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Haverford College

2012-13 Course Catalog

Humanities: Linguistics, 2012-2013

DescriptionFacultyMajor RequirementsMinor RequirementsCoursesDepartment Homepage


Linguistics is the scientific study of language, the medium that 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 among them. Modern linguistic inquiry stresses analytical and argumentation skills, which prepares students for pursuits in any field in which such skills are essential. Linguistics is also relevant to other disciplines, such as psychology, philosophy, mathematics, computer science, sociology and anthropology. (Some of our students have double majored with one of these departments.

The primary goals of the linguistics major 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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C.V. Starr Professor in Asian Studies and Associate Professor of Chinese and Linguistics Shizhe Huang, Co-Chair,(on leave fall 2012 but co-chairing the department while on leave)
Assistant Professor of Linguistics Brook D. Lillehaugen (Tri-College)

At Swarthmore College:
Professor of Linguistics Theodore Fernald Chair
Professor of Linguistics Donna Jo Napoli
Associate Professor of Linguistics K. David Harrison
Visiting Assistant Professor of Linguistics Nathan Sanders
Visiting Assistant Professor of Linguistics (part time) & Phonetics Lab Coordinator Aaron J. Dinkin
Instructor Shelley DePaul
Instructor Doreen Kelley


At Haverford College:
Professor of Psychology Marilyn Boltz
T. Wistar Brown Professor of Philosophy Danielle Macbeth
Assistant Professor of Spanish Ana López-Sánchez

At Bryn Mawr College:
Professor of Computer Science Deepak Kumar
Assistant Professor of Anthropology Amanda Weidman
Visiting Assistant Professor of Linguistics Linguistics Daniel Altshuler (Tri-College)

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Major Requirements

Majors must take one course or seminar from each of the following three categories:

  • Sounds: LING H115 at Haverford or LING S045, S052 at Swarthmore
  • Forms: LING H113 at Haverford or LING S050 at Swarthmore
  • Meanings: LING H114 at Haverford or LING S026, S040 at Swarthmore

All majors are required to take the structure of a non-Indo-European Language, typically LING H282 at Haverford, or LING S061, S062, S064 at Swarthmore.

All majors must take two elective courses in linguistics or related fields.

In addition, all majors are required to write a senior thesis in the fall of their senior year in LING 100 (Research Seminar). This thesis constitutes the comprehensive requirement. Students can take the course for one or two credits.

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  1. 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 H240 Literature and Cognition
    • 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
    • LING/EAST H382 Topics in Chinese Syntax and Semantics

The department will accept all linguistics courses offered at Swarthmore for minor credit for various categories.

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LING 101 Introduction to Linguistics HU

B. Lillehaugen
This is an introductory survey of linguistics as a field. This course examines the core areas of linguistic structure (morphology, phonology, syntax, semantics), pragmatics and language variation in relation to language change. The course provides rudimentary training in the analysis of language data and focuses on the variety of human language structures and on the question of universal properties. Typically offered every fall at Bryn Mawr.

LING H113 Introduction to Syntax HU

This course is a hands-on investigation of sentence structures in human language. This is a participation-intensive course. Collectively, the class develops an increasingly complex syntactic theory starting with basic assumptions and seeing where they lead. In the process, students develop skills in observing syntactic patterns and analyzing these patterns in order to come to some generalizations on their own. Typically offered every fall.

LING H114 Introduction to Semantics HU

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

LING H115 Phonetics and Phonology HU

B. Lillehaugen
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 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. Typically offered every spring.

LING 238 Psychology of Language SO (Cross-listed in Psychology)

PSYC 100 or the instructor’s consent.

LING H282 Structure of Chinese SO (Cross-listed in East Asian Studies)

This course provides 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 the linguistics background 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 are exposed to systematic analyses of the language to learn the general patterns. Prerequisite: The instructor’s consent, or at least two of the following: LING 113 (Introduction to Syntax), 114 (Introduction to Semantics), 101 (Introduction to Linguistics), or completion of Second-Year Chinese or higher. Typically offered in alternate years.

LING H365 The Politics of Language in the Spanish-Speaking World HU (Cross-listed in Spanish)

A 200-level course or the instructor’s consent.

LING H382 Topics in Chinese Syntax and Semantics HU (Cross-listed in East Asian Studies)

This is an examination of the core issues in the study of Chinese syntax and semantics, such as phrase structure, 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 its theoretical implications. Open to students with sophomore standing or above. No knowledge of Chinese is required. Prerequisite: LING 113 (Introduction to Syntax) and 114 (Introduction to Semantics). Recommended: LING 282 (Structure of Chinese). Advanced Chinese students are welcome to email the instructor to discuss the possibility of taking this course. Typically offered in alternate years.

Bryn Mawr College courses in Linguistics:

LING B101 Introduction to Linguistics
LING B281 Language in Social Context
CMSC B325 Computational Linguistics Not offered in 2010-11.

Swarthmore courses in Linguistics, Fall 2012:

LING S001 Introduction to Linguistics
LING S010 Hebrew for Text Study II
LING S020 Natural Language Processing
LING S025 Language, Culture and Society
LING S034 Psychology of Language
LING S040 Semantics (W)
LING S045 Phonetics and Phonology
LING S050 Syntax (W)
LING S064 Structure of Tuvan
LING S070 Translation Workshop
LING S075 Field Methods
LING S100 Research Seminar

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