Courses offered in 2018-1019

Courses ending with suffix "A" or "Q" :Fall term 2018 (from September until December)

Courses ending with suffix "B": Winter term 2019 (from January until April)


Start Date: September 7, 2018
Time & location: Fridays 10:30am-12pm, University College room 2120

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

As part of your training in linguistics, you will develop valuable transferrable skills that can be effectively applied in a wide range of job settings. This course aims to help students identify and strengthen their marketable skills and learn to present themselves effectively to prospective employers both within and outside of academia. These skills include time management, oral communication, grant writing, teaching, leadership, research, project management, editing, interpersonal skills, and an appreciation of ethical and civic responsibility.

LINGUIST9601A/4248A- Syntactic Analysis - Dr. Olga Kharythonava
Start Date: September 12, 2018
Time and Location:
Wednesdays 9:30-12:30 in University College room 2120
Course Outline

The goal of this course is to explore the syntactic approaches to the language structure. More specifically, we will focus on the Minimalist Program and will look at a range of topics (e.g. argument structure, case, binding). In parallel, students will develop a broader understanding of generative syntax and its puzzles. Students will read original research articles on the topics from older and current literature.

LINGUIST9237A/ANTHRO3237A/9216A - Field Techniques in linguistics- Dr. Tania Granadillo
Start Date: September 10, 2018
Time and Location: Mondays 1:30-2:30 & Wednesday 1:30-3:30
Course outline

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.

LINGUIST/FRENCH9610A - Comparative Romance Linguistics- Dr. David Heap
Start Date: September 11, 2018
Time and Location: Tuesdays
9:30-12:30 in University College room 3120
Course outline

In this course students become familiar with different levels of linguistic structure (phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics) in various Romance languages, from both synchronic and diachronic perspectives. Each person is encouraged to investigate at least one ‘national’ variety (Portuguese, Spanish, French, Italian, Rumanian) and a non-national variety (Galician, Asturian, Leonese, Aragonese, Catalan, Valencian, Occitan, Franco-Provençal, Rumantsch, Piedmontese, Frioulian, Sardinian, Arumanian, etc.). We will critically examine research in different fields, including sociolinguistic variation and the status of «  dialects » across the Romance language family. Comparative research using empirical data is encouraged (tough not required) for the course papers. The language of instruction is English but students French programs are required to write their course papers in French.

Linguistics courses offered in other Departments:

To take a course outside the program, please contact Chrisanthi Ballas to request a form.

SPANISH9720A - Second Language Speech Learning - Dr. Yasaman Rafat
Start Date: September 11, 2018
Time and Location: Tuesdays 12:30-3:30pm, Sommerville House room 3355
Course outline

In this course, we will be examining a variety of themes related to the acquisition of L2 phonetics and phonology including theories and models of L2 speech learning, the role of input, social and cognitive factors and universal phonetic principles. We will read and discuss empirical studies on important phenomena in L2 speech learning of a number of languages including English, Spanish, Italian, Norwegian, Arabic, & Japanese. Experimental paradigms most often used in laboratory research will be presented.

SPANISH9729A - Bilingualism and Heritage Speakers - Dr. Olga Tararova
Start Date: September 12, 2018
Time and location: Wednesdays 1:30-4:30pm, University College room 3325
Course outline

A 3- hour seminar in Spanish focuses on Spanish bilingualism from three different perspectives: linguistic (morphosyntactic), sociolinguistic, psycholinguistic. The course examines typical language contact phenomena with materials from Spanish. A number of case studies of Spanish in contact is provided to deepen students understanding. Introduction to survey methods in sociolinguistics and psycholinguistics, and techniques for critically assessing different issues are demonstrated so students will be able to develop an individual research paper, as part of the course requirement.


LINGUIST9620B/4247B - Empirical Issues in Phonology - Dr. David Heap
Start Date: January 9, 2019.
Time and Location:
Wednesdays 9:30-12:30 in University College room 2120

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.

LINGUIST9670B - Semantics, linguistic form and grammatical analysis- Dr. Jacques Lamarche
Start Date: January 8, 2019.
Time and Location: Tuesdays
9:30-12:30 in University College room 2120

The aim of this course is to get an understanding of the nature of semantics by focusing on its relation to linguistic form and grammar. It is clear that in the case of the lexicon, there is a close relationship between (lexical) semantics and linguistic form. The association between form and meaning at this level, however, is arbitrary: it is thus an open question as to whether this relation can inform grammatical analysis in any significant way. At the other end of the spectrum , it is obvious that pragmatics significantly shapes the interpretation of linguistic expressions. But there are obvious reasons to assume that pragmatics only has a tangential relationship with linguistic form and grammar. Between the two, there is syntax and morphology, where meaning of the whole is obtained by composition. We will try to better understand how compositionality of the sentence shapes its meaning, and to establish the kind of relationship that exists between logic, general cognition and grammatical analysis.

LINGUIST9453B/PHIL4210G: Survey of Philosophy of Language - Dr. Robert Stainton
Start Date: January 8, 2019
Time and Location:Tuesdays, 2:30-5:30, room 1145 Stevenson Hall building

An advanced introduction to contemporary Philosophy of Language in the Analytic Tradition. Topics addressed will include: sense and reference; meaning, truth and modality; linguistic meaning and mental representation; semantic indeterminacy and context sensitivity; speech acts; the semantics-pragmatics boundary. The course will be built around canonical readings from key figures such as J.L. Austin, D. Davidson, K. Donnellan, J. Fodor, G. Frege, H.P. Grice, S. Kripke, W.V.O. Quine, B. Russell, J.R. Searle, P.F. Strawson, and L. Wittgenstein.

Linguistics courses offered in other Departments:

To take a course outside the program, please contact Chrisanthi Ballas to request a form.

ANTHRO9215B- Discourse and Society- Dr. Karen Pennesi
Start Date: January 10, 2019
Time and Location: Thursdays, 1:30pm - 4:30pm room TBA

The goal of this course is two-fold: 1) to give students hands-on experience in analyzing discourse, broadly defined as communicative actions involving spoken or written language; and 2) to examine the micro/macro relationship between discourse patterns, ethnography, and larger sociopolitical contexts. Students will explore how discourse influences and is shaped by understandings of the world, the structures of language, social relations, prior discourses, and various speaker purposes. We will be asking how particular discourse patterns help speakers interpret their daily experiences and negotiate their relationships within questions of power, identity, inequality, modernity/tradition, globalization, and others. We will take an explicitly ethnographic approach to discourse, in order to show how speakers and speech are simultaneously located in interactional, local, national, and global contexts. Students are expected to make connections to their own research and apply the theories and methods from the readings to analyses of their topics of interest.

SPANISH9726B - Child Phonology - Dr. Yasaman Rafat
Start Date:  January 8, 2019
Time and Location:
Tuesdays 12:30-3:30pm, Sommerville House room 3355

This course will explore first and second language speech learning and first language change in children in different bilingual contexts. L2 speech learning and L1 change of both the segmental and prosodic aspects of a number of languages will be examined. Cross-linguistic influence and developmental factors will be discussed.

SPANISH9698B - Topics on Spanish Acquisition -  Dr. Olga Tararova
Start Date:  TBA
Time and Location:

Course description TBA

FIMS9328B- Misinformation and Viral Deception - Dr. Victoria Rubin
Start Date:  winter term (tba)
Time and Location: tba

Course Description
Foundations of credibility assessment and information quality verification. Philosophical and psychological underpinnings of deceptive behaviors. Information manipulation by digital environment type (fudging, forging, spamming, trolling), format (image- or text-based), domain (communication, news provision, information organization). Best prevention guidelines for digital/off-line environments. Technological advancements in lie detection and information verification.

This course is included in the following MLIS PCA's:
- Information Organization, Curation, and Access
- Connecting People with Information
- Information and Communication Technology
MLIS students will need to request an exception to one of the above PCA's within your Program Content area at myFIMS.

Learning Outcomes
Upon successful completion of readings, assignments, and class participation, students will be able to:
1. identify, select, acquire, organize, describe and provide access to digital information (MLIS program level learning outcome 6);
2. identify the needs of particular groups and develop digital collections and services to meet these needs (MLIS program level learning outcome 8);
3. employ appropriate technologies in digital library applications (MLIS program level learning outcome 4).