Course Offerings - Catalog 2012-13

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Interdisciplinary Program

Students can minor (but not major) in linguistics at Centre College. Linguistics is the science of language: the study of perhaps the most central and unique human ability. A linguistics minor will allow students to integrate their study of English and foreign languages within an overarching awareness of the scientific principles of language use, the acquisition of language, the physical mechanisms of human languages (both spoken and signed), language change over time, socialization through languages, and the political and cultural implications of language differences.

A perspective on world language use informed by the study of linguistics is a powerful element of an educated person’s knowledge-base as a global citizen. Students working within a linguistics minor will also be encouraged to apply their new knowledge to other fields of study, informing their investigations in anthropology, biology, cognitive science, computer science, education, languages, literature, philosophy, psychology, and sociology. Linguistics will also help prepare students for careers in a wide variety of fields, including translation, computer science, counseling, psychology, journalism, marketing, speech therapy and speech pathology, teaching English as a foreign language, and international business and public affairs, as well as qualifying them for the study of linguistics at the graduate level.


Phyllis Bellver (chair), Ken Keffer, James Morrison, Mark Rasmussen

Requirements for the Minor

LIN 210;
One of ENG 215, FRE 305 or SPA 255;
Three additional courses selected from the list below;
Study of one foreign language at least through the 220-level;
Study of a second foreign language at least through the 120-level. (If the first foreign language is French or Spanish, the second foreign language should be an ancient or non-Romance language, such as Chinese, German, Greek, Hebrew, Japanese, or Latin.);
A capstone experience (a project consisting of one of the following, subject to approval by the linguistics minor committee: an academic internship, an independent study, or a linguistics focus in the junior or senior project of the major) with a product presented at the anuual RICE symposium or other venue for student presentations and at a yearly Linguistics Senior Workshop. This capstone need not be a separate course. It may be fulfilled by courses in the student’s major provided the course is not used to fulfill the five-course requirement above.

1. Upon program committee approval, additional courses may be added to the list of courses fulfilling minor requirements.
2. Some of the courses listed below have prerequisites, and several courses are not offered regularly or are offered only once every two or three years. Students interested in the minor are encouraged to consult with a program committee member early on to plan their preparation for the minor and to discuss course offering schedules.

Linguistics Course

LIN 210 Introduction to Linguistics
An introduction to the fundamental principles and theories of linguistics, including sound systems, lexical systems, the formation of phrases and sentences, and meaning--both in modern and ancient languages and with respect to how languages change over time. We will explore the cognitive theories and scientific principles behind language use as a defining human activity, as well as the basic methods of linguistic analysis and the application of these methods to language data. Drawing upon students’ experience with English and a broad spectrum of other languages, we will practice elementary analytic techniques and work with problem and data sets.

Other Courses Fulfilling Minor Course Requirements

ANT 310 Cultural Linguistics
CSC 117 Introduction to Computer Science
CSC 341 Principles of Programming Languages
ENG 215 History of the English Language*
ENG 313 Chaucer
FRE 305 French Linguistics*
PHI 130 Practical Logic
PHI 230 Symbolic Logic
PHI 370 20th-Century Analytic Philosophy
PSY 300 Cognition
SPA 255 Hispanic Linguistics*
SPA 285 Language Teaching Methodology
SPA 290 History of the Spanish Language
*If not use to fulfill requirement above.