2017-2018 Catalog

Linguistics (Ling)


Linguistics courses are taught through a cooperative program between UND and SIL International during a nine-week summer session every year. Introductory courses are at the undergraduate level; advanced courses are at the graduate level but are open to undergraduates who meet their prerequisites. Courses focus on theoretically-informed descriptive linguistics in preparation for careers involving minority-language communities and lesser-studied languages. They are particularly appropriate for students anticipating careers in language development, documenting endangered languages, language survey, translation, and literacy.

It is possible for students to earn a minor in linguistics; for details, see the Minors section. Students may take up to 20 credits of Linguistics courses as undergraduates without applying to a degree program.

Deadlines: U.S. citizens who wish to take courses listed under Linguistics (whether in a degree 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. 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.

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). Information is also available from the SIL office on campus when the courses are in session during the summer (701-777-0575).

Other departments also offer undergraduate courses relevant to linguistics, especially English, Languages, and Communication Sciences and Disorders.


Minor in Linguistics

Emphasizing both cognitive understanding and analytical skills, the undergraduate minor in Linguistics provides an introduction to the scientific study of language, as a supplement to a student’s primary academic concentration. Its purpose is to provide a foundation for a graduate degree or other further education in linguistics or related fields, and to prepare students for informed decision-making about language-related issues in their daily life and civic responsibilities. The courses are offered in three core subfields of linguistics: phonetics, phonology, and morphology/syntax, as well as other subfields (including interdisciplinary and applied). The minor promotes familiarity with a broad range of languages, especially minority languages.

The total requirement for the minor is 20 credits, including the following:

Prerequisites to the minor
ENGL 209Introduction to Linguistics (also offered as Lang 207)3
2.8 GPA and junior standing or special permission 1
Required core courses
LING 450Articulatory Phonetics2
LING 451Phonology I3
LING 452Syntax and Morphology I3
Non-core courses with linguistics content
Select three of the following:9
Diversity in U.S. Literatures
Modern Grammar
Language and Culture
Special Topics in Language
Second Language Acquisition 2
Teaching English as a Second Language
History of the English Language
Phonetics of Signed Languages
Introduction to Sociolinguistics and Language Development
Learner-Directed Second Language Acquisition
Total Credits20

Other upper-division or graduate courses whose content is linguistics, subject to approval by one of the program advisors.

Language requirement for the minor:

Three credits in a non-Indo-European language. If a suitable language is used to satisfy the language requirement of a student’s major, it may also be used to satisfy the language requirement of the minor. The following courses are among those that may be used to satisfy the language requirement:

CHIN 101First Year Chinese I4
CHIN 102First Year Chinese II4
CSD 101American Sign Language I2
CSD 102American Sign Language II2
CSD 201American Sign Language III2
IS 250Lakota Language I3
IS 251Lakota Languages II3
IS 350Native American Languages3
LING 480Learner-Directed Second Language Acquisition (This course may be used to satisfy both the language requirement and the non-core requirement)3
Total Credits26

Other language courses in non-Indo-European languages may be used with the approval of a program advisor, including transfer courses.

The language requirement may also be satisfied by examination or by native competence in a suitable language, subject to approval by a program advisor.

Deaf students may, in consultation with a program advisor, substitute appropriate courses in the phonetics and phonology of sign language for LING 450 Articulatory Phonetics and LING 451 Phonology I if they also use a sign language to satisfy the non-Indo-European language requirement.


SIL requires a 2.8 GPA and junior standing in order for students to take its courses. Any exceptions to these requirements would need to be granted by the SIL director.


ENGL 418 Second Language Acquisition and LING 480 Learner-Directed Second Language Acquisition are distinct courses in content and aims. ENGL 418 Second Language Acquisition focuses more on a cognitive and theoretical understanding of second language acquisition, particularly for language teaching of world languages in a traditional classroom setting. LING 480 Learner-Directed Second Language Acquisition provides a practical approach to second language acquisition in a non-traditional, user-directed context where traditional instruction and resources are not available, as is typical in minority languages.


See footnote 2.

The minor is offered jointly by the English department and SIL; interested students should contact the English department for further information and advising.


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 452. Syntax and Morphology I. 3 Credits.

Fundamentals of analyzing the grammatical and morphological structures of languages; analytical skills developed through graded problems based on a wide variety of languages. SS.

LING 455. Phonetics of Signed Languages. 2 Credits.

Introduction to the theory and practice of sign language phonetics. Intensive drill in recognition and production of a wide range of manual and non-manual phonetic elements that are used in natural signed languages, along with terminology for describing those elements precisely. Practice in reading and writing one or more notational systems that are useful in recording phonetic details when conducting research on signed languages. 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.

LING 480. Learner-Directed Second Language Acquisition. 3 Credits.

Equips the student for success in learner-directed acquisition of language/culture without dependence on formal classroom instruction, especially in little-studied languages with few or no published pedagogical resources. The core of the course is an intensive practicum (40-45 hours), working with a native speaker of a language that is very different from languages the student already knows, in sessions led first by a teaching assistant and later by students. Separate lecture-discussion sessions present the theoretical foundation for the practicum. An understanding of second language acquisition is instilled that combines Sociocultural Theory with the psycholinguistic study of comprehension and production along with a detailed multiphase strategy for long-term language/culture learning. Corequisite recommended: LING 450 or LING 455. 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