Enjoying that back-to-school feeling as I look forward to teaching two of my favorite courses! Course blurbs below; click each title for the syllabus.
LING 215: Sounds of Language (undergraduate) An introduction to phonetics and phonology, the linguistic subfields concerned with describing and explaining how speech sounds are made, used, heard, and mentally organized.
LING 481: Sociolinguistic Variation (graduate/undergraduate) Language varies: within speakers, across speakers, and over time. This course is a theoretical and practical introduction to variationist sociolinguistics, the subfield of linguistics concerned with understanding the relationship between variation and language change and with describing and accounting for variation in terms of the linguistic and social factors which underlie it. What are the objects of study in sociolinguistic research? What kinds of questions can we ask about the relationship between language and society, and how do we use quantitative methods to find their answers? We'll address these foundational issues, read classic and contemporary papers in the field (about old fishermen, Harlem teens, high school cliques, salespeople, frat guys, politicians, and other remarkable language users) and apply what we've learned to group and individual projects exploring particular cases of variation.