Fall 2020 - LING 415 D100

Neurolinguistics (3)

Class Number: 2520

Delivery Method: In Person


  • Course Times + Location:

    Th 2:30 PM – 5:20 PM

  • Prerequisites:

    12 units of upper division linguistic courses.



Explores language as a system of the human brain, including specific topics such as the neuroanatomy and neurophysiology of language; language production, perception and processing; bilingualism, language learning and brain plasticity; and aphasia, dyslexia, deafness and sign languages.


This course examines language as a system of the human brain. Students will master basic neuroanatomy and neurophysiology of language-related systems in the brain in the first weeks of the course, and also study cognitive neuroscience methods used to study the brain. In subsequent weeks, research studies are surveyed with the broader goal of understanding how the brain processes language. Examples applications for this knowledge are also discussed, including how the brain develops in infancy, how language faculties recovers from brain damage (aphasia), how the brain ‘reads’ orthographic systems, and how neuroscientific design principles could be used to create tools that extract and interpret phonological, semantic, and syntactic information from brain activation.

Mode of instruction: Remote

Mode of delivery: Blended- Instruction takes place through pre-recorded lectures and all materials available on Canvas, but there are also online meetings for which participation is mandatory.

If Blended: 1 hour per week

Days and times of live online interaction: Wednesdays @ 4pm PST

Rough estimate of what each module will contain: A typical week is ~1hr of recorded lectures, ~30 minutes of quizzes or assignments, ~1hr synchronous class time, and 1-2 course readings

 Office Hours: By appointment

 Mode of major exams: Take home or timed Canvas assignments

 Platform(s) used: Canvas, Blackboard collaborate Ultra

 Tech required: Laptop, Internet, microphone

This course will have a Reading Break during the week of October 12 (Thanksgiving week).There will be no synchronous (in real time) classes or tutorials, recordings, exams, or assignments due this week.


  • Engagement 3%
  • Discussion Questions 7%
  • Recorded Presentation 7%
  • Quizzes 21%
  • Written Projects 30%
  • Exam 17%
  • Final Project 15%
  • No Final Exam


It is strongly recommended that you see the Student Advisor regarding your degree requirements at least two semesters before you plan to graduate.  Unless you meet both faculty and major/minor requirements, your graduation cannot be approved.

Students should familiarize themselves with the Department's Standards on Class Management and Student Responsibilities at http://www.sfu.ca/linguistics/undergraduate/standards.html.

Please note that a grade of “FD” (Failed-Dishonesty) may be assigned as a penalty for academic dishonesty.

All student requests for accommodations for their religious practices must be made in writing by the end of the first week of classes or no later than one week after a student adds a course.

Students requiring accommodations as a result of a disability must contact the Centre for Accessible Learning (at caladmin@sfu.ca).



Required readings will be available for download from the course website.

Students may need to refer to a standard textbook introduction to Linguistics.



Banich, M.T. and Mack, M. (2003). Mind, Brain, and Language: Multidisciplinary Perspectives. Lawrence Erlbaum Assoc. Inc.  ISBN: 0805833285 (Paperback).

Stemmer, B. and Whitaker, H.A. (2010). Handbook of the Neuroscience of Language. Academic Press. ISBN-10: 008045352X.

Registrar Notes:


SFU’s Academic Integrity web site http://www.sfu.ca/students/academicintegrity.html is filled with information on what is meant by academic dishonesty, where you can find resources to help with your studies and the consequences of cheating.  Check out the site for more information and videos that help explain the issues in plain English.

Each student is responsible for his or her conduct as it affects the University community.  Academic dishonesty, in whatever form, is ultimately destructive of the values of the University. Furthermore, it is unfair and discouraging to the majority of students who pursue their studies honestly. Scholarly integrity is required of all members of the University. http://www.sfu.ca/policies/gazette/student/s10-01.html


Teaching at SFU in fall 2020 will be conducted primarily through remote methods. There will be in-person course components in a few exceptional cases where this is fundamental to the educational goals of the course. Such course components will be clearly identified at registration, as will course components that will be “live” (synchronous) vs. at your own pace (asynchronous). Enrollment acknowledges that remote study may entail different modes of learning, interaction with your instructor, and ways of getting feedback on your work than may be the case for in-person classes. To ensure you can access all course materials, we recommend you have access to a computer with a microphone and camera, and the internet. In some cases your instructor may use Zoom or other means requiring a camera and microphone to invigilate exams. If proctoring software will be used, this will be confirmed in the first week of class.

Students with hidden or visible disabilities who believe they may need class or exam accommodations, including in the current context of remote learning, are encouraged to register with the SFU Centre for Accessible Learning (caladmin@sfu.ca or 778-782-3112).