LING-UA 1 Language: Spring 2014


Language (MAP exemptor)
Satisfies introductory course requirement


LING-UA 1-005
Professor Lucas Champollion (homepage)
Mondays and Wednesdays, 3:30PM - 4:45PM
Room 208, Silver Center for Arts and Science (find on Foursquare)


LING-UA 1-006
Salvador Mascarenhas (homepage)
Thursdays, 3:30PM - 4:45PM
Room 103, 10 Washington Place (Dept. of Linguistics) (find on Foursquare)

LING-UA 1-007
Sofya Kasyanenko (homepage)
Thursdays, 4:55PM - 6:10PM
Room 104, 10 Washington Place (Dept. of Linguistics) (find on Foursquare)

Required textbook:

An Introduction to Language, 10th Edition
Victoria Fromkin, Robert Rodman, Nina Hyams
ISBN: 1-133-31068-0
Available used (possibly) and new at the NYU Bookstore, to buy or rent
Also available as an ebook, to buy or rent
Note: you can probably get by with the 9th instead of the 10th edition, but use at your own risk.

Course description:

This course is an introductory survey of the field of linguistics—the scientific study of language. During the semester, we will look at questions like the following: Is speaking an instinctual or a learned behavior? Why do children acquire language so much faster and easier than adults, and what are the stages of acquisition? What do the native speakers of a language know about the language’s word structure, sentence structure, sentence meaning, and pronunciation? How is language processed in the brain? How and why did language evolve into such a complex system? How is language affected by social class and race?

The course will approach these questions from a scientific perspective, incorporating methodologies from mathematics and logic, as well as the social sciences (such as psychology and sociology). The course will not offer a humanities perspective on these questions, such as studied in the domains of critical theory, comparative literature, or rhetoric.

This course will provide you with the necessary background to continue your studies in lin- guistics at a more advanced level if you choose to. It satisfies the Introductory Course requirement for Linguistics majors and is a prerequisite for some of the other courses. Language is a MAP exemptor for CAS students; it satisfies the Societies and Social Sciences course requirement.

You can have a look at the websites of past installments of this course at

Syllabus (as of May 5, 2014):


Updated on 05/05/2014
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