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Regular version of the site
Master 2019/2020

Research and Design seminar "Linguistic projects"

Area of studies: Fundamental and Applied Linguistics
Delivered by: School of Linguistics
When: 2 year, 1-3 module
Mode of studies: offline
Instructors: Michael Daniel, Daria Ryzhova, Dmitry Sichinava, Смирнитская Анна Александровна
Master’s programme: Linguistic Theory and Language Description
Language: English
ECTS credits: 9

Course Syllabus

Abstract

The aim of the course is to introduce the students to the state of the art linguistic knowledge on different topics in theoretical linguistics, as well as to present an overview of the existing fieldwork methodologies and to broaden the students’ outlook on various issues in theoretical linguistics through carrying out their own research and through involvement in discussions of others’ research projects. The main idea of the course is a focus on methods of linguistic studies in various domains.
Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

  • to introduce the students to the methods of and issues in modern linguistic research.
Expected Learning Outcomes

Expected Learning Outcomes

  • understanding principles of approach to language studies in the domains determined by the selected fields
  • acquiring skills in linguistic data collection, analysis and interpretation
  • training skills of critical academic reading and communication
  • experience of ‘real life’ research, including problem setting, conformity to deadlines
  • training skills of academic presentation and co-operation
Course Contents

Course Contents

  • Classes in field linguistics
    The module comprises several lectures on various methodologies of data collection with a specific focus on different elicitation techniques, different types of linguistic databases (such as CLICS or the World Loanword Database) and previous research in the domain under discussion. Seminars are devoted to practical tasks, including elicitation sessions, literature discussions, and students’ presentations of their work on the research projects.
  • Formal approaches to anaphora
    a study of issues in co-valuation and binding, including diversity in patterns of reflexivity. Cross-linguistic variation in local vs. non-local binding provides many issues are often used within functional paradigm as arguments against generative approach to syntax. These lectures will explain how these problems may be approached by extending and modifying rather than abandoning canonical binding theory. The lectures put additional emphasis on the division of labor between syntax and pragmatics.
  • Typology of semantic shifts
    canonical comparative method emphasizes the strictness of phonetic laws and resulting sound correspondences between related languages, but is less keen on the laws of semantic change. However, semantic evolution is of no less importance to the validification of the results of linguistic reconstruction than is phonetic change. Implausible semantic change endangers reconstruction to the same extent as inaccurate phonetic calculation. In these lectures, we discuss modern advances in the study of typology of semantic shifts in the history of human languages as well as methods that can be used in their study.
  • The notion of Sprachbund: examples and issues in methodology
    The notion of Sprachbund is one of the oldest in sociolinguistics. However, the study of Sprachbund’s is far from being a methodologically elaborated domain. Sprachbund has to be distinguished from a more general notion of linguistic area, on the one hand, and from much more specific idea of contact between individual languages. The difference is that of granularity, but the availability of means of mutual delimitation of these notions, and the very necessity of such delimitation, may be questioned. Further, the notion of Sprachbund is inherently fuzzy, because it deals with bundles of linguistic features that wane from the nucleus towards the periphery. This fuzziness, which is the essence of the areal nature of Sprachbund and could be attributed to historical diffusion of features, constitutes a methodological problem in itself.
  • Research project
    Each meeting includes presentations of project progress report since the time the project was last discussed. The audience includes MA students, project supervisors, seminar supervisors and, when possible, other experienced researchers as invited experts. The discussion is interactive, with ‘online’ interventions from other students, invited experts and others. When possible, the presentations include more active involvement of the audience, suggesting them to carry out a sample research task related to one of the research activities planned as part of the project (typological annotation of a grammar; analysis of a text sample etc.) so that to increase the audience’s involvement into discussion.
Assessment Elements

Assessment Elements

  • non-blocking Master classes: test or essay
    The weight of the grade for a test or an essay is proportional to the number of academic hours devoted to the corresponding mini-course
  • non-blocking Research project
  • non-blocking assignments in field linguistics
Interim Assessment

Interim Assessment

  • Interim assessment (3 module)
    0.4 * assignments in field linguistics + 0.4 * Master classes: test or essay + 0.2 * Research project
Bibliography

Bibliography

Recommended Core Bibliography

  • Pawley, A. (2015). Review of The Oxford handbook of linguistic fieldwork. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsbas&AN=edsbas.1005FFEE

Recommended Additional Bibliography

  • Velupillai, V. (2012). An Introduction to Linguistic Typology. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company. Retrieved from http://search.ebscohost.com/login.aspx?direct=true&site=eds-live&db=edsebk&AN=473816