98-99 University Bulletin Entry for:

Linguistics and Cognitive Science

(file last updated: [8/10/1998 - 15:26:29])


The concentration in linguisticsand cognitive science is designed to give students a foundationin the theory of language and its relation to allied fields ofinquiry. The concentration emphasizes the approach of generativegrammar, which attempts to describe formally the nature of a speaker'sknowledge of his or her native language and to place this knowledgein a psychological and biological framework. In the last 30 years,this approach to the study of language has had a profound influenceon fields as diverse as philosophy, psychology, anthropology,neuroscience, and computer science, as well as the linguist'straditional concerns with modern and classical languages and withlinguistic universals.

How to Become a Concentrator

In order to get the flavorof the field of linguistics, the best way to start is to takeLING 100a (Introduction to Linguistics), which deals with themajor concepts of the field and the technical tools used to articulatethese concepts. The course also introduces students to the feelof doing research on language, through the use of numerous problemsets concerning the organization of a variety of languages.

Students wishing to concentrateor minor in linguistics and cognitive science should arrange tomeet with the undergraduate advising head to discuss the planningof a program that meets their interests.


Edgar Zurif, Chair

Neurolinguistics. Psycholinguistics.

Ray Jackendoff, UndergraduateAdvising Head

Conceptual structure. Consciousness.Spatial cognition.

Joan Maling

Syntactic theory. Icelandicsyntax. Korean syntax.

The following members of otherdepartments are affiliated with linguistics:

Judith Irvine (ANTH), JamesPustejovsky (COSI), Jerry Samet (PHIL).

Requirements for Concentration

A.Ten semester courses are required of all candidates:

1. LING 100a, LING 110a, LING120b, and LING 130a.

2. Two additional courses selectedfrom LING 125b, 150b, 173a, 181b, and ANTH 125b.

3. Three additional coursesto be chosen from the LING courses and the list of electives below.This selection must be approved by the undergraduate advisor forthe concentration.

4. One advanced course in anatural language to be chosen from the following list: CHIN 105a,CHIN 105b, FREN 106b, GER 106a, HBRW 106b (formerly NEJS 105b),ITAL 105a, JAPN 105a, JAPN 105b, RUS 106b, SPAN 105a, or SPAN106b.

B.Honors will be awarded on successful completion of a senior thesis(LING 99d) in addition to the above course requirements. A gradepoint average of 3.50 or above in linguistics and cognitive sciencecourses is normally required.

C.A grade of C or better is necessary for all courses offered towarda concentration in linguistics and cognitive science. No courseoffered toward the concentration requirements may be taken ona pass/fail basis.

D.Students may petition the Linguistics and Cognitive Science ConcentrationCommittee for changes in the above program.

Requirements for the Minorin Linguistics

A.Five semester courses are required:

1. LING 100a and 120b.

2. LING 110a or 130a.

3. Any other two LING coursesnumbered 98 and above. Courses from the list of electives maybe substituted with approval of the advisor.

B.At most one course will be accepted as simultaneously satisfyinga student's concentration requirements and the requirements ofthe minor in linguistics.

C.No course offered toward the minor may be taken on a pass/failbasis.

D.Students may petition the Linguistics and Cognitive Science ConcentrationCommittee for changes in the above program (for instance, anthropologymajors may want to substitute ANTH 102a for LING 100a).

Courses of Instruction

(1-99) Primarily for UndergraduateStudents

LING 8b Structure of theEnglish Language

[ hum ss ]

Open to first year students.

A nontechnical introductionto the structure of English words and sentences. Classical rootsof English vocabulary: word analysis, base forms, and rules ofallomorphy. Basic concepts of grammar: categories (noun, adjective,adverb, etc.), functions (subject, object, modifier, etc.), phrasesand clauses of various types. Consists of three class hours andone one-hour recitation per week. Usually offered every year.

Ms. Maling

LING 98a Readings in Linguistics

Signature of the instructorrequired.

Independent reading and researchunder the direction of a faculty supervisor. When appropriate,a faculty member may organize a small group of students into asenior seminar. Usually offered every year.


LING 98b Readings in Linguistics

Signature of the instructorrequired.

See LING 98a for course description.Usually offered every year.


LING 99d Senior Research

Signature of the instructorrequired.

Involves the student in anindependent research project under the supervision of a staffmember. A student whose grade point average in linguistics is3.50 or better may petition at the end of junior year for permissionto enter this course. The student's findings are to be presentedin writing and defended orally before a committee of staff members.Usually offered every year.


(100-199) For Both Undergraduateand Graduate Students

LING 100a Introduction toLinguistics

[ ss ]

Open to first year students.

A general introduction to linguistictheory and the principles of linguistic analysis. Students willconstruct detailed analyses of data from English and other languagesin the areas of syntax, semantics, phonetics, and phonology andexamine their implications for a theory of language as it is encodedin the human mind. Usually offered every year.

Mr. Jackendoff and Ms. Maling

LING 110a Phonological Theory

[ ss ]

Prerequisite: LING 100a.

An introduction to generativephonology, the theory of natural language sound systems. Includesdiscussion of articulatory phonetics, distinctive feature theory,the concept of a "natural class," morphology and thenature of morphophonemics, and universal properties of the rulesthat relate morphophonemic and phonetic representations. Usuallyoffered in odd years.


LING 120b Syntactic Theory

[ ss ]

Prerequisite: LING 100a.

Extends the syntactic frameworkdeveloped in the introductory course through the study of suchproblems as the complement system, the lexicon, and constraints,with emphasis on their relevance to universal grammar. Usuallyoffered every year.

Ms. Maling

LING 125b Universal Grammar

[ ss ]

Prerequisite: LING 100aor permission of the instructor.

Advanced topics in the theoryof language typology and universal grammar. May be repeated forcredit with permission of instructor. Usually offered in evenyears.

Ms. Maling

LING 130a Semantics: TheStructure of Concepts

[ cl5 humss ]

Prerequisite: LING 100aor permission of the instructor.

Explores the semantic structureof language in terms of current linguistic theory. Its goal isto use the structure of language to help discover the characteristicsof human concepts. Topics include the nature of word meanings,categorization, and the semantics of spatial and possessionalexpressions. Usually offered in odd years.

Mr. Jackendoff

LING 150b Introduction toCognitive Science

[ cl19 ss]

This course may not be repeatedfor credit by students who have taken NPSY 22b in previous years.

Considers how the mind is structuredto represent and process information of relevance to languageand other cognitive domains. Usually offered every year.

Mr. Zurif

LING 153a Consciousness

[ cl19 ss]

Explores the nature of consciousawareness and its relation to the mind and body. After going throughthe philosophical history of the mind-body problem, we will discussthe role of consciousness in cognitive science. Usually offeredin even years.

Mr. Jackendoff

LING 173a Psycholinguistics

[ cl19 ss]

An introduction to modern psycholinguistics,with an emphasis on sentence comprehension and production. Questionsconcerning species-specificity and the neurological organizationof language are included for consideration. Usually offered everyyear.

Mr. Zurif

LING 181b Language and HumanNature

[ cl28 ss]

Language is often taken tobe a quintessential human characteristic. We investigate the propertiesof language that have been discovered over the past 30 years andconsider how these properties bear on other aspects of human intelligenceand behavior. Topics include the innateness of language capacity,the nature of social knowledge, and the evolution of mind. Usuallyoffered in odd years.

Mr. Jackendoff

LING 183a Social Cognitionfrom a Cognitive Science Perspective

[ ss ]

Signature of the instructorrequired.

In order for an organism tobehave socially, it must have internalized knowledge of the distinctionsand options available for social and cultural interaction. Thiscourse explores the character of such knowledge, drawing on literaturein ethology and evolutionary psychology and on parallels withlinguistics. Usually offered every third year. Last offered inthe fall of 1995.

Mr. Jackendoff

LING 190b Topics in CognitiveScience

[ ss ]

Prerequisite: LING 120band/or LING 130a. May be repeated for credit with special permission.Intended primarily for upperclass concentrators, but open to otherqualified students. Signature of the instructor required.

Topics for spring 1999 includethe relation of spatial cognition to spatial language and theacquisition of the lexicon. Usually offered in odd years.

Mr. Jackendoff

LING 197a Language Acquisitionand Development

[ ss ]

Prerequisite: LING 100aor permission of the instructor.

The central problem of languageacquisition is to explain what makes this formidable task possible.We will study theories of language acquisition, basing our conclusionson recent research in the development of syntax, semantics, andphonology. The overall goal is to arrive at a coherent pictureof the language learning process. Usually offered every thirdyear. Last offered in the fall of 1994.


LING 199a Directed Researchin Linguistics

[ ss ]

Signature of the instructorrequired.

Usually offered every year.


LING 199b Directed Researchin Linguistics

[ ss ]

Signature of the instructorrequired.

Usually offered every year.


Elective Courses

The following courses are notall offered in any one year, and therefore the Course Schedulefor each semester should be consulted.

ANTH 102a

An Anthropological Introductionto Language

ANTH 125b

Investigations in an UnfamiliarLanguage

ANTH 161b

Culture and Cognition

ANTH 186b

Social and Cultural Aspectsof Linguistic Analysis

COSI 35a

Fundamentals of ArtificialIntelligence

ENG 142b

Introduction to Old Norse

LS 222b

Applied Linguistics: LanguageTeaching Methodology

NEJS 108b

Comparative Grammar of SemiticLanguages

NPSY 22b

Cognitive Processes

NPSY 199a



Introduction to Logic

PHIL 37a

Philosophy of Language

PHIL 137a

Innate Knowledge

PHIL 139b

Topics in Logic

PHIL 141b

Topics in the Philosophy ofPsychology

PSYC 13b


PSYC 103a

Seminar in the Neuropsychologyof Language