Linguistics 1 - Winter 2006

Introduction to the Study of Language

 last update 03/16/06

Go to the Schedule of Classes for Ling 1  


Purpose of the course

The most complex ability and set of facts that any human being ever acquires is the (implicit) knowledge of a native language.  This course examines what the nature of language is, how the science of linguistics analyzes language data, and how language is acquired and interacts with human biology and psychology.  Some specific examples of linguistic argumentation and experiments will be presented and discussed.

Required Text

Steven Pinker, The Language Instinct, HarperPerennial  [Perennial Classics edition, paperback]
In addition, lecture notes will be made available on this site at the beginning of each week. 

See the Syllabus for further information

Announcements: Week 10 Room Change for Sections 0 and P [Friday 9-10, 10-11am], (Briana Bejarano):

                                    Section O (Friday 9-10) will take place in Rolfe 3134

                                    Section P (Friday 10-11) will take place in Bunche  3143

LECTURES: Tuesday & Thursday, 9:30-10:45, Haines 39

SYLLABUS:  [pdf]          

LECTURE NOTES (in pdf format)

Lecture Notes 1A               

Lecture Notes 1B                

Lecture Notes 2A               

Lecture Notes 2B                

Lecture Notes 3A               

Lecture Notes 3B                

Lecture Notes 4A               

Lecture Notes 4B                

Lecture Notes 5A               

Lecture Notes 5B                

Lecture Notes 6A               

Lecture Notes 6B         
Lecture Notes 7A               

Lecture Notes 7B         

Lecture Notes 8         

Lecture Notes 9  

Term Paper Information [due at the beginning of your section in Week 10] [corrected, Feb. 9, 2006; due date was incorrect in earlier version]               

LINKS (you will probably have to be connected through the UCLA server or through a proxy to download these; for information about setting up a BOL proxy, see here)

Important Note:  The articles below are entirely optional. They are quite advanced, go far beyond the course and are not required for anything we will do.

Week 1  

'Children Creating Core Properties of Language: Evidence from an Emerging Sign Language in Nicaragua' [Senghas et al., Science 17 September 2004: Vol. 305. no. 5691, pp. 1779 - 1782]

Grammatical Subjects in home sign: Abstract linguistic structure in adult primary gesture systems without linguistic input [Coppola and Newport, PNAS | December 27, 2005 | vol. 102 | no. 52 | 19249-19253]

'Word Learning in a Domestic Dog: Evidence for "Fast Mapping"', [Kaminsky et al., Science11 June 2004: Vol. 304. no. 5677, pp. 1682 - 1683]

Week 2     

'Sign Language in the Brain' [pdf document] [Bellugi, Scientific American 2002]

 'Can language restructure cognition? The case for space' [Majid et. al,  Trends in Cognitive Sciences Volume 8, Issue 3 , March 2004, Pages 108-114]

'Turning the tables: language and spatial reasoning' [Li and Gleitman, Cognition Volume 83, Issue 3 , April 2002, Pages 265-294]

'Returning the tables: language affects spatial reasoning' [Levinson et al., Cognition,  Volume 84, Issue 2 , June 2002, Pages 155-188]

'Exact and Approximate Arithmetic in an Amazonian Indigene Group' [Pica et al.,  Science 15 October 2004: Vol. 306. no. 5695, pp. 499 - 503]

Week 3

Speaking in Tongues [Pennisi., Science 27 February 2004: Vol. 303. no. 5662, pp. 1321 - 1323]

Genes, Peoples and Languages [Cavalli-Sforza, Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA, Vol. 94, pp. 7719-7724, July 1997]

Farmers and their Languages: the First Expansions [Diamond and Bellwood, Science 25 April 2003: Vol. 300. no. 5619, pp. 597 - 603]

Structural Phylogenetics and the Reconstruction of Ancient Language History [Dunn et al., Science 23 September 2005: Vol. 309. no. 5743, pp. 2072 - 2075]

Week 4   

'Computational Constraints on Syntactic Processing in a Nonhuman Primate' [Fitch and Hauser., Science  16 January 2004:
Vol. 303. no. 5656, pp. 377 - 380]

Week 6   

'Language, thought and reality after Chomsky' [Chierchia, ms., manuscript, U. of Milan] [pdf]

Week 7   

Acquisition of Semantics   (S. Crain; MIT Encyclopedia of Cognitive Sciences)

When Children Are More Logical than Adults: Experimental Investigations of Scalar Implicatures [Noveck, Cognition
Volume 78, Issue 2 , February 2001].

Week 9

Language Discrimination by Human Newborns and by Cotton-Top Tamarin Monkeys' [Ramus et al., Science  Science 14 April 2000:
Vol. 288. no. 5464, pp. 349 - 351]

The First Language? [Discussion of clicks and genetics] [Pennisi, Science 27 February 2004:Vol. 303. no. 5662, pp. 1319 - 1320]

Phonetics: The Sounds of English and Spanish (University of Iowa)

Alexander Melville Bell's Visible Speech (Wikipedia article, with links)

Week 10      

FOXP2 in focus: what can genes tell us about speech and language?  [Marcus & Fisher, Trends in Cognitive Sciences, Volume 7, Issue 6, June 2003, Pages 257-262]

The Faculty of Language: What Is It, Who Has It, and How Did It Evolve? [Hauser, Chomsky & Fitch, Science 22 November 2002:
Vol. 298. no. 5598, pp. 1569 - 1579]

Linguistics and Language (MIT Encyclopedia of Cognitive Sciences - Various Entries)


Prof. Philippe Schlenker
Campbell Hall 3rd floor
Office 3103-L
philippe.schlenker followed by at followed by

Office Hours:   Tuesday 4:30-5:30pm and by appointment.

[The e-mail addresses are described following the names]

Briana BEJARANO   
brianab followed by at followed by
Tomoko ISHIZUKA    
zukka followed by at followed by
Ananda LIMA          
lima followed by at followed by
natacha followed by at followed by
lauren followed by at followed by


Briana BEJARANO:  Wednesday 11-1pm

Tomoko ISHIZUKA: Wednesday 9-11am

Ananda LIMA: Tuesday 4-6 pm   (note the change!)

Natalie OPERSTEIN: Tuesday 11-1pm in Dodd 74G (note the change!)

Lauren VARNER: Tuesday 1-3pm

SECTIONS  (click here to have the latest room assignments).

1A R 1:00P 1:50P Natalie OPERSTEIN
1B R 1:00P 1:50P Lauren VARNER
1C R 3:00P 3:50P Natalie OPERSTEIN
1D R 2:00P 2:50P Lauren VARNER
1E R 2:00P 2:50P Natalie OPERSTEIN
1F R 2:00P 2:50P Ananda LIMA
1G R 3:00P 3:50P Lauren VARNER
1H Cancelled

1I R 3:00P 3:50P Ananda LIMA
1J R 4:00P 4:50P Tomoko ISHIZUKA
1K R 4:00P 4:50P Briana BEJARANO
1L Cancelled

1M F 9:00A 9:50A Ananda LIMA
1N Cancelled

1O F 9:00A 9:50A Briana BEJARANO
1P F 10:00A 10:50A Briana BEJARANO
1Q F 9:00A 9:50A Tomoko ISHIZUKA
1R F 10:00A 10:50A Tomoko ISHIZUKA

FINAL EXAM (click here; the date and time appear under the instructor's name, right after 'Final Examination Code')

IMPORTANT: The exam is closed notes, closed book!

ACADEMIC INTEGRITY: Violations will be taken extremely seriously. Please refer to the UCLA Student Conduct Code and to the Student Guide to Academic Integrity