorman
 

Description

Speech and language technologies are an increasingly important part of everyday life. This seminar will explore how computers process human language audio (e.g., speech recognition) and text (natural language processing). Intended as an introduction to the field, this course will emphasize core tasks like text normalization, document classification, language modeling, sequence tagging, and parsing, and key applications including speech recognition and machine translation. Intended as an introduction to the field, this course will survey many methodologies, including finite-state modeling and neural network approaches.

Prerequisites

The course is open to graduate students with a background in linguistics and computing. Students with minimal programming experience are recommended to first take LING78100/LING73800. All students will complete a term project, and computer science students will be permitted to emphasize programming over research if desired.

Research Interests

This course would be excellent for students who may be interested in computational linguistics, speech processing, and natural language processing. Upon completion of this course, students will be prepared to read the literature in these fields.


Field Methods II (LING82200)

Th:11:45am-1:45pm
Prof. Jason Kandybowicz

This course is a continuation of Field Methods I.  Continued elicitation and analysis of data from the language studied in Field Methods I with a greater focus on the fine details of the language’s syntactic, semantic, morphological, and phonological structure.


Neurodevelopment of Bilingual Language Learning (LING79200)

Th:11:45am-1:45pm
Dr. Valerie Shafer

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.


Syntax I Practicum (LING73800)

Th 2:00pm – 4:00pm
led by Cass Lowry 

Download the Spring 2019 course schedule (PDF)

Advanced Natural Language Processing (LING79600)

M 9:30am - 11:30am
Elena Filatova

Recent break-throughs in AI in general, and Natural Language Processing in particular, are due to the extensive development and use of neural networks and deep learning. This course will cover 1) fundamentals of NLP (including, part-of-speech tagging, syntactic and semantic parsing, word sense disambiguation); 2) statistical methods used for NLP tasks (classification, feature selection); 3) fundamentals of neural networks and deep learning (gradient decent, back propagation, forward propagation, convolutional neural networks, recurrent neural networks, long-short-term-memory models); 4) application of deep learning techniques to natural language processing tasks (word vector representations, word embeddings, etc.).

Recommendations for the students taking the class

  • -  Proficiency in Python: All class assignments will be in Python (numpy, pandas, Keras). Jupiter Notebooks will be used for in-class examples and assignment submissions. Below are several links to Python-related tutorials.

    o Pythontutorial:https://docs.python.org/3/tutorial/
    o NumPytutorial:https://docs.scipy.org/doc/numpy-1.15.1/user/quickstart.html o KerasAPI:https://keras.io/
    o KerasAPIandPythonvectorizationoperationswillbediscussedinclass.

  • -  Completion of Language Technology or Natural Language Processing is strongly recommended. o SpeechandLanguageProcessing(3rdedition)byJurafskyandMartinon-lineversion:

    https://web.stanford.edu/~jurafsky/slp3/

  • -  College Calculus, Linear Algebra: you should be comfortable taking derivatives and understanding matrix vector operations and notation.

  • -  Basic Probability and Statistics.

    Topics List

    The area of deep learning is neural nets is large and developing rapidly. The instructor can adjust the topics to students’ interest, and accordingly, the instructor can narrow or extend the list of topics below.

  • -  History of NLP
    o howvariousNLPtasksarecastedasclassificationproblems;
    o documentcategorization;
    o machinetranslation;
    o useofclassificationmethods:NaïveBayesian,SVM,logisticregression,etc.; o featureselectionforclassification.

  • -  Neural nets and deep learning:
    o logisticregressionexample;

    o gradientdecent;
    o backpropagation;
    o forwardpropagation;

o convolutionalneuralnetworks;
o recurrentneuralnetworks;
o long-short-term-memorymodels.

  • -  NLP-specific deep learning methods: o wordvectorrepresentations; o wordembeddings;
    o sequencelearning.

  • -  Discussion of Deep Learning application in the field of NLP using papers published in NLP conferences (ACL, EMNLP, CONLL, etc.)

    Assessment

    The class does not have either midterm or final exam. The assessment will be based on the three completed homework assignments, final project which students present in class, class participation, research papers discussion.


Corpus Analysis (LING7800)

M 11:45am – 1:45pm
Prof. Rivka Levitan

Language expression is a physical process that is inextricably tied to high-level mental processes. As such, it has the potential to shed light on the inner workings of an individual's thoughts and psyche. This course covers topics in psychology that are uniquely associated with written and oral language expression and how they can be modeled using natural language processing techniques. The goal of the course is to introduce students to research topics at the intersection of the two disciplines, focusing on how natural language processing techniques can help test psychological theories, and how psychological theories can help inform approaches to NLP applications. 
Topics covered will include: gender, deception, emotion, entrainment, trauma, mental illnesses, psychopathy, autism, liking and conflict, personality, dominance and influence.


Learning outcomes: The student will be able to

  • critically read a research paper in natural language processing or psychology
  • use spoken and natural language processing tools and techniques
  • evaluate spoken and natural language processing applications
  • design a natural language processing approach to a research problem in psychology
  • use knowledge of psychology to inform an approach to a spoken or natural language processing task

In addition, the student will be familiar with research topics and state of the art at the intersection of the two disciplines of natural language processing and psychology.


Introduction to Methods in Computational Linguistics II (LING83800)

M 2:00 – 4:00pm
Prof. Kyle Gorman

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.

*Informal Practicum for Methods II meeting on Tuesdays, 4:15pm-6:15pm led by Hussein Ghaly.


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

M 2:00 – 4:00pm
Prof. Doug Whalen

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.


Phonology I (LING71300)

T 11:45am – 1:45 pm
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 (Ling 73600, 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.


Qualifying Paper I Workshop (pass/fail) (LING79400)

T 2 – 4 pm
Prof. Janet Fodor

Students contemplating an enrollment in the first qualifying paper (QP1) workshop are advised to review guidelines for the paper they must write to fulfill the "First Examination" requirement of the PhD Program in Linguistics.  Make sure to look at the guidelines.

The purpose of the workshop is to enhance students' research, argumentation and writing skills.  There is no pre-established syllabus for the workshop.  Students work collaboratively to devise programs of consultation appropriate to their aims and needs, taking into account the availability of their advisors and of other sources providing information, technical assistance and commentary.  They identify published papers to serve as models for their QPs, and increase their skills in searching and exploiting literature and research databases of various kinds.  They support each other in negotiating the administrative hurdles that are often part of the research experience, e.g., Institutional Research Board (IRB) approval for research with human subjects.  They learn to critique their own arguments and their own writing, and also that of fellow students, providing feedback for each other at all stages in the development of papers from preliminary ideas to more mature drafts.  Class participation is essential!

Please come to the workshop's first meeting with your approved abstract ready to distribute to fellow students.  Be prepared, also, to report how far your planning or writing has progressed, and to identify the kinds of assistance you might need or can offer to others, throughout the semester.  Above all, be ready to begin thinking and talking about your QP, however preliminary your ideas or how sketchy your written drafts might be.


Phonology I Practicum (LING73700)

T 2 – 4 pm
(Ben Macaulay) Juliette Blevins


Neuroscience of Aphasia (LING79300)

T 2 – 4 pm
Prof. Loraine Obler

In this class we will read the classics of aphasiology, dementia, and primary progressive aphasia as they pertain to the interaction of brain, language and cognition (Wernicke, 1874, Lichtheim, 1886/2006, Roch Lecours on the 1906 debates of the Paris Society of Anthropology, Alzheimer 1907 and 1911, then turn to the late 20th and 21st century works on the course topic: Mesulam, 1982, Gorno-Tempini and colleagues, Cahana-Amitay and Albert, 2017. Our goal will be to determine the different approaches to understanding how cognition may underpin language performance and/or be dissociated from it according to these and other authors. Students will participate in weekly on-line discussions of the readings preceding each class. Doctoral students will prepare a lecture for the class based on their particular areas of interest in the topic.


Speech Science (LING79200)

T 4:15 – 6:15 pm
Prof. Jason Bishop

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.


Instrumental Linguistic Meaning & Columbia-School Grammar (LING79700)

T 4:15 – 6:15 pm
Prof. Alan Huffman

Columbia-School linguistics takes a unique view of the nature of linguistic meaning and places that view at the center of grammatical analysis. This instrumental view of meaning recognizes that signaled meanings significantly underdetermine the messages communicated through language, thus leading analysts to reckon with the pervasive role of inference in linguistic communication. CS analyses seek out constant associations between semantic content—the meanings—and minimal units of form, the signals of these meanings. The content-form requirement is thus a strict control on the positing of grammatical linguistic units. This course will bring out the stark contrast between instrumental meaning and the compositional view of meaning which underlies sentence grammar and classical syntax along with their grammatical categories. Students will come to understand why CS analyses make no use of traditional categories like parts of speech and syntax of the sentence. We will compare the instrumental view to cognitivist and other views as well. Students will read and discuss classic works of the Columbia School and gain hands-on experience in applying the Columbia-School analytical framework to topics of their own interest.


Semantics I Practicum (LING73600)

W 9:30am - 11:30am
(Durovic) Al Khatib


Syntax II (LING72200)

W 11:45am - 1:45pm
Prof. Jason Kandybowicz

This course lays the foundation for current Minimalist theory. It examines the empirical and conceptual motivations for the paradigm shift from Government-Binding theory to Minimalism and familiarizes students with recent developments in the Minimalist Program.

By the end of this course, students should be able to:

1. understand the conceptual and theoretical motivations for Minimalist theory;
2. have access to the primary literature employing Minimalist theory; and
3. be proficient at engaging in syntactic argumentation within the Minimalist framework. 


Second Language and Loanword Phonology (LING85100)

W 2 – 4pm
Prof. Dianne Bradley

Researchers and teachers in second language acquisition standardly remark on the difficulties experienced by adult learners with the pronunciation of a target language, and often note that "foreign accent", however that might be defined, can represent a last and singularly frustrating barrier to native-like command.  This participatory seminar course, chiefly drawing on the recent research literature, aims to equip students to be "intelligent consumers" — and prospectively, skilled practitioners — of research focused on the interplay of first and second language phonologies, tempered by biases in language production/perception and grammatical universals including markedness.


We begin with a brief review of traditional frameworks, which often emphasize maturational constraints on the acquisition of segmental inventories, before proceeding to a detailed consideration of the phonological system to be acquired, much more broadly construed.  We explore also a complementary literature in loanword phonology, which examines language-specific variation in the adaptations imposed on word-forms borrowed into a speaker's native language.

The course presupposes no more than a modest background in phonology, e.g., Phonology I (LING 71300).  No textbook is assigned.  We instead make use of an electronic reserves archive drawing from the research literature.  Assessment is based on students' in-class participation, presentations and associated short writing assignments (50%), and a final term-paper (50%).  The latter may take the form of a research proposal, or a critical review of published research bearing on a course-relevant topic.  The focus of that term-paper, whatever its form, must be approved by the instructor.


Prosody and Sentence Processing (LING72500)

W 4:15 – 6:15pm
Prof. Janet Fodor

We will read the fast-growing research literature on the prosody/syntax interface, as defined by grammatical principles, and as manifested in on-line production and interpretation of prosody. Cross-linguistic comparisons will be of particular interest. In the fit between syntactic and prosodic phrasing, how much is universal, what properties are language-specific?

Questions to be addressed in the course include the following:

Do speakers make prosodic distinctions that disambiguate lexically/syntactically ambiguous utterances? If so, are hearers sensitive to those distinctions, and do they make use of them in normal conversational situations? If prosodic disambiguation occurs, is it only for certain types of ambiguity? If so, which and why? What kinds of formal principles apply at the interface? Is prosody (and/or its interface with syntax) particularly difficult for second language (L2) learners? Does L2 competence in prosody facilitate acquisition of L2 syntax? How prodigious is infants’ prosodic ability? Can pre-verbal infants use prosodic properties to set syntactic parameters (e.g. head direction) as has been claimed? Is it true that at a later age, children have trouble integrating prosody and syntax? How strong is the evidence for ‘implicit prosody’, mentally projected onto sentences in silent reading? What methods can be used for studying this inaudible prosody?

During the semester each participant in the course will choose a question of interest (one of the above, or a novel one), will collate the relevant literature, and will present to the class a summary of what is already known and ideas for future studies.


Teaching Linguistics Across CUNY Campuses (pass/fail) (LING73800)

W 6:30 – 8:30pm
(Nove)
Gita Martohardjono
 

*Required for first year doctoral students.


Semantics I (LING72300)

Th:11:45am-1:45pm
Prof. Sam Al Khatib

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. 

Registered students are required to attend practicum *even if they are not officially enrolled in it*.


Field Methods (LING82100)

Th 2 – 4pm
Prof. Jason Kandybowicz

The elicitation and analysis of phonological, grammatical, and discourse data from a language unknown to members of the class. Through in-depth research on the language, techniques of research design, methods of phonetic transcription, grammatical annotation, and analysis of language data are taught.


Speech and Audio Understanding (LING79500)

F 11:45am – 1:45pm
Prof. Michael Mandel

"Machine listening" is a multidisciplinary field at the intersection of signal processing, machine learning, and psychoacoustics. This course will begin by introducing necessary material from those fields to provide a foundation for the rest of the course. Machine listening is primarily concerned with analyzing and understanding three types of signals: speech, music, and environmental sounds and these will be the focus of the course. We will also consider additional applications that require the creation or manipulation of these sounds in speech and music.