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  • A Linguistic History of the Western Steppe: Indo-European, its sisters, and its neighbors

    Johanna Nichols

    The era of Big Data offers historical linguistics new roles, new possibilities, and urgent priorities. This course uses these new developments to draw up a linguistic prehistory and early history of the western Eurasian steppe and its periphery, in particular situating Proto-Indo-European, Proto-Uralic, indigenous Caucasian languages, and their ancestor(s) in space, time, and areal-typological context.

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  • Amazonian languages: Major families, linguistic areas, and grammatical topics

    Lev Michael

    This course will introduce participants to the linguistic diversity of Amazonia, the major genealogical and areal groupings of the region, and linguistic phenomena of broader theoretical interest found in Amazonian languages. We will begin with an overview of the geographical distribution, classification, and grammatical characteristics of the major Amazonian language families, followed by a more detailed examination of the most geographically-dispered South American language family: Arawak.

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  • Intonational Phonology and Prosodic Typology

    Sun-Ah Jun

    The course has two goals. First, students will learn the Autosegmental-Metrical (AM) model of intonational phonology and how to transcribe intonational tones and prosodic structure using the English ToBI transcription system, and second, students will be introduced to a model of prosodic typology which is based on intonational phonology of various languages described in the same AM framework.

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  • Introduction to Language Typology

    Martin Haspelmath, Holger Diessel

    The course is concerned with some of the classical results in linguistic typology as well as a number of central topics of current research. The focus is on aspects of syntax and morphology, e.g. word order, syntactic functions, grammatical polysemy, and relative clauses. We will examine correlations between structural parameters and genealogical groups as well as geographical areas and will consider the crosslinguistic distribution of linguistic features in light of current usage-based theories of information processing, analogy, and social interaction.

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  • Metrics

    Lev Blumenfeld

    The course will cover theoretical approaches to rule-governed prosodic patterning in verse in the generative tradition. We will engage two groups of theoretical questions. (1) Metrical knowledge: how do metrical texts get their structure, and what is the nature of metrical representations and rules/constraints that govern them? (2) Variation: what is the nature of gradient metricality, how can it be discovered in a corpus, and how is it represented in grammar?

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  • The Structure of Cantonese

    Stephen Matthews

    This course focuses on distinctive aspects of Cantonese as spoken in Hong Kong, chosen for their typological and theoretical interest. Topics will include tone, parts of speech, verbal aspect, noun classifiers, relative clauses and sentence-final particles, with a particular focus on properties which diverge from written Chinese and Putonghua. Examples will be given in the Jyutping romanization as well as in Chinese characters, so that prior knowledge of Chinese is not required.

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  • The Structure of Karuk

    Andrew Garrett, Line Mikkelsen

    Karuk, a language isolate spoken in northern California, has a highly agglutinating morphology (and intricate morphophonological patterns) paired with free word order. This course will focus on topics in Karuk morphology, morphosyntax, and syntax that are especially interesting from the point of view of linguistic theory and typology. We will emphasize the use of a large corpus of morphologically tagged texts, from a variety of genres over a century of documentation, in doing primary analytic research on an endangered language with few remaining fluent speakers.

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