Principles of Language

ENGL 5335, Spring 2024

Tues/Thurs 12:30–1:50pm
				Onsite CRN: 66351
				Online CRN: 66352

Language touches every aspect of our lives. From reading the morning paper to decrypting secret codes, the subconscious knowledge of language is uniquely human. In this course we'll ask what it means to have a command of language—do animals have it? Infants? How can analysis of its structure help us understand literary or poetic works?

By examining the structures of the world's languages, we will discover why linguists believe in a “universal grammar” in spite of the world's rich linguistic diversity. We'll also learn how to make the sounds of the world's languages—from French nasal vowels to the clicks of Africa's Bantu languages.

This course is suited to anyone interested in language, literature, how the mind works, or the characteristics that make us uniquely human.

No prior linguistics knowledge is assumed or required.

Requirements Fulfilled: Philology/Methods Sequence; Linguistics Graduate Certificate

What have previous students said about the course?

  • "Dr. Braver is a fantastic professor because he uses multiple points of access for the content. Linguistics is a difficult subject, and our class has many diverse learners, yet Dr. Braver’s pedagogy was so good that everyone had what they needed to engage with the material."
  • “The workload was perfect. I was able to devote my time to learning the material instead of to completing excessive assessments. I will definitely take Dr. Braver again.”
  • “Dr. Braver is a wonderful teacher. The course was quite tough but he was patient and very supportive. I enjoyed the class."
  • “This was a great class. I feel like I learned quite a bit of material! Thank you, Dr. Braver!”
  • “The best teacher/professor I have ever worked with.”

Want to know more?

Want to register?

Contact the English Director of Graduate Studies, Dr. Wyatt Phillips, at