Introductory texts in different languages, universities

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Introductory texts in different languages, universities

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Redigeret: jan 14, 2010, 3:37pm

(Instead of derailing the "Languages groups" thread, I'm posting this in its own.)

I'm curious what people from other countries (or very different programs) are using for core theoretical linguistics courses, what topics are covered, and what language families are drawn on for examples. Focus on broad survey classes, ones that might be labeled "Introduction to...", rather than advanced courses or seminars on specific problems (where one probably reads mostly articles anyway).

Make sure to add the touchstone, since tables of contents can usually be found on Google Books. If that's not the case for a book, it'd be nice if you gave us a written idea of what was covered.


The following were in use in my mostly respectable middle-American university at the graduate level:

Phonology: Examples from many different families from around the world all throughout the semester. Tonal languages were set aside until tone itself was covered (3/4 through).
- Phonology in Generative Grammar
- Optimality Theory
- A Thematic Guide to Optimality Theory

Morphology: Again, examples from multiple language families. Semitic noncontiguous stuff was set aside in its own lecture.
- What is Morphology
- selections from A-Morphous Morphology (Cambridge Studies in Linguistics)

Syntax: Examples in class were mostly taken from English, Japanese, and German, but with some Korean, Chinese, and the Romance languages as well.
- Introduction to Government and Binding Theory
- Head-Driven Phrase Structure Grammar (Studies in Contemporary Linguistics)

Historical linguistics: The class might have spent more time with IE language examples than any other single family, but homework was mostly non-IE languages.
- Historical Linguistics

Redigeret: jan 15, 2010, 10:04am

I've only studied linguistics through language studies: Old Norse, Welsh, Irish, Russian, German, English, never "pure" core linguistics. Sorry.

jan 15, 2010, 8:30am

I took an introductory historical linguistics course in college. The texts were:

Language History, Language Change, and Language Relationship, and
The American Heritage Dictionary of Indo-European Roots

(The touchstone for the latter appears to be broken).

The course was focused on Indo-European languages, but we did a bit of work with Semitic and Uralic languages as well.

Redigeret: jan 15, 2010, 11:21am

I study Linguistics in a Dutch university.
What we used (where touchstones didn't work, I made the link go to the LT page):

Introduction course: Linguistics: An Introduction to Linguistic Theory. English book (with errors in the Japanese sentences). Many languages, but the class was taught in English so there were mostly English examples.

Phonetics - Algemene Fonetiek
Dutch book. Not really focused on a specific language. Class taught in Dutch.

Phonology - Fonologie : uitnodiging tot de klankleer van het Nederlands. Dutch book. Really focused on Dutch. Class taught in Dutch.

Sociolinguistics - Introducing Sociolinguistics. English book (with errors in the Japanese sentences). Not really focused on a specific language. Class taught in Dutch.

Children's Language Acquisition - Kindertaalverwerving : een handboek voor het Nederlands. Dutch book. Really focused on Dutch. Class taught in Dutch.

Semantics - Logic in Linguistics (Cambridge Textbooks in Linguistics), Logic, Language, and Meaning: Introduction to Logic, Mathematical Methods in Linguistics, Semantics (Modern Linguistics). Class taught in English. Mostly focused on English.

Syntax - Syntax: A Generative Introduction (Introducing Linguistics) - 2nd edition. Class taught in Dutch. The book focused on English, but we got extra assignments to practice Dutch sentences (syntax of English sentences turned out to be easier for tree drawing - less movements).

jan 15, 2010, 12:10pm

Here is the better link for What is Morphology (Fundamentals of Linguistics). Touchstones are hard to do, because once you've fixed the Touchstones within your message, after you Submit and go back in with a new edit, you lose all your previously fixed Touchstones.

Redigeret: feb 24, 2010, 11:45pm

I studied linguistics at a Belgian university, so many of my courses used Dutch and related Germanic languages to illustrate principles and changes. Most of the courses I took were taught from a syllabus written or compiled by the instructor, but we also studied from a couple of books:

General linguistics (i.e. covering phonetics, pragmatics, lexical semantics, syntax, etc.) / cognitive linguistics: Cognitive exploration of language and linguistics by René Dirven.

Historical linguistics: Historische taalkunde ("Historical Linguistics") by Cor van Bree, and Language change: progress or decay? by Jean Aitchison as general introductions. Diachronic prototype semantics by Dirk Geeraerts focused on changes in lexical semantics. I guess Grammaticalization by Paul J Hopper and Elizabeth Closs Traugott belongs in this section too.

Phonetics: The phonetics of English and Dutch by Beverly Collins and Inger M Mees and Historische fonologie van het Nederlands ("Historical phonology of Dutch") by Jozef van Loon.

Syntax: Syntactic theory: a formal introduction by Ivan Sag and Thomas Wasow, and sections from Cognitive linguistics by William Croft and D. Alan Cruse.

Language acquisition:First language acquisition: method, description and explanation by David Ingram and How languages are learned by Patsy M. Lightbown.

Semantics: Semantics by John I. Saeed and Diachronic Prototype Semantics by Dirk Geeraerts.

Pragmatics, Discourse analysis: Pragmatics by Stephen C. Levinson; Zwijgen is niet altijd toestemmen by William Van Belle.

Other classes on morphology, pragmatics, semantics, sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics, neurolinguistics and grammaticalisation were usually tied to a particular topic (e.g. development of infinitival markers; cochlear implants) and relied on a collection of topical articles.