Language typology: Patterns and universals in language (LIN4110.01)

Leah Pappas

Linguistic typology refers to the classification of languages based on their features. In this course, we’ll conduct a cross-linguistic examination of various concepts pertaining to the sounds, grammar, and meanings of words and phrases. We’ll further consider possible language universals—features that may belong to all languages. Through this focus on linguistic code, we’ll discuss hypotheses—rooted in physiology, cognition, environment, culture, and various other facets of the human experience—that have been proposed to explain why such patterns exist. As we explore these concepts, students will learn methodologies in typological study, and they will apply these to examine a language or group of languages of their choice. We’ll discuss the benefits and downsides of typological approaches so that students emerge from this course with a nuanced understanding of how to interpret the theories and patterns discussed.

Learning Outcomes:
Critically identify and evaluate the patterns in linguistic code that occur in languages throughout the world

Develop a nuanced understanding of the non-linguistic factors that may motivate typological patterns and possible linguistic universals

Understand and implement methodologies in linguistic typology in order to successfully conduct one's own research

Delivery Method: Fully in-person
Prerequisites: Students must have previously taken "Language as System and Social Behavior" or a similar course that has introduced them to introductory linguistic concepts, such as phonology and syntax.
Course Level: 4000-level
Credits: 4
M/Th 3:40PM - 5:30PM (Full-term)
Maximum Enrollment: 15
Course Frequency: One time only

Categories: 4000 , All courses , Four Credit , Fully In-Person , Linguistics , Sociolinguistics