Courses offered in 2016-1017

Courses ending with suffix "A" or "Q" :Fall term 2016 (from September until December)

Courses ending with suffix "B": Winter term 2017 (from January until April)


Start Date: Thursday September 15, 2016
Time & location: Thursday 9:30am-11:30am  Talbot College Room  201

 *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, databases, 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.

LINGUIST9621A/4247A - Phonology - Dr. Yasaman Rafat
Start Date: September 13, 2016
Time and Location: Tuesdays 12:30pm-3:30pm in Stevenson Hall room 3166
Course outline

Our overall goal is to examine phonological phenomena using methods from experimental phonetics, introduce you to important theoretical innovations and debates, and to strengthen your skills in instrumental and modeling techniques related to the study of sound structure. We will explore topics in speech production, acoustics, and perception centered on the broad theme of variation. These topics will be illustrated with experimental studies in sound variation and first and second language acquisition.

LINGUIST9451A/Phil 3270F: Philosophy and Linguistics - Foundations of Semantics and Pragmatics - Dr. Robert J. Stainton
Start Date: Sept 8, 2016

Time:  Tuesdays from 4:30 to 5:30 in Sommerville House (SH) room 3355 and Thursdays from 12:30 to 2:30 in Arts & Humanities Building (AHB) room 1B04
Course outline

A introductory survey of the field, drawing on classic articles in philosophy of language which has served as the foundation for contemporary formal semantics and linguistic pragmatics. Topics will include: reference, truth conditions and possible worlds; speech act theory; speakers' reference; conversational implicature; metaphor; indexicals and demonstratives; pragmatic determinants of what is said. Authors will include: J.L. Austin, Kent Bach, Emma Borg, Robyn Carston, Donald Davidson, Gottlob Frege, H.P. Grice, David Kaplan, David Lewis, Bertrand Russell, John Searle, Dan Sperber & Deirdre Wilson. 

Linguistics courses offered in other departments:

LIS 9733A "Multilingual Information Access"- Dr Victoria Rubin
Start date: September 13
Time and location: Tuesdays, 9am-11:50am, North Campus Building Room 293
course outline

This course provides critical assessment of linguistically complex electronic environments and roles of multilingual resources putting emphasis on linguistic, societal, and technological issues in the global information access context. Best multilingual and cross-lingual practices (e.g., cross-language information retrieval, language identification, and machine translation) as well as resources (e.g., dictionaries and corpora) are revisited. In the context of global information production and usage, most users (especially, ethnocentric monolinguals) can benefit from an in-depth understanding of linguistic and socio-cultural issues associated with multilingual digital archives as well as insights into previously proposed technological solutions for multilingual information access (MLIA).

PSYC 9101A- Language and concepts - Dr. Marc Joanisse
Start Date: September 8, 2016

Time and location: Thursdays 12:00 -3:00 pm Natural Science Centre 245A


This course will familiarize students with fundamental issues and controversies inthe 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.

FR9673A - Noms massifs et comptables : Grammaire et ontologie - Dr. Jacques Lamarche
Course offered in French
Start date: Monday September 12, 2016 from 12:30-3:30pm, Arts & Humanities Building room 2R09

Dans ce cours, nous aborderons l’étude des noms massifs et comptables en français, introduisant ainsi plusieurs fondements de l’analyse sémantique et syntaxique. Dans la première partie du cours, nous étudierons attentivement l’ouvrage La distinction entre les noms massifs et noms comptables : Aspects linguistiques et conceptuels de David Nicolas (2002, Éditions Peters, Louvain), qui propose une présentation détaillée des problèmes classiques que les noms massifs et comptables posent pour l’analyse linguistique. Dans la deuxième partie du cours, nous aborderons la problématique des noms comptables et massifs à la lumière d’une approche de la relation entre la forme et le sens où les distinctions nominales sont le résultat de l’application des règles qui construisent les syntagmes. Nous verrons comment cette hypothèse mène à interpréter la relation entre la grammaire et l’ontologie d’une manière différente de celle généralement supposée en théorie linguistique.

FR9650A - Morphologie - Dr. Ileana Paul
Course offered in French
Start date: Tuesday September 13, 2016 from 12:30-1:30pm & Wednesday from 12:30-2:30pm, Arts & Humanities Building room 2R09

Ce cours présentera différentes approches théoriques à l’étude de la structure des mots. Nous considérerons quelques phénomènes majeurs (la dérivation vs. l’inflexion, les accords verbaux et pronominaux, le placement et les séquences des pronoms clitiques, la nature des paradigmes) à travers des données du français et d'autres langues. On évaluera l’apport de différentes approches théoriques et la place de la morphologie dans les modèles grammaticaux.


LINGUIST/CS9660B: Computational Linguistics- Dr. Rob Mercer
Start Date: January 2017
Time & Location: TBA

Course outline

This is a graduate level introductory computational linguistics course. Computational linguistics models human language from a computational perspective using statistical and/or rule-based techniques. Natural language processing has a significant overlap with computational linguistics and for our purposes, I won't differentiate the two terms. The course will look at 4 main aspects of computational linguistics: 1) the word, 2) the sentence, 3) discourse, and 4) applications. The section on the word will be used to introduce regular languages (type 3 in the Chomsky hierarchy) and regular expressions and their computational models: Finite State Automata and Finite State Transducers, morphology, POS tagging, n-grams, Hidden Markov Models, and lexical semantics. The sentence component introduces context-free languages (type 2 in the Chomsky hierarchy) and context-free grammars and parsers, and compositional semantics. The unit on Discourse takes a short look at discourse segmentation, coherence, and anaphora. An introduction to some important application areas will end the course. As well as broad areas of application, we will be interested in looking at and using some well-developed tools: NLTK, Gate, FSM. Every participant in the course will do an individual research project, write a paper describing the project, and give a short presentation on the project.

LINGUIST9210B/Phil 9619B: Problems in Philosophy of Language - Linguistic Philosophy- Dr. Robert J. Stainton
Start Date: January 4, 2017
Time: Wednesdays 2:30 to 5:30. Location: TBA
Course Outline

A survey of key ideas within the 20th Century's "Ordinary Language" approach to philosophy, including especially its contribution to linguistic theorizing. Topics will include: philosophical and linguistic methodology; "(dis)solving" philosophical puzzles; meaning, force and truth conditions; constatives vs. performatives; language games; convention vs. intention in speech acts; expression meaning, utterance meaning and speaker meaning. Authors will include: J.L. Austin, H.P. Grice, G.E. Moore, P.F. Strawson and L. Wittgenstein.

LINGUIST9237B/ANTHRO3237B - Field Techniques in Linguistics - Dr. Tania Granadillo
Start date: January 10, 2017
Time: Tue 9:30-10:30am and Wed 11:30am-1:30pm ,   Social Science Centre room 3102

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

LINGUIST9800B/SP9708B - L2 Acquisition - Dr. J. Bruhn de Garavito
Start Date: January 5, 2017
Time: Thursdays 10:30-13:30pm,  The D.B. Weldon Library  (WL) room 259
Course Outline

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. The course is taught twice a week (2x1 1/2 hours).

LINGUIST/ANTHRO9216B - Advanced Research in Language and Society: Topic: Language and Identity- Dr. Karen Pennesi
Start Date: Monday January 9, 2017
Time:1:30 pm–4:30 pm Room SSC 3227
Course Outline

The course will examine the sociocultural construction of identity through linguistic practices and linguistic features. We will explore how individuals and groups are marked as certain kinds of people by the way they speak in a given context and how speakers use language in different ways to accomplish particular kinds of interactional goals. We may also look at how media and political discourses construct identities and relations among social groups.

LINGUIST9714B/4248G/FRENCH9714B- Causative Alternation in French and English-Dr. Jacques Lamarche
Start Date: January 6, 2017
Time & Location: 10:30am-1:30pm  Room: Arts & Humanities Building 2R09

This course explores a specific case of argument alternation, the causative alternation, seen with the contrast between the door opens and John opens the door. In the causative alternation, the entity denoted by the NP in subject position of the intransitive use of the verb open, the door, appears in the object position of the transitive use of same verb; the NP in subject position then denotes an entity that is understood as being responsible for the coming about of the state of affairs described by the sentence.  In the course, we’ll try to establish under which circumstances this alternation is possible by comparing related classes of verbs of motions in English and English, which show different behaviors with respect to this alternation. This discussion will allow us to present different hypotheses proposed to account for this alternation, and to evaluate whether these hypothesis can provide an account for the difference discussed between English and French.

Linguistics courses offered in other departments:

LIS9202 Thesaurus construction and metadata  - Dr. Victoria Rubin
course outline

Theory and practice in indexing and in constructing subject retrieval languages in thesaurus form. Distinguishing between controlled and natural language indexing, and between subject headings and index terms. Applying facet analysis to thesaurus construction. Selected topics in the theory of subject analysis. A new significant component of the course will overview current metadata and linked data initiatives and discuss how various metadata standards support subject access.

ED 9301B Social Approaches to Language Learning and Teaching - Prof. (TBA)

This course looks at sociolinguistic issues that are central to second language learning and teaching. It examines factors such as language attitudes and motivations, variations in language, language policies and their applications to TESOL.

FR9619B/4850G - La variation linguistique - Dr. David Heap
Course offered in French
Thursdays 3:30pm until 6:30pm room AhB 2R09.  Start date: January 5, 2017

Dans ce cours, on s'intéressera aux notions théoriques de la dialectologie et de la sociolinguistique et à leurs applications aux rapports entre la langue et la société dans les pays francophones. On étudiera en particulier les questions suivantes: la variation régionale, la variation sociale, la variation stylistique et situationnelle, les changements linguistiques en cours, les langues régionales en France, la standardisation, le bilinguisme et les langues en contact.

FR9753B - Phonologie segmentale - Dr. François Poiré
course offered in French
Wednesday 11:30 until 2:30pm Room AHB 2R09 start date: January 11,  2017

Ce cours traitera principalement la phonologie segmentale. Après une brève révision de la phonologie linéaire (règles, représentations, alternances, dérivations) nous aborderons les modèles non linéaires à partir de la phonologie autosegmentale et de la géométrie des traits. La dernière partie du cours introduira la théorie de l’optimalité. Nous étudierons les principaux textes relatifs à la phonologie du français sans pour autant négliger d’autres langues.