24.900 Introduction to Linguistics

Spring 2004

The complexity of human languages.

The complexity of human languages. (Information taken from Social Security Online and image created by OCW).

Course Highlights

This course features an extensive set of lecture notes and assignments. In addition, a detailed list of related resources is available.

Course Description

This class will provide some answers to basic questions about the nature of human language. Throughout the course, we will be learning (in many different ways) that human language is a surprisingly intricate -- yet law-governed and fascinating mental system. In the first 2/3 of the class, we will study some core aspects of this system in detail. In the last part of the class, we will use what we have learned to address a variety of questions, including how children acquire language, ways in which languages are affected by contact with other languages, and the representation of linguistic phenomena in the brain, among others.
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Prof. Norvin Richards

Course Meeting Times

Two sessions / week
1.5 hours / session

One session / week
1 hour / session