2010-11 Catalog

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Offering Description

Language and Species

Winter quarter

Faculty: Richard McKinnon

Fields of Study: linguistics

Winter: CRN (Credit) Level 20316 (4)  

Credits: 4(W)

Class Standing: Freshmen - Senior

Offered During: Evening


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.

Maximum Enrollment: 24

Advertised Schedule: 5:30-9:30p Wed

Campus Location: Olympia

Online Learning: Enhanced Online Learning

Books: www.tescbookstore.com