Linguistics Courses offered

Announcing the Inaugural session of the Caribbean Language and Linguisitcs Institute 2008

LEVEL 1

Semester 1 (Day and Evening)

L14A - INTRODUCTION TO LANGUAGE AND LINGUISTICS

This course tries to answer questions we all have on language.

What is language?
Human language versus animal communication (Do animals have language?), natural versus artificial language, oral versus written language.

What is grammar?
A glimpse into sentence structure that will give a new perspective n ideas learnt in school about grammar; prescriptive as opposed to descriptive grammars, well-formedness and grammaticality, concepts of sentence structure.

What is sociolinguistics?
A study of the relationships between language and society, with reference to lects and different types of variation.

Can we classify languages?
A study of language types and language families, the universal properties of language, language change.

What is the link between language and the brain?
The identification of areas of the brain controlling various functions of speech as well as the link between the development of the brain and the acquisition of language in children.

Prerequisite: None

For more deatail s on the course click here

 

Semester 2 (Day and Evening)

 

L10A - INTRODUCTION TO PHONETICS AND PHONOLOGY

1.      Introduction to phonetics involving: -

a.      How the various organs of speech such as tongue, lips, vocal cords, etc. are used to produce speech sounds.

b.      Familiarisation with and use of the symbols of the International Phonetic Alphabet to represent the sounds of language.

 

2.      Introduction to phonology involving: -  

a.      The study of how sounds are grouped together by particular languages into categories called phonemes and how these can be identified in particular languages.

b.      How phonemes are strung together in sequences to produce syllables and words.

Prerequisite: L14A

For more details click here

 

L10B - INTRODUCTION TO MORPHOLOGY AND SYNTAX

1.      Introduction to morphology involving: -  

a.      A study of the smallest units in language which have meaning, that is, the morpheme.

b.      A study of how morphemes are combined together through processes of inflection, compounding, reduplication etc. to form words

2.      Introduction to syntax involving: -

a.      The rules by which words are strung together in languages to produce sentences, looking specifically at units such as Subject, Predicate, Noun Phrase, Verb Phrase, as well as at functions such as those of tense marking and plurality marking.

 Prerequisite: L14A

For more details click here

 

L14B - INTRODUCTION TO LANGUAGE STRUCTURE

This is a compulsory course for anyone doing a major or minor in Linguistics, as well as majors in French and Spanish.

It is a condensed version of L10A and L10B combined.

Prerequisite: L14A

For more details click here

 

LEVEL II

Semester 1

L20A - PHONOLOGY
This course builds on what was learnt in L10A (Introduction to Phonetics and Phonology), paying attention to theories which seek to account for the phonological systems of human language, and focusing on phonological rules and processes such as those which produce differences between careful and casual speech.

Prerequisite: L10A

  For more details click here

L20B - SYNTAX

1.      The generativist approach to linguistic analysis as it involves: -

a.      The notion that grammar consists of a finite number of rules capable of producing an infinite number of meanings,

b.      The evaluation of the linguist's version of the speaker's grammar in the light of language universals, competence versus performance, language universals, simplicity evaluation, psychological reality

2.      Specific analytical features of syntax, for example, Phrase Structure rules and X-bar syntax, lexicon, the theory of transformations, subadjacency, control and trace theory, etc.

Prerequisite: L14B or L10B

For more details click here

 

L22D - DEAF LANGUAGE AND CULTURE

Many persons assume that the social norms of the Deaf are the same as those of the hearing. As this is not so, students need to be aware of and be able to appreciate the cultural differences that exist. This course explores the cultural experiences and perspectives among persons who are Deaf. In addition, the course provides an overview of issues related to members of the Deaf community.


For more details click here

L21A - LANGUAGE ACQUISITION

This course explores the extensive research on the processes by which children acquire their first language naturally.  It also deals with second language acquisition and the theories of second language learning.

Prerequisite: L14A and L14B or L10A or L10B

For more details click here

 

L21B - LANGUAGE LEARNING AND TEACHING

This course covers the following: -

1.      Approaches to the learning and teaching of foreign languages in the Caribbean and elsewhere.

2.      The sociolinguistic context of the learning and teaching of English and foreign languages in the Caribbean.

3.      Developments in Applied Linguistics and their applicability to languages teaching and testing in the Caribbean context.

4.      The technique of Contrastive Analysis and Error Analysis and their relevance

Prerequisite: L21A

 

L22A - AFRICAN LANGUAGE AND CULTURE

This course delves into the linguistic history of Africa.  It studies African culture and philosophy as expressed through language.  In addition, it examines the changes occurring as a result of languages and cultures coming into contact with each other in contemporary African societies.

Prerequisite: None

 

L23A - THE SOCIOLOGY OF LANGUAGE

This course covers the full range of types of language situations, for example, bilingual, multilingual, diglossic, Creole continuum, etc.  It also looks at the range of functions that particular languages can perform in a speech community, for example, official, standard, private, public, etc.  It examines as well surveys of language attitudes, the entire course is supported by references to case studies from language situations around the world.

Prerequisite:  L14A or L14B or L10A or L10B

For more details click here

 

L24B - STRUCTURE OF THE ENGLISH LANGUAGE

This course begins with a review of basic grammatical concepts and terminology.  It then looks at different approaches to understanding the structure of English, namely, traditional versus Structuralist versus Transformational Generative.  The course will cover thematic variants of the kernel clause as well as clause/sentence type and aims to give students a solid understanding of English sentence structure.

Prerequisite: L14B or L10B

For more details click here

 

L25A - LANGUAGE, GENDER AND SEX

The course addresses linguistic gender in its sociocultural context.  It examines communication between the sexes with a focus on determining whether communication styles reflect difference and/or dominance.  The course also covers sexism in language, language differences between men and women, and how gender affects the way in which children acquire language in various cultures.  The course has strong Caribbean content.

Prerequisite: Any Level I Linguistics course

  For more details click here

Semester 2

L23B - SOCIOLINGUISTICS

The course begins with a definition of sociolinguistics and moves on to helping the student develop an objective understanding of the links which speakers make between language and social groupings.  The course will cover the connection between specific language features in speech communities such as pronunciation of 'r' and the social background of the speaker who uses the feature.  Another area that will be dealt with is communicative competence notably the cultural rules governing language interaction.  This course has a strong Caribbean focus.

Prerequisite: L14A and L14B or L10A or L10B

  For more details click here

L26B - CARIBBEAN LANGUAGE: SOCIOHISTORICAL BACKGROUND

This course is an attractive offering for students of History and those in Linguistics who have a historical interest.  This course takes the student on a journey through the colonial development of the region, with emphases on language use, Creole genesis, colonial language policy and language death.  The course makes the connection between migration to and within the region and the various languages and language influences within the region, notably those resulting from the historical presence of the indigenous people as well as people from Europe, Africa and Asia. The student will be able to trace the path that has led to the present Caribbean linguistic diversity.

Prerequisite: Any Level I Linguistics course

  For more details click here

 L28J - INTRODUCTION TO THE STRUCTURE AND USAGE OF JAMAICAN CREOLE

This course exposes students to a living Caribbean language.  It gives insight to the linguistic structure and usage of Jamaican Creole, helping students to see it as a language in its own right.  Orthography, literature and lexicon are some of the areas that will be covered.  Distinctions between English and Jamaican Creole will also be highlighted.

 Prerequisite: None

For more details click here

L28S - STRUCTURE AND USAGE OF CARIBBEAN SIGN LANGUAGE 1

Every Caribbean territory has a Deaf community, which has a vernacular language. These languages represent important linguistic minorities in the Caribbean. However, their structures have never been formally taught. As a result, there is a strong demand amongst educators of the deaf for more information on these sign languages as linguistic systems. This course is aimed at exposing students to the structure of a Caribbean Sign Language as a linguistic system and will introduce them to communication in a visual-gestural mode. As an exemplification of this mode, students will be given instruction and practice sentences in a Caribbean sign language to develop basic communicative skills in that language and to gain exposure to the local Deaf culture.

For more details click here

 L29A - COMPUTATIONAL LINGUISTICS

This is an exciting course that answers the question, what is computational linguistics, and explores the objectives of and reasons for research in the area.  It introduces students to the difficulties and limitations of a computational approach to linguistic problems.  It also addresses computational procedures and programming languages, from the perspective of the linguist.  The highpoint of the course is the application of computational techniques to a problem in linguistics.

Corequisites: L20A and L20B

 

Year Long

L280 - FRENCH LEXICON CREOLE

This course is designed both as a foreign language course and as one in the structure of the language. Students will be trained in oral and written expression and comprehension, as well as receiving instruction in the structure of the language. Students will be exposed to a wide range of French-lexicon Creole texts both written and oral, and including the lyrics of popular music. Problems of orthography, standardisation and instrumentalism will be discussed, and a deliberate effort made to provide students with exposure to the major dialects of French-lexicon Creole spoken in the Caribbean.

Prerequisite: None

 

LEVEL III

Semester 1

L32A - CARIBBEAN DIALECTOLOGY

This is a flagship course of the Linguistics programme.  It takes an in-depth look at the socio-historical background and development of Caribbean dialects and languages. It provides a detailed description and analysis of contemporary Caribbean Creole language structure. It examines the linguistic structure of the Creole continuum and pays some attention to the structure of non-Creole Caribbean languages.

Prerequisite:  L14A and L14B or L10A and L10B and any TWO of L20A, L20B, L23A, L23B

 

L33D - THE LANGUAGE OF NEGOTIATION

This course, a compulsory courses for the major in Language Communication and Society, is one which focuses on the practical aspects of language use in negotiation.  It examines the communication processes involved in negotiation and covers both the basic principles and the practice of negotiation.  It analyses language use in negotiation through role play and simulation and uses these to examine: -  

a.      Models and methods of negotiation

b.      Persuasive strategies

c.      Negotiator characteristics and styles

d.      Power and gender issues

e.      Social and cultural issues in negotiation

Prerequisite: L23A or L23B

For more details click here

Semester 2

L30A - ADVANCED PHONOLOGY

This course is aimed at Linguistics majors and other students interested in coming to grips with the theoretical details of the inner workings of the phonological systems of human languages.  It covers their representation of segments and autosegments, phonological rule types, the representation of the syllable, metrical phonology, the interaction of phonology with morphology and syntax and markedness issues.

Prerequisite: L20A

For more details click here

 

L30B - ADVANCED SYNTAX

This course is aimed at Linguistics majors and other students interested in coming to grips with the theoretical details of the inner workings of the syntactic systems of human languages.  It covers the representation of lexical and non-lexical categories, the status of arguments and non-arguments, restrictions on movement, and the link between the acquisition of syntax and the theory of markedness.

Prerequisite: L20B

For more details click here

 

L32B - CREOLE LINGUISTICS

This, the second flagship course of the undergraduate Linguistics programme, begins by dealing with the validity of the term, Creole the phenomenon of creolisation.  It goes on to look at decreolisation in the context of theories of language change and language acquisition.  It finishes by examining the enormous impact which Creole language studies has had on general linguistic theory.

Prerequisite:  L14A and L14B or L10A and L10B and any TWO of L20A, L20B, L23A, L23B

  For more details click here

L33C - DISCOURSE ANALYSIS

This course is one of the compulsory courses for the major in Language Communication and Society.  It introduces the student to Discourse Analysis with a focus on conflict talk, both around the world and in Jamaican and Caribbean context.  It also examines conversational strategies in negotiating conflict.  A key aspect of the course involves students collecting, transcribing and coding spoken discourse.

Prerequisite: L23A and L23B or L33D

For more details click here

  Year Long

L331 - LANGUAGE PLANNING

This course is conceived as a kind of follow up to certain aspects of L23A. It starts off with an analysis of the links between language and national identity. It also deals with the role of language in official communication networks. Against this background, it analyses the various kinds of efforts made to plan language and which consciously affect its use in human society.

The course then looks at the Caribbean Creole speech communities and the various current developments in language policy in these societies, e.g. Haiti, Suriname, St. Lucia, Dominica, and Jamaica etc.

Finally, L331 aims at giving students some practical experience that is related to Language Planning or the development of the resources of languages for official use. This will be done via small research projects, which students would select in consultation with lecturer.

L331 - Language Planning - may be offered as an alternative to AR3X0.

Prerequisite: L14A and L14B or L10A and L10B and L23A and L23B

Please click here for course materials

 

 L37A - FIELD METHODS IN LINGUISTICS

 This semester long course introduces the student to basic research methods in linguistics.  Equipped with this knowledge, students are required to design their own programme of field research and sent into the field, under supervision, to collect language data from informants.  They are required to transcribe portions of this data and provide some preliminary analysis.

 Prerequisite: L20A, L20B, L23B

 

 Semester 3 (Summer)

 

L28G - INTRODUCTION TO GARIFUNA

 This is another in a series of courses offering students exposure to a living Caribbean language.  This is an introduction to one of the few Arawakan languages still spoken in the Caribbean, Garifuna as spoken by the Garinagu or 'Black Caribs' of Belize.  It will give students the ability to engage in conversational use of the language while exposing them to the structure of the language, including its similarities to other Arawakan languages.  This will take place in a context where the student learns to appreciate the sociocultural norms associated with an indigenous Caribbean language.

 Prerequisite: None


© The University of the West Indies. All rights reserved. Disclaimer | Privacy Statement
Telephone: (876) Fax: (876)
Site best viewed at 800 x 600 resolution or higher.
statistics tracker