Introduction to Linguistics
This basic course in language and linguistics is designed for students
of computational linguistics. It is nonetheless an introduction to
linguistics as it is also taught to students of language, literature
The focus of the course is on language preceding from general
scientific curiosity to the perspective developed by professional
linguistics. The goal is provide the motivation for serious study
At the end of this course students should be familiar with all of the
- the subfields of linguistics and their division of labor;
- the major analytical concepts used to describe and analyse
- a range of ways in which computational linguistics is
informing scientific theorizing about language; and
- a range of questions of general interest about language
and how linguistics -- and especially computational linguistics
-- approaches (and answers) these.
- the biological basis of human language vis-à-vis other animal
- sounds, forms and meanings in the world's languages
- relations of language to cognition, communication,
and social organization
- language learning by children and adults
- the reconstruction of linguistic history and the ``family tree''
- dialect variation and language standardization
- the neurology of language and language disorders
- computational linguistics and (artificial) intelligence
LF Department of Linguistics, The Ohio State
University. Language Files Columbus, OH, USA: The Ohio State
University Press. 6th ed., 1994.
Words George Miller. The Science of Words New York:
Scientific American Library. 1996.
No readings are assigned from the books below, but I've used them
to prepare my lectures.
Chapters 1-4 of Vater are useful for
learning the German terminology.
Heinz Vater. Einführung in die Sprachwissenschaft
München: Wilhelm Fink Verlag. 1994.
Steven Pinker. The Language Instinct New York: W.Morrow & Co. 1994.
Geoffrey Sampson Educating Eve London: Cassell. 1997.
David Crystal. The Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language Cambridge University Press. 1997
John Nerbonne, email@example.com, IMS 12.3/24
Office Hours: Mon. 13:00-14:00 (after lecture)
Lecture: Mon. 11:30-13:00 pm
Written Exam (Klausur) on Mon. Feb. 4, 2002 from 11:30-13:00.
Example exam available.
Reading Assignments are noted by `LF' (Language Files)
followed by the file numbers, e.g. 1.2-1.5, meaning 1.2, 1.3, 1.4 and 1.5,
or `W' (The Science of Words), followed by chapter numbers.
|1. Nov. 19
||LF 1.2-1.5; W 1
|2. Nov. 26
|| Language Origins
|| LF 2.1-2.3; W,p.74
|| Pinker and Bloom on language
as a spandrel
|3. Dec. 3
|| LF 3.1-3.6,3.9-3.10; W 2,4
|| 4. Dec.10
|| LF 4; W 5
|| 5. Dec.17
|| LF 5.0-5.2; W 6-7
|| 6. Jan 7
|| LF 6; W 11
|| 7. Jan 14
|| LF 9.2-9.9; W 12
|| 8. Jan 21
|| Variation & Change
|| LF 12.1, 12.4, 10.2-3
|| 9. Jan 28
|| Applied Linguistics
|| LF 14.4-5
|| 10. Feb. 4
|| LF Appendix B
| 11. Feb.11
|| Exam Discussion
Besides the material in the books, I've been inspired a lot by the
University of Pennsylvania's Introduction to Language Course,
given in different versions in the
Spring, and developed by Mark Liberman and Gene Buckley, respectively.
Last modified: Mon Nov 26 17:49:05 METDST 1999