Previous courses

Graduate Linguistics courses 2012-13

From September until April

Start Date: September 13, 2012
Thursdays 4:30pm-6:30pm  University College  Room 317
(Half course (0.5); Fall term for 1st year MA students and Fall/Winter terms for 2nd year MA students)


A seminar for all students in the Linguistics M.A. program. Its objectives are: orientation to the program, its faculty and the larger University; development of professional and scholarly skills; and increased familiarity with various linguistic methodologies. It encompasses four kinds of classes. There are orientation classes to make students aware of the resources available to them across the campus: e.g., libraries, data bases, writing tutors. There will also be talks by faculty members, both to make students aware of the kind of research being done at Western, and to help them identify a potential supervisor for their Research Paper. These talks will also afford a survey of numerous research methodologies within linguistics. There will be workshop classes on professional skills such as: creating and maintaining an academic CV; drafting grant proposals and ethics protocols; compiling and formatting a bibliography; preparing abstracts and posters; applying to doctoral or professional programs; etc. Finally, second year students will be given an opportunity to practice presenting their work to a scholarly audience – whether it be a draft of their prospectus, a paper to be submitted for a conference, or what-have-you.


LINGUIST9707A/SP9707A Research Methods and Statistics in Language Research - Dr. Silvia Perpiñán

 Sart Date: September 12, 2012
Wednesdays 2:30pm-5:30pm Room UC317

This graduate course is an introduction to research design, data handling, and statistics in linguistics projects, with special emphasis on quantitative second language research. We will explore the general concept of research questions and how to design an experiment according to our hypotheses. Data collection, handling, analysis, and interpretation will be covered, as well as an introduction to basic statistical concepts and tests." Half course (0.5); one term.


LINGUIST 9600A - Syntax - Dr. Jacques Lamarche
Start Date: September 13, 2012

Thursdays 9:30-12:30 Room UC138A

In this course, we will explore issues related to syntax and semantics of pseudo-cleft sentences like what Mary is is wonderful. These types of sentences have puzzled linguists since the 1960s, and one of the goals of the course is to try to figure out why. As the structure and properties of these sentences are discussed, students will need to understand and recognize basic constructions of natural language (clefts sentences, (free) relative clauses-and their relation to questions), the kind of contexts where these constructions can be used, the effect of word order on the interpretation of these sentences, etc. The students will also review basic fundamental components of syntactic theory, such as binding theory, notions of structural command, scope relations and others. As each of these aspects are discussed, students will be able to understand what make these constructions special, and understand the basic lines of argumentation that have been proposed in the literature to analyze them. Half course (0.5); one term


PHIL4210F-9727A/LINGUIST9452A Problems in Philosophy of Language "Metaphysics and Methodology of Linguistics"- Dr. Robert Stainton

Start Date: September 7, 2012
Fridays - 12:30-3:30 in STH 1145


The themes of this special topics course are the metaphysical and methodological foundations of theoretical linguistics. It is sub-divided thematically into two parts: what kind of thing theoretical (and especially generative) linguistics is about (i.e., the place of physical, mental and abstract entities therein); and the proper evidence-base for theoretical linguistics.

Of interest to undergraduate and graduate students in both the linguistics and philosophy programs, it is important to stress that the course addresses philosophical/foundational topics rather than empirical ones. While familiarity with at least one is essential, the course will not presuppose detailed knowledge of either discipline. Half course (0.5)

LINGUIST9237A/ANTHRO3237A - Field Techniques in Linguistics - Dr. Tania Granadillo
Start date: September 10,2012
Mondays 1:30-2:30 & Wed 12:30-2:30 Room SSC3102


Students elicit and record linguistic data from a native speaker of a designated language and then study its phonological and lexical-grammatical systems.  Selected aspects of the language are analyzed in terms of current problems in linguistic theory. Half course (0.5); one term

LINGUIST/PSYCHOLOGY 9101B  Language and Concepts - Dr. Marc Joanisse

Start date: Tuesday, January 8, 2013.
Tuesdays, 1:00 to 4:00 pm, Room 245a Natural Sciences Centre

This course will familiarize students with fundamental issues and controversies in the areas of language and concepts, especially from the perspective of cognitive psychology. Of interest are the broad classes of models and theories of language and concept processing, and how these can be investigated using experimental data in areas such as perception, phonology, morphology, syntactic processing, semantics, working memory, first- and second-language learning, neurological disorders and neuroimaging. Half course (0.5); one term.


Start Date: January 8, 2013
Tuesdays 9:30-12:30 in SSC 3102

An advanced seminar in linguistic anthropology. Topics will vary from year to year depending on the instructor availability and the interests of incoming students. The purpose of this course is to examine linkages between linguistic practices and relations of power, drawing primarily on techniques of linguistic anthropology and discourse analysis. Half course (0.5); one term

LINGUIST9752B/9713B -Socio-phonetics- Dr. Yasaman Rafat

Start Date: January 9, 2013

Wednesday - 11:30am-2:30pm in UC288

This course offers an overview of theoretical and empirical issues in the study of phonetic and phonological variation both in production and perception, and its conditioning by linguistic and social factors. An introduction to acoustic phonetic analysis will also be provided. The languages examined will include but are not be limited to Romance, English, Farsi/Persian and Japanese. Students will design and carry out a (socio)-phonetic/phonological project. Half course (0.5); one term


LINGUIST9800B/SPANISH9708B- L2 Acquisition - Dr. J. Bruhn de Garavito

Start Date: January 11, 2013
Fridays 9:30am-12:30pm  UC 205


This course will examine the main issues in second language acquisition within a generative framework, including the initial state, the role of the first language, the role of input, variability in second language grammars and ultimate attainment. It will touch on the major theoretical debates regarding the explanation for differences between L2interlanguages and the target language. We will focus particularly on research on the acquisition of French, English and Spanish, although other languages will also be included. The course will be taught in English. It is advisable that students should have taken or be taking a course on generative syntax. Half course (0.5); one term.