Linguistics

Matthew Gordon, Chair
Interdepartmental Program in the College of Arts and Science
223 Tate Hall
(573) 882-6421
gordonmj@missouri.edu

Kibby Smith, Advisor 
Office of Multidisciplinary Degrees
(573) 882-6060 
smithkib@missouri.edu

Linguistics is the scientific study of human language. It seeks to understand and explain the properties of language in a clear and formal manner. Linguists document understudied and endangered languages, explore the consequences of language contact, measure language variation and change, investigate the structure of language, and analyze the construction of meaning.

Some of the main subfields of linguistics are phonetics (the physical properties of sounds), phonology (the grammar of sounds), morphology (the structure of words), syntax (the organization of phrases and sentences), semantics (meaning), and sociolinguistics (the interaction of language and society).

A Bachelor of Arts with a major in linguistics is available (with an honors option) as is a linguistics minor, both involving coursework in the various subfields.

The study of linguistics prepares students for careers which utilize insight into the workings of language including language instruction, translation and interpreting, speech pathology, anthropology, the reconstruction of prehistory, and computational fields related to the interaction of language and technology. Academic careers of linguistic research and teaching are also possible after further training at the graduate level.

In addition, a major in linguistics offers students a liberal education and develops verbal and analytical skills that are valuable in a variety of less directly related careers such as journalism, literary study, and the law.

The linguistics program is staffed by faculty from a number of MU departments. Supporting course work is offered in Anthropology, Black Studies, Classical Studies, Communication, Communication Science and Disorders, the College of Education, English, German and Russian Studies, Psychology, Philosophy, Romance Languages and Literatures, and South Asian Studies.

Although specialists in the field commonly know one or more foreign languages, such knowledge is complementary rather than essential.

Professors: P. Weirich*, J. Zemke*, F. Zéphir*
Associate Professors: J. Goodman*, M. Gordon*, C. Horisk*, J. Kramer*, M. McGrath*, P. Robbins*, T. Kazic* 
Assistant Professors: A. Alcazar*, M. Fagan*,  M. Marlo*, M. Popescu*, A. Radulescu*
Emeritus Faculty: L. Day*, N. L. Furbee*, D. E. Gulstad, B. L. Honeycutt, M-J Smythe, D. Watson, G. Youmans*

 

Departmental Honors

A student wishing to graduate with honors in Linguistics must earn a 3.3 GPA in all courses and complete all the requirements for the BA in Linguistics. In addition, with the assistance of his/her honors thesis advisor, the student must develop, plan and conduct research on an independent project, normally while enrolled in LINGST 4991 . A committee consisting of the thesis advisor and a second reader, to be selected by the advisor and the program chair, will examine the student on the resulting thesis of 25-40 pages in an oral exam held no later than the thirteenth week of the term during which the student expects to graduate. The second reader will be provided with a copy of the thesis at least two weeks before the examination. After completing any revisions that the exam committee recommends, the student will submit a final version of the thesis for linguistics program records and will then be recommended to the college of Arts and Science for a BA with Honors in Linguistics.

Interdepartmental Program in the College of Arts and Science
224 Tate Hall
(573) 882-8814

Chair of Linguistics: Matthew Gordon

A graduate minor in linguistics consists of at least 12 hours including two electives and two required courses: LINGST 7630 Phonology and LINGST 7640 Syntax. Electives are to be drawn from our list of upper level linguistics classes (see http://linguistics.missouri.edu/courses.html).

Graduate degrees in linguistics are not offered but MA and PhD programs that emphasize language and linguistics are available in some cooperating departments such as Anthropology, Communication, English, Romance Languages and Literatures, and Philosophy.

The linguistics area program is staffed by faculty from various departments (see below). Supporting course work may be drawn from a range of units including Anthropology, Black Studies, Classical Studies, Communication, Communication Science and Disorders, the College of Education, English, German and Russian Studies, Psychology, Philosophy, Romance Languages and Literatures, and South Asian Studies.

Financial aid, when available, is arranged through the participating departments.

Cooperating Graduate Degree Programs

Anthropology
Interested Anthropology and other graduate students may minor in Linguistics. Linguistics is a integral component of ethnographic research. 

Communication
In the Department of Communication, students learn to apply the study of communication to their professional and personal lives. Students may receive a MA, or PhD through this department.

Communication Science and Disorders
The discipline of Communication Science and Disorders encompasses the field of speech, language, and hearing science and the distinct but related professions of Speech-Language Pathology and Audiology. Students may receive a MA, or PhD through this department.

English
The English department offers MA and PhD degrees with an emphasis in English Language and Linguistics.

Philosophy
Linguistics majors benefit by taking courses offered by the Philosophy Department and can focus on issues at the intersection of philosophy and linguistics. 

Romance Languages and Literatures
The Department of Romance Languages and Literatures offers the MA with an emphasis on Language Teaching (MALT). 

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LINGST 1060: Human Language

(same as ANTHRO 1060, C_S_D 1060, ENGLSH 1060). General introduction to various aspects of linguistic study. Elementary analysis of language data, with some attention to application of linguistic study to other disciplines.

Credit Hours: 3


LINGST 2001: Topics in Linguistics-General

Organized study of selected topics. Subjects and earnable credit may vary from semester to semester.

Credit Hour: 1-99
Prerequisites: consent of chair


LINGST 2601: Languages of Africa

(same as BL_STU 2601 and ENGLSH 2601). Introduction to the diversity of the 2000+ African languages, including first-hand experience exploring a few in detail with native speakers. Features of African languages are compared with others of the world. Political and social aspects of language in Africa are discussed.

Credit Hours: 3


LINGST 2700: Elementary Logic

(same as PHIL 2700). Introduces a symbolic language for representing the structure of arguments. Presents precise rules for demonstrating the validity of arguments. Covers natural deduction for sentence and predicate logic. Develops skill in constructing derivations.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: grade of C or higher in MATH 1100 or MATH 1120


LINGST 2820: Introduction to Cognitive Science

(same as PSYCH 2820 and PHIL 2820). Cognitive science is the interdisciplinary study of the mind. After an overview of the foundations of cognitive science as a whole, we will see what particular sectors of it have to say about mental capacities such as vision, language, categorization, and social cognition.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: sophomore standing required
Recommended: PSYCH 1000


LINGST 3001: Topics in Linguistics-General

Organized study of selected topics. Subjects and earnable credit may vary from semester to semester.

Credit Hour: 1-99
Prerequisites: consent of chair


LINGST 3010: American Phonetics

(same as C_S_D 3010). Analysis of production and acoustics of the sounds of speech with an emphasis on American English; practice in broad and narrow transcription using the International Phonetic Alphabet.

Credit Hours: 3


LINGST 3210: Anatomy and Physiology of the Speech Mechanism

(same as C_S_D 3210). Introduction to anatomical and functional aspects of the speech mechanism.

Credit Hours: 3


LINGST 3220: Speech Acoustics

(same as C_S_D 3220). An introduction to the acoustic aspects of speech as they relate to the respiratory, phonatory, resonatory, and articulatory systems.

Credit Hours: 2


LINGST 3470: Culture as Communication

(same as ANTHRO 3470, COMMUN 3470). Study of the influence of culture on communication processes. Examines topics such as the impact of values, languages, and nonverbal behavior on intercultural interaction.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: sophomore standing


LINGST 3710: Survey of Minority and Creole Languages of the U.S. and the Caribbean

(same as SPAN 3710 and FRENCH 3710). Analysis of the state of the minority languages of the U.S. and the Creole languages of the Caribbean with particular attention to the social status of these languages and speakers' attitudes toward them in context of ethnic, cultural, and national identity (taught in English).

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: sophomore standing


LINGST 3721: Spanish Phonetics

(same as SPAN 3721). Introductory course to the study of Spanish phonological, phonetic and spelling systems, practice of pronunciation, phonetic transcriptions, and introduction to the variation of Spanish pronunciation in the Hispanic world. The course is conducted in Spanish.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: SPAN 2160


LINGST 4001: Topics in Linguistics-General

Organized study of selected topics. Subjects and earnable credit may vary from semester to semester.

Credit Hour: 1-99
Prerequisites: consent of chair


LINGST 4001H: Topics in Linguistics-General - Honors

Organized study of selected topics. Subjects and earnable credit may vary from semester to semester. Prerequisites: consent of chair; honors eligibility required,

Credit Hour: 1-99


LINGST 4001W: Topics in Linguistics-General - Writing Intenisve

Organized study of selected topics. Subjects and earnable credit may vary from semester to semester.

Credit Hour: 1-99
Prerequisites: consent of chair


LINGST 4100: Philosophy of Language

(same as PHIL 4100). Examination of contemporary views of the relationship between language, minds, and the world.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: sophomore standing and PHIL 2700 or instructor's consent
Recommended: one other course in Philosophy


LINGST 4110: Advanced Logic

(same as PHIL 4110; cross-leveled with LINGST 7110). Presents the method of truth trees for sentence and predicate logic. Examines proofs concerning the decidability, soundness, and completeness of formal systems. Emphasizes the theory of formal systems.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: sophomore standing and PHIL 2700; or instructor's consent


LINGST 4200: Introduction to Old English

(same as ENGLSH 4200). A beginning study of the Old English or Anglo-Saxon language in its cultural context, with emphasis on gaining a reading knowledge.

Credit Hours: 3
Recommended: junior standing


LINGST 4412: Gender, Language and Communication

(same as COMMUN 4412 and ANTHRO 4412). Relationships among gender, language, nonverbal communication, and culture.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: junior standing or departmental consent


LINGST 4420: Historical Linguistics

(same as ANTHRO 4420; cross-leveled with ANTHRO 7420, LINGST 7420). Methods of tracing the history of languages by glottochronology, and by comparative and internal reconstructions; cultural and linguistic implications of such reconstructions and of areal linguistics.

Credit Hours: 3
Recommended: junior/senior standing


LINGST 4600: Structure of American English

(same as ENGLSH 4600). Introduction to English linguistics. Study of the grammar and pronunciation of contemporary English, with the major focus on syntax.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: junior standing


LINGST 4610: History of the English Language

(same as ENGLSH 4610). Historical changes in the grammar and pronunciation of the English language from Old English to the present. Introduction to Indo-European origins of English.

Credit Hours: 3


LINGST 4620: Regional and Social Dialects of American English

(same as ENGLSH 4620). The study of regional and social variation in pronunciation, vocabulary, and syntax of American English.

Credit Hours: 3
Recommended: LINGST 4600 and LINGST 4610 or equivalent


LINGST 4630: Phonology

(same as ENGLSH 4630). Survey of the sound patterns of English, with some comparison to other languages. Prerequisites: ENGLSH 4600 or equivalent

Credit Hours: 3


LINGST 4640: Syntax

(same as ENGLSH 4640). Study of the properties of phrase and sentence-level grammar, emphasizing English, with some comparison to other languages.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: LINGST 4600


LINGST 4710: History of the French Language

(same as FRENCH 4710). Study of the French language from its Latin origin to the present. The course includes a survey of the external, social, political, and historical factors that have affected the development of French, followed by diachronic study of the internal structural features of the language.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: FRENCH 3420 and FRENCH 3430


LINGST 4711: History of the Spanish Language

(same as SPAN 4711). Diachronic analysis of phonological morphological, and syntactical systems of Spanish, from Vulgar Latin to contemporary dialects.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: SPAN 3420 and SPAN 3430


LINGST 4720: Structure of Modern French

(same as FRENCH 4720). An introductory presentation of the phonological and syntactic systems of contemporary standard French.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: FRENCH 3160


LINGST 4721: Structure of Modern Spanish

(same as SPAN 4721). Synchronic analysis of phonology morphology and syntax of spoken Spanish dialects.

Credit Hours: 3
Recommended: four 3000-level courses in Spanish


LINGST 4722: Spanish Across the Continents

(same as SPAN 4722). This course focuses on the effects of migratory movements on language change, considering the Spanish spoken in Latin America, Puerto Rico, Spain and the USA. The class sharpens awareness and recognition of the linguistic diversity of the Spanish-speaking regions of the world. Graded on A-F basis only.

Credit Hours: 3
Recommended: four 3000-level courses in Spanish


LINGST 4723: Language and Society: Spanish in the U.S.

(same as SPAN 4723). This class surveys linguistic and social issues pertaining to Spanish in the U.S. (past, present and future). Topics include bilingualism, code switching (a.k.a. Spanglish), first language attrition, linguistic identity, and the role of Spanish in Education, services and media. Graded on A-F basis only.

Credit Hours: 3
Recommended: four 3000-level courses in Spanish


LINGST 4730: Linguistic Theory and Language Acquisition

The goal of this class is to study the implications of current linguistic theory for contemporary research on second language acquisition. In particular, the hypothesis that second language acquisition follows some of the same principles as first language acquisition is explored. Course is taught in English.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: LINGST 4720, LINGST 4721, or LINGST 4600


LINGST 4740: Interdisciplinary Introduction to NLP

(same as CMP_SC 4740; cross-leveled with LINGST 7740). The goal of this course is to enable students to develop substantive NLP applications. Focus on current structural and statistical techniques for the parsing and interpretation of texts.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: senior standing


LINGST 4810: Psycholinguistics

(same as C_S_D 4810). Examination of the knowledge and processes that underlie the human ability to produce and understand language.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: instructor's consent


LINGST 4870: Field Methods in Linguistics

(same as ANTHRO 4870 and ENGLSH 4670). Intensive training in collection and analysis of data taken from a native speaker of non-Indo-European language.

Credit Hours: 4
Prerequisites: instructor's consent


LINGST 4870W: Field Methods in Linguistics - Writing Intensive

(same as ANTHRO 4870 and ENGLSH 4670). Intensive training in collection and analysis of data taken from a native speaker of non-Indo-European language.

Credit Hours: 4
Prerequisites: instructor's consent


LINGST 4960: Special Readings in Linguistics

Independent study through readings, conferences, reports.

Credit Hour: 1-3
Prerequisites: instructor's consent


LINGST 4991: Honors Thesis in Linguistics

Based on an original research project in theoretical or applied linguistics. Topic, director, and second reader approved by Linguistics Committee, College of Arts and Science.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: qualification for Honors degree


LINGST 7110: Advanced Logic

(same as PHIL 7110; cross-leveled with LINGST 4110). Presents the method of truth trees for sentence and predicate logic. Examines proofs concerning the decidability, soundness, and completeness for formal systems. Emphasizes the theory of formal systems.

Credit Hours: 3


LINGST 7420: Historical Linguistics

(same as ANTHRO 7420; cross-leveled with ANTHRO 4420, LINGST 4420). Methods of tracing the history of languages by glottochronology, and by comparative and internal reconstructions; cultural and linguistic implications of such reconstructions and of areal linguistics.

Credit Hours: 3


LINGST 7600: Structure of American English

(same as ENGLSH 7600). Introduction to English linguistics. Study of the grammar and pronunciation of contemporary English, with the major focus on syntax.

Credit Hours: 3


LINGST 7610: History of the English Language

(same as ENGLSH 7610). Historical changes in the grammar and pronunciation of the English language from Old English to the present. Introduction to Indo-European origins of English.

Credit Hours: 3


LINGST 7620: Regional and Social Dialects of American English

(same as ENGLSH 7620). The study of regional and social variation in pronunciation, vocabulary, and syntax of American English.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: LINGST 4600 or LINGST 7600 and LINGST 7610 or equivalent


LINGST 7630: Phonology

(same as ENGLSH 7630). Survey of the sound patterns of English, with some comparison to other languages.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: LINGST 7600 or another introductory course in linguistics or phonetics


LINGST 7640: Syntax

(same as ENGLSH 7640). Study of the properties of phrase-and sentence-level grammar, emphasizing English, with some comparison to other languages.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: LINGST 4600 or another comparable linguistics course


LINGST 7870: Field Methods in Linguistics

(same as ANTHRO 7870 and ENGLSH 7670). Intensive training in collection and analysis of data taken from a native speaker of non-Indo-European language.

Credit Hours: 4
Prerequisites: 9 hours in Linguistics


LINGST 8000: Problems

Independent study through readings, analysis of special linguistic problems, reports.

Credit Hours: 3
Prerequisites: one Advanced Linguistics course and instructor's consent


LINGST 8600: Seminar in the English Language

(same as ENGLSH 8600). Descriptive and historical studies of the English language. Topics (e.g., The Germanic Origins, Modern Syntactic Analysis) announced at time of registration. May be repeated up to twelve hours with departmental approval.

Credit Hours: 3