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University Honors Program

University Honors Program
Kansas State University
215 Fairchild Hall
Manhattan, KS 66506

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ANTH 220 - Honors Introduction to Linguistic Anthropology

Course Description: Linguistic anthropology is one of the four subfields of anthropology. This course provides a broadly-based entry-level introduction to linguistic anthropology stressing the interactions between language and culture, and between language and social identity. The first part of the course focuses on some of the core areas of linguistic anthropology. Here, you will become familiar with the basics of:

(a) How sounds are used and produced (phonetics)
(b) How sounds are organized and the relationship between sounds (phonology)
(c) How words are formed (morphology)
(d) How sentences are generated (syntax)
(e) How meaning is encoded in language and how language is used in conversation (semantics and pragmatics)

These topics will serve as the necessary background for the second part of the course, which will focus on a variety of language-related topics, including,

(f) The origin(s) and development of languages/dialects
(g) The evolution of writing systems
(h) Language change and language death
(i) Language variation (according to class, gender, region, and ethnicity)

By the end of the course, you should be acquainted with the basics of linguistic analysis, be aware of fundamental similarities and differences among all human languages, and have an informed perspective on issues of language that have an impact on our society. Most importantly, in this class you will acquire the essential tools for learning and analyzing languages in social and cultural contexts, and for understanding the basics of cross-cultural communication.