Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Potential Topics Course for the Spring

Chris sent out this announcement via mySFA today. If you are (or anyone you know is) interested in seeing this course offered in the spring, please e-mail him at

I hope that your semesters are going well. Next semester (Spring 2011) I am tentatively offering a course that may interest you: Comparative Romance Linguistics. It will be listed under ENG 442: Topics in Linguistics. If you are interested in taking the course, please e-mail me by Friday, September 17th at Offering this course is contingent upon the interest of students, and we need at least 10 students for the class to make. Here is the course description:
In this course we will begin with a look at the Latin language (no prior knowledge of Latin assumed) and its transformation into the Romance languages from a socio-historical perspective. We will then concentrate on selected linguistic phenomena of some of the Romance languages (mainly French, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish) from a comparative standpoint. For example, how do French, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish pluralize nouns? How does determiner, noun, and adjective agreement work? What options are available for past tense formation (e.g., simple (preterite), compound, or both)? How is negation accomplished? What are the sound correspondences between languages (e.g., the Latin ct in NOCTEM ‘night’ became tt  in Italian notte, ch in Spanish noche, and it in French ‘nuit < nueit’ and Portuguese noite)? How did the T/V (politeness) pronouns come about? One of the course assignments will deal with independently researching a less commonly researched Romance language (e.g., Romanian, Catalan, Occitan, Gascon, Corsican, or one of the so called “dialects” of Italian). Course materials will be provided by the instructor. There is no official prerequisite; however, intermediate to advanced reading knowledge of Latin or a modern Romance language is necessary. Please contact me if you are interested but have lower-level proficiency. The class will be taught in English.
For many of you, this course would count as an upper-division elective, and for English majors, this could count as your linguistics course. Please contact me if you would like more information about the course.
We hope to announce our Spring 2011 schedule in the near future, so keep checking in for more information!

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