2010-11 Catalog

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2010-11 Undergraduate Index A-Z

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Linguistics [clear]

Title   Offering Standing Credits Credits When F W S Su Description Preparatory Faculty Days of Week Multiple Standings Start Quarters
Designing Languages cancelled

Susan Fiksdal and Brian Walter

communications computer science cultural studies international studies language studies linguistics writing 

Signature Required: Winter 

  Program FR - SRFreshmen - Senior 16 16 Day FFall WWinter Have you wondered about the ways languages work? How do our thoughts get translated into language? Have you explored differences between natural languages (such as English, Spanish, or French) and artificial languages (such as computer programming languages or Esperanto)? Do you know in what ways computer languages are similar to natural languages and the ways in which they differ? Are there differences between languages that have written records and those that do not? Have you ever invented your own language? In this two-quarter program, we will explore these questions by learning one natural language and one programming language, studying language evolution, artificial languages, language and culture, and designing a language. Specifically, you will study the structure and function of human language through an introduction to the field of linguistics. This will involve a study of phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, discourse, metaphor, and pragmatics. This work on language structure will inform your study of either French or Spanish, both of which will be taught within the program. Besides these natural languages, you will learn a programming language. We will work on the connections between natural and artificial languages, and consider the implications of language design. In our seminars we will discuss theories of language evolution and the interrelationship of culture and language. Finally, you will work collaboratively on a language design project over the two quarters, culminating in a final symposium on language design. Some students already at an intermediate level in French or Spanish should take the Evening/Weekend course fall and winter quarters. computer science, education, French, language and culture, law, linguistics, programming languages, Spanish, and writing. Susan Fiksdal Brian Walter Freshmen FR Sophomore SO Junior JR Senior SR Fall
Experiments in Theatre and Dance

Walter Grodzik and Robert Esposito

aesthetics art history consciousness studies cultural studies dance linguistics literature somatic studies theater 

Signature Required: Spring 

  Program FR - SRFreshmen - Senior 16 16 Day WWinter SSpring How do literal and non-representational gestures combine to create a unique poetics of action? How are emotions and ideas rendered in movement? How does the abstract design of space, time and motion support or subvert the spoken word? This two-quarter program will engage students in an active exploration of theater, movement and modern dance. Winter quarter will be devoted to building competency in separate modern dance and theater workshops, with two collaborative performance projects aimed at developing a final concert project in spring quarter. Students will continue building performance and collaborative skills through theater, movement and dance workshops, improvisation and composition in spring quarter. We will explore how verbal and non-verbal performance works contextualize and enhance each other by reading and analyzing various texts on theatre and dance. We will explore theories of dance theatre through structured solo and group improvisation, by creating original compositions, and in seminar discussions. Spring quarter will culminate in a public, collaborative concert. : Theater emphasis-20083 (Freshmen), 20084 (Sophomores-Seniors) Dance emphasis-20366 (Freshmen), 20367 (Sophomores-Seniors) theatre, dance, and the performing arts. Walter Grodzik Robert Esposito Freshmen FR Sophomore SO Junior JR Senior SR Winter
Language and Power

Susan Fiksdal

education gender and women's studies international studies language studies law and public policy linguistics writing 

Signature Required: Winter 

  Program FR - SRFreshmen - Senior 12 12 Day FFall WWinter What are the connections between language and power?  To what extent does language have the power to shape the way we think?  How do our attitudes about language affect us and those around us? Should the US have a national law declaring English an official language?  Does it matter if languages die? This program will explore these questions and others from the perspective of sociolinguistics.  Fall quarter we will focus on major concepts in sociolinguistics and the structure of language to provide context for a study of creoles, gender, dialects, and disappearing languages.  Winter quarter we will continue our study of sociolinguistic principles, focusing on metaphor and language choice in the courts and in the classroom and the question of bilingualism in both institutional contexts.  You can expect to learn sociolinguistic principles through texts, workshops, and seminars, and you will learn qualitative research approaches of discourse analysis and ethnography. There will be weekly writing as well as short research projects and an exam each quarter.  This program is designed primarily for students taking a language in addition to the program, and it is excellent preparation for Language Matters, a spring quarter program. communications, education, gender studies, law, and linguistics. Susan Fiksdal Freshmen FR Sophomore SO Junior JR Senior SR Fall
Language and Species

Richard McKinnon


  Course FR - SRFreshmen - Senior 4 04 Evening WWinter Humans often claim distinction as unique among the animals of the world. This course examines this hypothesis from the perspective of communication. What are the parameters that describe communication systems of all species? What does it mean when bees dance, frogs croak, and humans speak? What kinds of messages do members of various species communicate to each other? Is human language qualitatively different from other forms of animal communication? If so, how did it evolve to be so different and what does that mean about humans as a species? Is the function of human language to communicate information, or are there perhaps other functions? We will employ the tools of linguistics, psychology, ethology and anthropology to find answers to these questions. Richard McKinnon Wed Freshmen FR Sophomore SO Junior JR Senior SR Winter
Language Lifecycle: Genesis, Expansion, and Loss

Richard McKinnon


  Course FR - SRFreshmen - Senior 4 04 Evening SSpring Languages are not static systems, but exhibit a lifecycle just as living organisms do. They are brought into being through pidginization and creolization, grow and change as their function changes and they attain status, and they disappear (presently at an alarming rate). In this course, we'll examine these stages in some detail, acquiring a toolset along the way that will allow participants to understand the linguistic factors involved, and to appreciate the policy issues in play. Richard McKinnon Wed Freshmen FR Sophomore SO Junior JR Senior SR Spring
Language Matters: Persuasive Language in Popular Culture

Susan Fiksdal and Rachel Hastings

communications language studies linguistics media studies writing 

  Program FR - SRFreshmen - Senior 12 12 Day SSpring This program will focus on the linguistic resources we all use to persuade others of a particular point of view. We will study the art of persuasion in a wide range of settings within popular culture, ranging from comedy to politics, from news journalism to blogs. Our work will engage us in several areas of linguistic theory, including discourse analysis, semantics, pragmatics, metaphor, morphology and syntax. As we develop these theoretical tools, we will concurrently be using them to analyze discourse from the media, the internet, conversations and speeches in order to uncover ways in which speakers use their linguistic knowledge to persuade. We will study how different individuals and different categories of communication vary with respect to the structure and content of their persuasive language.  For a broader view of linguistic resources, we will sometimes examine cross-linguistic variation in persuasion in languages other than English, including Quechua and French. Students will apply their understanding of concepts by writing papers using three formats—persuasive essays, short summary essays and linguistic analyses. To demonstrate their understanding of persuasion in a particular setting, they will create final oral presentations. communications, education, languages, law, linguistics, media studies, and writing. Susan Fiksdal Rachel Hastings Freshmen FR Sophomore SO Junior JR Senior SR Spring
Making Dances: Creative Process in Motion

Robert Esposito

aesthetics art history consciousness studies dance linguistics physiology somatic studies theater 

  Program FR - SRFreshmen - Senior 16 16 Day FFall This focused one-quarter program centers on progressive study in Laban-based modern dance composition/choreography. Activities include technique, theory/improvisation/seminar, and composition classes. Technique is based in basic anatomy and principles of dance kinesiology, not style, period or ethnicity. Students learn how to make dances from their own sensory, emotional, cognitive, and behavioral experience by developing skills in modern dance technique, theory/improvisation, composition, performance, and critical analysis. This multidimensional approach to creative dance develops a kinesthetic vocabulary drawing on linguistics, poetics, architecture, visual arts, art history, anatomy, and choreography. The course includes units on diet, injury prevention, and somatic therapy. Strength, range, poise, and depth are developed though Pilates-based floor barre and Hanna/Feldenkrais-based Somatics. Seminar will focus on building verbal and non-verbal skills aimed at critical analysis of the history of art, choreography, and their socio-cultural contexts. Writing will focus on the development of a journal using action language, visual art, and poetics. The program culminates with a Week Ten concert of student and faculty and/or guest choreography. criticism, dance, expressive arts, movement therapy, and somatic studies. Robert Esposito Freshmen FR Sophomore SO Junior JR Senior SR Fall
Meaning, Math and Motion

Krishna Chowdary and Rachel Hastings

linguistics mathematics physics 

Signature Required: Winter 

  Program FR - SRFreshmen - Senior 16 16 Day FFall WWinter This challenging program is an integrated introduction to linguistics, mathematics and physics. We invite serious students of various backgrounds who are interested in reading, writing, communicating and calculating in order to become quantitatively literate citizens. Students will be supported in developing a firm background in physics, mathematics and linguistics at the college level, and becoming prepared for further work in these areas. We believe any area of inquiry involves entering into a previously ongoing conversation. Quoting a charming articulation by Kinsman (a mathematician-turned-oceanographer, in the preface to ): "To the beginner, science is a conversation that has been in progress for a very long time. Science resembles the babble at a party; some of the participants are euphoric, some saturnine, some quarrelsome, and some inspired beyond their usual capacity. Whatever else happens, the conversation cannot proceed systematically or at the level of humdrum sobriety. Some scientists wander from group to group, while others remain fixed. Some groups talk about similar things, and occasionally conversations pass from one group to another. You have arrived in the middle of the party." Our collective work is to catch up on the conversation, which means being deliberate about how we calculate and convince, speak and write, listen and read, and also means acquiring the science content and process skills required to judge what is being argued. In addition to learning science content and process skills, mathematics and physics studies will be supported by applying techniques of linguistic analysis which help to illuminate the conventions and assumptions upon which the conversation relies. The study of linguistics will be deepened by using scientific texts as case studies for identifying and analyzing linguistic conventions. For example, we may study the source and nature of unstated assumptions, conventions of scientific logic, the nature and role of definitions in scientific inquiry, and the linguistic conventions found in different kinds of scientific texts. This program is designed for students with high school math who are ready for pre-calculus, but requires no prior preparation in linguistics or physics. It is intended for students serious about understanding language, improving their writing, and learning physics and mathematics, including calculus. The work will be intensive in both science and language, and students should expect to spend over 50 hours per week engaged with material. Students will participate in seminar, labs, workshops and lectures. Students will perform linguistic analyses of texts, do weekly problem sets in all areas that combine concepts, calculations and communication, and write about linguistics, math and physics. Quizzes and exams will be among the methods used to assess student learning. In fall quarter, we will study pre-calculus and begin calculus. In winter, we will continue the study of differential calculus and move on to integral calculus. In physics, topics will include mechanics and electromagnetism (algebra- and then calculus-based) over the two quarters. In linguistics, we will study principles of pragmatics, semantics and discourse analysis in both quarters. education, linguistics, mathematics, physics, quantitative literacy, and writing. Krishna Chowdary Rachel Hastings Freshmen FR Sophomore SO Junior JR Senior SR Fall
Science of Language

Richard McKinnon


  Course FR - SRFreshmen - Senior 4 04 Evening FFall In this course, we will undertake an exploration of human language as it is described and theorized about by linguists, psychologists, sociologists, anthropologists and educators. We will approach language in a rigorous manner, equipping students with the tools to evaluate and perform research in this exciting field. The initial focus will be on the various levels of linguistic description (sound, word, sentence, meaning, use). We will focus on such topics as the contribution of innateness to our knowledge of language, the status of human language among communication systems of the animal world, and the implications of linguistic research for theories of education. Richard McKinnon Wed Freshmen FR Sophomore SO Junior JR Senior SR Fall