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Haverford College
Haverford College Course Catalog

Humanities: Linguistics, 2010-2011

DescriptionFacultyMajor RequirementsMinor RequirementsCourses


Students may major in Linguistics through Swarthmore College and minor in Linguistics through Haverford College.

Linguistics is the study of language, the medium which allows us to communicate and share our ideas with others. As a discipline, linguistics examines the structural components of sound, form, and meaning, and the precise interplay between them. Modern linguistic inquiry stresses analytical and argumentation skills, which will prepare students for future pursuits in any field where such skills are essential.

Linguistics is also relevant to other disciplines, such as psychology, philosophy, sociology, and anthropology.

The primary goals of the linguistics minor are to introduce students to the field of linguistics proper through a series of foundation courses in linguistics theory and methodology; to provide training in the application of certain theoretical and methodological tools to the analysis of linguistic data; and to offer an array of interdisciplinary courses that allow students to explore other related fields that best suit their interests.

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Associate Professor of Chinese and Linguistics and C.V. Starr Professorship in Asian Studies Shizhe Huang, Bi-College Coordinator
Visiting Assistant Professor of Linguistics Jason Kandybowicz, Tri-College Coordinator


At Haverford College:
Professor of Psychology Marilyn Boltz
Professor of Philosophy Ashok Gangadean
T. Wistar Brown Professor of Philosophy Danielle Macbeth
Associate Professor of Chinese and Linguistics and C.V. Starr Professorship in Asian Studies Shizhe Huang
Assistant Professor of Spanish Ana López-Sánchez

At Bryn Mawr College:
Professor of Computer Science Deepak Kumar
Assistant Professor of Anthropology Amanda Weidman

At Swarthmore College:
Professor of Linguistics Theodore Fernald
Professor of Linguistics Donna Jo Napoli (on leave in spring 2011)

Associate Professor of Linguistics K. David Harrison, Chair
Assistant Professor Jason Kandybowicz (Tri-College)
Visiting Assistant Professor Vera Lee-Schoenfeld
Visiting Assistant Professor (part time) & Phonetics Lab Coordinator Aaron J. Dinkin
Instructor Shelley DePaul
Instructor Doreen Kelley

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Major Requirements

Students may major in linguistics through the Linguistics department at Swarthmore College ( Contact the department for more details.

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Minor Requirements

Students may minor in linguistics through Haverford by completing six credits in the following three areas of study:

  1. A. Mandatory Foundation Courses (three credits):
    • LING H113 or LING S050 Introduction to Syntax
    • LING H114 or LING S040 Introduction to Semantics
    • LING H115 Phonetics and Phonology
  2. Synthesis Courses (choose one):
    • LING H282 Structure of Chinese
    • LING H382 Topics in Chinese Syntax and Semantics
    • LING S060 Structure of Navajo
    • LING S062 Structure of American Sign Language
    • LING S064 Structure of Tuvan
  3. Elective Courses (choose two):
    • LING/PSYC H238 The Psychology of Language
    • LING B101 Introduction to Linguistics
    • LING H242 Chinese Language in Culture and Society
    • LING/PHIL H253 Analytic Philosophy of Language
    • LING/PHIL H260 Historical Introduction to Logic
    • LING/ANTH B281 Language in the Social Context
    • LING H295 Seminar in Syntax: The Minimalist Program
    • LING/CMSC B325 Computational Linguistics
    • LING/SPAN H365 The Politics of Language in the Spanish-Speaking World

All linguistics courses offered at Swarthmore College will be accepted for credit for various categories.

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Haverford College currently offers the following courses in Linguistics:

LING H113 Introduction to Syntax

Introduces the investigation of sentence structures in human language, emphasizing insights from linguists over the past 40 years. The class will develop increasingly complex theory starting with basic assumptions and seeing where they lead. Students will gain a clearer understanding of grammar, develop and refine skills of analysis, writing, and argumentation. We will focus on English, occasionally using other languages to look at ways human languages are similar and how they differ.

LING H114 Introduction to Semantics

This course is an introduction to semantics, the study of meaning in human language. We will explore semantic issues that arise from the lexicon, the sentences, and the discourse. Along the way, we will investigate not only the semantic structure of natural language but also pragmatic factors that affect our interpretation of the use of language. This is a participation-intensive course. In the process, students will not only learn the basic semantic theory but will also develop skills in observing linguistic patterns and analyzing these patterns in order to come to some generalizations on their own.

LING H115 Phonetics and Phonology

This course investigates the sound patterns found in human languages. Phonetics is the study of these patterns from a physical and perceptual perspective while phonology is the study of sound patterns from a cognitive perspective. Activities in the class will expose students to the methodologies used by both perspectives (articulatory description and acoustic analysis for phonetics and formal theoretical models for phonology) and show the necessity and utility of both approaches in understanding the nature of sound patterns in human language.

PHIL 251 Analytic Philosophy of Language

A close study of seminal essays by Frege, Russell, Kripke, Quine, Davidson, and others focusing on questions of meaning, reference, and truth. An overarching aim of the course is to understand how one can approach fundamental issues in philosophy through a critical reflection on how language works. Prerequisite: One 100 level course or equiv or consent.

LING H282 Structure of Chinese

This course is designed to provide an overview of the Chinese language and its structures in terms of sound, form, and meaning. The goal is to help students look at Chinese from both a historical and a theoretical perspective. Students from a linguistics background will have an opportunity to enrich and broaden their understanding of linguistic theories and methodologies, and to develop skills in analyzing a non Indo-European language systematically, while students who have completed at least Second-Year Chinese will be exposed to systematic analyses of the language to learn the general patterns. Prerequisites: At least TWO of the following: Introduction to Syntax, Introduction to Semantics, Introduction to Linguistics, Second-Year Chinese or above. Or consent of the instructor. Cross-listed in East Asian Studies.

LING/SPAN H365 The Politics of Language in the Spanish-Speaking World

The course will explore the relationship between (national) identity and language, and the specific outcomes of (language) policies and educational practices in societies where Spanish is spoken, generally alongside other mother tongues, often as the dominant language, but also in a minority situation. Prerequisite: A 200 level or consent of instructor. Enrollment limited to 18 students. Not offered in 2010-2011.

LING H382 Topics in Chinese Syntax and Semantics

In this course we will concentrate on one or two topics exemplifying core issues in the study of Chinese syntax and semantics. Topics vary but may include modification structure, quantification, or event semantics. The aim is to examine a rich array of data as analyzed by specialists and study the inner workings of the language and their theoretical implications. Prerequisites: Introduction to Syntax, and Introduction to Semantics. Recommended: Structure of Chinese (but not required). Sophomore standing or above. No knowledge of Chinese is required. Cross-listed in East Asian Studies. Not offered in 2010-2011.

Bryn Mawr College courses in Linguistics:

LING B239 Introduction to Linguistics
LING B281 Language in Social Context
CMSC B325 Computational Linguistics Not offered in 2010-11.

Swarthmore College currently offers the following courses in Linguistics:

Fall 2010
LING S001 Introduction to Language and Linguistics
LING S004 FYS: American Indian Languages
LING S007 Hebrew for Text Study I
LING S015 Introduction to the Lenape Language
LING S020 Natural Language Processing
LING S020 Natural Language Processing Lab
LING S033 Introduction to Classical Chinese
LING S040 Semantics
LING S045 Phonetics and Phonology
LING S050 Syntax
LING S052 Historical/Comparative Linguistics
LING S053 Language Minority Education
LING S062 Structure of American Sign Language
LING S062 Structure of ASL: Attachment
LING S070 Translation Workshop
LING S094 Special Project in Linguistics
LING S097 Field Research
LING S100 Research Seminar
LING S195 Senior Honors Thesis

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