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Spring 2018

SPAN 597 (T & R 3:05-4:20)

Fitting languages together: Theoretical approaches to multilingualism
Matthew Carlson

How do you fit two or more languages into one mind? Do bilinguals have two language systems, or just one (or is this a sensible question to ask)? How is multilinguals’ knowledge of language different from that of monolinguals? In this course we will explore a variety of approaches to understanding the nature of multilinguals’ linguistic knowledge and use, relying on a variety of theoretical traditions, sources of data, and multilingual phenomena including second language acquisition, code-switching, language contact, and language processing. We will aim for a synthesis that will help chart a way forward in understanding the way most of the world experiences language—two or more at a time!

SPAN/LING 597 (T & R 1:35-2:50)

Contact-induced languages
John Lipski

Historical linguistics strives to reconstruct earlier stages of languages, but
it is seldom possible to arrive at the “first” form of a language, because
past a certain time depth no reliable conclusions can be extrapolated. Under
special situations of language contact, however, “new” languages emerge,
including pidgins, creoles, anti-creoles, and intertwined languages. This
course will examine issues such as:
  • How are contact-induced languages formed?
  • What are the similarities and differences (if any) between these
    “new” languages and “natural” languages?
  • In contact-induced languages what are the relative contributions of the
    input languages, linguistic and cognitive universals, and spontaneous emergent
  • What are the characteristics of bilingualism involving a contact-induced
    language and one or more of its lexifier languages, and how can data from such environments contribute to a broader understanding of bilingualism?
  • What are some viable possibilities for conducting research on
    contact-induced languages?

SPAN 510 (T & R 12:05-1:20)

Romance Phonology
John Lipski

SPAN 509 (T & R 9:05-10:20)

Functional Syntax
Rena Torres Cacoullos

The objectives of this course are for students to (1) become acquainted with the study of grammatical forms together with their functions, (2) sample approaches in this area (usage-based theory, discourse-based syntax, typology, grammaticalization, construction grammar), and (3) learn skills for carrying out a quantitative syntactic analysis of natural speech data, and developing corresponding argumentation.