Linguistics 0001     Schedule of lectures and readings

(Fall 2023)

There is no textbook for this course -- all required readings will be linked in this schedule, or in the lecture notes. The links (and the lecture notes) should appear in their final form roughly a week ahead of the corresponding lecture dates. It's also possible that the order of lectures will be changed over the course of the semester -- any such changes will be reflected on this page.

This fall's edition of ling001, as far as we know now, will be entirely in person. In case of changes in the pandemic situation, we may switch to a hybrid mode, with lectures and sections available both in person and on Zoom.        

Follow the links in the middle column for lecture notes. In this course, these are notes for the lecture, rather than notes on the lecture, so that they serve as an on-line textbook. As such, they generally provide a larger volume of material than is presented in the lectures. In class, I'll give an overview of the day's topic, and work through examples and sample problems in detail, typically in ways that are not entirely covered in the lecture notes.

The right-hand column provides links to additional course readings. These are articles or book chapters that provide useful background. In many cases, additional links will be provided within the main page of lecture notes.

1. W 08/30
Introduction to the course  
2. W 09/06
Perspectives and approaches


3. M 09/11 Prescriptive
and descriptive linguistics
Fadiman, A. "All my pronouns, 2020.
Nunberg, G. "The Decline of Grammar". The Atlantic, 1983.
Halpern, M. "A War that Never Ends". The Atlantic, 1997.
"James Kilpatrick, Linguistic socialist"
"25 Questions for Teaching with 'Word Crimes'"
"If it was good enough for King Alfred the Great";
"Hot Dryden-on-Jonson action";
"Some kind of grammar, um, strict police";
"Teaching zombie rules";
"The social psychology of linguistic naming and shaming";
"Angry linguistic mobs with torches";
"Uptalk anxiety";
"English grammar: not for debate";
"The future and the past";
"Logical prescriptivism"'
"The theology of phonology"
4. W 09/13

a biological perspective


Robert Seyfarth & Dorothy Cheney, "The Evolution of Language from Social Cognition"

"The science and theology of global language change";
"The Wrathful Dispersion Controversy";
"JP versus FHC+CHF versus PJ versus HCF";
"Chomksy testifies in Kansas";
"A new idea about the evolution of language"
"Musical protolanguage: Darwin's theory of language evolution revisited"
5. M 09/18
philosophical perspectives

"What did Justice Scalia mean?";
"Grice in the Ladies' Room";
"The implications of excessive praise";
Dan Zettwoch, "Deadlock"
"The strange, new sight"

6. W 09/20 Basic elements of linguistic form: morphology
"Who let the 'n' in?"
"The curious case of quasiregularity"
"Sasha Aikhenvald on Inuit snow words"
"The evolutionary psychology of irregular morphology"
7. M 09/25
The structure of linguistic sound: phonology

"The Invisible Academy"
"Phonology in the comics"
Wanna, gotta"
Pronunciation evolution"
Ecology and phonology"

8. W 09/27

The sound of linguistic structure: phonetics

"On beyond the (International Phonetic) Alphabet"
"Birdsong Leaning and Culture: Analogies with Human Spoken Language"
9. M 10/02

The pronunciation of English

For examples of how the IPA can be used to transcribe various geographically and socially diverse varieties of English, see the speech accent archive at GMU.
10. W 10/04

Syntax I

"Parsers that count"
"Inaugural embedding"
"Parataxis in Pirahã"
"More Flesch-Kincaid grade-level nonsense"
"Homo hemingwayensis"
"Articles currently living in the Hamilton area"
"Call me Ishmael"
"Writing style and dementia"
"Nun study update"

11. M 10/09

Syntax II

Guide to some confusable terminology
Language and the Law
Legal Syntax

Santorini & Kroch's Syntax Text , Chap. 2: "Constituent structure".
"Fear and Loathing of the English Passive"
"Confusion over avoiding the passive"
"When men were men, and verbs were passive"
"Dependency Grammar v. Constituency Grammar
12. W 10/11
Meaning I: semantics

"No wug is too dax to be zonged"
"The Wason selection test"
"'Cannot underestimate' = 'must not underestimate'?"
"Donkeys in Cyberspace!"

13. M 10/16
Meaning II: pragmatics
14. W 10/18 Language in society: sociolinguistics Labov, W. "Driving Forces in Linguistic Change." International Conference on Korean Linguistics, August 2, 2002. Seoul National University

"Palin's tactical g-lessness"
"Joe Wilson's problem with progessives"
"The sociolinguistics of English middle names"
"Real BeijingeRs
"Our Z remains Z from Sindh to Punjab"
"Prescriptivism in Europe"
"Doomed to mediocrity by accent"
"'Be done' again"
"Status and fluency"
15. M 10/23 Language and gender
  W 10/25
MIDTERM 1 (topics 1-13) Sample Questions and Answers
16. M 10/30 Brain and language
Lecture Slides
"Blinded by neuroscience"
"Distracted by the brain"
"David Brooks, Cognitive Neuroscientist"
"Localization of emotion perception in the brain of fish"
"Flacks and hacks and brainscans"
"Color vocabulary and pre-attentive color perception"
"The inner fish speaks"
"Debasing the coinage of rational inquiry: a case study"
"Locating the sarcasm bump"
"Automated Analysis of Natural Speech in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis Spectrum Disorders"
17. W 11/01 Linguistic form in art, ritual and play
18. M 11/06
Patterns and performances in speech and music
19. W 11/08

Language production and perception

"Finger spoonerisms and conservation of caps
"Phonetics quiz"
"Notes from the ESL trauma unit"
"Noi lai and contrepets"
"Get your boyfriend to move it: a speech perception story"
"The doors of infant perception"
"Escher sentences"
"The Wason Selection Test"
"Halfalogues onward
"This delayed and dominating echo
The Eggcorn Database

20. M 11/13

Computational Linguistics
Lecture Slides

(See also "The Future of Computational Linguistics")

"Human Language Technology"
"Data-Driven Content Analysis of Social Media: A Systematic Overview of Automated Methods"
"Personality, Gender, and Age in the Language of Social Media: The Open-Vocabulary Approach"
"Sex, age, and pronouns on Facebook"
"More fun with Facebook pronouns"
"More fun with Facebook: THE"
Cournot 2015
PREM 2019
NLPCC 2019

21. W 11/15  NO CLASS! 
22. M 11/20 Reading and writing "The globalization of educational fads and fallacies"
"Reading corruption"
"Mark Seidenberg on the Reading First controversy"
"Ghoti and choughs again"
"Conditional entropy and the Indus Script"
"The Gladwell pivot"
"Why are we still teaching reading the wrong way?"
"Hard Words: Why aren't kids being taught to read?"
"Lost in Translation? Challenges in Connecting Reading Science and Educational Practice"
23. M 11/27
Child language acquisition
24. W 11/29 Language Change "Ticks and tocks of glottoclocks"
"Good glottochronology"
"More on Harper"
"New results on Austronesian linguistic phylogeny"
"The linguistic diversity of aboriginal Europe"
"Horse and wheel in the early history of Indo-European"
"The linguistic history of horses, gods and wheeled vehicles"
David Anthony and Don Ringe, "The Indo-European Homeland from Linguistic and Archaeological Perspectives"
Alexandre François, "Trees, Waves and Linkages: Models of Language Diversification".
25.  M 12/04
Languages of the World

Gibbs, W. W. "Saving Dying LanguagesScientific American, August 2002. 
"Experiencing language death"
World Atlas of Language Structures
Ethnologue (and its list of language families)
(Note that you may need to connect via Penn's VPN to get Ethnologue access)
26. W 12/06 American Sign Language
(lecture slides)
Beatrice Santorini, "Notes on iconicity and arbitrariness"
 M 12/11 MIDTERM 2





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