Courses offered in 2015-1016


Start Date: September 10, 2015
Time & location: Thursday 5:30-7:30pm, Arts & Humanities building room 2R09

 (0.25 credit);

 *LINGUIST9500Q: Course number reserved for 2nd year MA students only
**LINGUIST9501Q:Course Number reserved for 1st year MA students only

Course outline

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. Half course; one term.

LINGUIST9032A/3100 - Linguistics and Language Impairments - Dr. Elizabeth Skarakis-Doyle

Start Date: September 2015
Time & Location: Friday 8:30-11:30am, Arts & Humanities Building room 1B06

This interdisciplinary course addresses the contribution of the study of language impairments to linguistic theory and conversely the contributions of linguistic theory and methodology to the understanding of developmental and acquired language impairments. Brain/Language relationships, developmental considerations, and types of language impairments including: Morpho-syntactic, semantic-pragmatic and pragmatic will be examined. Particular emphasis is placed on the evidence they provide for linguistic theory.

LINGUIST9620A - Empirical issues in theoretical phonology- Dr. David Heap

Start Date: September 14, 2015
Time & location: Monday 3:30-6:30pm, Lawson Hall Building room 2205 

A range of readings are used to examine development of phonological theory over a number of decades, from the early generative linear approaches to more recent non-linear alternatives. The emphasis is on the dynamics which drive change from one model to another, as well as the advantages and disadvantages of different  approaches in accounting for linguistic facts. Students explore a range of datasets from various languages to illustrate phonological processes and cross-linguistic typological patterns.

LINGUIST9709A/SP9720A - Second Language speech learning in context - Dr. Yasaman Rafat

Start Date:  September 15, 2015
Time & location: Tuesdays 2:30-5:30, Western Library room 259

In this course we will examine some of the important topics in L2 speech learning. Various aspects of L2 speech learning will be contextualized within the fields of L2 phonological acquisition, psycholinguistics and neurolinguistics.

LINGUIST9811B - Dialectology - Dr. Jeff Tennant

Start Date:  January 5, 2016
Time & location: Tuesday 9:30am -12:30pm Lawson Hall Building room 2205

This course offers graduate students the opportunity to acquire a solid grasp of the fundamental theoretical concepts of dialectology. Students will be invited to deepen their knowledge in the field by carrying out a four-phase research project (annotated bibliography, abstract, in-class presentation, final paper) on a specific topic of particular interest to them chosen in consultation with the instructor. The course will address concepts and sub-fields such as: origins of dialectology and its relationship to other branches of linguistics, dialect geography, dialectometry, urban dialectology (i.e. Labovian variationist sociolinguistics).

The language of instruction will be English but students have the option of submitting written work in English, French or Spanish. Students in French Studies graduate programs are required to submit all written work in French.

LINGUIST9601B /SP9710B -Syntactic Analysis - Dr. J. Bruhn de Garavito

Start Date:January 8, 2016
Time & location: Friday 10:30am-1:30pm, Arts & Humanities Building room 3B15

How do you put words together to form sentences? How does the way we build our sentences contribute towards interpretation? Why are some sentences ambiguous? Does the concept of grammaticality exist in the mind, or is it a social construct?
This course aims at understanding ways in which these questions and others may be approached, and how they contribute to our understanding of the human mind. More than providing particular answers, we hope to learn to ‘think scientifically’ about language, that is, we will try to analyze sentences in different ways, making different hypotheses about them. Then we will try to weigh the evidence that supports each of these hypotheses.

LINGUIST9703B/SP9721B-Bilingualism, language contact and language change- Dr. Silvia Perpiñan

Start Date:January 2016
Time & location: Tuesdays 3:00pm-5:30pm, Western Library room 259

This seminar explores in depth the outcomes of bilingualism and second language acquisition in language contact situations. We will see how languages interact depending on the social settings, the distance between languages, or the cognitive constraints of the speakers. We will discuss whether these outcomes can lead to language change.

Courses offered in other departments

CS9660B: Computational Linguistics

Professor: Dr. Robert Mercer
Department of Computer Science

Offered in Winter 2016
Tuesday 9:30-12:30, room TBA

Course Description:
Modern computational linguistics uses a variety of techniques to process human language. In this graduate level introduction to this subject we will investigate a number of these techniques. They include finite state automata and finite state transducers applied to words; n-grams and part of speech tagging to connect words to grammar; grammars to describe the syntactical structure of sentences; parsers that use these grammars to generate the structure; the semantics of words and sentences; and discourse.

PSYCH9120B: Bilingualism

Professor: Dr. Debra Jared
Department of Psychology

Offered in Winter 2016
Thursday 1:30pm-4:30pm room: Social Sciences Centre room 8409