Thursday, October 30, 2014

New N&M Course for spring

Spring 2015
Instructor Dr. Jeff Holdeman
MW 1:00–2:15 pm, BH 344

The Slavic languages form an important subgroup of Indo-European and are spoken from East
and Central Europe, through the Balkans, and across northern Asia, and Russian serves as
a lingua franca across Central Asia.  The three branches of Slavic (East, West, and
South) are composed of over a dozen living languages and boast well over 400 million

The course is meant to be a fun and interactive approach to exploring linguistic
processes.  No previous experience with Slavic languages is required, but an active
curiosity about how people use and change language will be a plus.

Students acquire foundational concepts in linguistic analysis which they will use to
analyze a great array of language materials from modern Slavic languages, inductively
writing rules which they then test with new data from other languages and drawing
conclusions about the evolution of languages and the forces which shape them.  Rather
than learn about these "exotic" languages through memorizing arbitrary rules and facts,
students will learn a range of linguistic approaches to understand how languages change
over time and to compare aspects of the Slavic languages, from alphabets to sound systems
to vocabulary to verb systems.

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