Courses

Below are our courses that are offered on a regular basis, grouped by topic. Where applicable, a course is marked as: (C) core course, (U) upper-level course, (M) method course, (CS) capstone course, and (W) writing course. Details on the courses offered in the current and upcoming semesters can be found in A&S Course Descriptions.

Intro and Core

LING 1000 Introduction to Linguistics (C)
Offered every semester including summer, this is the very first course our majors take. It is a survey of general linguistics, emphasizing the theory and methodology of the traditional central areas of the field.

LING 1578 Phonetics and Phonemics (C)
This class covers the basics of sounds, including acoustics, transcription, and anatomy of the mouth to create such noises. Students will work with IPA and sound software to practice analyzing sounds in a variety of languages.

LING 1579 Phonology (C)
Phonology is the study of language systems and sound patterns. This course is offered every spring and builds upon the knowledge gained through LING 1578 and applies it to solving problem sets while learning theories for determining patterns and rules.

LING 1773 Morphology (C)
Morphology, the study of words, is interrelated with the syntax, the phonology, the lexicon, and semantics. The purpose of this course is to develop operational competence, through problem solving and discussion, in the major aspects of morphological theory.

LING 1777 Syntactic Theory (C)
Syntactic Theory involves analysis of sentence structure. Each theory learned builds upon the knowledge of the last to improve syntax trees to accommodate more patterns, structures, and exceptions.

Sociolinguistics

LING 1235 Language, Gender and Society (W)
This writing-intensive course explores the linguistic impact of gender differences in a variety of societies based on how that culture is structured. This class is less about language theory and more about how it works in practice.

LING 1253 Pidgins and Creoles
This course explores the structure, history, and sociologic context for pidgins and creoles. Focus is placed on Caribbean English Creole varieties and topics addressed include current views on these languages’ formation, definitive characteristics, and relationships among them.

LING 1263 Cross-cultural Communication
Through this class, students will read literature about the impact language has on interactions between different cultures. There is discussion of the differences in communication within and between various communities.

LING 1267 Aspects of Sociolinguistics (U, W)
Understanding the relationship between a language and its culture is what this course is all about. There is exploration of how social interactions and language impact each other in many different ways depending on the society.

LING 1269 Linguistic Variation and Change (M)
This course applies theory to analyze how and why language evolves over time. As well as discussion and reading, students work together to create a mini study to compare dialects or change in a specific part language over time.

Applied Linguistics

LING 1738 Linguistic Structures of English (U)
This course is designed for teachers of English as a Second Language. The structure of Modern American English is explored deeply, including sociolinguistic and traditional influences when relevant to the current description.

LING 2144 Research Methods in Applied Linguistics (M)
Focusing heavily on education, this course explores how to gather and synthesize qualitative and quantitative data on learning and acquisition. Sociolinguistics and psycholinguistics are both discussed in this course as well and is helpful for those preparing to go to grad school.

Computational

LING 1050 Computational Methods in the Humanities (M)
This honor's course is offered every semester and is designed specifically to address the knowledge and skills involved in quantitative and formal reasoning within the context of the interests and needs of students in the humanities.

LING 1330 Computational Linguistics (U)
This course offers an introduction to real-world applications of computational linguistics: spell checking, part-of-speech tagging, parsing, document classification, and more. Students will be given hands-on training on the basics of text processing using Python and NLTK.

LING 1340 Data Science for Linguists (M)
This course introduces linguistics majors to core methods and practices in data science, a fast-growing professional and academic discipline, as it pertains to linguistic inquiry. Students will learn the fundamentals of structuring, processing and sharing various forms of linguistic data and be given hands-on training.

Other Areas

LING 1441 Field Methods in Linguistics (M)
After taking all of the core classes, students can take this course where they will interview a native speaker of a minority language and spend the entire semester fully documenting all aspects of that language.

LING 1580 Languages and the Mind (U)
This course combines psychology and linguistics and has a main focus on understanding and debate of controversial topics that fall into the overlap of these fields. Additionally it explores topics like language’s impact on memory, thought, and reasoning.

LING 1682 Introduction to Semantic Theory (U)
This is a survey course designed to introduce students to contemporary work in the theory of meaning. Semantics is a diverse field that encompasses such distinct theories as lexical, formal and cognitive semantics; all three areas are covered.

LING 1860 Historical Linguistics (U)
This course offers a survey of the principles and methods of historical linguistics as well as practice in the basic techniques of historical linguistic research. Topics include: the analysis of sound change, impact of contact and variation, the comparative method, and internal reconstruction.

LING 1951 Languages of the World
While giving an overview of the types of languages present in each area of the world, this course explores the composition and trends within and between language families. The course incorporates study of language structure differences as well as sociolinguistic variations.

Language Specialization

LING 1023 Aspects of the Korean Language
This course examines and explores essential topics in Korean linguistics such as the Korean scripts and sounds, genetic affiliation, historical development, word structure, grammatical structure, discourse, honorific and speech styles, and first/second language acquisition.

LING 1025 Aspects of the Chinese Language
Aspects of the Chinese language will offer a linguistic introduction to Chinese. Topics include: historical background, the Chinese sound and writing system, general typological descriptions of the language, Chinese morphology, and more.

LING 1520 Introduction to Arabic Linguistics
Similar to LING 1000, this course explores all aspects of the linguistic field but instead with a focus just on Arabic. Students will analyze the structure and sociolinguistics aspects of the language and its culture.

LING 1720 Structure of Sign Language
This course explores the relationship of signed languages to the spoken language in their given communities for forming the languages’ structure. It also covers iconicity, development, and acquisition of signed languages as well as their grammar structures’ differences.

LING 1721 Sociolinguistics of Sign Languages
Signed languages have unique sociological contexts since most signers are not initially exposed to a signed language as their native language, which is discussed in this class. Other topics include variation among signed languages and the impact of contact between signed and spoken language.

Real-world Applications

LING 1900 Linguistic Consulting/Internship (CS)
This course is intended for second semester seniors to give students in-field work experience prior to graduation. Students work with the instructor to secure an internship in a company of interest in the fall and have weekly meetings and assignments in addition to working in the spring.

LING 1930 Applications of Linguistics (CS, W)
Serving as one option for the capstone for the major, this course gives an overview of linguistic jobs in a variety of fields. Each spring students present, discuss, and write papers on linguists’ influence and contribution to fields like medicine, law, and education.

Flexible Topic

LING 1800 Special Topics in Linguistics
Each section of this course can vary widely. It is up to the professor what subsection of the field to delve further into. Examples of topics have included language and the internet as well as endangered and dying languages.

LING 1901 Independent Study
Any topic that a student wishes to further pursue on their own, but with guidance from a professor, would fall under this umbrella. This can include teaching assistants, delving into more specific topics, or other material agreed upon by the student/professor/advisor.

LING 1903 Directed Research (CS)
This course gives students the opportunity to work with concepts learned in other courses in a real world setting. While working on either a preexisting or self-created project, students are able to pursue further understanding of an aspect of the field by contributing to the research sector.

Offered Elsewhere

There are many linguistics courses taught by other Pitt departments and CMU programs. They may count towards the 6-credit linguistics elective requirement for the linguistics BA. Below are some of the examples.