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Courses in LSA Linguistics

Linguistics (LING)
LING 408 / ENGLISH 408. Varieties of English
(3). May not be repeated for credit.

This course examines topics such as American English, English as a world language, and dialects in English. It also studies the ways speech reflects our personal views about national and regional origins, race, class, ethnicity, religion, age, gender, and sexual orientation.

LING 421. Morphology
At least one introductory linguistics course. (3; 2 in the half-term). May not be repeated for credit.

This course is an introduction to morphological theory, the goal of which is to provide a framework within which word structure in all languages can be described.

LING 426 / PHIL 426. Philosophy and Linguistic Theory
One philosophy introduction, one logic introduction, or concentration in Linguistics. (3; 2 in the half-term). May not be repeated for credit.

When people say things, they usually mean something. This course will concentrate on theories of meaning, with special emphasis on theories that bear on the role of meaning in conversation.

LING 433 / ARABIC 507. Arabic Syntax and Semantics
AAPTIS 202 or 205 (completed with a minimum grade of C- or better). (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) (3). May not be repeated for credit.

The course examines generative syntactic theory, especially the notion of principles and parameters, as well as functional, cognitive, and lexical semantic approaches and their relevance of analysis to standard Arabic and at least one Arabic dialect, using as a reference point medieval Arabic grammar.

LING 440. Language Learnability
LING 315. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) (3). May not be repeated for credit.

This course examines various theory-related questions, goals, and assumptions within the scope of language acquisition. The course objectives are two-fold: (1) to develop familiarity with prominent aspects of language learnability; and (2) to promote discussions and perspectives that stimulate further investigation and insight into language learning theories.

LING 441. Introduction to Computational Linguistics
Linguistics concentrators should take LING 315 and 316 first. (3). (BS). May not be repeated for credit. Rackham credit requires additional work.

This class is a general introduction to computational linguistics. The first part of the course will focus on parsing and semantic interpretation, and on writing "computational" grammars to drive parsers and semantic interpreters. The second part of the course will look at getting useful information, like the information needed to build larger grammars, out of text corpora, as well as other kinds of processing that is typical of computational linguistics. We will learn just enough of the programming language Python in order to get our work done. No prior computational background is assumed.

LING 442. The Anatomy of Natural Language Processing Systems
Computer programming ability. (3). May not be repeated for credit. Rackham credit requires additional work.

Our goal in this course is to obtain an understanding of natural language processing systems by building one. Students will write a parser, extend it to handle feature grammars, and then add semantic interpretation. A back-end automated reasoner will be provided to make a complete language-understanding pipeline. The use of Python to do programming assignments is encouraged but not strictly required.

LING 446 / LACS 446. Comparative Linguistics
At least one course in Linguistics/language analysis. (3). May not be repeated for credit. Rackham credit requires additional work.

This course introduces students to research on comparative linguistics. It is directed to students interested in the study of different language, or to anyone interested in a more thorough understanding of the common properties among human languages and of the possible variation across the structure.

LING 447 / PSYCH 445. Psychology of Language
PSYCH 240. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) (3). (BS). May not be repeated for credit.

LING 449 / AAS 439. Creole Languages and Caribbean Identities
AAS 202. (3; 2 in the half-term). May not be repeated for credit.

LING 461 / AMCULT 461 / ANTHRCUL 461 / NATIVEAM 461. Language, Culture, and Society in Native North America
(3). May not be repeated for credit.

This course will explore how Native North American languages are used in relation to the historical circumstances, cultural practices and social settings of their speakers. Of particular concern is the interrelationship between linguistic practice and ideologies that can either promote or discourage the use (and maintenance) of these languages.

LING 492. Topics in Linguistics
(3; 2 in the half-term). May be repeated for a maximum of 6 credits. May be elected more than once in the same term.

LING 512. Phonetics
LING 313. (4). May not be repeated for credit. F.

This is an introduction to phonetics (the study of the nature of speech sounds). The course will focus on the description of speech sounds in terms of their articulatory, acoustic and perceptual characteristics and the production and transcription of sounds that occur in languages of the world.

LING 513. Phonology
LING 313. (3; 2 in the half-term). May not be repeated for credit. W.

LING 515. Generative Syntax
LING 315 or Permission of Instructor. (3; 2 in the half-term). May not be repeated for credit. F.

In the Generative (or Chomskyan) framework of syntax, sentence structure is viewed as being generated by a formal mathematical system of rules and constraints. Some of these rules and constraints are innate and universal across languages; others are learned or "parametrized".

LING 516. Semantics and Pragmatics
Permission of instructor. (3; 2 in the half-term). May not be repeated for credit.

This is an introduction to semantics (literal meaning) and pragmatics (contextual and inferred meaning) with emphasis on applications to grammatical analysis. Specific topics include: (1) ambiguities of structure and of meaning; (2) word meaning and compositionality; and (3) quantification and logical form.

LING 517 / ANTHRCUL 519 / GERMAN 517. Principles and Methods of Historical Linguistics
Graduate standing, or permission of instructor. (3; 2 in the half-term). May not be repeated for credit.

LING 518. Linguistic Typology
LING,Graduate standing; undergraduates with permission of instructor. (3; 2 in the half-term). May not be repeated for credit. No credit granted to those who have completed or are enrolled in LING 318.

While humans appear fairly alike in physical characteristics and mental capacity, their languages (and cultures) are extremely diverse. This course invites students to investigate unfamiliar languages in published descriptive grammars and relate this to contemporary typological research.

LING 519. Discourse Analysis
Permission of instructor. (3; 2 in the half-term). May not be repeated for credit.

The study of turn-taking and conversation structure, referent status (topic and focus), information status (given/new, foregrounding); cohesion and coherence in texts, the role of belief systems (knowledge and social status) in text construction.

LING 521. Morphology
At least one introductory Linguistics course. (3). May not be repeated for credit.

Morphology (word structure) taps into phonology and syntax but has a life of its own. We focus on rich agreement, diminutives, ablaut, and compounding. Generative formalisms and adaptationist interpretations get equal airtime. We conclude with case studies of the historical renewal of morphological systems disfigured by phonetic change.

LING 522. Language Contact
Required core courses in Linguistics (LING 313, LING 315, LING 316) or equivalent. Simultaneous enrollment is sufficient. (3). May not be repeated for credit.

This course begins with a survey of historical, social, and political settings of language contact (when, where, and why do languages come into contact?) and with a consideration of this question: when two or more languages come into contact, what typically happens to them linguistically, cognitively, socially, and politically?

LING 541 / EECS 595 / SI 561. Natural Language Processing
Senior standing. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) Senior standing. (3). (BS). May not be repeated for credit. F.

Linguistics fundamentals of natural language processing (NLP), part of speech tagging, hidden Markov models, syntax and parsing, lexical semantics, compositional semantics, word sense disambiguation, machine translation. Additional topics such as sentiment analysis, text generation, and deep learning for NLP>

LING 542 / ANTHRCUL 572. Introduction to Sociolinguistics
LING 411 or graduate standing. (3; 2 in the half-term). May not be repeated for credit.

The class will discuss such relationships between language and society and how they might be studied objectively. We will focus on issues directly affecting a person's everyday life, such as attitudes towards different languages and dialects and historical and social reasons for these attitudes; questions about why different groups of speakers in the same society use language differently and how this difference is evaluated; use of minority languages whose survival seems to be threatened and governments' language policies.

LING 545. Cognitive Linguistics
Undergraduates require instructor's permission. (3). May not be repeated for credit.

Three parts: 1) cross-linguistics study of culturally significant lexical domains; 2) Cognitive Linguistics (e.g. Langacker, Talmy) as an alternative model of language; 3) semantically-focused analysis of speech registers (e.g. honorific, insulting).

LING 551. Second Language Acquisition
Graduate standing. (3). May not be repeated for credit.

LING 614. Advanced Semantics
LING 514 or equivalent and graduate standing. (3). May not be repeated for credit.

LING 615. Advanced Syntax
LING 515; and graduate standing. (3; 2 in the half-term). May not be repeated for credit.

LING 702 / EECS 597 / SI 760. Language and Information
EECS 380 or concurrent election of one of SI 503 or LING 541; and Graduate standing. (3). (BS). May not be repeated for credit.

Surveys techniques used in language studies and information processing. Students learn how to explore and analyze textual data in the context of Web-based information retrieval systems. At the conclusion of the course, students are able to work as information designers and analysts.

LING 740. Research in Linguistics
(3). May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credits. This course has a grading basis of "S" or "U".

Through a combination of lecture, guest lecture, student presentation, discussion groups, and reading assignments, this course covers the full range of research in Linguistics, incorporating all sub-disciplines from both historical and current state-of-the art perspectives. Students will develop and enhance professional skills used for both research and teaching.

LING 750. Research Writing in Linguistics
Graduate standing in Linguistics. (3). May not be repeated for credit. This course has a grading basis of "S" or "U".

This course is designed for second-year graduate students who are working on their Qualifying Research Papers (QRPs). It is intended to provide structure to the process of writing the QRP, plus opportunities to present and receive feedback on work-in-progress. Because the QRP is often student's first major research paper, the course will also deal with broader aspects of writing, presenting, and publishing research papers in linguistics. These aspects include (a) library/network research; (b) writing abstracts for conference presentations; (c) writing a paper for oral/poster presentation; and (d) publishing your work. If time permits, we will also discuss developing a strong CB and grant-writing.

LING 780. Interdisciplinary Seminar in Linguistics
(3). May be elected twice for credit.

One semester seminar that deals with cognitive representation and integrates different areas of the discipline. Types of topics: Focus; Intonation; Exemplar Theory; Third Factors; Sociolinguistic Cognition; Pragmatics.

LING 792. Topics in Linguistics
Graduate standing and permission of instructor. (2 - 3). May be repeated for credit. May be elected more than once in the same term.

LING 812. Seminar: Phonetics
Previous course in phonetics. Graduate standing. (3). May not be repeated for credit.

LING 815. Seminar: Syntax
Previous course in syntax. Graduate standing. (3; 2 - 3 in the half-term). May not be repeated for credit.

LING 990. Dissertation/Precandidate
Election for dissertation work by doctoral student not yet admitted as a Candidate. Graduate standing. (1 - 8; 1 - 4 in the half-term). (INDEPENDENT). May be repeated for credit. This course has a grading basis of "S" or "U".

LING 993. Graduate Student Instructor Training Program
Must have GSI award. Graduate standing. (1). May not be repeated for credit. This course has a grading basis of "S" or "U".

LING 995. Dissertation/Candidate
Graduate School authorization for admission as a doctoral Candidate. (Prerequisites enforced at registration.) (8; 4 in the half-term). (INDEPENDENT). May be repeated for credit. This course has a grading basis of "S" or "U".

LING 997. Special Research
Consent of instructor required. Graduate standing and permission of instructor. (1 - 6). (INDEPENDENT). May be repeated for a maximum of 12 credits. May be elected more than once in the same term.

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