Twin Cities campus
 
Twin Cities Campus

Linguistics Minor

Linguistics, Institute of
College of Liberal Arts
  • Program Type: Undergraduate minor related to major
  • Requirements for this program are current for Spring 2018
  • Required credits in this minor: 16
Linguistics is the scientific study of human language. Courses explore the principles governing the structure of natural languages, how languages are acquired by children and adults, the role of language in human cognition and social interaction, and how languages change over time.
Program Delivery
This program is available:
  • via classroom (the majority of instruction is face-to-face)
Minor Requirements
Students must meet with the director of undergraduate studies to declare a minor in linguistics. Students may earn a BA or a minor in linguistics, but not both.
Minor Courses
Introduction to Linguistics
Take 1 of the following courses for 4 credits.
LING 3001 - Introduction to Linguistics [SOCS] (4.0 cr)
or LING 3001H - Honors: Introduction to Linguistics [SOCS] (4.0 cr)
or LING 5001 - Introduction to Linguistics (4.0 cr)
Upper-division LING Courses
Take 2 or more course(s) totaling 6 or more credit(s) from the following:
· LING 4201 - Syntax I (3.0 cr)
or LING 5201 - Honors students may take LING 5201 in place of 4201.
· LING 4302W - Phonology I [WI] (3.0 cr)
or LING 5302 - Honors students may take LING 5302 in place of 4302W.
LING Electives
No more than 4 credits of LING 1xxx may count toward the minor.
Take 6 or more credit(s) from the following:
· LING 1xxx
· LING 3xxx
· LING 4xxx
· LING 5xxx
 
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· College of Liberal Arts

View future requirement(s):
· Fall 2020
· Fall 2018


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· Linguistics Minor
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LING 3001 - Introduction to Linguistics (SOCS)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: Ling 3001/3001H/5001
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
The ability to acquire and use language is a biological trait of the human species. This capacity for language manifests itself as thousands of particular languages spoken around the world in communities large and small. But what is language? What does it mean for a human to ?know? a particular language? How do children acquire this knowledge? How do we use language to communicate? These are some of the important questions addressed by the field of linguistics, the scientific study of the human capacity for language in its physiological, cognitive, historical, and social manifestations. This course introduces some of the essential findings of linguistics: first and foremost, that all varieties of all languages are intricately structured at multiple distinct but related levels. Second, that this intricate structure can be described in terms that are not only precise, but which apply to all human languages. We will work to replicate some of these findings by deploying simple analytical methods on data from a variety of languages. These methods allow us to answer questions about the different structural components of language: phonology (how do speech sounds pattern?), morphology (what are possible words and how are they built?), and syntax (what is the hierarchical structure underlying sequences of words?). In all instances these methods require that we pay attention to basic notions of semantics, from which more complex conceptions of meaning will emerge. Having characterized language as an intricately-structured system of knowledge, we will then possess the tools to ask a number of additional questions about language and cognition. How does such complex knowledge play into the actual task of sentence production or comprehension? What do we know about the neural implementation of this knowledge in human brains? How does child language acquisition proceed, and what makes it so much more robust than language acquisition later in life? Do animals have languages of their own? Can they learn human languages? Finally, we will turn our attention to variation in language patterns observed over the passage of time, across geographical space, and within social systems. How and why do languages change over historical time? What can we know about languages spoken before the invention of writing? What distinctions exist between languages spoken in different places, and how can we tell whether similarities are due to genealogical relationships? How do new languages emerge? How do languages disappear? How does language use vary between individuals from the same place or the same community? How do socioeconomic class, ethnicity, and gender relate to the linguistic behavior of individuals? How does language policy affect educational outcomes? What about social cohesion and conflict? Although we will find that most of these questions lack definitive answers, we will develop an understanding of what it takes to ask them meaningfully and precisely. In particular, we will be able to eliminate false or misleading answers, especially when they fail to take into account the observable and describable properties of the human capacity for language.
LING 3001H - Honors: Introduction to Linguistics (SOCS)
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: Ling 3001/3001H/5001
Grading Basis: A-F only
Typically offered: Every Spring
Scientific study of human language. Methods, questions, findings, and perspectives of modern linguistics. Components of the language system (phonetics/phonology, syntax, semantics/pragmatics); language acquisition; language and social variables; language and cognition; language change; language processing; language and public policy. prereq: Honors student or instr consent
LING 5001 - Introduction to Linguistics
Credits: 4.0 [max 4.0]
Course Equivalencies: Ling 3001/3001H/5001
Typically offered: Every Fall, Spring & Summer
Scientific study of human language. Methods, questions, findings, and perspectives of modern linguistics. Components of the language system (phonetics/phonology, syntax, semantics/pragmatics); language acquisition; language and social variables; language and cognition; language change; language processing; language and public policy; language and cognition.
LING 4201 - Syntax I
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: Ling 4201/Ling 5201
Typically offered: Every Spring
How words are organized into phrases/sentences. Basic units of a sentence. How these units are structured. How languages may be the same, or different, in syntax. prereq: 3001 or 3001H or 5001 or instr consent
LING 4302W - Phonology I (WI)
Credits: 3.0 [max 3.0]
Course Equivalencies: Ling 4302W/Ling 5302
Typically offered: Every Spring
How sounds are organized/patterned in human languages. Foundation in phonological theory/problem-solving for advanced work in phonology and other fields in linguistics. Analyzing data, presenting written solutions. prereq: 3001 or 3001H or 5001 or instr consent