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Course Details

Fall 2018-2019
* LIN 250 (SA)   No Audit

Language in Its Contexts

Laura Kalin

This course investigates language in its social, cultural, political, and historical contexts. Does your native language influence your perception, your behavior, and your culture? How does your identity influence properties of your language? What happens when unrelated languages come into contact for prolonged periods? How are new languages born? Why isn't English the official language of the United States, and should it be? We will explore these questions (and more) by engaging with the often contradictory opinions of specialists and the public, as well as with the empirical realities behind these different language situations.

Sample reading list:
William Labov, The Social Stratification of (r) in New York City Department
Terry Regier and Paul Kay, Language, thought, and color: Whorf was half right
Walt Wolfram, Language ideology and dialect
Christine Jourdan, Pidgins and creoles: The blurring of categories
Daniel Everett, Cultural Constraints on Grammar and Cognition in Piraha
Carol Schmid, The politics of English Only in the United States

Reading/Writing assignments:
40-60 pp. reading per week. Take home midterm and paper in lieu of final exam.

Paper in lieu of Final - 25%
Take Home Mid term Exam - 20%
Papers - 35%
Class/Precept Participation - 20%

Reserved Seats:
First Year Ugrd Only 5
Sophomores Only 10

Schedule/Classroom assignment:

Class numberSectionTimeDaysRoomEnrollmentStatus
23565 L01 03:00:00 pm - 04:20:00 pm T Th        Enrolled:0 Limit:0 Canceled