2017-18 Catalog

Tri-Co Program in Linguistics

Students may major or minor in the Tri-Co Linguistics Department (Bryn Mawr, Haverford and Swarthmore).


Jane Chandlee, Assistant Professor of Linguistics (Haverford)
Shizhe Huang, Co-Chair and C.V. Starr Professor of Asian Studies; Associate Professor of Chinese and Linguistics (Haverford) (On leave, Fall 2017)
Brook D. Lillehaugen, Assistant Professor and Chair of Linguistics
Affiliated Faculty at Swarthmore
Theodore B. Fernald, Professor
Emily A. Gasser, Visiting Assistant Professor
K. David Harrison, Professor
Patricia L. Irwin, Visiting Assistant Professor
Peter Klecha, Visiting Assistant Professor
Donna Jo Napoli, Professor
Jamie A. Thomas, Assistant Professor
Jonathan North Washington, Assistant Professor
Affiliated Faculty at Bryn Mawr
Amanda Weidman, Chair and Associate Professor of Anthropology
Affiliated Faculty at Haverford
Marilyn Boltz, Professor of Psychology
Danielle Macbeth, T. Wistar Brown Professor of Philosophy
Maud McInerney, Associate Professor of English
Ana López-Sánchez, Associate Professor of Spanish

Linguistics is the scientific study of language, the medium which allows us to communicate and share our ideas with others. As a discipline, linguistics examines the structural components of sound, form and meaning, and the precise interplay between them. Modern linguistic inquiry stresses analytical and argumentation skills, which will prepare students for future pursuits in any field where such skills are essential. Linguistics is also relevant to other disciplines, such as Psychology, Philosophy, Mathematics, Computer Science, Sociology and Anthropology. (Some of our students have double majored with one of them.)

The primary goals of the linguistics major are to introduce students to the field of linguistics proper through a series of foundation courses in linguistics theory and methodology; to provide training in the application of certain theoretical and methodological tools to the analysis of linguistic data; and to offer an array of interdisciplinary courses that allow students to explore other related fields that best suit their interests.

Major Requirements

The Tri-Co Linguistics Department offers two majors:

  • Linguistics
  • Linguistics and Language

Students may learn more about the major requirements at the following websites:

All Linguistics and Linguistics and Languages course majors must take one course or seminar from each of the following three lists:

  • Sounds: LING H115 at HC or LING045, 052 at SC
  • Forms: LING H113 at HC or LING050 at SC
  • Meanings: LING H114 at HC or LING026, 040 at SC

All Linguistics and Linguistics and Languages course majors are required to take the structure of a non-Indo-European Language, typically LING282 at HC, or LING061, 062, 064 at SC.

All majors must take two elective courses in Linguistics or related fields.

In addition, all Linguistics and Linguistics and Languages course majors are required to write a senior thesis in the fall of their senior year in LING100 (Research Seminar). This paper constitutes the comprehensive requirement. The course can be taken for one or two credits. All Linguistics and Linguistics and Languages honors majors are required to write a senior thesis in the fall of the senior year in LING195 for two credits.

Honors majors do all of the above plus two research projects (each carries one credit) to be completed independently in the spring of their senior year and conclude with an oral examination

Minor Requirements

Students may minor in linguistics by completing six credits in the following three areas of study:

A. Mandatory Foundation Courses (three credits)
LING H113 or LING S050 Introduction to Syntax
LING H114 or LING S040 Introduction to Semantics
LING H115 Phonetics and Phonology

B. Synthesis Courses (choose one):
LING H282 Structure of Chinese
LING H382 Topics in Chinese Syntax and Semantics
LING S060 Structure of Navajo
LING S062 Structure of American Sign Language
LING S064 Structure of Tuvan

C. Elective Courses (choose two):
LING/PSYC H238 The Psychology of Language
LING B101 Introduction to Linguistics
LING/PHIL H253 Analytic Philosophy of Language
LING/PHIL H260 Historical Introduction to Logic
LING/ANTH B281 Language in the Social Context
LING/CMSC B325 Computational Linguistics
LING/SPAN H365 The Politics of Language in the Spanish-Speaking World
LING/EAST H382 Topics in Chinese Syntax and Semantics

All linguistics courses offered at Swarthmore College will be accepted for minor credit for various categories.

Students who plan to declare either major in the Linguistics Department:

  • At the college level, students must fill out the major declaration form as required by the Registrar’s Office of your college.
  • At the departmental level, students must fill out the Sophomore Paper, scan it and email it to Shizhe Huang AND Dorothy Kunzig (dkunzig1@swarthmore.edu).

Contact Information for Bi-Co students: Shizhe Huang, Co-Chair of Tri-Co Linguistics Department, shuang@haverford.edu.


LING B101 Introduction to Linguistics
An introductory survey of linguistics as a field. This course examines the core areas of linguistic structure (morphology, phonology, syntax, semantics), pragmatics, and language variation in relation to language change. The course provides rudimentary training in the analysis of language data, and focuses on the variety of human language structures and on the question of universal properties of language.
Approach: Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC)
Units: 1.0
Instructor(s): Lillehaugen,B.
(Fall 2017)

ANTH B281 Language in Social Context
Studies of language in society have moved from the idea that language reflects social position/identity to the idea that language plays an active role in shaping and negotiating social position, identity, and experience. This course will explore the implications of this shift by providing an introduction to the fields of sociolinguistics and linguistic anthropology. We will be particularly concerned with the ways in which language is implicated in the social construction of gender, race, class, and cultural/national identity. The course will develop students’ skills in the ethnographic analysis of communication through several short ethnographic projects. Prerequisite: ANTH B102, ANTH H103 or permission of instructor.
Approach: Cross-Cultural Analysis (CC); Critical Interpretation (CI)
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2017-2018)

SPAN B216 Introducción a la lingüística hispánica
A survey of the field of Hispanic linguistics. We will explore the sounds and sound patterns of Spanish (phonetics and phonology), how words are formed (morphology), the structure and interpretation of sentences (syntax and semantics), language use (pragmatics), the history and dialects of the Spanish language, and second language acquisition. Prerequisite: SPAN B110 or SPAN B120 or permission of the instructor. Critical Interpretation (CI)
Approach: Critical Interpretation (CI)
Units: 1.0
(Not Offered 2017-2018)