LING-UA 1 Language: Spring 2015


Language (CORE exemptor, Societies and the Social Sciences)
Satisfies introductory course requirement for linguistics majors

Syllabus: PDF


LING-UA 1-001
Professor Lucas Champollion (homepage)
Tuesdays and Thursdays, 11:00AM - 12:15PM
Room 411, Silver Center for Arts and Science (find on Foursquare)
Office hours: by appointment, room 412, 10 Washington Pl (Department of Linguistics)


LING-UA 1-002
TA: Linmin Zhang (homepage)
Thursdays, 3:35PM - 4:40PM
Room 124, 7 East 12th St between 5th Ave and University Pl, NYU Fairchild Building, School of Professional Studies (note that the room has changed again as of Feb 2 2015) (find on Foursquare)
Office hours: Mondays 1:30pm-3:30pm or by appointment, room 603, 10 Washington Pl (Department of Linguistics)

LING-UA 1-003
TA: Isaac Bleaman (homepage)
Thursdays, 5PM - 6:05PM
Room 121, 7 East 12th Street between 5th Ave and University Pl, NYU Fairchild Building, School of Professional Studies (find on Foursquare)
Office hours: Tuesdays 9:30-10:45am or by appointment, room 309, 10 Washington Pl (Department of Linguistics)

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 linguistics 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 CORE 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

Back to top