This course offers an overview of linguistic study, introducing students to linguistic principles and terminology applicable to all languages. In exploring the nature and function of human languages, the course examines how language is used, how it is acquired, how it changes over time, how it is patterned, how it is represented and processed in the brain, and how it affects culture and history. Major concerns, discoveries, methods, and controversies in this exciting field are discussed.
Qualified for ENG 100.
- Describe the role of language in human evolution and cultural development.
- Explain the physiological processes by which human language is stored and processed by the brain and produced by the speech apparatus.
- Explain similarities and differences amongst the structures and uses of spoken, written, non-verbal, and signed forms of language.
- Differentiate between language and communication, especially human language and animal communication.
- Identify geographic, historical, and social factors that cause language change, variation, endangerment, and extinction.
- Describe how the variety, complexity, and richness of human language reflects and affects cultural and personal identities and biases.
- Evaluate established theories of language acquisition, including the interaction of biological and social factors in the stages of first and second language acquisition for children and adults.
- Assess gender-based differences in language use, considering the inherent socio-cultural implications and possible causes of these differences.