Linguistics 001

LING001: Introduction to Linguistics

A general introduction to the nature, history and use of human language, speech and writing.

Topics include:

  • the biological basis of human language and other animal communication systems
  • relations of language to cognition, communication,  and social organization
  • sounds, forms and meanings in the world's languages
  • the reconstruction of linguistic history  and the ``family tree'' of languages
  • dialect variation and language standardization
  • language and gender
  • language  learning by children and adults
  • the neurology of language and language disorders
  • the nature and history of writing  systems.

Audience: Any Penn undergraduate interested in language or its use.

Although intended for a general audience, this course is also recommended as an introduction for students who plan to major in linguistics.

Prerequisites: None.

Text: Victoria Fromkin and Robert Rodman, An Introduction to Language (Sixth Edition).

Other readings will be handed out in class, or will be made available via the course web pages.

Course Structure:

The course will consist of two one-hour lectures and one one-hour recitation session per week. There will be a midterm and a final exam.

For more information about course structure, see the lecture notes for the introductory session.






    [course home page]    [lecture schedule]     [homework]