Current LING 447 Course Offerings

The LING 447 courses offered in the 2021 Winter Terms can be found below.

Term 1

Course #: 447L

Title: Advanced Pragmatics

Days/times: Tuesday/Thursday 9:30-11:00

Prerequisites: one of LING 345, LING 327 or PHIL 220 as well as LING 201.

Instructor: Eva Csipak

Description: This is an Advanced Pragmatics class. In conversations we find that certain utterances can or cannot be followed felicitously by other utterances, and that what a speaker intends to communicate is not always the message that the hearer infers. Discourse models aim to track - to various degrees - speaker commitments, what is said, and what speaker and hearer have agreed on going forward.
We will read and discuss recent papers in formal pragmatics that focus on different discourse models: about the Common Ground, the Table Model, and the Questions under Discussion model, as well as their various extensions and applications.
Knowledge of some formal semantics and basic syntax is required.

Course #: 447N

Title: Linguistics & Language Revitalization

Days/times: Tuesday/Thursday 14:00-15:30

Instructor: Henry Davis

Description: For better or worse, linguists often find themselves involved in language revitalization efforts, particularly for indigenous languages, where language education is chronically under-resourced. In this course, we will look at what linguists working on such languages can and should do (and conversely, what they cannot and should not do) and how formal linguistics can be put to work successfully as part of a language revitalization strategy. Case studies will be drawn largely from First Nations languages spoken in British Columbia, and will include a practical component on how to convert linguistic material into a pedagogically useful format. Guest lecturers will include a number of leading linguists and language educators working on language revitalization in the province.

Term 2

Course #: 447O

Title: Introduction to Psycholinguistics

Days/times: Monday/Wednesday 11:00-12:30

Prerequisites: Ling 201

Instructor: Christopher Hammerly

Description: The goal of this course is to introduce the field of psycholinguistics to students familiar with the fundamentals of formal linguistic theory. Psycholinguistics is the study of how humans acquire language over the course of development, then produce and comprehend language in real time as adults. The two major themes of the course will be (i) to understand the relationship between linguistic knowledge and general cognitive capabilities, and (ii) to show that language processing is incremental—that we actively produce and understand language. While psycholinguistics as a field covers everything from phonetics to discourse processing at all different stages of development and aging, the particular focus of this course will be adult sentence processing at the level of the morpheme, word, and sentence: How do we access our lexical knowledge? Are morphological and syntactic structures processed in a similar fashion? Why do we make certain systematic errors in parsing? How do we form movement and agreement dependencies? How do we compute argument structure relationships?

Students will actively engage with both foundational and cutting-edge research in each topic area to gain an understanding of what we know, and, perhaps more importantly, what we still need to learn more about. Students will be introduced to basic experimental design, statistics, and data visualization (no previous experience required!). The course will include lectures, discussions and critical write-ups on readings, collaborative labs where students replicate past experimental studies, and a final group project where students conceptualize, design, pilot, and present an original study.

Course #: 447P

Title: Swearing and taboo language as a window into grammar

Days/times: Monday/Wednesday 13:00-14:30

Prerequisites: LING300, LING 311, LING 327. Grad students are also welcome.

Instructor: Marcin Morzycki, Anne-Michelle Tessier

Description: Swearing, slurs, and taboo language are interesting in part because they provide an unusual window onto grammatical and social phenomena. This class will examine these phenomena, focusing especially on the larger grammatical principles with which taboo language interacts. We will discuss issues across the full breadth of theoretical linguistics—from phonetics/phonology to semantics/pragmatics—and touch on sociolinguistics and the philosophy of language. We will also seek out novel data in this domain, hopefully including languages beyond those in which these issues have been most studied. Topics will likely include expletive infixation, shitgibbons, the prosody of sarcasm, metrical properties of dirty limericks, ass-suffixation, ass-binding, epithets, taboo degree modifiers, expressive meaning, slurs, euphemisms, and dog whistles.