World Languages – LING 453

CG • Section 8WK • 11/08/2019 to 04/16/2020 • Modified 07/28/2020

Course Description

This course is a study of the phonology, morphology, and syntax of a selection of world languages which illustrate both the similarities and the differences among languages. Syntactic and morphological features will be observed in terms of their typological implications and the question of language universals.

Prerequisites

LING 301

Rationale

In the final analysis, the study of linguistics is not about any one particular language or even languages per se; it is about the study of human language, about how human language works. And the answer to how human language works lies fundamentally in the study of the similarities and differences among human languages. No program of linguistic studies can be complete until it observes the unity and diversity in human language.

Measurable Learning Outcomes

Upon successful completion of this course, the student will be able to:

A. Identify the various language families of the world, their major members, and the places where they are spoken.

B. Correlate language families and/or languages with their dominant typological features.

C. Explain universal observations on how language works in terms of typological categories.

D. Apply typological constructs to the analysis and description of languages.

Course Assignment

Textbook readings and lecture presentations/notes

Course Requirements Checklist

After reading the Course Syllabus and Student Expectations, the student will complete the related checklist found in Module/Week 1.

Typology Quizzes (8)

This course includes 8 post-chapter quizzes, which will be given after the completion of each module/week. They are designed to assess the student’s understanding of typological characteristics of world languages. Each quiz will be open-book/open-notes, contain multiple-choice, true/false, matching, fill-in-the-blank, and short answer questions, and have a 30-minute time limit.

World Languages Tests (5)

This course includes 5 unit tests based on the text, An Introduction to the Languages of the World. Tests will be given on the various language families of the world, where they are spoken, their general linguistic features, and other relevant facts. Each test will be open-book/open-notes, contain multiple-choice, true/false, matching, fill-in-the-blank, and short answer questions, and have a 1-hour time limit.

Grammar Sketch

The student will develop a description of a language according to a given rubric to include the following aspects:

  • A description and illustration of the major syntactic and morphological features of the language
  • An account of the grammatical features of the languages in terms of typology
  • An account of the unique or different features of the language relative to other languages

The student will write a 7–10-page grammar sketch of a language in current APA format. The paper must include at least 5 references in addition to the course books. A list of languages for the grammar sketch will be provided.

World Languages Final Exam

The World Languages Final Exam will be cumulative, covering the Reading & Study material for all modules/weeks from the textbook An Introduction to the Languages of the World. The exam will be open-book/open-notes, contain multiple-choice, true/false, and short answer questions, and have a time limit of 1 hour and 30 minutes.