Human Language ENGLSH 1060 01 Semester Spring Year 2023 Matthew Gordon Monday Wednesday Friday 10:00-10:50 Course Description (Cross-listed with ANTHRO 1060 and LINGST 1060) Language is a uniquely human achievement, a development that sets us apart from other animals. It is a powerful tool that we use during our every waking hour (and during much of our sleep). Still, we rarely stop to appreciate the complex role it plays in our everyday life. This course explores language from a variety of perspectives. We will consider the structure of language, looking at how sounds combine to form words and how words combine to form sentences. To gain a sense of the diversity of linguistic structures, we will consider examples from a variety of the world’s languages. We will also investigate the social functioning of language, exploring regional and social differences across American dialects and the "secret" rules of conversation. In this course you will learn how to make nouns plural in Swahili, why R-sounds in other languages are hard for English speakers to master, how young Missourians' speech differs from their parents', and, most importantly, how to think critically about language.