LIN376H5 • Linguistic Phenomena in the World’s Languages

Have you ever wondered why some languages have no word for the? What happens when a language has no tense? Why some languages have tone and others don’t? And what on earth does eh? mean, eh?

If so, this course is for you! In this course, we will consider linguistic phenomena that you might not find in your intro textbooks, but which are important typologically and commonly found across the world’s languages. And we will study them in-depth, in a scientifically informed way: building on your foundation in modern linguistics, you will be introduced to key concepts and theoretical tools that linguists use to analyze these phenomena. In short, the goal is to show you how your foundational theoretical toolbox can be extended to systematically understand a broader set of linguistic properties.

Topics will vary from year to year but may include: nouns and classifiers, verbs and event structure, tonogenesis, speech acts and speech act-level phenomena. Year to year, instructors may focus on phenomena common to a particular region of the world.

In Class