Academic Catalog


Office: Room 10303, 5057 Woodward; 313-577-8642
Director: Haiyong Liu

Linguistics is devoted to the scientific study of language structure and use. The Linguistics Program at Wayne State offers an interdisciplinary approach to this field, permitting students to explore a wide range of topics and issues in language research. The core courses are offered on a regular basis. The program offers electives in the following areas:

  1. linguistics and a language,
  2. language structure,
  3. language variation and change,
  4. language acquisition and processing, and
  5. sociolinguistics and discourse/pragmatics.

Training in linguistics prepares students for advanced work in linguistic research, as well as for employment in teaching English and foreign languages; computer systems (especially natural language processing); broadcasting, mass media and journalism; publishing and editing; translation; international business; intercultural communication and negotiation; law; and generally any profession requiring the precise use or analysis of speech or writing.

The Linguistics Program is administered by a director and an advisory committee of participating faculty who regularly teach courses for the program.

LIN 1850 Introductory Symbolic Logic Cr. 3

The logic of propositions; the general logic of predicates and relations. Offered Yearly.

Equivalent: PHI 2850

LIN 1860 Honors Introductory Symbolic Logic Cr. 3

See LIN 1850 / PHI 2850. Offered Yearly.

Equivalent: PHI 2860

LIN 2000 Chinese Phonetics Cr. 1

Students will have the hands-on experience of learning Chinese sounds and tones with the intensive instruction and correction of the instructor. After studying the articulatory mechanisms for the Chinese phonetic inventory and system in theory, students will practice them in different combinations and contexts with that native accuracy as the target. Offered Winter.

Equivalent: CHI 2000

Repeatable for 2 Credits

LIN 2720 Basic Concepts in Linguistics Cr. 3

Satisfies General Education Requirement: Cultural Inquiry, Philosophy Letters

Analysis of the structure and use of language, focusing on English, from the standpoint of current linguistic practice. Topics include: phonetics and sound structure, word structure, syntax, semantics, language origin and history, dialects, language learning, animal communication, and language in social interaction. Offered Yearly.

Equivalent: ENG 2720

LIN 2730 Languages of the World Cr. 3

Satisfies General Education Requirement: Foreign Culture, Global Learning Inquiry

Survey of structure of major language families of the world, western and non-western; interrelationships of language and culture; universals and variations of universals in language and culture. Offered Yearly.

Equivalent: ENG 2730

LIN 3080 Cognitive Psychology: Fundamental Processes Cr. 3

Fundamental theories, concepts, and empirical findings in study of human cognition. Topics include: thinking, problem solving, language comprehension and production, memory and attention. Offered Yearly.

Prerequisites: PSY 1010 with a minimum grade of D- or PSY 1020 with a minimum grade of D-

Equivalent: PSY 3080

LIN 3310 Language and Culture Cr. 3

An introduction to linguistic anthropology. Using comparative approaches to language and culture across time and space, explore variation and change, cognitive dimensions of language, language evolution, linguistic myths, and the use of language in social practice. Offered Fall.

Prerequisites: ANT 2100 with a minimum grade of D-, LIN 2720 with a minimum grade of D-, or ANT 1100 with a minimum grade of D-

Restriction(s): Enrollment is limited to Undergraduate level students.

Equivalent: ANT 3310

LIN 5050 Advanced Symbolic Logic Cr. 4

Formal, extensive treatment of first-order predicate logic with emphasis on the notions of a formal logical language and truth in a model; the logic of identity; definite descriptions; brief introductions to set theory and the metatheory of propositional and first-order logic; some additional advanced topics to be selected by the instructor. Offered Yearly.

Equivalent: PHI 5050

LIN 5080 Phonetics Cr. 3

Multisensory study of sounds in the English language, emphasizing acoustic, physiologic, kinesiologic approaches. Offered Fall, Winter.

Equivalent: SLP 5080

LIN 5100 Languages of Asia Cr. 3

Introduction to major language families in Asia; grammar, sounds, language contacts. Offered Winter.

Equivalent: CHI 5220, JPN 5220

LIN 5200 Modal Logic Cr. 4

The logic of necessity, possibility, and other modal notions as they occur in epistemic and deontic contexts. Propositional and quantified modal logic. Offered Every Other Year.

LIN 5210 Arabic Sociolinguistics Cr. 3

Arabic dialectology; Arabic as a minority language in contact. Theories and techniques developed outside Arabic, and their applicability to Arabic situations. Offered Fall.

Equivalent: ARB 5210, NE 5210

LIN 5220 Introduction to Chinese Linguistics Cr. 3

Writing, sound and grammar systems of Chinese; interaction between Chinese language and Chinese society. Offered Fall.

Equivalent: CHI 5210

LIN 5230 Structure of Arabic Cr. 3

Survey of historical constitution and theoretical structure of Arabic. Offered Yearly.

Equivalent: ARB 5230, NE 5230

LIN 5240 Grammar of Chinese Cr. 3

Chinese grammar from perspectives of negation, question formation, aspects and different parts of speech, and the like. Offered Fall.

Equivalent: CHI 5230

LIN 5290 Phonology Cr. 3

The sound systems of a variety of human languages compared and contrasted in an introduction to the diversity and similarities in human sound systems. Theories of the nature of sound systems and methods of analysis in phonology and morphophonology will be presented. Offered Yearly.

Prerequisites: LIN 5700 with a minimum grade of D-, ENG 5700 with a minimum grade of D-, LIN 2720 with a minimum grade of D-, or ENG 2720 with a minimum grade of D-

Equivalent: ENG 5710

LIN 5300 Syntax Cr. 3

The theory of grammatical systems examined through analysis of sentence formation in a variety of human languages, diversity and universals in grammar, and theories of syntax. Offered Yearly.

Prerequisites: LIN 5700 with a minimum grade of D-, ENG 5700 with a minimum grade of D-, LIN 2720 with a minimum grade of D-, or ENG 2720 with a minimum grade of D-

Equivalent: ENG 5740

LIN 5320 Language and Societies Cr. 3

For graduate students and advanced undergraduates with a background in linguistic anthropology. Students read classic and contemporary works of linguistic anthropology to expand knowledge of human language and sociality; conduct a major original research project. Offered Winter.

Prerequisites: ANT 3310 with a minimum grade of D- or LIN 3310 with a minimum grade of D-

Equivalent: ANT 5320

LIN 5360 Child Language Acquisition Cr. 3

Despite its complexity and abstractness, young children acquire language without conscious effort or explicit instruction in a span of just a few years. This feat is unique to humans and is unmatched by any other species or even the most sophisticated computers. The course will present a comprehensive introduction to the study of child language acquisition. We will use a cross-linguistic approach to discuss some of the most important issues in language acquisition. We will not only talk about what children accomplish linguistically at various ages, but also discuss various theoretical approaches to explaining how children acquire linguistic knowledge in different domains, focusing on acquiring the sound inventory, words and sentence structure. We will look at some of the methods that have been employed to collect and analyze child language data. Offered Fall.

Course Material Fees: $10

Equivalent: ENG 5360, PSY 5360

LIN 5570 Philosophy of Language Cr. 4

Intensive investigation and discussion of philosophical problems concerning meaning, truth, and the nature of language. Offered Every Other Year.

Prerequisites: 1 of (PHI 2400, PHI 5570, PHI 5630, PHI 5640, PHI 2550, PHI 3500, PHI 3550, PHI 3600, PHI 5230, PHI 5500, PHI 5530, or PHI 5550), PHI 1850 with a minimum grade of D-, or PHI 1860 with a minimum grade of D-

Equivalent: PHI 5570

LIN 5700 Introduction to Linguistic Theory Cr. 3

Introduction to the scientific study of language and methodologies of linguistic analysis: phonetics and phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics. Offered Yearly.

Equivalent: ENG 5700

LIN 5715 Morphology Cr. 3

Morphology is a core area of Linguistics. The course will introduce the basic issues in the study of the internal structure of words, as well as the analytical techniques applied to morphological analysis. Students will learn how to analyze words of various (Indo-European and non-Indo-European) languages into morphemes, as well as to recognize morphological patterns and to utilize theoretical concepts in order to describe and analyze such patterns. In particular, the course will develop a theory of morphology in generative grammar, paying special attention to the question of whether particular morphological phenomena are primarily syntactic or primarily phonological in nature. Offered Fall.

Prerequisites: ENG 5700 with a minimum grade of D-, ENG 2720 with a minimum grade of D-, LIN 2720 with a minimum grade of D-, or LIN 5700 with a minimum grade of D-

Equivalent: ENG 5715

LIN 5720 Linguistics and Education Cr. 3

Introduction to linguistics with emphasis on applications to education. Offered Yearly.

Equivalent: ENG 5720

LIN 5730 English Grammar Cr. 3

Comprehensive analysis of English sentence structure and parts of speech using the terminology and descriptive approach of traditional grammar. Offered Yearly.

Equivalent: ENG 5730

LIN 5745 Semantics Cr. 3

Semantics is a core area of Linguistics. This course investigates meaning in natural language. It examines two foundational assumptions of natural language semantics: (i) that the meaning of a declarative sentence is its truth conditions and (ii) that the truth conditions of an expression are determined compositionally (that is, they are determined as a function of its parts and how they are put together). Students will then learn to distinguish between the entailments, implicatures, and presuppositions of an expression, where only the first are part of the expression's truth conditions. Offered Winter.

Prerequisites: ENG 5700 with a minimum grade of D-, ENG 2720 with a minimum grade of D-, LIN 2720 with a minimum grade of D-, or LIN 5700 with a minimum grade of D-

Equivalent: ENG 5745

LIN 5750 Theories of Second Language Acquisition Cr. 3

The complex processes involved in learning a foreign/second language, including the nature of inter language and the individual and collective factors influencing learner success and the effectiveness of instruction. Offered Yearly.

Equivalent: ENG 5750, LGL 5750

LIN 5770 Sociolinguistics Cr. 3

Identification of sociolinguistic principles used by English speakers and writers in choosing among the different English codes, styles, registers and social dialects in American and other communities. Offered Every Other Year.

Equivalent: ENG 5770

LIN 5900 Culture, Language and Cognition Cr. 3

Systematic investigation of the relationships among, language, cognition and culture, including issues relating to human universals, cross-cultural concept formation, metaphor, classification and the evolution of cognition and language. Offered Every Other Winter.

Prerequisites: ANT 3310 with a minimum grade of D-, ANT 5320 with a minimum grade of D-, LIN 3310 with a minimum grade of D-, LIN 5320 with a minimum grade of D-, LIN 3080 with a minimum grade of D-, or PSY 3080 with a minimum grade of D-

Restriction(s): Enrollment is limited to Graduate or Undergraduate level students.

Equivalent: ANT 5900, PSY 5900

LIN 5993 Writing Intensive Course in Linguistics Cr. 0

Satisfies General Education Requirement: Writing Intensive Competency

Disciplinary writing assignments under the direction of a faculty member. Must be selected in conjunction with a corequisite course; see section listing in Schedule of Classes for corequisites available each term. Satisfies the University General Education Writing Intensive Course in the Major requirement. Intensive training in literature search, linguistic analysis, and the preparation of scholarly written work. Required for all majors. Offered Every Term.

Prerequisites: (AFS 2390 with a minimum grade of C, ENG 2390 with a minimum grade of C, ENG 3010 with a minimum grade of C, ENG 3020 with a minimum grade of C, or ENG 3050 with a minimum grade of C) and (LIN 5210 (may be taken concurrently), LIN 5320 (may be taken concurrently), LIN 5750 (may be taken concurrently), LIN 5760 (may be taken concurrently), LIN 5770 (may be taken concurrently), or LIN 6720 (may be taken concurrently))

Restriction(s): Enrollment is limited to Undergraduate level students.

LIN 6700 History of Arabic Cr. 3

History of the evolution of Arabic. Data from phonetics/phonology and morpho-syntax will form the basis of study. Offered Fall.

Equivalent: ARB 6700

LIN 6720 Topics in Language Cr. 3

Topics such as: pragmatics, historical linguistics, history of English, language and gender, language and variation, language and evolution. Topics to be announced in the Schedule of Classes. Offered Yearly.

Equivalent: ENG 6720

Repeatable for 12 Credits

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