New Course Offering for Spring 2017: LING 282WQ

September 20, 2016

Whales from space? What does that headline mean?

The headline above is ambiguous. When the elided material is expressed, the headline can mean either one of the following:

(1)a. Scientists are counting whales that are from space
     b.Scientists are counting whales from the perspective of space

The author intended the headline to mean what (1B) does, but many readers will first process the sentence as (1A). In LING 282WQDr. Keir Moulton will look at syntactic structures and language processing through the lens of humour, special registers, and real-life linguistic communication. This course promises to be entertaining and practical. Writing assignments and in-class writing exercises will help students learn to communicate their thoughts and ideas clearly – more clearly than the author of the headline writer above!

LING 282WQ examines syntactic ambiguities and how the human sentence processor structures linguistic input. Topics covered will include phrase structure and grammatical category as well as garden path sentences. Students will build on their knowledge of structural linguistic analyses through written assignments on data description, pattern extraction and hypothesis testing.

LING 282WQ is offered at the Burnaby Campus, Tuesdays 10:30 - 11:20 am and Thursdays 9:30 - 11:20 am. With only 40 seats available, this new course will fill up fast - register early to secure your seat