Linguistics

Course List and Information

General Information

The Linguistics/TESL Department offers four General Education courses and a variety of courses designed for upper division or graduate level students. Courses with 400-level designations are required for the Bachelor's degree Major and Minor programs. In some cases, these courses are set as pre-requisites for Conditionally Classified Graduate students. Courses with 500 or 600-level designations are designed for graduate students.

Many courses with a LINGUISTICS prefix code are offered once a week, Mon-Thurs, during the 4:00 – 6:45 p.m. or the 7:00 - 9:45 p.m. time slots. Students whose work schedules preclude classes in these time periods cannot complete the BA or MA program in Linguistics at CSUN. Students are also advised that no courses are offered during summer session other than Linguistics 417. There are no intersession courses.

Courses in the Linguistics/TESL Department are offered every semester, once a year, every third semester, or on an infrequent basis. Please consult the Course Rotation Schedule to check which courses are going to be offered over the next few semesters.

Course List

General Education Courses

LING 200. (How) Language Matters
This course draws heavily from current issues in society to highlight the role of language. It explores strategies we use to construct and reflect our identities (as skaters, rappers, school girls, nerds, etc.), to form new meanings, and to accommodate popular new technologies (e.g., texting). This course also examines personal and societal perceptions and attitudes towards the language use and competence of others. Students will undertake a challenging, collaborative, hands-on analysis to appreciate (how) language matters. (Available for General Education, Arts and Humanities)
LING 250. Language(s) in California
What are the languages of California? Who speaks them? What can discovering and examining the range of indigenous, diasporic, and emerging languages in California tell us about our own relationships to language and languages, individually and collectively? This course looks at these questions, investigating, through its survey of California's languages, some fundamental linguistic and sociolinguistic ideas about language and languages. (Available for General Education, Comparative Cultural Studies)
LING 310. Language and the Law
Determining what a written text or spoken utterance exactly conveys is nowhere more important than in the area of the law where subtle differences in wording can have drastic consequences in people’s lives. This course examines how language is used and interpreted in legal settings by applying insights from the linguistic fields of semantics, pragmatics, discourse analysis and sociolinguistics. The course has lifelong relevance for every citizen, since we can expect to sign contracts, receive a jury summons or engage in many other ways with the law and legal documents. The course emphasizes active student participation and an explicit connection between theory and practice. Students will be expected to apply their acquired knowledge to practical and - wherever possible - current societal issues. (Available for General Education, Lifelong Learning)
LING 325. Language, Gender, and Identity
This course studies language as a major factor in our formation of our self-identity and our conceptualization of ourselves and others as male or female. It provides a comprehensive introduction from a linguistic perspective to issues of language, gender, identity and power. (Available for General Education, Comparative Cultural Studies.)

Introduction to Linguistics

Students who have not taken an equivalent course on another campus may choose to fulfill this requirement by taking the following course at California State University, Northridge.

LING 300. Approaches to Linguistic Analysis
This course provides a comprehensive, in-depth and data-driven introduction to the questions that are raised in the major subfields of Linguistics and to the prevailing scientific approaches that are applied to answer those questions. Students will learn foundational concepts of the field and learn to analyze linguistic data. Students will also learn how to describe language data and how to present linguistic arguments clearly, following the conventions that are customary in the fiel

Upper-Division Linguistics Courses

LING 402. Phonetics and Phonology
Preparatory: An introduction to linguistics.
Study of the physical and acoustical properties of sound in a variety of natural languages; phonological analysis and rule formation in phonological systems.
LING 403. Morphology
This Morphology course introduces students to the range of questions that the field of linguistics asks about speakers' knowledge of word structure and to the methods that linguists use both to respond to such questions and develop additional ones. Students will become acquainted with central insights from the field and learn how this knowledge relates to phonology and to syntax but is nevertheless specific to morphology. Available for Graduate Credit.
LING 404. Syntax
Preparatory: LING 300 
LING 404 takes students into the field of syntactic inquiry, learning about the tools used to develop representations of what speakers of a language know about the structural relationships among the meaning-bearing elements in their language, and about how such representations are evaluated, in pursuit of the representations telling us the most about human language itself. Available for Graduate Credit.
LING 407. Language Varieties
Preparatory: An introduction to linguistics.
Introduction to the study of language variation. Theoretical aspects of phonological, syntactic, and semantic variation will be considered in their geographical and social context.
LING 408. Semantics and Pragmatics
Preparatory: An introduction to linguistics.
Linguistic study of meaning and context of discourse, and the relationship of such study to grammar.
LING 411. Introduction to Historical Linguistics
LING 411 investigates the ways languages emerge and evolve. The course looks at gradual changes in vocabulary (lexicon), sounds (phonetics and phonology—hence, spelling), and grammar (morphology and syntax). Topics include the comparative method, the genealogical and typological classification of languages, language universals and the historical development of entirely "new" language varieties and language families. Much attention is devoted to how Present-day Englishes have developed from Old Anglo Saxon. Available for Graduate Credit.
LING 417. Language Development and Acquisition
Preparatory: Upper-division standing, and an introduction to the study of language.
Introduces students to the study of language development and acquisition, including such topics as approaches to the development of children's grammars, the development of communicative competence, definitions of bi- and multi-lingualism, relationships between language development and learning to read, issues particular to the multilingual nature of California, and issues related to exceptional language development.
LING 427. Languages in Contact
Preparatory: ANTH 310, ENGL 301, or COMS 420
This course examines various effects of language contact: the occurrence of lexical and grammatical borrowing such as borrowings between English and Spanish, the emergence of pidgins and creoles and mixed languages along with the process of language attrition or death in the context of a dominant language. The course also addresses the ways in which speakers in multilingual speech communities navigate between the languages that they speak and the language planning efforts of multilingual communities that are aimed at controlling which language (variety) is used/taught in which setting such as the use of ASL versus signed English. Much of this course focuses on issues of special relevance to multilingual speech communities in the United States and on language contact effects between English and languages such as Armenian, Spanish, Russian, and Korean.
LING 430. A Linguistic Introduction to Cognitive Science
Preparatory: An introduction to linguistics.
Survey of the fields comprising Cognitive Science: linguistics, neurology, philosophy, and psychology. Key issues addressed include the nature of symbolic representation, the ways in which we perceive and understand "input," the nature of "thinking," and the role of computational models in understanding aspects of human cognition and language.
LING 441. Sociolinguistics
Preparatory: An introduction to linguistics.
Language in society. Examines linguistic behavior patterns as determined by such factors as age, gender, class, ethnicity, sexual orientation, region, and social context.
LING 447. Bilingualism in the U.S.
Preparatory: An introduction to linguistics.
Upper-division course dealing with concepts and controversies regarding bilingualism in the U.S. Students will gain an understanding of bilingual language acquisition (e.g. when children acquire more than one language in the home or at school), bilingual language phenomena such as code-switching, linguistic borrowing, transfer, and interlanguage, and the controversies surrounding bilingualism in the U.S. education system and in society. Available for graduate credit.
LING 499. Independent Study
Preparatory: Consent of instructor and Department Chair.

Graduate Linguistics Courses

LING 500. Seminar in Phonetics
Prerequisites: LING 402 or equivalent.
This course focuses on articulatory phonetics. In depth study of current issues in the articulatory and physical properties of sounds in natural languages; typology of sound inventories in world languages; perception, transcription, and production of sounds.
LING 501. Seminar in Phonology
Prerequisites: LING 402 or equivalent.
Current issues in phonological theory.
LING 502. Seminar in Research on Second Language Acquisition
Prerequisites: LING 402, 404, or LING 417, or CHS 433.
Critical historical examination of research on 2nd-language acquisition. Study of analytical approaches such as contrastive analysis, error analysis, performance analysis, and discourse analysis, showing how different approaches reflect changing conceptions of language and the nature of language learners.
LING 503. Seminar in Cognitive Linguistics
Prerequisites: An introduction to linguistics and LING 402, 404, 408, or 441.
Examination of recent theoretical developments in linguistics from the general perspective of cognitive science. Focus on 3 major areas: cognitive grammar, semantics and pragmatic dimensions of linguistic categorization; the interface of cognition, experience, and grammar in natural discourse.
LING 505. Seminar in Discourse Analysis
Prerequisites: An introduction to linguistics and LING 407, 408, 427, or 441.
Seminar in the theoretical and methodological aspects of Discourse Analysis in a linguistic perspective.
LING 515. Survey of Applied Linguistics
An introduction to multiple definitions of the field of applied linguistics and insight into the ways that scholars identify and define the concerns of the discipline. Included in the course will be an introductory survey of several specific areas of study that fall under the heading of applied linguistics.
LING 520. Issues in ESL Reading and Writing
Preparatory or Recommended Corequisite: LING 502.
Provides students with a foundation for understanding the processes of reading and writing - as well as the relationships between them - as they are experienced by adult 2nd language learners. Topics in the area of reading include skills and strategies that contribute to the 2nd language learner's ability to read and to comprehend a variety of texts, and curricular design. Topics in writing include aspects of the composing process specific to 2nd language students, the design of curriculum and assignments, and the effects of various types of responses to student writing.
LING 521. Issues in ESL Listening and Speaking
Preparatory or Recommended Corequisite: LING 502.
Provides students with a foundation for understanding the processes of listening and speaking as these are experienced by adult 2nd language learners. While the course focuses on the academic environment, it includes an examination of skills necessary for learners to comprehend a variety of speakers in a range of spoken discourse types, covering both transactional and interactional situations. Also, factors that contribute to effective participation in conversations, including fluency and pronunciation and cultural and universal rules of discourse, bringing the areas of speaking and listening together in the context of curricular design.
LING 525. English Structures for ESL/EFL Teaching
Prerequisites: An introduction to linguistics and LING 404.
Provides a systematic description of the structures and usages of English grammar from the perspective of someone learning English as an additional language. Students focus on ways that such material may most effectively be presented to non-native speakers of English.
LING 530. Introduction to TESL
Prerequisite: ENGL 301 or equivalent.
Prepares students for coursework offered in the M.A. in TESL Program and for careers in the TESL field. Students will learn the goals of an M.A. TESL student: acquire practical planning skills; examine the history of second and foreign language teaching; develop a basic knowledge of second language acquisition, use research tools in the library, acquire skill in observing and analyzing ESL classes, and become familiar with how to become a professional in ESL and TESL.
LING 555. TESL Classroom Practices in Post-Secondary Academic Settings
Prerequisites: ENGL 302 or LING 404, and a TESL course or permission of the instructor.
Linguistics 555 is designed to provide students knowledge of issues related to the teaching of English as a second language (ESL) to non-native speakers of English in post-secondary academic settings, and also to provide students an opportunity to gain teaching experience through supervised practicum training. The focus will be either on concerns of teaching in intensive programs or in community college settings.
LING 566. Research Methods for Linguistics
Prerequisites: LING 417 (M.A. in Linguistics students); LING 417 and LING 530 (M.A. in TESL students) or consent of the instructor. Preparatory: LING 402 and LING 404.
An introduction to research in linguistics, including quantitative, qualitative, and mixed methods research. Data collection and analysis are covered along with methods for writing research reports.
LING 568. TESL Testing and Assessment
This course is intended for students interested in exploring and practicing educational assessment and pursuing a career in TESL. In this course, students will not only learn about assessment practices, but more specifically, they will become aware of the types of pre-, post-, and in-class language assessment required to run an effective English language class and/or program. Students will become aware of the various assessment tools available to them, review criteria used to choose effective exams, and practice techniques to design or select sound language tests to suit their needs and teaching circumstances.
LING 578. English for Specific Purposes
Preparatory: LING 300 or equivalent
This course examines current research, theories, practices, and instructional approaches to teaching English for Specific Purposes (ESP). Students will receive an introduction to ESP and its various sub-branches - English for Academic Purposes (EAP), English for Occupational Purposes (EOP), and English for Professional Purposes (EPP). This course prepares students to teach ESP in a variety of contexts, specifically business, health care, law enforcement and hospitality. This course will explore various research tools for investigating specialist discourse such as ethnography, genre analysis, corpus analysis and discourse analysis. Students will learn to conduct a needs analysis of ESP populations. Students will design curricula and evaluate a variety of assessment tools currently used to measure the learning outcomes of second language learners in ESP settings. This course will also focus on intercultural dynamics that impact learning outcomes within ESP contexts.     
LING 589. Introduction to Celtic Languages
This course introduces the Celtic languages from the perspectives of a variety of subfields of linguistics. It covers the reconstruction of the ancient Celtic languages, a description of the phonology, morphology, and syntax of the modern languages, and issues arising from their status as minority languages under threat.
LING 604. Acoustic and Instrumental Phonetics
Prerequisites: LING 402 or equivalent. Preparatory: LING 500.
This course focuses on acoustic phonetics. In depth empirical and theoretical study of the acoustic properties of speech production, perception, and audition. In addition, students will develop expertise in the use of laboratory equipment and instrumentation in the analysis of experimental phonetic data.
LING 610. Seminar in Syntax
Prerequisite: LING 404.
In depth study of current approaches to syntactic analysis.
LING 599A,B,C. Independent Study
Consent of instructor and Department Chair required.
LING 696A,B,C. Directed Graduate Research
Consent of Department Chair required.
LING 697. Directed Comprehensive Studies
Consent of Department Chair required. Enrollment required in the semester that the Comprehensive Examination is taken.
LING 698A, B,C. Thesis
Consent of Department Chair required. Maximum of 6 units of 696 and 698 allowed in program.
LING 699. Independent Study
Prerequisite: Classified graduate status required; Consent of instructor and Department Chair. Maximum of 6 units of 599 and 699 allowed in a student's program.