Skip to Main Content

Linguistics Courses

Check the undergraduate catalog for further details.  See the Class Schedule for courses currently offered.  
LING 190 (cross-listed with MLL 190)
The World of Language I
Language as a distinctive characteristic of the human species. In this course, we examine the structure of both written and spoken forms of language across cultures, comparing them with animal communication and human gestural systems. We explore language’s neurological basis, theories of origin, and first and second-language learning.
LING 191 (cross-listed with MLL 191)
The World of Language II
Language as both a reflection and a determiner of social relationships. In this course, we examine the varying idioms of the scientist, the politician, the media, the poet, the child and the magician, and we investigate how language changes and how it marks social groups. Communication strategies and social taboos reflected in language are discussed for various cultures. Although this course continues work begun in The World of Language I, it is designed so that students can easily enter MLL 191 without having taken MLL 190.
LING 210
Introduction to Language Structures
An introduction to the relationship between form and meaning across languages; basic notions in phonology, morphology, syntax, and semantics. Practical exercises are drawn from a variety of languages. This course and LING 290 are designed as gateway courses to the Applied Linguistics major.
LING 290
Introduction to Applied Linguistics
A survey of the many areas in which the study of language intersects with the analysis of social and psychological issues. Readings and discussions on language learning and processing, bilingualism, attitudes toward language varieties, language hygiene, cryptology, natural language processing, and the structure of everyday conversation.
LING 310
Phonology and Morphology
A survey of sound systems, phonological and morphological processes across a range of languages. The principles of modern phonology and morphology are examined, and phonological and morphological data are analyzed and interpreted within those principles. Prerequisite: LING 210.
LING 320
The principles of the scientific description of sentences within the framework of generative grammar. Strong emphasis on the analysis of linguistic data, formulation of hypotheses, and scientific argumentation, with special reference to English and other languages. Prerequisite: LING 190 and LING 210.
LING 330
Language in Context
An examination of the principles that govern language use. This course studies linguistic performance issues, particularly the ways in which context influences the shape and meaning of utterances. Pragmatics, discourse analysis, and conversation analysis provide the theoretical orientations for an in-depth examination of language in action. Students will complete an original research paper.  Prerequisite: MLL 301; recommended preparation: LING 210.
LING 350
Historical Linguistics
A study of linguistic variation and change in all realms of linguistic structure: phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and lexicon. Language typology and genetic affiliation among reconstructions. Extra-linguistic causes of language change (both socio-cultural and political). Writing systems and their decipherment. Prerequisite: LING 190 or LING 210.
LING 360
Sociolinguistics and Dialectology
The ways in which forms of language vary across space, across boundaries of class and ethnicity, etc., and the ongoing processes of change that are shaping both language and social relations. Attitudes toward language diversity. Many of the concepts introduced in class are applied to a study of English as it is spoken in Maryland. Prerequisite: One of the following: LING 190, 191, 210.
LING 410
Language Planning
This course examines the language planning choices that have been made in a variety of multilingual settings in the world, with particular reference to the role of ethnic or national identity. It also identifies the impact of those choices on the political, cultural, educational, and socioeconomic domains. Prerequisite: MLL 230 or LING 290 or LING 360 with a grade of C or better.
LING 450
Workshop in Applied Linguistics
A practical investigation of the structure of an uncommonly taught language. Prerequisite: LING 210 and another LING course with a grade of C or better.
LING 470
Language and Cognition
This course examines the implications of current linguistic theory and research for first and second language acquisition, language disorders, aphasia studies and speech therapy. Prerequisites: LING 310 and LING 320, both with a grade of C or better.
LING 490
Seminar in Applied Linguistics
Advanced research in a particular topic in applied linguistics. Students are expected to give frequent oral reports and to complete work on a theory-significant and original term paper. Prerequisite: Two LING courses at the 300 or 400 level with a grade of C or better.
MLL 413
Language, Gender and Sexuality
In Language, Gender and Sexuality, students gain an in-depth understanding of how language, gender, and sexuality are integrated into the fabric of cultures and societies and how sociocultural contexts give meaning to linguistic practices, to categories of gender and sexuality, and to the construction of gendered, sexual, and other identities.. Students will examine and evaluate a diverse body of scholarship from linguistics, anthropology, gender and sexuality studies, and sociology. Critical attention will be paid to understanding the roles of language, gender and sexuality in the U.S. context, especially with regard to education and the media; we will also explore relationships between language, gender, and sexuality in the range of other Western and non-Western cultures. Students will apply what they have learned in the course to final research projects. Departmental consent required.