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Course Details

Fall 2016-2017
* LIN 408 / PSY 408 / CGS 408 (EC)   Graded A-F, P/D/F, Audit

Situated Language Usage: Conversations, Dialogues, and Other Goal-Based Communications

Esteban Buz

From ordering a cup of tea from a barista to exchanging abstract ideas with coursemates, human interactions are frequently goal-based and collaborative. To achieve shared goals, people exchange information and coordinate joint action using some form of spoken, gestured, or written language. In this course we will cover our current understanding of how people use and learn to use language in situated interactions and how this sheds light on our language abilities and language's relationship to general cognition. We will cover topics that range from speech production and comprehension, word usage, pragmatic inference, and learning.

Sample reading list:
Clark, Arenas of Language Use
Clark & Wilkes-Gibbs, Referring as a Collaborative Process
Kaschak (2006), What This Construction Needs is Generalized
Frank & Goodman (2012), Predicting Pragmatics Reasoning in Language Games
Dingemanse et al. (2015), Universal Principles in the Repair of Communication Problems
Brown-Schnidt, Yoon & Ryskin (2015), People as Contexts in Conversation

Reading/Writing assignments:
Weekly readings (2 journal articles per week) and short responses, two mini-experiments done outside of class with write-ups, a written proposal for the final paper, an initial draft of the final paper, peer-reviewing of initial draft and revised draft of the final paper.

Paper in lieu of Final - 40%
Class/Precept Participation - 15%
Problem set(s) - 15%
Other (See Instructor) - 30%

Prerequisites and Restrictions:
LIN 201 or PSY 255 or PSY 309 recommended..

Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
23605 L01 01:30:00 pm - 02:50:00 pm T Th   Green Hall   0-S-9   Enrolled:7 Limit:30