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  Aug 24, 2017
 
 
    
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Course Catalog 2017-2018

Linguistics Concentration


Return to: College of Arts and Sciences, Degree Programs and Requirements

Linguistics is the discipline concerned with the study of human language. Courses in linguistics include training in the deductive techniques that linguists use to figure out the structures underlying natural language systems. These principles may be applied to learning or analyzing any human language and so courses in linguistics are broadly relevant to all students engaging in the study of any modern or classical language(s). Moreover, as the capacity for language is often taken to be one of the defining characteristics of the human species, an understanding of how language works is a key to understanding what it means to be human.

Language is vital to many disciplines across the liberal arts curriculum, so courses in linguistics often appeal to and are relevant for a wide variety of Oberlin students, including those majoring in Anthropology, Psychology, Neuroscience, Philosophy, Computer Science, any of the classical or modern world languages including English, Comparative Literature, and still others.

The Linguistics Concentration is open to any student, irrespective of major. However, the concentration may not substitute for a major or minor. Its completion will be noted on the student’s final transcript along with majors, minors, and Honors. Courses in which a student earned a letter grade below a C- or P cannot be used to fulfill the Linguistics Concentration.

Consult with your advisor or a member of the concentration committee and complete the Declaration of Linguistics Concentration form if you wish to pursue this course of study.

 

Curriculum Overview


The concentration in Linguistics is interdisciplinary, taking advantage of Oberlin’s strengths in many academic areas as befits our liberal arts philosophy and goal of ensuring that all of our students receive a well-rounded education. Students pursuing this course of study will gain multiple disciplinary perspectives on human language, in addition to a foundation in descriptive and theoretical linguistics. Such additional areas of study may include the history, development, acquisition, processing, and philosophy of language.

Concentration Requirements


The Concentration in Linguistics consists of three components:

1. The Introductory Core Course

The core course for the Linguistics concentration is ANTH 202 - Fundamentals of Linguistics, which will provide the student with an overview of the field of Linguistics and serve as a foundation for the concentration to which to connect to other courses.

2. Four Elective Courses

In addition to the core course requirement, concentrators must take four electives. To ensure breadth, these electives must be spread out among three different departments or programs (as determined by four-letter course prefixes). To ensure depth, two of these courses must be at the advanced level (as designated by 300- or 400-level course numbers).

3. Portfolio and Portfolio Review

In addition to the required five courses, concentrators will also develop a portfolio consisting of at least three substantive pieces of work from multiple courses. Each concentrator will also have a portfolio review, typically with at least two members of the Linguistics curricular committee, which will help them to reflect upon their learning and explicitly connect the different courses being applied to their Linguistics concentration.

Core Course for Linguistics


The core course for the Linguistics concentration will provide you with an overview of the field of Linguistics and serve as a foundation for the concentration to which you will be asked to connect your other courses.

Elective Courses Approved for the Concentration


In addition to the core course requirement, concentrators must take four electives. To ensure breadth, these electives must be spread out among three different departments or programs (as determined by four-letter course prefixes). To ensure depth, two of these courses must be at the advanced level (as designated by 300- or 400-level course numbers).

The following courses are approved to count toward the Linguistics Concentration but are not offered in 2016-2017:

  • CRWR 351, Advanced Translation Workshop
  • ENGL 253, History and Structure of the English Language
  • PHIL 220, Philosophy of Language

Courses listed below are offered in 2016-2017:

Portfolio Review


In addition to the required five courses, concentrators will also develop a portfolio consisting of at least three substantive pieces of work from multiple courses reflecting distinct subfields of linguistics or different disciplinary approaches to the study of human language; “substantive” is interpreted broadly to include research papers but also lab reports, computer code, translations, etc., depending on which courses a given student is pursuing for the concentration in their own program of study. Each concentrator will also have a portfolio review, typically with at least two members of the Linguistics curricular committee, which will help them to reflect upon their learning and explicitly connect the different courses being applied to their Linguistics concentration.

Linguistics Concentration Committee Members


Jason Haugen, chair; Anthropology
Steve Huff; German
Gillian Johns; English
Patrick O’Connor; Hispanic Studies
Martin Thomson-Jones; Philosophy
Pat Simen; Neuroscience

Return to: College of Arts and Sciences, Degree Programs and Requirements