Linguistics

The Linguistics Program

The SJU Linguistics Program is designed to heighten students’ awareness of the complex nature of language and communication and their important, but often overlooked role, in daily life. Linguistics courses aim to increase students’ knowledge and understanding of human communication and to understand the nature of language in general, bringing students to a point where they can apply this knowledge in particular fields such as criminal justice, education, forensics, languages, law, psychology, sociology, speech therapy, or translation. Linguistics students will be prepared to become language professionals, pursue graduate studies in linguistics or TESOL, or to practice the skills of a linguist in a variety of professional fields.

Linguistics is the study of how languages work, where they come from, how they are used in society, how they change over time and how they are learned. Linguists serve as translators, interpreters, speech therapists, professors, researchers, and language teachers, to name a few professional roles. They also investigate issues including language acquisition, literacy, bilingualism, speech pathology, and language planning or policy. Linguists sometimes speak or have knowledge of more than one language though depending on their specialization, some speak only their native language. Contact the Linguistics Program Director, Dr. Jennifer Ewald (jewald@sju.edu), for more information and visit the Linguistics Program website at https://sites.sju.edu/mcl/linguistics.

Linguistics in the GEP

These GEP requirements are fulfilled by the following courses:

Ethics-Intensive Overlay
LIN 260Language and the Law3
Social Sciences
LIN 317Sociolinguistics3
LIN 340Communication in Soc Contexts3
Diversity Overlay
LIN 317Sociolinguistics3
LIN 401Bilingualism & Lang Diversity3
First Year Seminar
LIN 150First Year Sem in Linguistics (Language, Communication and Culture)3
LIN 150First Year Sem in Linguistics (Language, Linguistics and the Real World)3

Linguistics Program Director

  • Dr. Jennifer Ewald

Faculty

  • Dr. Elaine Shenk

LIN 150 First Year Sem in Linguistics (3 credits)

Language, Communication, and Culture is a first-year seminar that explores the interaction among language, communication, and culture. Communication can potentially be facilitated through the recognition of similar cultural or linguistic practices as well as impeded by lack of awareness of differences in usage of language - or even one dialect of a language - to another. In this course, we will discuss communicative behaviors from around the world to highlight both similiarities and differences that exist ni human language and examine the ways in which these present us with 'rich points' for learning (Agar 1996). This course fulfills the First-Year Seminar requirement of the GEP and counts toward the Linguistics major/minor and the TESOl minor.

Attributes: First-Year Seminar, Undergraduate

LIN 200 Introduction to Linguistics (3 credits)

This course is an introduction to the study of language and areas of linguistics. It focuses on how language works, where it comes from, how it is used in society, how it changes over time and how it is learned. We will also explore commonly-held beliefs about the nature of language and language use in real-life contexts.

Attributes: American Studies Course, Communication Studies ILC Crs, Undergraduate

LIN 201 English Grammar (3 credits)

To prepare current and future English language teachers, this course explores aspects of English grammar that are particularly challenging for ESL/EFL learners. This course is beneficial to TESOL minors and to Linguistics majors/minors who plan to teach English at any level.

LIN 220 Logic (3 credits)

A study of the logic of ordinary language; the function of language, forms of argument, fallacies, definition; analysis of propositions and deductive reasoning, analogy and scientific hypothesis testing. See PHL 220. This course does not fulfill the GEP Philosophical Anthropology requirement.

Attributes: Undergraduate

LIN 240 Symbolic Logic (3 credits)

The study of a method for translating arguments from ordinary language into a symbolic notation which reveals logical structure, procedures for establishing the validity or invalidity of deductive arguments so symbolized, and properties of formal deductive systems—independence of axioms, expressive and deductive completeness, and consistency. See PHL 240. This course does not fulfill the GEP Philosophical Anthropology requirement.

Attributes: Undergraduate

LIN 250 Social Media Discourse (3 credits)

The focus of this course is on understanding and investigating linguistic aspects of electronic social media such as email, texting, Twitter, Facebook, etc. This course has two goals: (1) to analyze everyday social media discourse from a linguistic perspective and (2) to learn how to conduct linguistic research in the context of a student-designed investigation on some type of social media discourse. To that end, we will examine previous research in related areas and students will conduct an original research project based on a selected context of social media discourse. This course will be taught as a seminar in which students are expected to come to class prepared to discuss and/or lead the majority of discussions about course readings. This course is open to students from all academic majors and there is no prerequisite.

Attributes: American Studies Course, Communication Stds Maj Choices, Undergraduate

LIN 260 Language and the Law (3 credits)

This course is an introduction to linguistic issues that influence interaction in a variety of legal contexts. It explores the role of language used in court cases and police investigations while paying special attention to particular discourse contexts such as courtroom talk, interpreter interactions and police interrogations/ interviews. Particular emphasis will be placed on recognizing and understanding ethical issues related to linguistic sources of disadvantage before the law for both educated and uneducated native speakers, minority speakers and non-native speakers of a given language. This course will help prepare students for careers in which a particular sensitivity to, and understanding of, the use of language is vital. By looking closely at areas studied by linguists, we will seek to uncover the role and the ethical nature of oral and written interactions that take place in the legal field. These linguistic issues affect the concept of justice as well as its application in the legal system and also influence how humans are perceived and, in turn, treated by those who apply the law (police officers, lawyers, judges, etc.). This course fulfills the GEP Ethics-Intensive overlay requirement; it also fulfills a requirement in the Sociology and Criminal Justice majors/minors. This course is open to students from all academic majors and there is no prerequisite.

Prerequisites: PHL 154

Attributes: Ethics Intensive (New GEP), Undergraduate

LIN 270 Topics in Linguistics (3 credits)

This course is an introduction to the study of how language is represented in the human mind and what processes are involved in language use, including producing, comprehending, and storing both spoken and written language. Together, we will explore questions such as the following: How do humans store and recognize words? How do we analyze speech? What processes are involved when we speak and read? We will study spontaneously-occurring speech errors and misperceptions and carry out experimental investigations on language production and comprehension. This course is open to students from all academic majors and there is no prerequisite.

Attributes: Undergraduate

LIN 280 Lang. Acquisition & Learning (3 credits)

Language, Acquistion, and Learningfocuses on the study of existing approaches to explaining first and second language acquisition and learning. Drawing on current research in the field of linguistics, we will explore various aspects of language (e.g., negation, questions, references to the past) as well as particular factors (e.g., age, motivation, anxiety, personality, learner beliefs) that affect the acquisition and learning of specific languages. Paying particular attention to English language learning, we will devote significant course time to understanding L2 developmental sequences as they relate to theories of acquisition and learning based on social, psychological, and educational frameworks. Students will also be challenged to consider the relationship between their understanding of and experiences with language acquisition and learning as well as the relationship between language learning theories and language teaching. This course is open to students from all academic majors.

LIN 301 Teaching Lang at Home/Abroad (3 credits)

Teaching Language at Home and Abroad is an introduction to language teaching and is designed for students interested in teaching a second or foreign language for professional, academic or personal reasons. It will help prepare students to tutor or teach English as a second language (ESL), English as a foreign language (EFL), or other languages such as French, German, Italian, or Spanish in a variety of educational settings at home and abroad. In addition to a career in language teaching, other future opportunities might include teaching positions in community service ESL classes, the Peace Corps, or through grants/fellowships including Fulbrights, among others. In this course, we will explore topics such as language acquisition, teaching methods, materials preparation and assessment. This course is open to students from all academic majors

Attributes: Undergraduate

LIN 317 Sociolinguistics (3 credits)

This course focuses on the use of language within its social context. In this course, we will gain an appreciation for the diversity that exists in human language and for the communicative values inherent in every language variety; scrutinize assumptions about linguistic identity and difference; examine issues of subordination and privilege in our own and others’ lives as related to issues of language; explore the relevance of social categories (e.g., class, age, gender, ethnicity, other social groups) as related to language variation; explore how sociolinguistic research informs policy decisions in classrooms and government legislation; and become familiar with data-collection and research methodologies used to investigate specific topics within the field of sociolinguistics. This course fulfills the GEP Social Science and the GEP diversity overlay requirements. It also counts for a Sociology major/minor. See SOC 317. This course is open to students from all academic majors and there is no prerequisite.

Attributes: Communication Studies ILC Crs, Diversity Course (New GEP), GEP Social Science, Undergraduate

LIN 318 Psycholinguistics (3 credits)

This course is an introduction to the study of how language is represented in the human mind and what processes are involved in language use, including producing, comprehending, and storing both spoken and written language. Together, we will explore questions such as the following: How do humans store and recognize words? How do we analyze speech? What processes are involved when we speak and read? We will study spontaneously-occurring speech errors and misperceptions and carry out experimental investigations on language production and comprehension. This course is open to students from all academic majors and there is no prerequisite.

Attributes: Communication Studies ILC Crs, Undergraduate

LIN 320 Phonetics (3 credits)

This course explores the repertory of sounds found in human language. As a field of study, phonetics includes three areas: (a) articulatory phonetics (how humans create speech sounds); (b) acoustic phonetics (how sounds are transmitted through the air); and (c) perceptual phonetics (how humans perceive sounds based on changes in air pressure). In this class we will focus primarily on the first area, along with an introduction to the second. To this end we will examine the anatomy of the human vocal tract to understand how speech sounds are created. We will also study the International Phonetic Association (IPA) transcription alphabet, create broad and narrow transcriptions, and practice producing and classifying sounds of various world languages. Time will also be spent on prosodic characteristics of human speech, including pitch, stress, tempo, and loudness. Finally, we will discuss how the study of phonetics is applied within fields such as Speech-Language Pathology (SLP), Teaching English to Speakers of Other Languages (TESOL), or teaching languages (e.g., Mandarin, French, Japanese, etc.). This course is open to student from all academic majors and there is no pre-requisite. This course counts for a major elective course toward the Autism Behavior Studies major, the Autism Studies minor, and IHS Area Studies.

Attributes: Undergraduate

LIN 330 Discourse, Style & Presupp (3 credits)

This course builds on Sociolinguistics. Here we examine issues of register, variety (dialect), discourse structure, style, presupposition. The student will be invited to (1) examine discourse samples to analyze presupposition, implications, and fallacies. The insights of argument structure will organize this approach.

Attributes: Undergraduate

LIN 340 Communication in Soc Contexts (3 credits)

Communication in Social Contexts analyzes how people communicate with each another in various social contexts. We will focus on recent research topics in discourse analysis and explore particular contexts of discourse such as that which takes place in the legal field (police interrogations; naturalization interviews); family interactions (homecoming routines; ventriloquizing); childhood settings (apologies, sporting events), the workplace (medicine, business, media) and the classroom (teacher-student, student-student, teacher-teacher interactions). Special attention will be given to classroom discourse, the area of applied linguistics research that investigates empirical linguistic data from classroom interaction. This course is open to student from all academic majors and there is no pre- requisite. This course fulfills the GEP Social Science requirement and counts for the American Studies minor.

Attributes: Communication Studies ILC Crs, GEP Social Science, Undergraduate

LIN 381 History of the Eng Language (3 credits)

A survey of the outer and inner history of the English language, from its Indo-European origins to its present American and world-wide use. The course will be based on modern linguistic methods and information. See ENG 381.

Attributes: Undergraduate

LIN 401 Bilingualism & Lang Diversity (3 credits)

This course is an exploration of bilingualism and linguistic diversity both within the U.S. and beyond its borders. Bilingualism is examined from both sociolinguistic and psycholinguistic perspectives, as we identify historical, geographical and socio-political issues that shape the identity of bilinguals in the U.S. who come from languages and cultures other than our own. In addition to examining the theoretical and methodological issues in bilingualism research, students will also engage this reality through community observations and interviews with representatives of the bilingual communities. This course is open to students from all academic majors and there is no prerequisite. This course fulfills the GEP Diversity overlay requirement.

Attributes: Diversity Course (New GEP), Undergraduate

LIN 470 Topics in Linguistics (3 credits)

The purpose of this course is to explore specific topics within the field of linguistics. Topics will vary according to the semester in which the class is offered; check the semester listing for current topic.

Attributes: Undergraduate

LIN 474 Language and Thought (3 credits)

Rene Descartes held a view called "mind-body dualism", according to which human persons are fundamentally thinking substances that are somehow causally linked to particular physical substances: bodies. One of his reasons for holding this view was that he believed that the human faculty of language could never, even in principle, be adequately explained by any purely physical description of things. Language, as he saw it, is evidence of mind, and indeed he believed that where language is absent, mind is also absent. Creatures without language are, in Descartes' view, mindless organic automata. Few today would defend Descartes' view in all details, but the general sense that language is an important "mark of the mental" has not gone away. Instead, it has given rise to a cluster of narrower but interesting and important questions: Are certain kinds of mental states impossible without language? Does the specific language that we speak influence our thoughts in some way? Do our innate tendencies of thought force our languages to take certain forms? We could restate these questions in a somewhat different way. Does language hold thought on a leash? Does thought hold language on a leash? This course does not fulfill the GEP Philosophical Anthropology requirement. See PHL 474.

Attributes: Undergraduate

LIN 475 Language and Meaning (3 credits)

This course examines the core issues in the philosophy of language, including the nature of meaning, problems of reference, and the relation between language and thought. Further issues include the status of propositions, the problem of whether linguistic competence implies innate knowledge of some sort, the nature of metaphor, the private language problem, the indeterminacy of translation and language as symbolic capital. This course does not fulfill the GEP Philosophical Anthropology requirement. See PHL 475.

Attributes: Undergraduate

LIN 490 TESOL Internship (3 credits)

This course is a practicum in which the student applies his/her knowledge of Linguistics in a professional work environment. The majority of the work for this course is that performed at the internship site. The student is responsible for securing the internship site and will meet with the professor prior to the semester in which the internship is to take place in order to discuss the course requirements and expectations. During the practicum, the student will reflect upon his/her experience at the internship site in written assignments and in regular meetings with the professor. At the end of the semester, the student will submit a final paper or will deliver a final presentation based on his/her internship experience. This course is intended as an advanced course for Linguistics majors or TESOL minors who have completed the other course requirements.

Attributes: Undergraduate

LIN 491 Linguistics Internship (3 credits)

This course is a practicum in which the student applies his/her knowledge of Linguistics in a professional work environment. The majority of the work for this course is that performed at the internship site. The student is responsible for securing the internship site and will meet with the professor prior to the semester in which the internship is to take place in order to discuss the course requirements and expectations. During the practicum, the student will reflect upon his/her experience at the internship site in written assignments and in regular meetings with the professor. At the end of the semester, the student will submit a final paper or will deliver a final presentation based on his/her internship experience. This course is intended as an advanced course for Linguistics majors/minors who have completed the other course requirements.

Attributes: Undergraduate

LIN 493 Ind Research in Linguistics (3 credits)

This will allow the student to round out the major/minor with a supervised research project that will help expand the student’s interests and development.

Attributes: Undergraduate

LIN 494 Ind Research in Linguistics (3 credits)

This will allow the student to round out the major/minor with a supervised research project that will help expand the student’s interests and development.

Attributes: Undergraduate

LIN 496 Special Topics Transfer Course (3 credits)

LIN 497 Special Topics Transfer Course (3 credits)