2017-2018 Catalog



FACULTY: Allen, Baart, Baker, Bickford (Program Director), Clifton, Fraiser, R. Fried, Hansen, Humnick, Karan, Marlett, Roberts, Slater (Graduate Director), Snider, Trammel, Watters, and Weber

Degrees Granted: Master of Arts (M.A.) and Graduate Certificate in Community-Based Literacy as Applied Linguistics

The graduate program in Linguistics focuses on theoretically-informed descriptive linguistics in preparation for careers involving minority-language communities and lesser-studied languages. It is particularly appropriate for students anticipating careers in language development, documenting minority languages, language survey, translation, and literacy. It is a cooperative program between UND and SIL International, and operates primarily during a nine-week summer session every year.

Details pertaining to admission requirements, degree requirements and courses offered can be found in the Degrees and Certificates sections. Students are initially accepted into the program only in the summer session when the program’s faculty members are on campus. Students may also take Linguistics courses without applying to a degree or certificate program. 

Deadlines: U.S. citizens who wish to take courses listed under Linguistics (whether in a degree/certificate program or not) should fill in SIL's pre-application form on their website (http://applying.silund.org). This needs to be done before each summer that a student wants to enroll, preferably by April 1. In addition, if people want to enter the M.A. program in a given summer, they must complete all UND application requirements by April 15; to enter the certificate program, the deadline is May 1. International students who are not already on campus should submit the pre-application form each year by February 15 and complete any admissions requirements by March 1 if they are not applying to enter the degree or certificate program; if they want to enter the M.A. or certificate program that summer, they should submit the pre-application form by January 15 and complete admissions requirements by February 1.

Other information about the application process, deadlines, courses, schedules, etc. is available at the above website address or call 1-800-292-1621. The chair of the linguistics program is Albert Bickford, SIL-UND, 16131 N. Vernon Dr., Tucson, AZ 85739 (director_silund@sil.org) and the director of graduate studies is Keith Slater (keith.slater@gradschool.und.edu). Information is also available from the SIL office on campus when the courses are in session during the summer (701-777-0575). 

Master of Arts (M.A.)

Mission Statement and Program Goals

The Graduate Program in Linguistics provides intensive graduate instruction, integrating linguistic theory with practical application, in the areas of language research, documentation, description, and development of linguistic resources such as writing systems, literacy, native literature, and translated materials. The distinctive focus of the program relates to work in multicultural, multilingual settings involving both major and lesser-studied languages, both spoken and signed. It is designed to move students toward careers involving linguistic analysis, acquisition of languages and cultures, linguistic community development, literacy, or translation.

Goal 1: Students will demonstrate knowledge of selected disciplinary subfields, publications and theoretical approaches within the field of linguistics.

Goal 2: Students will demonstrate ability to conduct independent research in the field of linguistics, especially in languages and situations where relatively little previous study has been undertaken.


Master of Arts (M.A.)

Admission Requirements

The applicant must meet the School of Graduate Studies’ current minimum general admission requirements as published in the graduate catalog.

  1. A four-year bachelor’s degree from a recognized college or university.
  2. A minimum of 20 semester credits in linguistics or related fields, e.g., foreign language, of which at least 10 credits must be in linguistics, and which must include the equivalent of LING 452 Syntax and Morphology I.
  3. A cumulative Grade Point Average (GPA) of at least 2.8 for all undergraduate work or a GPA of at least 3.0 for the junior and senior years of undergraduate work (based on A= 4.00).
  4. Satisfy the School of Graduate Studies’ English Language Proficiency requirements as published in the graduate catalog.
  5. Students deficient in prerequisite credits (see #2 above) should generally plan to take their first summer as non-degree graduate students. Up to nine credits taken as a non-degree graduate student can be applied to the M.A. Therefore, students who meet some, but not all, of the prerequisites can use some of the credits gained as non-degree graduate students to meet the prerequisites, and apply some to the M.A. Foreign language proficiency may be demonstrated by passing an examination in the language in lieu of formal credits.

Degree Requirements

Students seeking the Master of Arts degree at the University of North Dakota must satisfy all general requirements set forth by the School of Graduate Studies as well as particular requirements set forth by the Linguistics Program.

  1. A minimum of 32 credits including:
    1. 3 credits listed in the Linguistics section of the graduate catalog in the area of phonetics/phonology
    2. 3 credits in Linguistics in syntax/semantics
    3. 3 credits in Linguistics in applied linguistics
    4. LING 580 Academic Writing in Linguistics
    5. 4 credits for a thesis
    6. At least 5 other credits in Linguistics
  2. Of the remaining 13 credits, courses with linguistics content offered by other departments, such as English, may be counted as linguistics credits for the major.
  3. Up to 4 credits of Directed Study and Research courses, e.g. LING 590 Directed Studies in Linguistics and LING 594 Research in Linguistics, may be used to supplement the standard graduate course offerings.
  4. Nine credits may be in a minor or in cognate courses (see the Degree Requirements section of the graduate catalog.)
  5. At least one-half of the credits must be at or above the 500-level.
  6. Students normally satisfy the residency requirements by spending at least two summers enrolled in the program.
  7. A maximum of one-fourth of the credit hours required for the degree may be transferred from another institution.
  8. The thesis will be based on the analysis of language data collected by the student or on theoretical or applied applications of data arising from language research.

See more detailed information at: http://arts-sciences.und.edu/summer-institute-of-linguistics.


Graduate Certificate in Community-Based Literacy as Applied Linguistics

The Graduate Certificate in Community-Based Literacy as Applied Linguistics, which is offered as part of UND’s Linguistics program, is intended to prepare students to promote literacy in other countries, particularly in multilingual societies and through non-traditional programs that are outside the formal educational system. Examples of such programs include those that address adult functional literacy (in health, agriculture, etc.), rights-based literacy, literacy in the local language first with transition to biliteracy in a national language or other language of wider communication, and transfer of literacy skills from a language of wider communication to literacy in the local language.

Mission Statement

To prepare students to organize, teach, manage and promote non-formal literacy programs in multilingual societies, particularly in developing countries, and to provide a graduate-level credential to people working in literacy in other countries where such a credential is often expected by governments and NGOs and can be very helpful for career advancement.

Admission Requirements

  1. A four-year bachelor’s degree from a recognized college or university.
  2. Either:
    1. one year of experience living and working in another country and culture; or
    2. a course in cultural anthropology or sociolinguistics at the 300-level or higher.
  3. A GPA for all previous college-level work of 2.8 or better.

In addition, it is recommended that students have either a background in education or in linguistics (such as one summer at UND taking courses from SIL).

Certificate Requirements

  1. The following courses:
    LING 520Foundational Issues of Community-based Literacy in Multilingual Societies3
    LING 521Literacy Program Planning and Management3
    LING 522Materials and Methods in Adult Literacy3
    LING 530Introduction to Writing Systems1
    Total Credits10
    (Students must be accepted into the certificate program before enrolling in any of these courses.)

A maximum of nine credits from this graduate certificate may be used toward the M.A. in linguistics, if the student enrolls in the M.A. program after completing the certificate. No professional accreditation is associated with the certificate.

See more detailed information at: http://arts-sciences.und.edu/summer-institute-of-linguistics.


LING 502. Acoustic Phonetics. 3 Credits.

This course focuses on the instrumental study of the acoustic properties of speech sounds, speech analysis, experimental techniques, and laboratory work. By the end of the course, students should be confident in their abilities to plan, carry out and analyze the results of experiments in phonetics; and to relate acoustic phonetic data to their linguistic analyses. Basic techniques in experimental phonetics such as recording, annotation, fundamental frequency analysis, formant frequency analysis, and spectrographic analysis will be studied. Prerequisite: LING 450. Prerequisite or Corequisite: LING 451.

LING 503. Phonology II. 3 Credits.

Phonological phenomena examined from current theoretical frameworks; emphasis on creation and testing of hypotheses about the phonological systems of particular languages. The particular theoretical orientation varies depending on the instructor; often, more than one framework is used. The course assumes basic knowledge of rule-based generative phonology. Prerequisites: LING 450 and LING 451, or equivalents.

LING 504. Syntax II. 3 Credits.

Drawing on one or more theories from the generative tradition, this course explores syntactic forms that are commonly attested in human language. There is emphasis on the role of language universals and linguistic argumentation in arriving at analyses of language phenomena. Prerequisite: LING 452.

LING 505. Typology and Discourse. 3 Credits.

The course covers recent trends relating to language typology and cross-linguistic generalizations, focusing on the domains of morphosyntax, semantics and pragmatics. Prerequisite: LING 452.

LING 506. Field Methods. 3 Credits.

Practical aspects of linguistic field work and analysis, including an intensive practicum with speakers of a non-Western language for the purposes of developing skill in data collection, data management (using some computational tools), and the analysis and description of the phonological, grammatical and lexical structures of human languages. Prerequisites: LING 450 or LING 455 or equivalent and LING 452 or equivalent; recommended prerequisite LING 480. Prerequisite or corequisite: LING 451 or LING 516 or equivalent; LING 506L or equivalent. SS.

LING 506L. Media Technology for Linguistic Research. 1 Credit.

Specialized hardware and software tools for linguistic research on spoken or signed languages (recording, analyzing, and presenting data), with focus on digital images, audio and video, as well as transcription and annotation tools for text analysis. Each student focuses on tools for either signed or spoken languages, with separate sections for each; the class may be retaken for credit if the focus is different. Intended to be taken alongside LING 506 Field Methods, but can also be taken independently, as it is also useful in preparation for several other courses, such as Acoustic Phonetics, Sign Language Phonology, Sign Language Morphosyntax, and for a thesis that involves language date collection or language documentation. Repeatable to a maximum of 2 credits. SS.

LING 507. Special Topics in Linguistics. 1-4 Credits.

Topics of current interest in linguistics. May be repeated if topic is different. Repeatable.

LING 510. Semantics and Pragmatics. 3 Credits.

Various dimensions of meaning on the lexical, propositional, and interpropositional levels. Meaning is studied both as a property of linguistic expressions and as derived from contextual factors. Topics include principles of lexicography, selectional restrictions, operators and their scope, illocutionary force, inference, and relations between form and meaning. Prerequisite: LING 452 or equivalent.

LING 511. Translation of Texts: Theory and Practice. 3 Credits.

This course is an introduction to the theory and practice of text translation, emphasizing the accurate, natural and clear transference of meaning across languages and cultures. Current issues in translation theory will be discussed, especially the approach based on Relevance Theory. Practical aspects of the course will include recognizing common translation problems and solutions, maintaining quality control, the role of computation, program planning aspects of translation projects or activities and teaching others to translate. Prerequisites: LING 452 and two years of foreign language or equivalent proficiency. Prerequisite or corequisite: LING 510. SS, even years.

LING 512. Sociolinguistic Methods in Language Survey. 3 Credits.

This course covers the principles of surveying, quantifying, and interpreting data on language attitudes, identity, bilingualism, intelligibility, vitality, language spread, shift, maintenance and death. Prerequisites or Corequisites: LING 450 and LING 470. SS, odd years.

LING 512L. Sociolinguistic Methods in Language Survey. 1 Credit.

This course is an optional lab to be taken alongside LING 512, enabling potential language surveyors to learn some of the core procedures that are recommended to achieve common survey objectives. Prerequisites or Corequisites: LING 450 and LING 470. SS, odd years.

LING 513. Tone Analysis. 3 Credits.

Analysis of tone systems in the world's spoken languages, covering a comprehensive variety of common tonal phenomena and tone systems. Methodology for analyzing a tonal language, so as to clearly and accurately describe its particular tone system. Implications of tone analysis for orthography development. Prerequisites: LING 450, LING 451 and LING 452. SS.

LING 516. Phonology of Signed Languages. 2-3 Credits.

How the basic phonetic elements in a natural signed language function together in the phonological system of the language. Practice in the application of various theoretical frameworks to problem solving and analysis of specific signed languages, and in applying theoretical concepts of general phonology to signed language research. Prerequisites: Proficiency in a natural signed language equivalent to at least one year of college-level study. Prerequisite or Corequisite: LING 455. SS.

LING 519. Introduction to Literacy Principles. 3 Credits.

Introduction to literacy principles, methods, materials and programs in multilingual societies, especially those involving one or more minority languages. Includes language policy and planning, reading theory, materials design, and literacy program design and implementation, with special emphasis on training and assisting members of the minority language community to establish and maintain ongoing literacy programs. Intended as an introduction to the topic for literacy technicians who will be assisting in literacy programs under the direction of experienced literacy specialists, or for field linguists who are not planning to be literacy specialists. Content is similar to the package of courses 520/521/522, but in less depth; it may be taught with some class sessions in common with the larger package. Corequisite: LING 530 is recommended. Prerequisite or Corequisite: LING 470. SS.

LING 520. Foundational Issues of Community-based Literacy in Multilingual Societies. 3 Credits.

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to: (a) explain in detail the inter-relationship between illiteracy, poverty, politics and environment; (b) identify and describe the major movements and trends in literacy; (c) explain and teach the principles of adult education; (d) identify the major "players" in the field of adult literacy; (e) explain the major issues involved in developing a multilingual education program for school children. Corequisites: LING 521 and LING 522. SS, odd years.

LING 521. Literacy Program Planning and Management. 3 Credits.

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to: (a) explain, with examples, change processes in traditional communities; (b) design a complete literacy program; (c) explain alternative strategies for designing and managing a literacy program; (d) evaluate the need for external funding in a literacy program; (e) do detailed costing for a literacy program; (f) write a funding proposal for a literacy program; and (g) use the LinguaLinks Electronic Performance Support system and access relevant Internet resources. Corequisites: LING 520 and LING 522. SS, odd years.

LING 522. Materials and Methods in Adult Literacy. 3 Credits.

Upon completion of this course, students will be able to: (a) explain some of the major theories of reading and the history of their evolution; (b) explain, describe, and critique various instructional strategies for teaching reading; (c) design instructional materials from any one of five different strategies for teaching reading; (d) design teacher training protocols for literacy programs; (e) design testing protocols for reading materials; (f) develop instructional materials for transitional literacy programs; (g) organize and direct a writers' workshop; and (h) explain the need for postliteracy materials and how to develop these. Corequisites: LING 520 and LING 521. SS, odd years.

LING 526. Morphosyntax of Signed Languages. 2-3 Credits.

Reasons for considering signed languages as natural languages. Morphological and syntactic properties that are characteristic of signed languages and which distinguish them from spoken languages, with briefer mention of semantics and discourse. Specific issues important to the analysis of signed languages, including: glossing conventions, grammaticalization of space, deixis and agreement, lexical structure, lexicalized borrowing, verb classes, aspect, classifiers, iconicity and metaphor, nonmanuals, and information structure. Prerequisite: LING 452 and proficiency in a natural signed language equivalent to at least one year of college-level study. SS.

LING 530. Introduction to Writing Systems. 1 Credit.

Introduction to the principles of designing and testing a writing system for a spoken or signed language. Attention is given to linguistic, sociolinguistic, educational, psycholinguistic, political/ideological, production and implementation issues in orthographic development. Prerequisite or corequisite: Either a) prerequisite LING 470 and corequisite LING 451; b) prerequisite LING 470 and corequisite LING 516; or c) corequisites LING 520, LING 521 and LING 522. SS.

LING 534. Historical Linguistics. 3 Credits.

Discovery of historical relationships between languages with primary focus on the comparative method for identifying regular sound changes and reconstructing parent languages, as well as identifying contact-induced changes such as areal diffusion and borrowing. Some coverage of internal reconstruction and historical morphology/syntax. Historical linguistics has applications for language survey, language planning and development and adaptation of translated materials between related languages. Prerequisites: LING 451 and LING 470 or equivalents. SS.

LING 535. Ethnographic Methods in Field Linguistics. 3 Credits.

Major areas within cultural anthropology (social, political, economic, religious, etc.) particularly with respect to issues that affect how one conducts field linguistic research and language development projects in a cross-cultural context, and which emphasize the interrelatedness of language and culture. Methods of ethnographic field methods for collecting cultural data, including practical experience in applying those methods in a research project. Recommended to be taken at the same time as LING 506, Field Methods, because of the possibilities for integrated assignments between the two courses. Prerequisite: 6 credits in linguistics or consent of instructor.

LING 580. Academic Writing in Linguistics. 1 Credit.

Instruction and practice in academic writing within the field of linguistics. All students will be required to submit a sample of their writing for peer review, and review fellow students' writing. Prerequisite: Acceptance to the MA program in Linguistics or permission of the instuctor. SS.

LING 590. Directed Studies in Linguistics. 1-4 Credits.

Supervised individual study. May be repeated if the topic is different. A maximum of 4 credits in LING 590 and 594 may be applied to the M.A. in linguistics. Repeatable to 4 credits.

LING 594. Research in Linguistics. 1-4 Credits.

Supervised individual research. May be repeated if topic is different. A maximum of 4 credits in LING 590 and 594 may be applied to the M.A. in linguistics. Repeatable to 4 credits.

LING 996. Continuing Enrollment. 1-12 Credits.

Repeatable. S/U grading.

LING 998. Thesis. 1-9 Credits.

Repeatable to 9 credits.

Undergraduate Courses for Graduate Credit

LING 450. Articulatory Phonetics. 2 Credits.

Introduction to the theory and practice of articulatory phonetics. SS.

LING 451. Phonology I. 3 Credits.

Introduction to phonological analysis; intensive practice in applying theoretical principles to problem solving and to field techniques. Prerequisite: LING 450 or with permission of the instructor ENGL 209 as a prerequisite and LING 450 as a corequisite. SS.

LING 470. Introduction to Sociolinguistics and Language Development. 2 Credits.

Introduction to language variation as influenced by social interaction, with special attention to participatory language development in multilingual societies. SS.

Office of the Registrar

Tel: 701.777.2711
Fax: 701.777.2696

Twamley Hall Room 201
264 Centennial Drive Stop 8382
Grand Forks, ND 58202-8382