Teaching

Spring 2022

How Language Works

ENGL 3371

Course description

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?

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, how the mind works, or the characteristics that make us uniquely human.

  • Tues/Thurs 12:30pm–1:50pm
  • Section 001: ENGL/PHIL 312C [map]
  • Section D01: online via Zoom
  • More information

Office hours

  • Tues/Thurs 2:00pm–3:00pm
  • Be sure to book an appointment to ensure a slot!
  • F2F in ENGL/PHIL 312C [map] or online via Zoom

Upcoming teaching

Spring 2023

Principles of Language

ENGL 5335

Course description

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.


Past teaching

Texas Tech University

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Texas Tech English Building

Rutgers University

Linguistics courses

Overview of all Rutgers linguistics student evaluation scores: [PDF]

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  • Spring 2011. Instructor. Linguistics of Signed Languages. [Syllabus | Student Evals]
  • Fall 2010. Teaching Assistant (Instructor: Paul de Lacy): Introduction to Linguistic Theory (2 sections). [Student Evals]
  • Summer 2010. Instructor. Linguistics of Signed Languages. [Syllabus | Student Evals]
  • Spring 2010. Instructor. Introduction to Linguistic Theory. [Syllabus | Student Evals]
  • Fall 2009. Teaching Assistant (Instructor: Paul de Lacy).: Introduction to the Study of Language (2 sections). [Student Evals]
  • Summer 2009. Instructor. Linguistics of Signed Languages. [Student Evals]

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Other courses

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  • Fall 2012. Instructor. 01:355:101: Expository Writing (2 sections). [Syllabus]
  • Fall 2011. Instructor. 01:355:101: Expository Writing (2 sections). [Syllabus]

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Rutgers Linguistics Building

Brandeis University

Spring 2007. Peer Assistant to Henrietta Hung. Phonological Theory.

Usen Castle, Brandeis University