An interdepartmental program in Language and Linguistics

Last updated: April 15, 2014 at 5:04 p.m.

Objectives

The major and minor in language and linguistics are designed to offer students multiple perspectives on the study of language: as a universal cognitive faculty, as an interactive mechanism for human development and for constructing social identities, as a spoken and written medium for cultural expression, and as an object and means of philosophical reflection. All these perspectives require training in the formal properties of language, including phonology, morphology, semantics, syntax, and pragmatics. Courses on “generative grammar” attempt to describe formally the nature of a speaker’s knowledge of his or her native language and to place this knowledge in a psychological and biological framework. Other courses in the program explore the role of the study of language in many scientific, social, and humanistic disciplines, such as cognitive science and artificial intelligence, historical philology and epigraphy, literary theory, neuroscience, philosophy of language and logic, psychology, semiotic and linguistic anthropology, and sociolinguistics.

Learning Goals

Introductory Narrative
Linguistics involves the scientific study of the nature and structure of human languages. The Brandeis Language and Linguistics major offers a dynamic approach to the field. The major's required core courses focus on the description and analysis of structures in the world's languages, in the linguistic subfields of phonetics and phonology (linguistic sounds and sound patterns), morphology (word structures), syntax (phrase and sentence structures), and semantics and pragmatics (meaning in sentence and discourse structures).

The major complements this grounding in the traditional core areas of linguistics with a set of elective courses chosen by each student, according to individual interests and academic goals. These are chosen from a diverse set of course offerings, ranging from electives in linguistics itself to language-related courses in disciplines that include anthropology, philosophy, computer science, near-eastern and Judaic studies, psychology, and neuroscience. Students can also opt to focus their elective course choices on the specific domains of the Cognitive Science of Language, Language and Society, Language and Computation, or General Linguistics.

Knowledge Goals
Students who complete the Language and Linguistics major emerge with a basic knowledge and understanding of:

  • How languages are acquired when babies learn to talk; the types of knowledge that speakers have (usually without being aware of it) of their native language; the difference between languages and dialects; the descriptive (and not prescriptive) approach used in linguistics;
  • The basic articulatory traits of the consonant and vowel sounds found in the world's spoken languages, and how the traits of these sounds can vary from one language to another;
  • Core properties of the phonological organization of languages, including how consonants and vowels group together into syllables and larger units that can then bear stress, and form phonological words and phrases; the sorts of processes that can change sounds and sound patterns in various phonological environments, and in various languages;
  • The types of patterns found in natural language word, phrase, and sentence structure, including the major word formation strategies and syntactic phenomena found in English and other languages—and how these can vary from one language to another;
  • The nature of word meanings, and of how these group together to form compositional meaning in sentences; the major phenomena that appear in discourse contexts to convey pragmatic information; ways in which such meaning structures differ from language to language;
  • The analytic approaches and theoretical frameworks used in modern linguistics to study and model phonological, morphological, syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic data, including generative syntax and phonology, and model-theoretic semantics.

Core Skills
Students who complete the Language and Linguistics major emerge with the ability to:

  • Transcribe English words and sentences into the International Phonetic Alphabet; identify and pronounce the sounds present in phonetic transcriptions of word or sentence data from a given language;
  • Identify and clearly articulate the patterns and generalizations present in sets of sound, word, phrase, sentence, and discourse data from a given language or languages;
  • Formulate reasonable next questions to ask, or identify the sort of additional examples that need to be gathered and examined, in order to fully discover the empirical generalizations present in a set of data, or to choose between competing hypotheses about a set of facts;
  • Formulate well-reasoned hypotheses and analyses of the facts present in a set of linguistic data; demonstrate how well a given analysis would or would not work to fully capture the facts that it aims to explain; evaluate competing analyses as to which should be chosen as the best account available, in terms of both empirical adequacy and theoretical merits.

Social Justice
Language is a core defining trait of humans, and all languages are of roughly equal complexity, no matter what social status or way of life their speakers may have. Studying the organizing principles and intricate patterns at work in a wide variety of human languages imparts to students a lasting appreciation of and respect for these languages, and, by extension, for the speakers of these languages. Many linguists are also actively involved in work to document, preserve, or help revitalize endangered and dying languages—a problem that has special urgency given the large number of languages that are currently in danger of dying out by the end of this century.

Upon Graduation

Our students have long gone on to top linguistics PhD programs, and there are prominent linguists at universities within and outside North America who began as Brandeis linguistics undergraduates. The major is also excellent preparation for applied linguistics careers, including speech pathology and therapy, language teaching and translation, and computational linguistics applications—introduced in the major's optional Language and Computation elective focus— such as information retrieval and extraction, search engines, speech recognition and synthesis, machine translation, computer-assisted language learning, and artificial intelligence. In addition, the strong analytical reasoning skills and understanding of how English and other languages work that our majors develop provides a solid foundation for careers outside linguistics, in areas such as law, editing, publishing, technical writing, advertising, and educational testing.

How to Become a Major or a Minor

In order to get the flavor of the field of linguistics, the best way to start is to take LING 100a (Introduction to Linguistics), which deals with the major concepts of the field and the technical tools used to articulate these concepts. The course also introduces students to the feel of doing research on language, through the use of numerous problem sets concerning the organization of a variety of languages.

Students wishing to major or minor in language and linguistics should arrange to meet with the undergraduate advising head to discuss the planning of a program that meets their interests.

Committee

James Pustejovsky, Chair (on leave spring 2014)
(Computer Science)

Lotus Goldberg, Undergraduate Advising Head
(Language and Linguistics)

Sophia A. Malamud
(Anthropology; Language and Linguistics)

Janet McIntosh
(Anthropology)

Leonard C. Muellner
(Classical Studies)

Nianwen Xue
(Computer Science)

Affiliated Faculty (contributing to the curriculum, advising and administration of the department or program)
James Pustejovsky (Computer Science)

Requirements for the Minor

A. Five semester courses are required:

1. LING 100a and 120b.

2. LING 110a, LING 130a, or LING 140a.

3. Two other courses from the LING courses numbered higher than LING 98 and the elective courses listed below. A student may count no more than one elective course from another single department toward the fulfillment of the minor in language and linguistics.

B. No course offered toward the fulfillment of the requirements for the minor may be taken on a pass/fail basis.

C. Students may petition the language and linguistics faculty committee for changes in the above program.

Requirements for the Major

A. Nine courses are required of all candidates:

1. LING 100a, 110a, 120b, and either LING 130a or 140a.

2. Four additional courses from the LING courses numbered higher than LING 98 and the elective course list at the end of this Bulletin entry.

Some of the non-LING courses listed within the focus options for the language and linguistics major (see below) do not appear in the elective courses list at the end of this bulletin entry.  Students may contact the undergraduate advising head to count, by petition, no more than two of such focus option courses as electives toward the major in language and linguistics.

Whether from the focus options or the elective courses listed at the end of this bulletin entry, a student may count no more than three elective courses from another single department toward the fulfillment of the major in language and linguistics.

3. One advanced course in a natural language, to be chosen from the following list (or by consent of the undergraduate advising head):  ARBC 103a, 103b, CHIN 105a, 105b, FREN 104b, 105a, 106b, GER 103a, 104a, 105a, GRK courses higher than 100, HISP 105a, 106b, HBRW 141a, 161b, ITAL 105a, 106b, JAPN 105a, LAT courses higher than 100, RUS 105a, 106b.

B. Honors may be awarded on successful completion of a senior thesis (LING 99d) in addition to the above course requirements. A GPA of 3.750 or higher in language and linguistics courses is normally required to write a thesis. Students must receive approval of a formal thesis proposal (from a program faculty member in consultation with the undergraduate advising head and the other program faculty) before beginning work on the thesis. Students should contact the undergraduate advising head for further details.

C. A grade of C or better is necessary for all courses offered toward a major in linguistics. No courses offered toward the fulfillment of the requirements for the major may be taken on a pass/fail basis.

D. Students may petition the language and linguistics faculty committee for changes in the above program.

Special Notes for Undergraduate Majors

Focus options are not part of the requirements for the major, since the degree requirements remain the same regardless of which focus is chosen. Instead, these focuses present recommended options for choosing elective courses for the major which can satisfy various interdisciplinary interests which a student may have. For questions about focuses or elective choices, students should consult with the undergraduate advising head.

General Linguistics Focus
The general linguistics focus involves the broad examination of the field of linguistics. It is intended for students who wish to focus their studies on theoretical linguistics, including those who are considering writing a senior thesis in a subfield and/or graduate study in the field.

In addition to the required core courses and advanced language requirement for the language and linguistics major, it is recommended that students in this focus take as many other theoretical linguistics courses as possible (at least four) from the following list: LING 112b, LING 115a, LING 125b, LING 128a, LING 130a or LING 140a (whichever is not used as a core course), LING 131a, LING 160b, and LING 190b.

Language and Computation Focus
The language and computation focus starts students on a path towards the use of computational methods in the exploration of linguistic problems and the computational modeling of human language cognition. The recommended courses in this specialization introduce the fundamental computational techniques used to model the syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic aspects of human language.

Where language and linguistics core courses feature a computational component, students are encouraged to participate in that component. In addition to the required core courses and advanced language requirement for the language and linguistics major, it is recommended that students take as many computational linguistics courses as possible from the following list: LING 131a, LING 160b, LING 190b (where the topic is in computational linguistics), COSI 112a, COSI 114b, COSI 134a, COSI 135b, and COSI 216a.

Students interested in computational linguistics are encouraged to consider the BA/MA or the MA in this field. For details about these computational linguistics programs, please see the Department of Computer Science entry in this Bulletin.

Cognitive Science Focus
The cognitive science focus addresses the major issues and methodologies in the study of intelligent systems, combining elements of linguistics, computer science, biology and neuroscience, philosophy, and psychology.

In addition to the required core courses and the advanced language requirement for the language and linguistics major, it is recommended that students focusing on cognitive science include as many of the following courses as possible from the other contributing disciplines of cognitive science:

1. Formal and Computational Approaches to Cognition: LING 131a, LING 160a, COSI 101a, COSI 112a, and COSI 114b.

2. Psychology and Neuroscience of Cognition: LING 197a, PSYC 1a, PSYC 15a, PSYC 21a, NPSY 11b, NPSY 12a, and NPSY 22b.

3. Philosophy of Cognition: PHIL 36b, PHIL 39b, PHIL 133a, PHIL 137a, PHIL 140a, and PHIL 141b.

Language and Society Focus
The language and society focus is recommended for majors who wish to couple their grounding in formal linguistics with an understanding of the effects of sociocultural and anthropological issues, such as variables of ethnicity, gender, class, and identity, upon language structure and use.

In addition to the required core courses and advanced language requirement for the language and linguistics major, it is recommended that students take as many courses as possible from the following list:  LING 112b, LING 128a, LING 140a, LING 197a, ANTH 61b, ANTH 126b, ANTH 139b, ANTH 153a, ANTH 186b, HBRW 167b, and PHIL 137a.

Courses of Instruction

(1-99) Primarily for Undergraduate Students

LING 98a Readings in Linguistics
Independent reading and research under the direction of a faculty supervisor. When appropriate, a faculty member may organize a small group of students into a senior seminar. Usually offered every year.
Staff

LING 98b Readings in Linguistics
See LING 98a for course description. Usually offered every year.
Staff

LING 99d Senior Thesis Research
Involves the student in an independent thesis research project under the supervision of a staff member. A student whose GPA in linguistics is 3.750 or better may apply at the end of the junior year or start of the senior year for permission to enroll in this course and begin work on a senior thesis. The student's findings are to be presented in writing and defended orally before a committee of faculty members. Interested students should contact the undergraduate advising head for further details. Usually offered every year.
Staff

(100-199) For Both Undergraduate and Graduate Students

LING 100a Introduction to Linguistics
[ ss ]
Open to all students.
A general introduction to linguistic theory and the principles of linguistic analysis. Students will construct detailed analyses of data from English and other languages in the areas of syntax, semantics, phonetics, and phonology and examine their implications for a theory of language as it is encoded in the human mind. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Malamud

LING 110a Phonological Theory
[ ss ]
Prerequisite: LING 100a.
An introduction to generative phonology, the theory of natural language sound systems. Includes discussion of articulatory phonetics, distinctive feature theory, the concept of a "natural class," morphology and the nature of morphophonemics, and universal properties of the rules that relate morphophonemic and phonetic representations. Usually offered every second year.
Staff

LING 112b Sociolinguistics: Language Variation and Change
[ ss ]
Open to first-year students.
Introduces language variation and change, encompassing historical linguistics (how languages change over time), dialectology (regional variation in language), and sociolinguistics (relationships between language and society). Explores how factors like age, gender, and social class influence human behavior and social organization. Usually offered every third year.
Staff

LING 115a Morphology
[ ss ]
Prerequisite: LING 100a. May not be repeated for credit by students who took LING 190b in spring 2008.
An exploration of word structure and its analysis. Topics include the lexicon and lexical entries, word-headedness, argument structure and other issues in morphosyntax, derivational and inflectional morphology, compounds, morphophonology, and non-Indo-European processes like infixing, reduplication, and Semitic root-and-pattern morphology. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Goldberg

LING 120b Syntactic Theory
[ ss ]
Prerequisite: LING 100a is recommended but not required. Four class hours per week.
An introduction to the process of syntactic analysis, to generative syntactic theory, and to many major syntactic phenomena of English and other languages, including the clausal architecture, the lexicon, and various types of syntactic movement. Usually offered every year.
Staff

LING 125b Linguistic Typology
[ ss ]
Prerequisite: LING 100a or permission of the instructor.
Focuses on linguistic typology, in which the languages of the world are classified in terms of their common grammatical features rather than by genetic relationships. Includes study of language universals: traits and implicational relationships which hold in (nearly) every language. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Goldberg

LING 128a Field Methods
[ ss ]
Prerequisite: ANTH 61b or LING 100a.
Using a native speaker of an unfamiliar language (such as Turkish or Amharic) as a source of data, the class will investigate the structure of the language and compare it with the structure of English and other familiar languages. May be repeated for credit. Usually offered every second year.
Staff

LING 130a Formal Semantics: Truth, Meaning, and Language
[ hum qr ss ]
Prerequisite: LING 100a or permission of the instructor. LING 8b or LING 120b recommended.
Explores the semantic structure of language in terms of the current linguistic theory of model-theoretic semantics. Topics include the nature of word meanings, categorization, compositionality, and plurals and mass terms. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Malamud

LING 131a Programming for Linguistics
Prerequisite: LING 100a.
This is an upper-level course on the computational properties of natural languages and the fundamental algorithms used for processing them. The main objectives of the course are to develop a through understanding of the principles and formal methods used in the design and analysis of language processing algorithms, and to provide an in-depth presentation of these algorithms as they are applied to Lexical, Morphological, Syntactic, and Semantic analysis. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Xue

LING 140a Architecture of Conversation: Discourse and Pragmatics
[ oc ss ]
Prerequisite: LING 100a or permission of the instructor.
Assuming a theory of sentence-level linguistic competence, what phenomena are still to be accounted for in the explication of language knowledge? The class explores topics in language use in context, including anaphora, deixis, implicature, speech acts, information packaging, and pragmatics of dialogue. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Malamud

LING 160b Mathematical Methods in Linguistics
[ qr sn ]
An introduction to fundamental mathematical concepts needed for advanced work in linguistics and computational linguistics. Topics include: set theory, theory of relations, fundamentals of logic, formal systems, lambda calculus, formal language theory, theory of automata, basics of probability and statistics, game theory, and decision theory. Usually offered every year.
Staff

LING 173a Psycholinguistics
[ ss ]
An introduction to modern psycholinguistics, with an emphasis on sentence comprehension and production. Questions concerning species-specificity and the neurological organization of language are included for consideration. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. Malamud

LING 190b Topics in Linguistics
[ ss ]
See the schedule of classes for topic and prerequisite(s). Maybe repeated for credit with permission of the instructor.
Advanced topics in linguistics, varying by year. Usually offered every year.
Staff

LING 197a Language Acquisition and Development
[ oc ss ]
Prerequisite: LING 100a or permission of the instructor.
The central problem of language acquisition is to explain what makes this formidable task possible. Theories of language acquisition are studied, and conclusions are based on recent research in the development of syntax, semantics, and phonology. The overall goal is to arrive at a coherent picture of the language learning process. Usually offered every third year.
Staff

Elective Courses

ANTH 61b Language in American Life
[ ss ]
Examines the relations between language and some major dimensions of American social life: social groupings (the structures of ethnic, regional, class, and gender relations); social settings (such as courtrooms, workplaces, and homes); and social interaction. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. McIntosh

ANTH 126b Symbol, Meaning, and Reality: Explorations in Cultural Semiotics
[ ss ]
Provides a historical survey of the development of theories of signs and symbols; comparison of Peircean and Saussurean foundations of modern semiotics; the structure of cultural codes (language, art, and music); and the possibility of cross-cultural typologies. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Parmentier

ANTH 139b Language, Ethnicity, and Nationalism
[ ss ]
It is often assumed that language differences divide people, while a common language unites them. To what extent is this true? Taking cross-cultural and historical approaches, we examine the role of language in creating concepts of tribe, ethnicity, and nation. Explores what kinds of social groupings these terms might label, some ideologies connected with their use, and their relationship with communication systems. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. McIntosh

ANTH 153a Writing Systems and Scribal Traditions
[ nw ss ]
Explores the ways in which writing has been conceptualized in social anthropology, linguistics and archaeology. A comparative study of various forms of visual communication, both non-glottic and glottic systems, is undertaken to better understand the nature of pristine and contemporary phonetic scripts around the world and to consider alternative models to explain their origin, prestige, and obsolescence. The course pays particular attention to the social functions of early writing systems, the linkage of literacy and political power, and the production of historical memory. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Urcid

ANTH 186b Linguistic Anthropology
[ ss ]
Advanced topics in linguistic anthropology, including the study of linguistic meaning in context, pragmatics, the construction of social relationships through language, language and authority, language and religion, and linguistic ideologies. Usually offered every second year.
Ms. McIntosh or Mr. Parmentier

COML 166b Literacy, Language and Culture
[ hum nw ]
Examines contemporary cross-cultural literary representations of the relationships among languages and cultures. We will read texts such as Hoffman's Lost in Translation, Dangarembga's Nervous Conditions, and Ngugi's Decolonising the Mind as well as poetry and essays from Haiti, French Guyana, the Navajo Nation and a variety of immigrant communities in the US. Questions we will consider include: Does language carry culture? When is language an instrument of power? What's the difference between learning to speak and/or write a particular language? What happens when children must learn a new language when they enter school? Students will share their own richly diverse linguistic experiences. Usually offered every year.
Staff

COSI 21b Structure and Interpretation of Computer Programs
[ sn ]
Prerequisites: COSI 11a or programming facility in C.
An introduction to idioms of programming methodology, and to how programming languages work. Principles of functional programming, data structures and data abstraction; state, imperative and object-oriented programming; lazy data structures; how an interpreter works; metalinguistic abstraction and programming language design; syntax analysis, lexical addressing, continuations and explicit control; continuation-passing style, metacircular and register-machine compilers. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Mairson

COSI 30a Introduction to the Theory of Computation
[ sn ]
Prerequisite: COSI 29a.
Formal treatment of models of computation: finite automata and regular languages, pushdown automata and context-free languages, Turing machines, and recursive enumerability. Church's thesis and the invariance thesis. Halting problem and undecidability, Rice's theorem, recursion theorem. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Mairson

COSI 101a Fundamentals of Artificial Intelligence
[ sn ]
Prerequisites: COSI 21a.
Survey course in artificial intelligence. Introduction to Lisp and heuristic programming techniques. Topics include problem solving, planning natural language processing, knowledge representation, and computer vision. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Pollack

COSI 112a Modal, Temporal, and Spatial Logic for Language
[ sn ]
Prerequisites: COSI 21b or 29a.
Examines the formal and computational properties of logical systems that are used in AI and linguistics. This includes (briefly) propositional logic and first order logic, and then an in-depth study of modal logic, temporal logic, spatial logic, and dynamic logic. Throughout the analyses of these systems, focuses on how they are used in the modeling of linguistic data. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Pustejovsky

COSI 114b Fundamentals of Computational Linguistics
[ sn ]
Prerequisites: COSI 21b or 29a.
Provides a fundamental understanding of the problems in natural language understanding by computers, and the theory and practice of current computational linguistic systems. Of interest to students of artificial intelligence, algorithms, and the computational processes of comprehension and understanding. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Pustejovsky

COSI 132a Information Retrieval
[ sn ]
Prerequisite: COSI 21a, COSI 101a or COSI 114b.
Explores the theory and practice of textual information retrieval, including text indexing; Boolean, vector space and probabilistic retrieval models; evaluation; interfaces; linguistic issues; web search; QA and text classification. Students will implement algorithms and design and build a search-based application. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Anick

COSI 134a Statistical Approaches to Natural Language Processing
[ sn ]
Prerequisite: COSI 101a or COSI 114b. This course may be taken concurrently with COSI 114b.
An introductory graduate-level course covering fundamental concepts in statistical Natural Language Processing (NLP). Provides an in-depth view of the statistical models and machine-learning methods used in NLP, including methods used in morphological, syntactic, and semantic analysis. Usually offered every year.
Staff

COSI 135b Computational Semantics
[ sn ]
Prerequisites: COSI 11a or permission of the instructor. Open to advanced undergraduate students and first-year graduate students.
A study of the computational treatment of core semantic phenomena in language. After a review of first-order logic and the lambda calculus, the course focuses on three core topics: interrogative structures, including semantics of questions, question-answering systems, dialogue, entailment, commonsense knowledge; meaning update and revision; and computational lexical semantics. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Pustejovsky

COSI 136a Automated Speech Recognition
[ sn ]
Prerequisite: COSI 114b, or COSI 12b and 21b, or permission of the instructor. May not be taken for credit by students who took COSI 216a in Spring 2010, Fall 2010, or Fall 2011.
Explores speech recognizer core components and their underlying algorithms, surveying real applications. Covers phonetics, HMMs, finite state grammars, statistical language models, and industry standards for implementing applications, like VXML. Students build and analyze simple applications using a variety of toolkits. Usually offered every year.
Ms. Meteer

COSI 137b Information Extraction
[ sn ]
Prerequisites: COSI 21b, COSI 101a, COSI 134a or permission of the instructor.
Examines the major issues and techniques in extracting semantically meaningful information from unstructured data, putting the information into a structured database for easy access and manipulation. Teaches students to design and implement a working natural language system. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Xue

COSI 139a Machine Translation
[ sn ]
Prerequisite: COSI 114b (COSI 134a and COSI 127b are recommended).
Provides a grounding in the theory and practice of machine translation of human languages, focusing on modern statistical approaches. Students will gain familiarity and practical experience with algorithms, toolsets, and resources for the domain, and complete a research project. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Tresner-Kirsch

COSI 140b Natural Language Annotation for Machine Learning
[ sn ]
Prerequisite: COSI 114b or LING 131a and concurrent enrollment in COSI 114b.
Studies corpus linguistics, the computational study of any naturally occurring fragment of language, a key area for data mining, information extraction, and machine learning. Students model, annotate, train, test, evaluate, and revise their own corpus for machine learning. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Pustejovsky

COSI 216a Topics in Natural Language Processing
Prerequisite: COSI 101a or 112a or 114b.
Reviews recent trends in computational approaches to linguistics, semantics, knowledge representation for language, and issues in parsing and inferences. Usually offered every fourth year.
Mr. Pustejovksy

COSI 217b Natural Language Processing Systems
Prerequisite: COSI 101a or 112a.
This course looks at building coherent systems designed to tackle real applications in computational linguistics. Particular topics will vary from year to year, but each call will consider some of the following: machine (aided) translation, speech interfaces, information retrieval/extraction, natural language question answering systems, dialogue systems, summarization, computer-assisted language learning, language documentation/linguistics hypothesis testing, and handwriting recognition. Usually offered every year.
Staff

ED 175a The Teaching of English Language Learners: Pre-K to 12
[ ss ]
Corequisite: Students are required to do an Experiential Learning component for this class.
Examines the intersection of culture and language, including issues such as testing, family involvement, and different challenges facing English Language Learners. While this course will be of interest to anyone working with English learners, teachers are now required to be teachers of English in addition to content teachers. (Upon completion, participants will have acquired the skills and knowledge base for Category 1 and 2 as defined in the MA requirements for teachers.) Usually offered every year.
Ms. Theodorou

ENG 11a Close Reading: Theory and Practice
[ hum ]
Examines the theory, practice, technique, and method of close literary reading, with scrupulous attention to a variety of literary texts to ask not only what but also how they mean, and what justifies our thinking that they mean these things. Usually offered every third year.
Staff

ENG 151b Performance Studies
[ hum ]
Prerequisite: A course in dramatic literature and familiarity with theatrical production.
The theater, etymologically, is a place for viewing. Theory, etymologically, begins with a spectator and a viewing. Reading theories of theater and performance against paradigmatic dramatic texts and documents of social performance, speculation, and spectatorship are reviewed. Usually offered every third year.
Mr. King

ENG 171a The History of Literary Criticism: From Plato to Postmodernism
[ hum wi ]
Explores major documents in the history of criticism from Plato to the present. Texts will be read as representative moments in the history of criticism and as documents of self-sufficient literary and intellectual interest. Usually offered every third year.
Mr. Morrison or Ms. Quinney

HBRW 167b Back to the Roots: The Revival of Modern Hebrew
[ fl hum ]
Prerequisite: Five semesters of Hebrew or permission of the instructor. Four class hours per week.
An advanced course that surveys the origins of the Hebrew language and its development throughout the centuries, focusing on its major stages (biblical, rabbinic, medieval, and modern). Explores the unique phenomenon of its revival as a spoken language and its adaptation to the modern world. Usually offered every fall.
Ms. Porath

NEJS 104a Comparative Semitic Languages
[ hum ]
An introduction to and description of the Semitic languages, the internal relationships within this linguistic family, and the distinctive grammatical and lexical features of the individual languages. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Wright

NPSY 22b Introduction to Cognitive Neuroscience
[ sn ss ]
Prerequisite: PSYC 10a (formerly PSYC 1a) or MATH 10a or permission of the instructor.
This course explores how the human brain makes the human mind. It covers neural and behavioral dimensions of attention, memory and learning, perception, motor control, plasticity and planning. Experimental approaches and neuroimaging are emphasized. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Sekuler

NPSY 199a Human Neuropsychology
[ sn ss ]
Prerequisite: Psych 10a (formerly PSYC 1a) or Math 10a and at least sophomore standing.
Designed as an introduction to human neuropsychology. Topics include cerebral dominance, neuroanatomical mapping, and localization of function, with special reference to language, memory, and related cognitive function. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Wingfield

PHIL 6a Introduction to Symbolic Logic
[ hum ]
Symbolic logic provides concepts and formal techniques that elucidate deductive reasoning. Topics include truth functions and quantifiers, validity, and formal systems. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Samet or Ms. Marusic

PHIL 37a Philosophy of Language
[ hum ]
Theories of meaning, reference, and methodological issues in account of language and translation. Readings from contemporary sources. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Berger or Mr. Yourgrau

PHIL 131a Philosophy of Mind
[ hum ]
May not be repeated for credit by students who took PHIL 39b in previous years.
Covers the central issue in the philosophy of mind: the mind-body problem. This is the ongoing attempt to understand the relation between our minds -- our thoughts, perceptions, feelings, and so on -- and our bodies. Is the mind just a complex configuration of (neural) matter, or is there something about it that's irreducibly different from every physical thing? Topics include intentionality, consciousness, functionalism, reductionism, and the philosophical implications of recent work in neuroscience, cognitive science, and artificial intelligence. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Samet

PHIL 137a Nature or Nurture? The Innateness Controversy
[ hum ]
Prerequisite: One course in philosophy or permission of the instructor.
The question: How much of what we are--what we believe and know, what we think and feel, and how we act--is due to our environment and training and how much is a function of our inherent nature? This interdisciplinary course covers: the main answers in the history of philosophy (from Plato through Logical Positivism); the contemporary philosophical debate on this question; and current scientific research in linguistics, psychology, ethology, artificial intelligence, and evolutionary biology. Usually offered every third year.
Mr. Samet

PHIL 139b Topics in Logic
[ hum ]
Prerequisite: PHIL 1a or PHIL 66b or one course numbered PHIL 35a through PHIL 38b.
Topics may vary from year to year and the course may be repeated for credit. Topics in the past have included: Is logic an a priori or empirical science? Does it make sense to say that we can revise or adopt our logic? Is logic true by conventional rules of language? Set theory and the paradoxes. Usually offered every year.
Mr. Berger, Mr. Yourgrau, or Ms. Marusic

PHIL 140a Logic and Language
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Prerequisite: PHIL 1a, PHIL 6a, or PHIL 106b, or permission of the instructor.
Covers basic problems and puzzles regarding reference and identity-topics that dominate issues in philosophy of language today. Topics include puzzles about belief, necessity, substitutivity of identity statements, and formal semantics for parts of language that includes modal and intensional notions. Usually offered every second year.
Mr. Berger or Mr. Yourgrau

PHIL 145b Topics in the Philosophy of Language
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Prerequisite: PHIL 1a or PHIL 66b or one course numbered PHIL 35a through PHIL 38b.
Topics may vary from year to year and course may be repeated for credit. Topics include the relationship between the language we speak and our view of reality, reference, the sense in which language may structure reality, and formal semantics. Usually offered every third year.
Mr. Berger, Mr. Hirsch, or Mr. Yourgrau