Introduction to the linguistic study of language pathology, concentrating on experimental approaches and theoretical explanations. Discussion of Specific Language Impairment, autism, Down syndrome, Williams syndrome, normal aging, Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, hemispherectomy and aphasia. Focuses on the comparison of linguistic abilities among these syndromes, while drawing clear comparisons with first and second language acquisition. Topics include the lexicon, morphology, syntax, semantics and pragmatics. Relates the lost linguistic abilities in these syndromes to properties of the brain.
This course focuses on phonological phenomena that are sensitive to morphological structure, including base-reduplicant identity, cyclicity, level ordering, derived environment effects, opaque rule interactions, and morpheme structure constraints. In the recent OT literature, it has been claimed that all of these phenomena can be analyzed with a single theoretical device: correspondence constraints, which regulate the similarity of lexically related forms (such as input and output, base and derivative, base and reduplicant).
This book provides an introduction to the study of meaning in human language, from a linguistic perspective. It covers a fairly broad range of topics, including lexical semantics, compositional semantics, and pragmatics. The chapters are organized into six units: (1) Foundational concepts; (2) Word meanings; (3) Implicature (including indirect speech acts); (4) Compositional semantics; (5) Modals, conditionals, and causation; (6) Tense & aspect.
Reviews available here: Analyzing meaning: An introduction to semantics and pragmatics
Detailed investigation of the major issues and problems in the study of lexical argument structure and how it determines syntactic structure. Empirical scope is along three dimensions: typology, lexical class, and theoretical framework. The range of linguistic types include English, Japaneses, Navajo, and Warlpiri. Lexical classes include those of Levin's English Verb Classes and others producing emerging work on diverse languages. The theoretical emphasis is on structural relations among elements of argument structure.
Caribbean Creole languages result from language contact via colonization and the slave trade. In this course we explore the history of Creole languages from cognitive, historical and comparative perspectives. We evaluate popular theories about "Creole genesis" and the role of language acquisition. Then we explore the non-linguistic aspects of Creole formation, using sources from literature, religion and music. We also look into issues of Caribbean identities as we examine Creole speakers' and others' beliefs and attitudes toward their cultures. We also make comparisons with relevant aspects of African-American culture in the U.S
This Open Educational Resource (OER) brings together Open Access content from around the web and enhances it with dynamic video lectures about the core areas of theoretical linguistics (phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, and semantics), supplemented with discussion of psycholinguistic and neurolinguistic findings. Essentials of Linguistics is suitable for any beginning learner of linguistics but is primarily aimed at the Canadian learner, focusing on Canadian English for learning phonetic transcription, and discussing the status of Indigenous languages in Canada. Drawing on best practices for instructional design, Essentials of Linguistics is suitable for blended classes, traditional lecture classes, and for self-directed learning. No prior knowledge of linguistics is required.
Reviews available here: https://open.umn.edu/opentextbooks/textbooks/essentials-of-linguistics
Advances in cognitive science have resolved, clarified, and sometimes complicated some of the great questions of Western philosophy: what is the structure of the world and how do we come to know it; does everyone represent the world the same way; what is the best way for us to act in the world. Specific topics include color, objects, number, categories, similarity, inductive inference, space, time, causality, reasoning, decision-making, morality and consciousness. Readings and discussion include a brief philosophical history of each topic and focus on advances in cognitive and developmental psychology, computation, neuroscience, and related fields. At least one subject in cognitive science, psychology, philosophy, linguistics, or artificial intelligence is required. An additional project is required for graduate credit.
This grammar provides the first comprehensive grammatical description of Moloko, a Chadic language spoken by about 10,000 speakers in northern Cameroon. The grammar was developed from hours and years that the authors spent at friends’ houses hearing and recording stories, hours spent listening to the tapes and transcribing the stories, then translating them and studying the language through them. Time was spent together and with others speaking the language and talking about it, translating resources and talking to Moloko people about them. Grammar and phonology discoveries were made in the office, in the fields while working, and at gatherings. In the process, the four authors have become more and more passionate about the Moloko language and are eager to share their knowledge about it with others.
Pite Saami is a highly endangered Western Saami language in the Uralic language family currently spoken by a few individuals in Swedish Lapland. This grammar is the first extensive book-length treatment of a Saami language written in English. While focussing on the morphophonology of the main word classes nouns, adjectives and verbs, it also deals with other linguistic structures such as prosody, phonology, phrase types and clauses. Furthermore, it provides an introduction to the language and its speakers, and an outline of a preliminary Pite Saami orthography. An extensive annotated spoken-language corpus collected over the course of five years forms the empirical foundation for this description, and each example includes a specific reference to the corpus in order to facilitate verification of claims made on the data. Descriptions are presented for a general linguistics audience and without attempting to support a specific theoretical approach, but this book should be equally useful for scholars of Uralic linguistics, typologists, and even learners of Pite Saami.
Detailed examination of the grammar of a language whose structure is significantly different from English, with special emphasis on problems of interest in the study of linguistic universals. A native speaker of the language assists when possible. From the course home page Course Description This course is designed to allow participants to engage in the exploration of the grammatical structure of a language that is unknown to them (and typically to the instructors as well). In some ways it simulates traditional field methods research. In terms of format, we work in both group and individual meetings with the consultant. Each student identifies some grammatical construction (e.g. wh questions, agreement, palatalization, interrogative intonation) to focus their research: they elicit and share data and write a report on the material gathered that is to be turned in at the end of the term. Ideally, we can put together a volume of grammatical sketches. The first three to four weeks of the term, our group meetings will explore the basic phonology, morphology and surface syntax for a first pass overview of the language, looking for interesting areas to be explored in more detail later. During this period individual sessions can review material from the general session as well as explore new areas. At roughly the fifth meeting, individual students (typically two to three per session) guide the group elicitations to explore their research topic.
This book introduces formal grammar theories that play a role in current linguistic theorizing (Phrase Structure Grammar, Transformational Grammar/Government & Binding, Generalized Phrase Structure Grammar, Lexical Functional Grammar, Categorial Grammar, Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar, Construction Grammar, Tree Adjoining Grammar). The key assumptions are explained and it is shown how the respective theory treats arguments and adjuncts, the active/passive alternation, local reorderings, verb placement, and fronting of constituents over long distances. The analyses are explained with German as the object language.
Table of Contents
1 Introduction and basic terms
2 Phrase structure grammar
3 Transformational Grammar - Government & Binding
4 Transformational Grammar - Minimalism
5 Generalized Phrase Structure Grammar
6 Feature descriptions
7 Lexical Functional Grammar
8 Categorical Grammar
9 Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar
10 Construction Grammar
11 Dependency Grammar
12 Tree Adjoining Grammar
13 The Innateness of linguistic knowledge
14 Generative-enumerative vs. model-theoretic approaches
15 The competence/performance distinction
16 Language acquisition
17 Generative capacity and grammar formalisms
18 Binary branching, locality, and recursion
19 Empty elements
20 Extraction, scrambling, and passive: one or several descriptive devices?
21 Phrasal vs. lexical analyses
22 Structure, potential structure and underspecification
23 Universal Grammar and comparative linguistics without UG
Examines the development of computing techniques and technology in the nineteenth and twentieth centuries, particularly critical evaluation of how the very idea of "computer" changes and evolves over time. Emphasis is on technical innovation, industrial development, social context, and the role of government. Topics include Babbage, Hollerith, differential analyzers, control systems, ENIAC, radar, operations research, computers as scientific instruments, the rise of "computer science," artificial intelligence, personal computers, and networks. Includes class visits by members of the MIT community who have made important historical contributions. This course focuses on one particular aspect of the history of computing: the use of the computer as a scientific instrument. The electronic digital computer was invented to do science, and its applications range from physics to mathematics to biology to the humanities. What has been the impact of computing on the practice of science? Is the computer different from other scientific instruments? Is computer simulation a valid form of scientific experiment? Can computer models be viewed as surrogate theories? How does the computer change the way scientists approach the notions of proof, expertise, and discovery? No comprehensive history of scientific computing has yet been written. This seminar examines scientific articles, participants' memoirs, and works by historians, sociologists, and anthropologists of science to provide multiple perspectives on the use of computers in diverse fields of physical, biological, and social sciences and the humanities. We explore how the computer transformed scientific practice, and how the culture of computing was influenced, in turn, by scientific applications.
This course studies what is language and what does knowledge of a language consist of. It asks how do children learn languages and is language unique to humans; why are there many languages; how do languages change; is any language or dialect superior to another; and how are speech and writing related. Context for these and similar questions is provided by basic examination of internal organization of sentences, words, and sound systems. No prior training in linguistics is assumed.
This course explores the nature of meaning and truth, and their bearing on the use of language in communication. No knowledge of logic or linguistics is presupposed.
Introduction to the current research questions in phonological theory. Topics include: metrical and prosodic structure; features and their phonetic basis in speech; acquisition and parsing; phonological domains; morphology; and language change and reconstruction. Activities include problem solving, squibs, and data collection. The year-long Introduction to Phonology reviews at the graduate level fundamental notions of phonological analysis and introduces students to current debates, research and analytical techniques. The Fall term reviews issues pertaining to the nature of markedness and phonological representations - features, prosodies, syllables and stress - while the second term deals with the relation between the phonological component and the lexicon, morphology and syntax. The second term course will also treat in more detail certain phonological phenomena.
Introduction to theories of syntax underlying work currently being done within the lexical-functional and government-binding frameworks. Organized into three interrelated parts, each focused upon a particular area of concern: phrase structure; the lexicon; and principles and parameters. Grammatical rules and processes constitute a focus of attention throughout the course that serve to reveal both modular structure of grammar and interaction of grammatical components. This course is concerned with the concepts and principles which have been of central significance in the recent development of syntactic theory, with special focus on the "Government and Binding" (GB) / "Principles and Parameters" (P&P) / "Minimalist Program" (MP) approach. It is the first of a series of two courses (24.951 is taught during the Fall and 24.952 is taught in the Spring). This course deals mostly with phrase structure, argument structure and its syntactic expression, including "A-movement". Though other issues (e.g. wh-movement, antecedent-contained deletion, extraposition) may be mentioned during the semester, the course will not systematically investigate these topics in class until 24.952. The goal of the course is to understand why certain problems have been treated in certain ways. Thus, on many occasions a variety of approaches will be discussed, and the (recent) historical development of these approaches are emphasized.
Lectures, reading, and discussion of current theory and data concerning the psychology and biology of language acquisition. Emphasizes learning of syntax and morphology, together with some discussion of phonology, and especially research relating grammatical theory and learnability theory to empirical studies of children.
Seminar in real-time language comprehension. Models of sentence and discourse comprehension from the linguistic, psychology, and artificial intelligence literature, including symbolic and connectionist models. Ambiguity resolution. Linguistic complexity. The use of lexical, syntactic, semantic, pragmatic, contextual and prosodic information in language comprehension. The relationship between the computational resources available in working memory and the language processing mechanism. The psychological reality of linguistic representations.
24.901 is designed to give you a preliminary understanding of how the sound systems of different languages are structured, how and why they may differ from each other. The course also aims to provide you with analytical tools in phonology, enough to allow you to sketch the analysis of an entire phonological system by the end of the term. On a non-linguistic level, the course aims to teach you by example the virtues of formulating precise and explicit descriptive statements; and to develop your skills in making and evaluating arguments.