Linguistics

Linguistics
https://linguistics.rice.edu/
212 Herring Hall
713-348-6010

Robert Englebretson
Department Chair, Director of Undergraduate Studies
reng@rice.edu

The Rice Linguistics Department is the home of an active community of scholars with a wide range of interests. Broadly defined, the department adopts a functional, usage-based approach to language and linguistic theory. A number of recurrent themes emerge in faculty research and the degree programs offered: in-depth investigation of languages, coupled with the search for cross-linguistic generalization; the effects of semantics, language-in-use, sociocultural factors, and other functional influences that motivate and constrain linguistic form; grounding of theories in solid empirical data of many sorts; an interest in the relation between language and mind; and interest in discourse and social/communicative interaction more generally. These interests lead to intensive research activity in empirically well-supported theoretical and descriptive linguistics: 

  • cognitive/functional linguistics
  • typology and language universals
  • field studies in American Indian, Australian, Austronesian, African, and other languages
  • sociolinguistics
  • discourse studies
  • phonetics and speech processing
  • laboratory phonology
  • language change and grammaticization 

Linguistics does not currently offer an academic program at the graduate level.

Chair

Robert Englebretson

Professor

Michel Achard

Associate Professors

Robert Englebretson
Suzanne E. Kemmer
Nancy A. Niedzielski

Professors Emeriti

James E. Copeland
Philip W. Davis
Sydney M. Lamb
Masayoshi Shibatani

Lecturers

Jonathan Manker
Bryce McCleary
 

For Rice University degree-granting programs:
To view the list of official course offerings, please see Rice’s Course Catalog
To view the most recent semester’s course schedule, please see Rice's Course Schedule

Linguistics (LING)

LING 200 - INTRODUCTION TO THE SCIENTIFIC STUDY OF LANGUAGE

Short Title: INTRO TO STUDY OF LANGUAGE

Department: Linguistics

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Lecture

Distribution Group: Distribution Group II

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Undergraduate, Undergraduate Professional or Visiting Undergraduate level students.

Course Level: Undergraduate Lower-Level

Description: Overview of the scientific study of the structure and function of language. Introduces the main fields of linguistics: phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, discourse, historical linguistics, sociolinguistics, and psycholinguistics. Highlights the interdisciplinary relationship of linguistics with anthropology, sociology, psychology, and cognitive sciences. Section 002 is for new matriculants only (first year students). Cross-list: ANTH 200.

LING 205 - LANGUAGE AND SOCIETY

Short Title: LANGUAGE AND SOCIETY

Department: Linguistics

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Lecture

Distribution Group: Distribution Group II

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Undergraduate, Undergraduate Professional or Visiting Undergraduate level students.

Course Level: Undergraduate Lower-Level

Description: This course treats language as a social phenomenon to show how language, personal identity and institutions of social control inter-relate. The course focuses on linguistic interaction in daily life and how gender, ethnic, class, activity, and geographic variation affect language use. Cross-list: SWGS 205.

LING 216 - WORDS IN ENGLISH

Short Title: WORDS IN ENGLISH

Department: Linguistics

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Lecture

Distribution Group: Distribution Group II

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Undergraduate, Undergraduate Professional or Visiting Undergraduate level students.

Course Level: Undergraduate Lower-Level

Description: Introduction to the systematic study of English words. Topics include word formation, origins and history of English, etymology, new words, slang and jargon. Students will investigate words using online lexical tools and collect and describe neologisms. Understanding of word formation helps increase mastery of English vocabulary for GRE and other tests. No linguistics background required. Mutually Exclusive: Cannot register for LING 216 if student has credit for ENGL 215/LING 215.

LING 238 - SPECIAL TOPICS

Short Title: SPECIAL TOPICS

Department: Linguistics

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Internship/Practicum, Laboratory, Lecture, Seminar, Independent Study

Credit Hours: 1-4

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Undergraduate, Undergraduate Professional or Visiting Undergraduate level students.

Course Level: Undergraduate Lower-Level

Description: Topics and credit hours may vary each semester. Contact department for current semester’s topic(s). Repeatable for Credit.

LING 300 - LINGUISTIC ANALYSIS

Short Title: LINGUISTIC ANALYSIS

Department: Linguistics

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Lecture

Distribution Group: Distribution Group II

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Undergraduate, Undergraduate Professional or Visiting Undergraduate level students.

Course Level: Undergraduate Upper-Level

Prerequisite(s): LING 200 or ANTH 200

Description: A hands-on, data-oriented approach to how different languages construct words and sentences. Students will develop skills in linguistic problem solving and the foundations for pursuing grammatical description. Topics: word classes, morphology, tense-aspect-modality, clause structure, word order, grammatical relations, existentials/possessives/locatives, voice/valence, questions, negation, relative clauses, complements, causatives. Mutually Exclusive: Cannot register for LING 300 if student has credit for LING 500.

LING 301 - PHONETICS

Short Title: PHONETICS

Department: Linguistics

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Lecture

Distribution Group: Distribution Group II

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Undergraduate, Undergraduate Professional or Visiting Undergraduate level students.

Course Level: Undergraduate Upper-Level

Prerequisite(s): LING 200 or ANTH 200

Description: Introductory study of sound as it relates to speech and sound systems in the world's languages. Speech sounds are examined in terms of production mechanisms (articulatory phonetics), propagation mechanisms (acoustic phonetics), and perception mechanisms (auditory phonetics). Includes a basic introduction to Digital Signal Processing. Mutually Exclusive: Cannot register for LING 301 if student has credit for LING 501.

LING 303 - LANGUAGE AND GENDER

Short Title: LANGUAGE AND GENDER

Department: Linguistics

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Lecture

Distribution Group: Distribution Group II

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Undergraduate, Undergraduate Professional or Visiting Undergraduate level students.

Course Level: Undergraduate Upper-Level

Description: This course examines the theoretical, cultural, and social grounding of gender and language use. We use analytical tools from linguistics, cognitive science, cultural anthropology, psychology and biology. Emphasis is placed on the historical role of gender in such research, and the debates that result as perspectives shift.

LING 305 - HISTORICAL LINGUISTICS

Short Title: HISTORICAL LINGUISTICS

Department: Linguistics

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Lecture

Distribution Group: Distribution Group II

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Undergraduate, Undergraduate Professional or Visiting Undergraduate level students.

Course Level: Undergraduate Upper-Level

Prerequisite(s): (LING 200 or ANTH 200) and (ANTH 301 or LING 301)

Description: Exploration of the nature of language change. Topics covered include sound change, syntactic and semantic change, modeling language splits, the sociolinguistics of language change, and the history of European languages. Mutually Exclusive: Cannot register for LING 305 if student has credit for LING 505.

LING 306 - LANGUAGE, THOUGHT, AND MIND

Short Title: LANGUAGE, THOUGHT, AND MIND

Department: Linguistics

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Lecture

Distribution Group: Distribution Group II

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Undergraduate, Undergraduate Professional or Visiting Undergraduate level students.

Course Level: Undergraduate Upper-Level

Prerequisite(s): LING 200 or ANTH 200

Description: Study of language as a cognitive system. Linguistic data as evidence for the cognitive structures and processes that enable people to learn and use language; how linguistic structure influences concept formation and patterns of thinking. Mutually Exclusive: Cannot register for LING 306 if student has credit for LING 506.

LING 309 - PSYCHOLOGY OF LANGUAGE

Short Title: PSYCHOLOGY OF LANGUAGE

Department: Linguistics

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Lecture

Distribution Group: Distribution Group II

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Undergraduate, Undergraduate Professional or Visiting Undergraduate level students.

Course Level: Undergraduate Upper-Level

Prerequisite(s): PSYC 203

Description: Study of human and other animal communication. Includes the structure of human language, word meaning and semantic memory, psychological studies of syntax, bilingualism, language and thought, and language errors and disorders. Cross-list: PSYC 309.

LING 315 - INTRODUCTION TO SEMANTICS

Short Title: INTRODUCTION TO SEMANTICS

Department: Linguistics

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Lecture

Distribution Group: Distribution Group II

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Undergraduate, Undergraduate Professional or Visiting Undergraduate level students.

Course Level: Undergraduate Upper-Level

Description: Introduction to basic approaches to the study of meaning in linguistics and related fields. Includes the cognitive representation of meaning, lexical categorization, conceptual structures, metaphor/metonymy, meaning change, pragmatic inference, and the relation of language and mind. Cross-list: PSYC 315. Recommended Prerequisite(s): LING 200 or ANTH 200. Mutually Exclusive: Cannot register for LING 315 if student has credit for LING 515.

LING 320 - ORIGINS AND EVOLUTION OF HUMAN LANGUAGE

Short Title: ORIGIN&EVOLUTION OF HUMAN LANG

Department: Linguistics

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Lecture

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Undergraduate, Undergraduate Professional or Visiting Undergraduate level students.

Course Level: Undergraduate Upper-Level

Prerequisite(s): LING 200 or ANTH 200

Description: How did Human Language arise, and what role did language play in the evolution of our species? This course introduces the basic sources of evidence (e.g., fossil remains, comparative primatology, neonatal development) for knowledge of human linguistic prehistory, including the spread of modern humans and human language throughout the world.

LING 321 - LANGUAGE AND LAW

Short Title: LANGUAGE AND LAW

Department: Linguistics

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Lecture

Distribution Group: Distribution Group II

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Undergraduate, Undergraduate Professional or Visiting Undergraduate level students.

Course Level: Undergraduate Upper-Level

Prerequisite(s): ANTH 200 or LING 200

Description: This course investigates how language defines, manages, and determines the outcomes of all aspects of the legal arena. Emphasis is placed on forensic linguistics, linguistic variability and its impact on the legal arena, language policy, and legal language.

LING 322 - LANGUAGE AND ETHNICITY

Short Title: LANGUAGE AND ETHNICITY

Department: Linguistics

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Lecture

Distribution Group: Distribution Group II

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Undergraduate, Undergraduate Professional or Visiting Undergraduate level students.

Course Level: Undergraduate Upper-Level

Prerequisite(s): LING 205 or SWGS 205 or ANTH 200 or LING 200

Description: This course explores the role that ethnicity plays in various language varieties used in the U.S., and the role that language varieties play in ethnic identity. We examine this from both speech production and speech perception perspectives.

LING 325 - LANGUAGE ACQUISITION

Short Title: LANGUAGE ACQUISITION

Department: Linguistics

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Lecture

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Undergraduate, Undergraduate Professional or Visiting Undergraduate level students.

Course Level: Undergraduate Upper-Level

Prerequisite(s): PSYC 202 or PSYC 203

Description: The aim of this course is to explore language development closely through a variety of theories and research findings. Students will become familiar with different theories concerning language development, and develop an understanding of relevant issues, theoretical positions and relevant methodologies in language development using critical thinking skills. Cross-list: PSYC 325.

LING 336 - INTRO TO INDO-EUROPEAN

Short Title: INTRO TO INDO-EUROPEAN

Department: Linguistics

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Lecture

Distribution Group: Distribution Group I

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Undergraduate, Undergraduate Professional or Visiting Undergraduate level students.

Course Level: Undergraduate Upper-Level

Description: This course will begin with a brief survey of the Indo-European languages, followed by a detailed reconstruction of Proto-Indo-European phonology, morphology, and syntax. The second half of the course will deal with Indo-European culture, laws, society and poetics, together with a consideration of advanced topics in the individual branches. Cross-list: CLAS 336.

LING 393 - STRUCTURE OF ENGLISH

Short Title: STRUCTURE OF ENGLISH

Department: Linguistics

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Lecture

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Undergraduate, Undergraduate Professional or Visiting Undergraduate level students.

Course Level: Undergraduate Upper-Level

Description: An introduction to the structure of English and its nature as a cognitive and communicative system. Through critical examinations of traditional and modern theories of grammar as well as various methodologies for analyzing English data, students learn to discover and test generalizations underlying linguistic structure and its social function.

LING 397 - SPEECH AND HEARING SCIENCE

Short Title: SPEECH AND HEARING SCIENCE

Department: Linguistics

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Lecture

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Undergraduate, Undergraduate Professional or Visiting Undergraduate level students.

Course Level: Undergraduate Upper-Level

Prerequisite(s): (LING 200 or ANTH 200) and (ANTH 301 or LING 301)

Description: This course will describe the basics of speech and hearing science, including but not limited to: anatomy and physiology of speech and hearing mechanisms, neural pathways involved in speech and hearing, speech pathology and audiology, types of speech and hearing disorders, their causes, and types of therapies available for the remediation of these disorders. Mutually Exclusive: Cannot register for LING 397 if student has credit for LING 212.

LING 400 - LINGUISTIC ANALYSIS II

Short Title: LINGUISTIC ANALYSIS II

Department: Linguistics

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Lecture

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Undergraduate, Undergraduate Professional or Visiting Undergraduate level students.

Course Level: Undergraduate Upper-Level

Prerequisite(s): LING 300 or ANTH 300

Description: Analysis of language beyond the clausal level. Grammatical and semantic analyses using corpora and concordance queries. Recording, transcription, and analysis of natural spoken discourse. The intricate relation between meaning, grammar, and discourse (i.e. the 'usage-based model'). The socially contextualized nature of language. The complex relationship between discourse and ideology.

LING 401 - ANALYSIS OF SOUND PATTERNS

Short Title: ANALYSIS OF SOUND PATTERNS

Department: Linguistics

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Lecture

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Undergraduate, Undergraduate Professional or Visiting Undergraduate level students.

Course Level: Undergraduate Upper-Level

Prerequisite(s): ANTH 301 or LING 301

Description: Introduction to various theories of phonological knowledge. Course involves extensive work in the collection and analysis of empirical data, in both English and other languages, including corpora analysis, and acoustic and experimental analysis. Attention is paid to the way phonetic data informs phonological theory.

LING 409 - SPECIAL TOPICS

Short Title: SPECIAL TOPICS

Department: Linguistics

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Lecture

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Undergraduate, Undergraduate Professional or Visiting Undergraduate level students.

Course Level: Undergraduate Upper-Level

Prerequisite(s): LING 200 or ANTH 200

Description: Special Topics in linguistics. Please contact the department for details on offered topics. SPRING 2020 TOPIC: RESEARCH ON BRAILLE. This semester's Special Topics course introduces students to the linguistic, cognitive, and social aspects of braille. Students will gain a basic understanding and appreciation of braille, its relevance to the reading sciences (and vice versa) and thorough grounding in the research literature. Students will also have a chance to help design experiments and studies for future research. Repeatable for Credit.

LING 411 - NEUROLINGUISTICS

Short Title: NEUROLINGUISTICS

Department: Linguistics

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Lecture

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Undergraduate, Undergraduate Professional or Visiting Undergraduate level students.

Course Level: Undergraduate Upper-Level

Description: Study of language and the brain. Includes localization of speech, language, and memory functions, hemispheric dominance, pathologies of speech and language associated with brain damage, and hypotheses of the representation and operation of linguistic information in the cortex. Cross-list: NEUR 411.

LING 415 - SOCIOLINGUISTICS

Short Title: SOCIOLINGUISTICS

Department: Linguistics

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Lecture

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Undergraduate, Undergraduate Professional or Visiting Undergraduate level students.

Course Level: Undergraduate Upper-Level

Prerequisite(s): LING 301 or ANTH 301 or LING 311 or ANTH 323 or LING 501 or ANTH 501 or LING 511 or ANTH 523

Description: This course covers contemporary sociolinguistic theory and methodologies. We examine the linguistic consequences to speakers of their group memberships such as gender, race, class and sexuality. Cross-list: SWGS 415.

LING 416 - LANGUAGE UNIVERSALS AND TYPOLOGY

Short Title: LANGUAGE UNIVERSALS & TYPOLOGY

Department: Linguistics

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Lecture

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Undergraduate, Undergraduate Professional or Visiting Undergraduate level students.

Course Level: Undergraduate Upper-Level

Prerequisite(s): LING 300 or ANTH 300 or LING 500 or ANTH 500

Description: Investigation of what human languages have in common and a range of ways in which they can differ. Includes marking patterns in particular linguistic domains (e.g., case marking, animacy, and passives) and theoretical and methodological issues.

LING 419 - MULTILINGUALISM

Short Title: MULTILINGUALISM

Department: Linguistics

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Lecture

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Undergraduate, Undergraduate Professional or Visiting Undergraduate level students.

Course Level: Undergraduate Upper-Level

Prerequisite(s): LING 200 or ANTH 200

Description: This course analyzes multilingualism from a variety of perspectives including cognitive linguistic and socio-cultural viewpoints. Topics to be covered include neural activation, conceptual representations of the lexicon, lexical, phonological, syntactic and pragmatic interference, code switching, cultural identity, etc.

LING 477 - SPECIAL TOPICS

Short Title: SPECIAL TOPICS

Department: Linguistics

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Internship/Practicum, Seminar, Lecture, Laboratory

Credit Hours: 1-4

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Undergraduate, Undergraduate Professional or Visiting Undergraduate level students.

Course Level: Undergraduate Upper-Level

Description: Topics and credit hours may vary each semester. Contact department for current semester's topic(s). Repeatable for Credit.

LING 480 - INDEPENDENT STUDY

Short Title: INDEPENDENT STUDY

Department: Linguistics

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Independent Study

Credit Hours: 1-6

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Undergraduate, Undergraduate Professional or Visiting Undergraduate level students.

Course Level: Undergraduate Upper-Level

Description: Repeatable for Credit.

LING 481 - UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH

Short Title: UNDERGRADUATE RESEARCH

Department: Linguistics

Grade Mode: Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory

Course Type: Research

Credit Hours: 1-6

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Undergraduate, Undergraduate Professional or Visiting Undergraduate level students.

Course Level: Undergraduate Upper-Level

Description: Repeatable for Credit.

LING 482 - HONORS PROJECT

Short Title: HONORS PROJECT

Department: Linguistics

Grade Mode: Satisfactory/Unsatisfactory

Course Type: Research

Credit Hours: 1-4

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Undergraduate, Undergraduate Professional or Visiting Undergraduate level students.

Course Level: Undergraduate Upper-Level

Description: Independent directed research toward preparation of an undergraduate honors project or thesis. Instructor Permission Required. Repeatable for Credit.

LING 499 - RESEARCH SEMINAR

Short Title: RESEARCH SEMINAR

Department: Linguistics

Grade Mode: Standard Letter

Course Type: Seminar

Credit Hours: 3

Restrictions: Enrollment is limited to Undergraduate, Undergraduate Professional or Visiting Undergraduate level students.

Course Level: Undergraduate Upper-Level

Prerequisite(s): (LING 300 or ANTH 300) and (LING 301 or ANTH 301) and LING 400 and LING 401

Description: A topics research course with different issues investigated every semester, and it is repeatable for credit. The range of topics explored follows the research interests of the students and faculty. Repeatable for Credit.

Description and Code Legend

Note: Internally, the university uses the following descriptions, codes, and abbreviations for this academic program. The following is a quick reference: 

Course Catalog/Schedule 

  • Course offerings/subject code: LING 

Department Description and Code

  • Linguistics: LING 

Undergraduate Degree Description and Code

  • Bachelor of Arts degree: BA 

Undergraduate Major Description and Code

  • Major in Linguistics: LING 

CIP Code and Description1

  • LING Major/Program: CIP Code/Title: 16.0102 - Linguistics