Graduate Course Offering 2015-2016

Course Offering for 2015-2016

NOTE: You can go to or talk to individual professors to get more information on course offerings and schedules.

It is possible under certain circumstances to take advanced undergraduate courses for credit (for instance, LIN4952 Lab in Psycholinguistics is offered by Laura Sabourin this Fall and could be relevant to students interested in psycholinguistics). If you are considering this option, discuss it with your committee and get it approved by the Committee on Graduate Studies.

Fall 2015

LIN4952 Lab in Psycholinguistics (undergraduate)
Professor: Laura Sabourin

Students will explore concepts and theories introduced in LIN3350 Psycholinguistics by conducting a psycholinguistic experiment in small groups. Group members will be responsible for research design, implementation, analysis, and interpretation of the experiment.

Professor:  Shana Poplack

Survey of recent and classical literature on variationist sociolinguistics, and the development of skills to locate, extract and interpret variable phenomena in spontaneous speech.

LIN5315 Phonology I
Professor: Marc Brunelle

This course is an overview of modern phonological theory (since the 1960s), covering a wide range of phonological phenomena and the theories of phonology that have been developed to account for them (generative phonology and offshoots, feature geometry, optimality theory and offshoots, evolutionary phonology and related models). The course has two main goals: 1) provide students with the necessary background to understand phonological literature, 2) help students acquire the formal tools required to analyse phonological problems.

LIN5317 Syntax 1
Professor: Dennis Ott

Current aspects and goals of syntactic research. Development of contemporary syntactic concepts. This class is an advanced introduction to generative syntax, the theory of how the human mind computes structured linguistic expressions. We will cover some basics concerning categories, constituency and phrase structure before delving into more advanced issues surrounding movement, binding, and the interfaces. The class is designed to equip students with a solid understanding of the central ideas and controversies in syntactic theory.

Professor: Ian MacKay

Physiological aspects of speech production.

Professor: Ana Arregui

Advanced topics in formal semantics; overview of current debates and technical proposals.
Prerequisite: LIN 5318 or equivalent.

Professor: Ian MacKay

Bases de l'analyse acoustique de la parole.

Professor: Andrés Salanova

Insights into the diversity of linguistic structure and a range of theoretical issues through the medium of linguistics analysis of an unfamiliar language.

Professor: Éric Mathieu

Development of presentational and writing skills (abstracts, articles); the inner workings of the linguistic community (conferences, types of publications, the publication process); the academic job market (applications, interviews); the academic career; the non-academic job market and the transferability of academic skills.

Winter 2016

Professor: Laura Sabourin

This course is an introduction and critical survey of psycholinguistics. Topics covered will include theoretical and experimental approaches to speech perception, the mental lexicon and sentence processing. In this semester’s course particular emphasis will be on the use of Event-Related brain Potential (ERP) methods to investigate language processing. Students (taking the course for credit) will have the opportunity to get some hands on experience with the ERP technique.

LIN5918 Semantics I
Professor: Ana Arregui

This course is an introduction to formal semantics in generative grammar. We will be concerned with developing a theory of meaning that is able to account for speakers’ judgements about the truth of sentences in a compositional manner. Topics will include aspects of the semantics of noun phrases, quantification, variable binding, the interpretation of pronouns, belief contexts and modality. We will place emphasis in acquiring the formal tools needed to carry out research in semantics. This course is very much a “hands-on” introduction.

LIN7301 Statistics for Linguistics Research
Professor: Laura Sabourin

Specialized statistical methods for linguistic analysis, including both descriptive and inferential statistics (e.g. frequency distribution, standard deviation, ANOVA, MANOVA, Regression, Correlation, and T-tests). Training in statistical software. Reading and writing of reports on statistics results. Practical training with linguistic data sets.

LIN7310 SÉMINAIRE I / SEMINAR I: The Syntax of Relative Clauses
Professor:  Dennis Ott

This class explores the syntax of relativization as an example of argumentation in syntactic theory. We will survey the main crosslinguistic empirical properties of relative clauses, then focus on theoretical approaches to relativization. Topics will include typological properties of relative clauses; matching vs. raising analyses; connectivity effects; restrictive vs. non-restrictive relatives; free relative clauses. The class takes the format of a seminar, i.e. students are expected to give presentations and develop their own ideas for a term paper.

LIN7330 TOPICS IN THEORETICAL LINGUISTICS I: Formal models of language learnability
Professor: Kevin McMullin

This course is an exploration into the area of language learnability and is designed for a broad range of linguistic interests, including phonology, morphology, and syntax. Topics will include, among others, learning in formal language theory, the role of positive and negative evidence, learnability in constraint-based frameworks, statistical machine learning, the learning of probabilistic grammars, and will also offer exposure to the practical application of formal models and learning algorithms to data from both natural language and psycholinguistic experimentation.

LIN7340 SECOND LANGUAGE ACQUISITION II: Linguistic Theory and the analysis of non-native grammars
Professor: Juana Muñoz-Liceras

In a metaphor linking language to biological systems, we could say that features in linguistic theory are the “DNA (base pairs)” of human language that, as bundles, constitute the “genes” (the functional categories) that determine the structure of particular languages. In this seminar, we are going to analyze a series of studies which take features (and feature values) as the units that language learners have to activate or identify in order to achieve native or native-like competence in the target language. We will discuss learnability issues such as cross-linguistic influence, optionality, markedness, the relationship between the different linguistic levels (morphology-syntax; syntax-pragmatics; prosody-syntax…) as well as data elicitation techniques and data analysis procedures.

Professor: Shana Poplack

Current issues in sociolinguistics.

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