Department of Linguistics (GRAD)

Department of Linguistics

http://www.unc.edu/depts/ling

PAUL ROBERGE, Chair

The Department of Linguistics offers graduate work leading to the degree of master of arts in linguistics.

Degree candidates must demonstrate both a basic knowledge of the field of linguistics as a whole and the ability to do independent study in a chosen specialty. Basic knowledge of linguistics is acquired by taking certain required courses; knowledge of a specialty is gained through elective courses as well as by writing a thesis.

The elective courses are expected to form a coherent program in a subfield of linguistics (e.g., phonology, syntax, historical linguistics, sociolinguistics, language acquisition) or in the application of linguistics to a closely related discipline (e.g., anthropology, the study of a particular language or language family). To this end, each student, after consultation with the director of graduate studies, will by the end of the second semester of residence choose a permanent advisor, who will supervise the student's program of study.

Degree programs must satisfy the general requirements of The Graduate School. In addition, the student must fulfill the following curriculum requirements for the master of arts degree:

Course Requirements
LING 400Introduction to General Linguistics (or approved equivalent)3
LING 520Linguistic Phonetics3
LING 523Phonological Theory I3
LING 530Syntactic Theory I3
One course from among:3
Introduction to Historical and Comparative Linguistics
Language Acquisition I
Semantic Theory I
Four elective courses in linguistics or related areas, as approved by the student’s academic advisor12
Thesis credit3
Total Hours30

Note: Students are expected to complete their nonelective courses during their first year. This schedule qualifies students to be considered for a linguistics teaching assistantship by their third semester. Deviations from it are therefore strongly discouraged.

Foreign Language Requirement

Reading knowledge of one foreign language. This requirement may be met in one of three ways:

  1. By passing the Graduate Student Foreign Language Test, given each November and April by The Graduate School. For information and registration, go directly to the Web site.
  2. Where available, by passing the reading courses for graduate students numbered 601 and 602 (these courses do not earn graduate credit). Note: Students with some prior experience may find it feasible to meet the requirement by enrolling directly in and passing 602, bypassing 601.
  3. Where neither option 1 nor option 2 is available, students may arrange to have their competence certified by a qualified faculty member, usually through an informal examination.

Comprehensive Examination

During the semester following completion of the nonelective courses (which should be the fall term of the second year), students will form an examining committee of three faculty members in the department. It is expected that this committee will also serve as the M.A. thesis committee. The student will submit a prospectus of the M.A. thesis, as described below. The oral examination will assess the student's mastery of topics from the first-year sequence of course work and gauge the merits of the prospectus.

Thesis

The master's thesis (normally 50 to 100 pages in length) must be approved by a committee consisting of the thesis director and two other faculty members at the oral comprehensive exam. Students form their thesis committee with the advice of their academic advisor, who may (but need not) be the thesis director. At the comprehensive oral exam for the M.A., the department requires that students submit a prospectus of the thesis. The prospectus should state clearly what problem is to be investigated, how the investigation is to be carried out (written research, field work, experiment, etc.), and a preliminary bibliography. The prospectus should first be discussed with the thesis director. Students should then submit a "clean" version to all three committee members and set up a meeting at which the prospectus can be informally discussed and approved (perhaps with modifications). Students are also expected to consult their thesis director regularly during the actual writing of the thesis. Formal requirements regarding the format and submission of the M.A. thesis are found in the Thesis and Dissertation Guide.

Final Oral Examination

This exam, administered by the thesis committee, focuses on a defense of the thesis, but the faculty reserves the right to question students on other relevant topics. Students should avoid scheduling a thesis defense during the summer, since faculty members often are not available. If it is absolutely unavoidable, students should consult committee members well in advance.

Important Degree Deadlines

Each year The Graduate School sets deadlines for graduation in a given term (fall, spring, summer). There are two sets of dates to be mindful of:

  1. Students wishing to graduate must submit an application to graduate, as stipulated in the Graduate Student Handbook. These documents must be submitted in advance: typically July for August graduation, February for May graduation, and October for December graduation, but official dates will be posted on the University Registrar's calendar. There is no penalty for failure to complete requirements for a requested graduation date, but a student cannot graduate without having submitted the application to graduate. Therefore students should submit it in time for any semester in which they think they may graduate.
  2. The final electronic version of the thesis must be submitted to The Graduate School before the student can graduate. The deadline for submission is shortly before graduation; please see the University Registrar's calendar for current dates.

Note: The previous Ph.D. program in linguistics (1967–2011) no longer admits new students. Legacy students should consult the Department of Linguistics Web site for degree requirements.

Professors

Randall Hendrick (11), Syntax, Morphology, Psychology of Language
Paul Roberge (17), Pidgins and Creoles, Historical Linguistics, Germanic Linguistics

Associate Professors

Misha Becker (12), Language Acquisition, Psycholinguistics, Cognitive Science
David Mora-Marín (15), Historical Linguistics, Mayan Linguistics, Linguistic Anthropology
Elliott Moreton (8), Phonetics, Phonology
Katya Pertsova (10), Computational Linguistics, Morphology
Jennifer L. Smith (7), Phonology, Phonetics, Japanese
J. Michael Terry (9), Semantics, African American English

Professor Emeritus

H. Craig Melchert

Adjunct Faculty

Masako Hirotani, Linguistics, Cognitive Science, Psycholinguistics, Neurocognition of Language, Auditory Language Processing

Associated Faculty

Jennifer Arnold (Department of Psychology), Psychology and Psycholinguistics
Uffe Bergeton (Department of Asian Studies), Early Chinese Language, History, and Thought
Lucia Binotti (Department of Romance Studies), Spanish Philology, Cultural Thought, Linguistic Historiography
Connie Eble (Department of English and Comparative Literature), English Linguistics
Bruno Estigarribia (Department of Romance Studies), Spanish Linguistics, Language Development and Cognition
Benjamin E. Frey (Department of American Studies), Cherokee Linguistics, German and Dutch Linguistics, German Language in America
Nina Furry (Department of Romance Studies), French Linguistics
Peter C. Gordon (Department of Psychology), Psychology of Language
William G. Lycan (Department of Philosophy), Philosophy of Language, Philosophy of Mind
Patrick O'Neill (Department of English and Comparative Literature), Celtic Languages
Dean Pettit (Department of Philosophy), Philosophy of Language and Mind
Patricia E. Sawin (Department of American Studies), Ethnography of Communication

Subjects in this department include Linguistics (LING) and Yucatec Maya (MAYA).

LING

Advanced Undergraduate and Graduate-level Courses

LING 400. Introduction to General Linguistics. 3 Credits.

An introduction to the scientific study of language. The nature of language structure. How languages are alike and how they differ.
Grading status: Letter grade
Same as: ANTH 400.

LING 401. Language and Computers. 3 Credits.

Uses simple linguistic problems to introduce students to the use of programming languages especially suited to analyze and process natural language on the computer. No prior programming knowledge is presupposed.
Requisites: Prerequisite, LING 101.
Grading status: Letter grade.

LING 409. Cognitive Linguistics. 3 Credits.

Development of and present state of research in cognitive linguistics. Readings discuss various language phenomena and are drawn from linguistics, psychology, philosophy, artificial intelligence, and literary analysis of metaphor.
Gen Ed: SS, CI.
Grading status: Letter grade.

LING 410. Philosophy of Language. 3 Credits.

At least two courses in philosophy other than PHIL 155, including PHIL 345, strongly recommended. A study of important contemporary contributions in philosophy of language. Topics include meaning, reference, and truth.
Grading status: Letter grade
Same as: PHIL 445, LING 445.

LING 422. Research Methods in Phonetics and Laboratory Phonology. 3 Credits.

Focuses on the practical skills required to carry out basic experiments in speech production or perception. Includes training in a general-purpose programming language (such as Perl) for automating repetitive tasks, experiment-control software, audio stimulus manufacture and editing, palatography, aerodynamic measurements, and other laboratory techniques relevant to student interests.
Requisites: Prerequisite, LING 200, 520, 523, or SPHS 540.
Grading status: Letter grade.

LING 428. Bilingualism and Second-Language Acquisition. 3 Credits.

This course covers theoretical issues in childhood simultaneous bilingualism, and child and adult second-language acquisition, under both naturalistic and classroom learning circumstances.
Requisites: Prerequisite, LING 101.
Grading status: Letter grade.

LING 444. Origin and Evolution of Human Language. 3 Credits.

Recommended preparation, at least one higher-level core course in linguistics. Surveys current answers to such questions as, When and how did language first appear? What do other animal communication systems share with language? Do restricted linguistic systems (e. g., pidgins) preserve "fossils" of early human language?
Requisites: Prerequisite, LING 101.
Gen Ed: HS, WB.
Grading status: Letter grade.

LING 445. Philosophy of Language. 3 Credits.

At least two courses in philosophy other than PHIL 155, including PHIL 345, strongly recommended. A study of important contemporary contributions in philosophy of language. Topics include meaning, reference, and truth.
Grading status: Letter grade
Same as: PHIL 445, LING 410.

LING 455. Symbolic Logic. 3 Credits.

Introduction for graduates and advanced undergraduates.
Gen Ed: QR.
Grading status: Letter grade
Same as: PHIL 455.

LING 484. Discourse and Dialogue in Ethnographic Research. 3 Credits.

Study of cultural variation in styles of speaking applied to collection of ethnographic data. Talk as responsive social action and its role in the constitution of ethnic and gender identities.
Gen Ed: SS, CI, US.
Grading status: Letter grade
Same as: ANTH 484, FOLK 484.

LING 490. Advanced Topics in Linguistics. 3 Credits.

Directed readings on linguistic topics not covered in specific courses.
Repeat rules: May be repeated for credit; may be repeated in the same term for different topics; 9 total credits. 3 total completions.
Grading status: Letter grade.

LING 496. Independent Study in Linguistics. 1-3 Credits.

Permission of the director of undergraduate studies. LING 101 and additional coursework in linguistics strongly recommended. An intensive mentored project; topic to be determined in a learning contract between student and instructor.
Repeat rules: May be repeated for credit; may be repeated in the same term for different topics; 12 total credits. 4 total completions.
Grading status: Letter grade.

LING 520. Linguistic Phonetics. 3 Credits.

Introduction to the general principles of linguistic phonetics; anatomy of vocal tract, physiology of speech production, universal phonetic theory. Practice in the recognition and transcription of speech sounds.
Grading status: Letter grade
Same as: ANTH 520.

LING 522. Experimental Phonetics and Laboratory Phonology. 3 Credits.

This course relates linguistic theory to experimental findings. Students design and carry out experiments to test theoretical issues of current theoretical importance.
Requisites: Prerequisites, LING 520, and 200 or 523.
Grading status: Letter grade.

LING 523. Phonological Theory I. 3 Credits.

Permission of the instructor for undergraduates. Introduction to the principles of modern generative phonology. Methods and theory of phonological analysis. Students may not receive credit for both LING 200 and LING 523.
Requisites: Prerequisite, LING 520, or SPHS 530 or 540.
Grading status: Letter grade
Same as: ANTH 523.

LING 524. Phonological Theory II. 3 Credits.

Intermediate phonological theory and analysis.
Requisites: Prerequisite, LING 200 or 523.
Grading status: Letter grade.

LING 525. Introduction to Historical and Comparative Linguistics. 3 Credits.

Permission of the instructor for undergraduates. Theories and methods of historical and comparative linguistics, with emphasis upon the Indo-European family. Students may not receive credit for both LING 202 and LING 525.
Grading status: Letter grade.

LING 526. Second-Language Phonetics and Phonology. 3 Credits.

Production, perception, and phonological patterns and processes in second-language learning and use. Effects of first-language transfer and universal linguistic factors. Seminar-style class based on primary literature.
Requisites: Prerequisite, LING 101.
Gen Ed: SS.
Grading status: Letter grade.

LING 527. Morphology. 3 Credits.

Cross-linguistic investigation of internal word structure: inflection and derivation, word formation rules versus affixation, autosegmental morphology, morpholexical and morphophonemic rules, and the interaction of morphology with phonology and syntax.
Requisites: Prerequisite, LING 101 or 400.
Grading status: Letter grade.

LING 528. Language Acquisition I. 3 Credits.

Permission of the instructor for undergraduates. One course in phonology or syntax recommended. Child language from a theoretical perspective. Topics include segmentation problems, acquisition of phonology, morphology and syntax, lexical acquisition, and language development in blind and deaf children and in bilinguals. Students may not receive credit for both LING 203 and LING 528.
Grading status: Letter grade.

LING 529. Language Acquisition II. 3 Credits.

This course focuses on the development of syntax in first-language acquisition in children. Topics will include parameter setting, null subjects, root infinitives, aspect, A-movement, binding theory, and control.
Requisites: Prerequisites, LING 203 or 528, and LING 201 or 530.
Grading status: Letter grade.

LING 530. Syntactic Theory I. 3 Credits.

Permission of the instructor for undergraduates. Methods and theory of grammatical analysis within the transformational generative framework. Special emphasis on analyzing syntactic and semantic structures of English. Students may not receive credit for both LING 201 and LING 530.
Grading status: Letter grade.

LING 533. Syntactic Theory II. 3 Credits.

Methods and theory of grammatical analysis, with special reference to transformational grammar.
Requisites: Prerequisite, LING 530.
Grading status: Letter grade.

LING 537. Semantic Theory I. 3 Credits.

Semantics as a part of linguistic theory: co- and disjoint reference among nominals, "crossover" phenomena, quantifier scope, lexical semantics, Montague grammar and compositional semantics, and explanatory universals in semantic theory.
Requisites: Prerequisite, LING 101 or 400.
Grading status: Letter grade.

LING 538. Semantic Theory II. 3 Credits.

A continuation of LING 537 (Semantic Theory I), this course prepares the student to read the formal semantic literature and to do original research in the field. .
Requisites: Prerequisite, LING 537.
Grading status: Letter grade.

LING 539. Language of Time. 3 Credits.

The representation of time and temporal relations in natural languages. Cross-linguistic study of tense and aspect distinctions, modality, temporal adverbials, temporal anaphora, and sequences of tenses.
Requisites: Prerequisite, LING 101 or 400.
Grading status: Letter grade.

LING 540. Mathematical Linguistics. 3 Credits.

Introduction to topics in logic, set theory, and modern algebra with emphasis on linguistic application. Automata theory and the formal theory of grammar with special reference to transformational grammars. No previous mathematics assumed.
Requisites: Prerequisite, LING 101.
Gen Ed: QI.
Grading status: Letter grade.

LING 541. Sociolinguistics. 3 Credits.

Introduction to the study of language in relation to society; variation as it correlates with socioeconomic status, region, gender; the social motivation of change; language and equality; language maintenance, planning, shift.
Requisites: Prerequisite, LING 101 or 400.
Grading status: Letter grade
Same as: ANTH 541.

LING 542. Pidgins and Creoles. 3 Credits.

Examination of the social contexts of language contact and their linguistic outcomes, with particular emphasis on the formation of pidgins and creoles. The course investigates the structural properties of these new contact languages and evaluates the conflicting theories that explain their genesis.
Requisites: Prerequisite, LING 101 or 400.
Grading status: Letter grade
Same as: ANTH 542.

LING 543. Language in Politics. 3 Credits.

Examines language as a political issue in the 19th and 20th centuries. Emphasis placed on American and British politics but attention to one other national context as well.
Grading status: Letter grade.

LING 545. Language and Mind: Linguistics and the Brain. 3 Credits.

The course treats the relationship among linguistics, artificial intelligence, neurobiology, cognitive psychology, and the philosophies of mind, language, and science.
Requisites: Prerequisite, ENGL 313, or LING 101 or 400, or PHIL 145; permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisite.
Gen Ed: PH.
Grading status: Letter grade.

LING 547. Language Deficits and Cognition. 3 Credits.

Survey of the linguistic properties associated with aphasia, autism, Williams syndrome, dyslexia, and schizophrenia. Emphasis on the implications of these conditions for theories of mind.
Requisites: Prerequisite, LING 101 or 400.
Grading status: Letter grade.

LING 550. Introduction to Indo-European: Phonology. 3 Credits.

A survey of the phonological systems of the major Indo-European languages and their development from Proto-Indo-European.
Grading status: Letter grade.

LING 551. Introduction to Indo-European: Morphology. 3 Credits.

Introduction to the major morphological categories in the Indo-European languages and their development from the proto-language.
Requisites: Prerequisite, LING 550.
Grading status: Letter grade.

LING 558. Ancient Mayan Hieroglyphs. 3 Credits.

This course is an introduction to the ancient scripts of pre-Columbian Mexico and Central America. It focuses on the following scripts: Mayan, Epi-Olmec, Zapotec, and Mixtec.
Gen Ed: HS.
Grading status: Letter grade.

LING 560. Mesoamerican Languages and Linguistics. 3 Credits.

Surveys the basic characteristics that unify Mesoamerica as a cultural and linguistic area (e.g. sound systems, word order, color systems, diffused vocabulary, etc.), the basic sources of cultural and linguistic information available (e.g. ancient hieroglyphs, colonial manuscripts, contemporary documents, linguistic fieldwork), and the consequences of ancient and modern cross-cultural interaction.
Gen Ed: BN.
Grading status: Letter grade.

LING 561. Native Languages of the Americas. 3 Credits.

This course explores the phonological and morphological structure of selected Amerindian languages indigenous to the Americas. Emphasis is on the linguistic analysis of original as well as published primary data.
Requisites: Prerequisite, LING 101 or 400.
Grading status: Letter grade.

LING 562. Structure of Russian. 3 Credits.

Examines Russian from the perspective of linguistic analysis. How do sounds, words, and sentences pattern in Russian? How do these compare with patterns in other languages? Also considers the influence of evidence from Russian on the development of linguistic theory.
Requisites: Prerequisite, LING 101 or RUSS 102; permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisite.
Grading status: Letter grade
Same as: RUSS 562.

LING 563. Structure of Japanese. 3 Credits.

Introductory linguistic description of modern Japanese. For students of linguistics with no knowledge of Japanese and students of Japanese with no knowledge of linguistics.
Requisites: Prerequisite, JAPN 102 or LING 101.
Gen Ed: SS.
Grading status: Letter grade
Same as: JAPN 563.

LING 564. History of the French Language. 3 Credits.

The phonology, morphology, and syntax of French are traced from the Latin foundation to the present. Lectures, readings, discussions, and textual analysis.
Requisites: Prerequisites, FREN 300, and 370, 371, or 372; permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisites.
Grading status: Letter grade
Same as: FREN 564.

LING 565. French Phonetics and Phonology. 3 Credits.

The study of sounds as system in modern standard French. Lecture, discussion, laboratory practice in practical phonetics according to individual needs.
Requisites: Prerequisite, FREN 300; permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisite.
Grading status: Letter grade
Same as: FREN 565.

LING 566. Structure of Modern French. 3 Credits.

Introduction to phonology, morphology, and syntax of modern standard French. Application of modern linguistic theory to the teaching of French.
Requisites: Prerequisites, FREN 300, and 370, 371, or 372; permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisites.
Grading status: Letter grade
Same as: FREN 566.

LING 573. Linguistic Field Methods I. 3 Credits.

Analysis and description of a language unknown to the class from data solicited from a native-speaker consultant.
Grading status: Letter grade
Same as: ANTH 793.

LING 574. Linguistic Field Methods II. 3 Credits.

Continuation of LING 573.
Grading status: Letter grade
Same as: ANTH 794.

LING 583. History and Philosophy of Linguistics. 3 Credits.

Linguistic theories from classical times to the present with special emphasis on the origins of contemporary theories.
Requisites: Prerequisite, LING 101.
Grading status: Letter grade.

LING 613. Modern English Grammar. 3 Credits.

A study of current English structure and usage using a traditional approach modified by appropriate contributions from structural and generative grammar, with some attention to the application of linguistics to literary analysis.
Grading status: Letter grade
Same as: ENGL 613.

LING 678. Cultural and Linguistic History of the Spanish Language. 3 Credits.

The formation of the Spanish language and its cultures from Latin origins. Special attention to expansion of Spanish in the Americas and the situation of Spanish today.
Requisites: Prerequisite, SPAN 300 or 326.
Grading status: Letter grade
Same as: SPAN 678.

LING 691H. Senior Honors Thesis. 3 Credits.

See the program for honors in the College of Arts and Sciences and the department honors advisor.
Gen Ed: EE-Mentored Research.
Grading status: Letter grade.

LING 692H. Senior Honors Thesis. 3 Credits.

See the program for honors in the College of Arts and Sciences and the department honors advisor.
Gen Ed: EE-Mentored Research.
Grading status: Letter grade.

Graduate-level Courses

For Irish and Welsh, see English; for Hebrew, see Religious Studies; for Arabic, Chinese and Japanese, see Asian Studies in the Undergraduate Bulletin.

LING 712. Advanced Studies in Philosophy of Language. 3 Credits.

LING 715. Advanced Methods in Phonology. 3 Credits.

Methods of theoretical argumentation in generative phonology with emphasis on recent proposals in the published literature.
Requisites: Prerequisite, LING 524.

LING 716. Advanced Methods in Syntax. 3 Credits.

Examination of recent developments in the theory and methods of syntactic analysis.
Requisites: Prerequisite, LING 533; permission of the instructor for students lacking the prerequisite.

LING 723. Seminar in Anthropological Linguistics. 3 Credits.

Selected topics from general linguistics and sociolinguistics, special emphasis on methods and problems involved in analysis and description of semantic structure of language and its relation to the rest of culture.
Same as: ANTH 723.

LING 730. Comparative Grammar of Ancient Languages. 3 Credits.

Introductory and advanced work in the earlier stages of extant languages and in extinct languages.

LING 790. Dialectology. 3 Credits.

Principles and methods of areal linguistics and social dialectology.
Same as: ANTH 790.

LING 814. History of the English Language. 3 Credits.

Study of English from its Proto-Indo-European origins through the 18th century focusing on historic events and the major changes to the structure and usage of English they occasioned.
Same as: ENGL 814.

LING 860. Seminar. 3 Credits.

Topics vary to include specialized areas of linguistics study.
Repeat rules: May be repeated for credit.

LING 861. Seminar. 3 Credits.

Seminar in phonological theory.
Repeat rules: May be repeated for credit.

LING 862. Seminar. 3 Credits.

Seminar in grammatical theory.
Repeat rules: May be repeated for credit.

LING 893. Current Problems in Linguistics. 3 Credits.

This course explores relations of linguistics with neighboring fields and theoretical problems of current relevance within linguistics itself; some attention given to pedagogical methodology.

LING 897. Special Readings. 3 Credits.

Readings in linguistic topics that are not covered in the existing courses.

LING 993. Master's Research and Thesis. 3 Credits.

LING 994. Doctoral Research and Dissertation. 3 Credits.

MAYA

Advanced Undergraduate and Graduate-level Courses

MAYA 401. Introduction to Yucatec Maya. 3 Credits.

Introduction to basic grammar and vocabulary, as well as cultural context and literary genres.
Grading status: Letter grade.