Courses in Historical and Areal Linguistics

Lower-Division Courses

3. Linguistic Diversity. (3 units.) Introduction to the scope of human linguistic diversity. Concepts for understanding in what ways human languages can vary and how such variation is constrained. Overview of how linguistic structures are distributed among the world's major linguistic families, and how these linguistics structures cluster geographically. Theories of how and why languages change, diverge, diversify, and in some cases, become extinct.

11. Writing Systems. (3 units.) Examines different writing systems in terms of their historical origin and their cognitive properties. Enrollment limited to 15 students. 

22. Introduction to the History of the English Language. (3 units.) An introduction to the major ways in which the English language has changed over the past 1,200 years. Students will be expected to learn and be able to apply a few basic linguistic concepts in order to understand better the developments we observe. We will investigate data from both literary and non-literary texts. 

Upper-Division Courses

130. Comparative and Historical Linguistics. (4 units.) Fall 2016: GarrettMethods of reconstruction. Types and explanations of language change. Dialectology. The establishment of language relationships and subgroupings.

131. Indo-European Comparative Linguistics. (3 units.) The affinities of the Indo-European languages and the reconstruction of their common ancestor. 

C137. Introduction to Slavic Linguistics. (4 units.) An introduction to best practices in applying linguistic analysis to Slavic languages. Development of critical thinking and analytical skills. 

C139. Language Spread. (3 units.) Linguistic background and the general principles of language spread. Mechanisms of language spread, including creolization-decreolization, language planning, and the role of bilingualism. Case studies in language spread, including Austronesian, Indo-European, Amerindian, Uralic, African, Sinitic, and Australian languages. Relationship of language spread to immigration and culture spreads. 

152. Pidgin and Creole Languages. (3 units.) This course will cover various pidgins and creoles of the world, examining their linguistic and sociohistorical significance, as well as their use in the modern world. 

155AC. Language in the United States: A Capsule History. (4 units.) This course brings together history, sociology, and linguistics to develop a deeper view of who we are as a nation. It is organized as a narrative history of the U.S. from the perspective of immigration and language. We devote significant portions to the languages of Native Americans, African American English, and to the Spanish spoken in the U.S., as well as addressing the various other dialects of American English, the numerous smaller immigrant languages, Hawaiian, and ASL. 

159.The Deaf Community and American Sign Language. (3 units.) Social and linguistic aspects of the deaf community and its language — American Sign Language (A.S.L.). Lecture, discussion, and videotape presentations will provide an introductory survey of American Deaf Culture in general; the Bay Area community in particular. Specific areas covered include historical, social and political aspects of A.S.L. with particular emphasis on educational and legal institutions. All presentations are conducted in American Sign Language and English. 

159L. American Sign Language Laboratory. (2 units.) Introduction to American Sign Language with native speaker. Adjunct to Linguistics 159. 

170. History, Structure, and Sociolinguistics of a Particular Language. (3 units.) Fall 2016: Rhodes. In this course, students explore with a faculty member the history, structure, and sociolinguistics of a particular language. Generally, this is a language that is a research interest of the professor. The language investigated changes with each offering of this course.

175. American Indian Languages. (3 units.) Introduction to the native languages of the Americas. 

Graduate Courses

230. Historical Linguistics. (3 units.) Spring 2017: HollandThe scholarly tradition of historical and comparative linguistics. Methods of reconstruction.

234. Indo-European Linguistics. (3 units.) A survey of Indo-European (IE) linguistics, intended for general linguists interested in learning about the most fully developed sub-area of historical linguistics and for language-area specialists interested in how specific language areas relate to IE as a whole. All areas of the field will be surveyed (phonology, morphology, syntax, lexical semantics, cultural reconstruction, and subgrouping and diversification), with special emphasis on issues of broad current research interest. 

250B. Sociolinguistic Analysis: Language Contact. (3 units.) Students will be exposed to historical overviews, readings, discussions, and demonstrations of methods and will be expected to do original field research, the results of which are to be presented orally and in a 15- to 25-page research paper. 

270. Structure of a Particular Language. (3 units.) An analysis of the language structure of a particular language. The language investigated changes from year to year.

290F. Topics in Linguistic Theory: Diachronic Linguistics. (3 units.) Seminars or special lecture courses. 

290H. Topics in Linguistic Theory: Linguistic Reconstruction. (3 units.) Seminars or special lecture courses.