Courses in Language and Cognition

Lower-Division Courses

47. Language and Communication Disorders. (3 units.) An overview of major communication disorders, and an introduction to career options in speech/language pathology and related career paths. The characteristics of all major types of adult aphasia and several other common adult-onset communication disorders, including dysarthria, apraxia of speech, and communication disorders accompanying right-hemisphere disorders. Principal differences and similarities between symptoms of aphasia and the effects of aging in neuro-typical speakers, and between symptoms of aphasia and effects of dementia on language processing. 

51. The Brain's Politics: How the Framing of Issues Works. (3 units.) The ways in which knowledge about the brain, mind, and language illuminates politics. Covers political topics of current interest. 

Upper-Division Courses

C104. The Mind, Language, and Politics. (4 units.) An analysis of contemporary liberal and conservative thought and language, in terms of the basic mechanisms of mind: frames, prototypes, radial categories, contested concepts, conceptual metaphor, metonymy, and blends. The framing of political discourse. The logic of political thought. The purpose of the course is to provide students interested in political and social issues with the tools to analyze the framing of, and logic behind, contemporary political discourse. 

C105. The Mind and Language. (4 units.) Conceptual systems and language from the perspective of cognitive science. How language gives insight into conceptual structure, reasoning, category-formation, metaphorical understanding, and the framing of experience. Cognitive versus formal linguistics. Implications from and for philosophy, anthropology, literature, artificial intelligence, and politics.

106. Metaphor. (4 units.) The role of metaphor in structuring our everyday language, conceptual system, and world view. Topics include cross-cultural differences, literary metaphor, sound symbolism, and related theoretical issues in philosophy, linguistics, psychology and anthropology.

125. Gesture, Cognition and Culture. (3 units.) This course considers the relationship between thought, language and gesture including its role in language acquisition and in signed languages. We will also look at cross-cultural differences in gesture, the role of gesture in child development, applications of gesture from education to politics, and unpack the possibility of the gestural origins of human language.

128. Linguistic Analysis of Literature. (3 units.) Literary texts provide unique material for linguists: good authors manage to use everyday grammatical forms in exceptional ways. In this course, students will read scholarly linguistic works on literary analysis, and also analyze literary texts using the tools they acquire. Linguistics readings will focus on narratology and cognitive linguistic approaches, including mental spaces theory, conceptual metaphor theory, and work on iconicity, viewpoint, and causal structure. 

C142. Language and Thought. (3 units.) This seminar explores the relation of language and thought. Is language uniquely human, and if so, what does this reveal about the human mind? Does the particular language you speak affect the way you think, or do human languages reflect a universal conceptual repertoire? The goal of this class is to familiarize you with a set of classic arguments on these themes, together with current research that evaluates these arguments, through weekly reading and discussion.

Graduate Courses

205. Advanced Cognitive Linguistics. (3 units.) This will be an advanced course in cognitive linguistics. Among the topics covered will be cognitive bases for aspects of grammatical structure, cognitive constraints on language change and grammaticalization, and motivations for linguistic universals (i.e., constraints on variability).

208. Psycholinguistics. (3 units.) Graduate-level introduction to psycholinguistics; provides an overview of key questions and research findings in psycholinguistics. Psycholinguistics focuses on the mechanisms underlying human language production and comprehension. Central to psycholinguistics is the formulation of conceptual and computational models of those mechanisms. 

225. Construction Grammar: The Relationship between Thought and Language. (3 units.) Discussion of two major theoretical approaches in construction grammar: (1) embodied cognition results, conceptual metaphor, and the neural modeling of brain mechanisms necessary to account for thought and language;  (2) disembodied, purely formal approach using feature structures and head-driven grammars. 

242. Language, Cognition and Communication. (3 units.) Advanced introduction to the relation of language, cognition, and communication. Explores universal aspects of cognition that underlie language and communication, as well as the effect of one's native language on cognition, by: (1) reading a mixture of classic and recent papers on these issues, (2) identifying interesting questions that are left open by the material covered, and (3) designing and conducting research to answer those questions.

243. Language, Computation and Cognition. (3 units.) Seminar or special lecture course.

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