Inside Language


Fall 2015 and Winter 2016 quarters

Taught by


This two-quarter program explores the fascinating world of languages. What do you know when you know a language? How do you get that knowledge? Are there properties that all languages share? How do languages change over time? Why are half of the world's languages now under threat of extinction? How are communities held together or torn apart by the languages they speak?

We will consider these questions and others through the lens of linguistics. Topics to be examined for fall include phonetics, phonology, morphology, language change, the history of English and English dialects, key issues facing multilingual communities, and language planning. In winter, topics will include syntax, semantics, pragmatics, first language acquisition, language and gender and linguistic politeness. We will look at well-known languages and lesser-known languages and discover why they matter in our lives today. Throughout the program, students will learn a variety of conceptual and empirical techniques, from analyzing speech sounds to interpreting the rationale behind current language policy.

This program will be an intensive examination of topics requiring a significant amount of reading as well as regular problem sets and essays.

Program Details

Fields of Study

Preparatory for studies or careers in

linguistics, communication, and education.

Location and Schedule

Campus location



Offered during: Day

Advertised schedule: First class of winter quarter : January 5, 2016 (Tuesday) at 10 am.


Buy books for this program through Greener Bookstore.

Online Learning

Enhanced Online Learning: Access to web-based tools required, but use of these tools does not displace any face-to-face instruction.


Date Revision
November 17th, 2015 This program will accept new winter enrollment with signature.

Registration Information

Credits: 16 (Fall); 16 (Winter)

Variable Credit Options

Students interested in taking a language course alongside this program can arrange to take this program for 12 credits.

Class standing: Freshmen–Sophomore; 50% of the seats are reserved for freshmen

Maximum enrollment: 23


Course Reference Numbers

Fr (16 credits): 10095
So (16 credits): 10096
Fr - So (1-16 credits): 10097

Go to to register for this program.


Accepting New Students

Signature Required

Students will need previous experience in phonetics, phonology, morphology, and language policy (one quarter or equivalent).  Please contact Diego de Acosta ( to discuss your qualifications.

Course Reference Numbers

Fr (16 credits): 20045
So (16 credits): 20046
Fr - So (1-16 credits): 20047

Go to to register for this program.

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