LIN 101 - Sign Language & Sign Systems (3)

An introduction to the major features of languages and to the structure, use, and variation in the sign languages and sign systems commonly used in the United States. The course will cover four major topics: (1) Language: The nature and definition of languages, the uniqueness of language, and contrasts between language and other forms of communication; (2) Language and Culture: The role of language in human society, with special focus on language acquisition, language identity, and bilingualism; (3) American Sign Language Structure: A survey of the major features of the linguistic structure of ASL. Topics are: Phonology: the structure of the physical signals; Morphology: the basic structure and composition of meaningful units of ASL; Syntax: word order and nonmanual syntactic signals in ASL sentences; (4) Language Variation: Language variation and language contact in the deaf community, including discussions of contact varieties of signing and systems for representing English.

Prerequisites: Qualifying performance on the English assessment or screening and passing ASL screening.

LIN 195 - Special Topics (1-5)

Special topics in the discipline, designed primarily for freshmen. Students may enroll in 195 Special Topics multiple times, as long as the topics differ.

LIN 260 - Structure of English (3)

An introduction to the linguistic study of English, including phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and discourse structure. The course emphasizes a practical, hands-on approach in which students are guided to discover patterns on their own; theoretical concepts will be introduced after the practical foundation has been laid.

Prerequisites: LIN 101; or permission of instructor

LIN 263 - Introduction to the Structure of American Sign Language (3)

This course provides an introductory overview of the major linguistic structures of American Sign Language. Major topics are: phonology, morphology, syntax, language use, and linguistic applications. Some comparisons with English and other spoken and signed languages will be examined.

Prerequisites: LIN 101, or permission of the instructor

LIN 295 - Special Topics (1-5)

Special Topics in the discipline, designed primarily for sophomores. Students may enroll in 295 Special Topics multiple times, as long as the topics differ.

LIN 301 - Introduction to Phonology and Morphology (3)

This course provides a broad introduction to the principles of the linguistic structure and analysis of the phonetics, phonology, and morphology of ASL, English and other languages, with a focus on the analysis and solution of linguistic problems. The course will cover a number of topics in phonology, such as phonological contrast, phonotactics, phonological processes, and several topics in morphology, such as inflection, derivation and lexicalization.

Prerequisites: LIN 101 and 263

LIN 302 - Introduction to Syntax and Discourse (3)

This course introduces students to theories and methods of two areas of study in linguistics: Syntax and Discourse. Syntax is concerned with the sentence as the unit of language, combining descriptions of events with communicative intentions, and grounding this into the reality of the here and now. The study of language in text and context is known in Linguistics as "discourse analysis." This course provides an introduction to approaches to discourse analysis as well as tools used in the analysis of discourse.

Prerequisites: LIN 101 and 263

LIN 395 - Special Topics (1-5)

Special topics in the discipline, designed primarily for juniors. Students may enroll in 395 Special Topics multiple times, as long as the topics differ.

LIN 480 - Linguistics Research Experience (3)

This course will cover the different research traditions in linguistics, as well as the methodological issues involved in doing linguistic research. Students will learn how to access and summarize scholarly publications and how research findings are disseminated. Students will also learn about the ethical conduct of research. Students will work as a research assistant with a faculty member, applying what they learn throughout the semester. Students will periodically report on what they learn about research and about their work on the specific project.

Prerequisites: LIN 301 and 302

LIN 495 - Special Topics (1-5)

Special topics in the discipline, designed primarily for seniors who are majors or minors. Students may enroll in 495 Special Topics multiple times, as long as the topics differ.

LIN 499 - Independent Study (1-3)

Supervised study or research project in an area of the student's special interest. Title indicating the content must be available at registration.

Prerequisites: Independent study form and permission of the department.

LIN 510 - Introduction to First and Second Language Acquisition (3)

This course introduces students to the acquisition of a native language by young children (L1 acquisition) and acquisition of a second language after childhood (L2 acquisition), with a focus on sign languages. The first part of the course covers the important milestones of normal L1 development in phonology, morphology, syntax and pragmatics for both spoken and signed languages. The course also explores how delays in exposure affect the acquisition process, related to the main topics of the second part of the course: critical period effects and L2 acquisition. Readings and discussion throughout the course will reflect the perspective that acquisition studies on a broad variety of languages, both signed and spoken, are crucial for developing accurate theories of language structure and use. Application of concepts from lectures and discussion is developed through student analysis of L1 and L2 data.

Prerequisites: For UG students: LIN 301, 302; for MASLED GRAD students: B or above in ASL 724 or permission of the instructor and MASLED program coordinator; for other GRAD students, permission of the instructor.

LIN 521 - Introduction to Cognitive Linguistics (3)

This course is an introduction to the cognitivist approach to linguistics, in which language and thought are taken to be grounded in basic human experiences and to grow out of the nature of the physical brain and body. Unlike some linguistic approaches, cognitive linguistics treats form and meaning as interrelated on all levels of linguistic structure. Topics include conceptual blending, metaphor, depiction, frame semantics, human categorization, mental spaces, and cognitive/construction grammar.

Prerequisites: LIN 101, 263

LIN 522 - Psycholinguistics of Sign Languages (3)

Deaf and hearing people around the world acquire, produce and perceive sign languages. This course takes an in-depth look at how they acquire, produce and perceive sign languages. Psycholinguistics generally covers three domains: acquisition, use (perception and production) and brain studies. This course focuses on perception and production, as well as brain studies (aka neurolinguistics). With respect to production, we will examine studies that focus on "slips of the hands", both spontaneous and induced. With respect to perception, we will look at both online and offline cases. For brain studies, we will discuss both behavioral and imaging studies.

Prerequisites: For UG students: LIN 101, 263, 301, 302; for Grad students: Permission of Instructor

LIN 525 - Cognitive Linguistics and Translation (3)

This course applies cognitive linguistic notions to a variety of issues in translation and other language contact domains within signed language communities. Cognitive linguistics posits an understanding of language as being usage based with meaning grounded in human experience and with linguistic units at multiple levels all contributing to meaning. This course will explore the implications that these and other cognitive linguistic concepts carry with them for how we understand meaning, how we interact with each other through language, and how both form and meaning are influenced when languages and language communities are in contact.

Prerequisite or Co-requisites: For UG students - LIN 301, 302; or permission of instructor; for GRAD students - permission of instructor.

LIN 537 - Depiction, Iconicity, and Gesture (3)

Students are introduced to a descriptive framework with which to identify and analyze iconicity and depiction in ASL and other signed languages and spoken languages as well. The course focuses on depiction typology, examining the structure of role-shifting, constructed action and dialogue, classifier constructions/depicting verbs, aspectual constructions, abstract/metaphorical depictions, and other imagistic uses of space, including different types of gesture.

Prerequisites: LIN 101, graduate student status, or permission of the instructor.

LIN 541 - Introduction to Sociolinguistics (3)

Sociolinguistics is the discipline that studies the interaction of language and social life. This course will examine the major areas of sociolinguistics, including multilingualism, language contact, variation, language policy and planning and language attitudes. Methodological issues pertaining to the collection of sociolinguistic data will also be examined. The application of sociolinguistics to education, the law, medicine and sign language interpretation will be covered. All issues will be considered as they pertain to both spoken and signed languages.

Prerequisites: For UG students: LIN 101, 263, 301, 302; for Grad students: Permission of Instructor

LIN 543 - Bilingualism (3)

This course explores bilingualism, with a special emphasis on bilingualism in the Gallaudet community. We will examine the place of bilingualism and multilingualism in the world, both historically and currently; the linguistic structure and features of bilingualism; social constructions of bilingualism; the acquisition of bilinguality, from the perspectives of both first- and second language acquisition; and we will explore the functions and meanings of bilingualism in communities. For each topic, we will examine the current state of the field, first from the perspective of spoken language bilingualism and then from the perspective of signed language (mixed modality) bilingualism, with special emphasis on the situation at Gallaudet University.

Prerequisites: For UG students: LIN 101, 263, 301, 302; for Grad students: Permission of Instructor

LIN 545 - Language as Social Practice (3)

This course is a theoretical introduction to the study of language as social practice. It is social theory for those interested in language. It is also appropriate for anyone wishing to understand the place of language in recent social thought. There are no prerequisites. Topics include language and semiotics, speech acts and performativity, language and embodiment, relativity and difference, units and structures of participation, language and practice theory, discourse genres, and reference. Students will be expected to make their own connections in a final paper between the theories introduced in the course and their “home disciplines,” such as Deaf Studies, Interpreting, Education, Linguistics, and other, related fields.

Prerequisite or Co-requisites: For UG students: LIN 301, 302; or Permission of Instructor; for Grad students: Permission of Instructor.

LIN 555 - Applied Linguistics as Engaged Research (3)

This seminar format course offers a broad introduction to the study of the various ways linguists apply their work through engagement with communities outside of academics. We will consider what makes linguistic work "applied": where applied linguistic research questions come from, who participates in applied linguistics, how we use and share our research knowledge, and what kinds of engagement with wider communities are possible. The goal of the course is to better understand how we can apply our own linguistic knowledge and approaches in order to engage ever more deeply with deaf communities.

Prerequisite or Co-requisites: For UG students - LIN 301, 302; or permission of instructor; for GRAD students - permission of instructor.

LIN 572 - Language Documentation (3)

This seminar will explore language documentation with an emphasis on practices related to the documentation of signed languages. We will first examine different ways language documentation (sometimes called “documentary linguistics”) has been conceptualized by researchers. We will then look at work that has been done in signed languages (including field work and signed language corpora) along with examining theoretical concepts and specific case studies in the literature. We will also examine signed language data sets available to researchers online.

Prerequisite or Co-requisites: For UG students - LIN 301, 302; or permission of instructor; for GRAD students - permission of instructor.

LIN 585 - Prosody in Sign and Spoken Languages (3)

This course introduces students to the theories and methods of analyzing prosody in signed and spoken languages. These prosodic features play a critical role in human communication and have a wide range of functions, including expression at linguistic, attitudinal, affective and personal levels.

Prerequisites: For UG students: LIN 101, 263, 301, 302; for Grad students: Permission of Instructor

LIN 595 - Special Topics (1-3)

Grading System: letter grades only.

LIN 661 - Brief Introduction to the Structure of American Sign Language (1)

A survey of the major features of the linguistics structure and social uses of American Sign Language. The course will cover four major topics: (1) Phonology: The Study of the Raw Materials of Signs, an examination of the structure of the physical signals of ASL, the customary patterns for combining them, and influence of signs on one another in connected discourse; (2) Morphology; Building and Storing Words, the study of the basic meaningful units of ASL, including discussions of word creation, compounding, borrowing, affixation, and numeral incorporation. A discussion of the use of space in ASL, including an examination of verbs with subject and object agreement and of spatial-locative verbs; (3) Syntax: Building Sentences, the word order of ASL sentences, nonmanual syntactic signals, and discourse structures; and (4) Sociolinguistic Applications, a discussion of language variation and language contact in the deaf community.

LIN 662 - Survey of American Sign Language Phonology (1)

This course has four parts. Part one covers basic phonetic notation and includes practice in the phonetic description of lexical signs of ASL. This will include an examination of hand configurations, placements, orientations, nonmanual signals, and two-hand relationships. Part two deals with phonological processes, including movement epenthesis, hold deletion, metathesis, assimilation, location neutralization, and weak hand deletion. Part three examines phonotactic patterns within the lexicon of ASL, focusing on permissible combinations of phonetic elements. Part four considers the nature of phonological change and historical shifts in the structure of the lexicon.

LIN 663 - Morphology of ASL Verbs (1)

This course will focus on the use of space and the behavior of verbs that use space in meaningful ways in American Sign Language. Major topics will include an examination of the signing space and the four functions of a locus, syntactic versus topographical space, mental representations of space, identity shift, a detailed examination of indicating verbs, locative verbs, classifier predicates (including discussions of imagery, verb roots, categories of classifier handshapes, and types of representations), and aspectual inflections that operate by changing the movement of verbs in space.

LIN 664 - Survey of American Sign Language Syntax (1)

This course begins by examining the various roles of nonmanual signals within ASL grammar and ASL discourse. This leads to the role of nonmanual signs in helping to determine the structure of ASL sentences. Next, the course examines the order of constituents within ASL sentences, including topics and topicalization, subject pronoun copy, deletion of subjects and objects, and the placement of tense markers. The next section of the course focuses on the use of space in ASL discourse, verb classes based on how space is used, verb agreement, and conceptual mapping. The course concludes by examining subordination and specific types of ASL syntactic structures including relative clauses, conditional clauses, and related constructions.

LIN 665 - Sociolinguistics of the Deaf Community (1)

This course provides an overview of the major areas of sociolinguistics and of current sociolinguistic thinking, with a focus on the Deaf community. It begins with an introduction to the field, followed by a look at bilingualism and language contact phenomena, including lexical borrowing, code-switching, code-mixing, diglossia, pidgins, and creoles. Following this look at intralanguage phenomena, the focus turns to the internal and external constraints upon them. Discourse analysis is then examined, with a focus on language and social interaction and the structure of conversations. Language attitudes are then discussed, followed by a look at language policy and planning.

LIN 670 - Introduction to First Language Acquisition by Children (1)

This course introduces students to the processes by which children acquire their first language, focusing on the major milestones of phonological and syntactic development. Children everywhere accomplish the task of learning their native language by the age of 5. They succeed despite the cognitive limitations of their age and follow the same general patterns of development regardless of what language they are learning. The efficiency with which children acquire language suggests some degree of innate linguistic knowledge, or a 'language instinct.' This course will overview some of the major research discoveries of how children combine this language instinct with information provided by the environment to acquire their native language. Course topics will include babbling and early phonetic development by infants, acquisition of word order, questions, and word meanings. A final segment of the course will explore the acquisition of sign languages and the ways in which deaf children's signing development parallels that of spoken language in hearing children.

LIN 671 - Introduction to Acquisition of Sign Language (1)

Modern linguistic theory, traditionally based on research conducted on spoken languages, has benefited greatly from recent linguistic investigation of sign languages. Findings of similarities between spoken and sign languages reaffirm their equivalent status as fully natural languages, while differences point to areas where existing theory must be expanded. This course introduces students to the acquisition of ASL as a first language by deaf children and the unique contributions this research makes to general theories of language development. As background preparation, we will begin with a broad overview of important milestones in the acquisition of spoken language by hearing children. This will be followed by a short discussion on the effects of modality (oral/aural vs. gestural/visual) on the acquisition process. The remaining two-thirds of the class will be devoted to language development in the gestural/visual modality. Readings and lectures will center on the acquisition of phonology and selected syntactic phenomena, including nonmanuals and questions. The course will end with a discussion of delayed exposure to sign language and its effects on acquisition, a topic of great importance to the field of Deaf education.

Prerequisite: LIN 670

LIN 699 - Independent Study (1-3)

Grading System: letter grades or pass/fail at the option of the instructor. Individualized course of study focusing on particular problem not covered in regular courses.

Prerequisites: Appropriate level of matriculation, permission of instructor and Special Independent Study Form.