Bard College at Simon's Rock: the Early College
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Linguistics Courses

Explore the fundamentals of language in linguistics.

Introduction to Linguistics

Linguistics 100 | Bonvillain | 3 credits

This course presents an overview of the field of linguistics, introducing basic concepts, topics, and analytic methods. It includes study of the structure of language (systems of sound, structure, and meaning), nonverbal communication, historical and comparative linguistics, and language acquisition.

No prerequisites. This course is generally offered once a year.

English Grammar

Linguistics 101m | Bonvillain | 2 credits

This course centers on a linguistic analysis of the rules and formative processes of English grammar. Topics include analysis of word-formation and clausal and sentence structure. In addition to readings about English grammar, students will do grammatical exercises, learning and applying the techniques of sentence analysis.

No prerequisites. This course is generally offered once every two years.

Exploring the English Language Through Word Origins

Linguistics 105m | Pichard | 2 credits

Much can be learned about the history of English simply by looking at the words it has acquired over the centuries. Beginning with an examination of where English falls within the family of Indo-European languages, we then look at the different developmental stages of English while concurrently studying the historical context. Topics include doublets from Old Norse and Old English (e.g. Skirt vs. Shirt) and from Norman French and later French (e.g. Warden vs. Guardian). We also look at the Greek and Latin roots of English by examining the etymological origins of thematic groups including medicine, politics, and government—an important topic, given that in the sciences, over 90% of the words have Greek or Latin roots.

No prerequisites

Language and Power

Linguistics 216m | Bonvillain | 2 credits

This course examines interconnections between language and power relations. Language form and linguistic usage are shown to be influenced by contextual features of inequalities in the social power of participants. Linguistic usage is informed by such parameters as class, gender, race, ethnicity, and social status as demonstrated by casual and formal interactions in everyday contexts as well as in institutional settings such as medicine and law. The role that language in the media plays in solidifying and furthering social and political power relations will also be studied.

Prerequisites: One course in social studies or linguistics. This course is generally offered once every two years.

Language and Gender

Linguistics 218 | Bonvillain | 3 credits

This course examines relationships between language and gender. Specifically, how and to what extent are gender differences manifested in language? Do women and men employ alternatives of pronunciation, vocabulary, and grammatical structure? Are men’s and women’s conversational strategies significantly different? Do languages encode divergent cultural messages about women and men through the ways in which they label or talk about people? Although the majority of data considered is derived from English, linguistic and cultural evidence from other societies is also explored.

Prerequisites: One course in social studies or linguistics. This course is generally offered once every two years.

Native American Language

Linguistics 304 CP | Bonvillain | 4 credits

This course examines the structures of Native American languages. It consists of readings that present the phonological, morphological, syntactic, and semantic systems of languages representing each of the language families indigenous to North America.

Prerequisite: Linguistics 100 or equivalent. This course is generally offered once every two years.

Topics in Syntax and Morphology

Linguistics 305 | Bonvillain | 4 credits

This course presents readings in theories and methods of morphological and syntactic analysis. Readings and analytic problems acquaint students with principles of analyzing word formation patterns (morphology) and of phrasal and sentence construction (syntax). Structural and generative theories will be explored. Data will be drawn from indigenous, non-European, and European languages.

Prerequisite: Linguistics 100 or its equivalent. This course is generally offered once every two years.

Discourse Analysis

Linguistics 306 | Bonvillain | 4 credits

This course presents theories and methods of discourse analysis. Readings and analytic exercises acquaint students with principles of analyzing, contextualizing, and understanding discourse (connected speech). We examine the linguistic, contextual, and cultural markers that interconnect discourse and discourse types. Conversation, narratives, and speech genres are explored.

Prerequisite: one course in linguistics or social studies.