Course Catalog


Advanced Linguistics II

"Advanced Linguistics II" is the second in a two course sequence of courses that focuses on the four main levels of linguistic structure: syntax, semantics, morphology, and phonology. Because of the complexity of each of these levels, they will be presented in two separate courses. This, the second course in the sequence, focuses on the two smallest units of language: the morpheme and the phoneme. The morpheme is the smallest unit of meaning. For instance, the word unwell contains the prefix un- (meaning 'not') and the word well (meaning 'in good health'). This word also contains five distinct speech sounds: two vowels (u and e are represented in phonetic notation as // and //) and three consonants (/n/,/w/, and /l/). The course begins with a brief overview of the basic categories of morphology, noting the influence of Latin and Greek on the composition of English words. It then describes the various processes that lead to the creation of words, with an emphasis of morphologically complex languages such Russian and Turkish. The second part of the course starts with a discussion of how speech sounds are created and then progresses to a focus on stress and intonation, describing, for instance, the complexity of stress placement in words in English and the importance of pitch changes on individual words in tone languages such as Mandarin.

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