May 20, 2024  
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog 
2023-2024 Undergraduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]

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LIN 112 - The Birth of a Language

The goal of this course is to explore the many factors that impact the use, development, and emergence of language by focusing on one unique case of language emergence in Nicaragua and the social and political context in which it arose. The emergence of Nicaraguan Sign Language is the first case in which any language, spoken or signed, has been documented in the process of its emergence. Students will engage in critical thinking and exploration of controversial debates concerning the nature of language as a human trait, the evolution/emergence of language in the human species, and the historical factors that converge to set the stage for the emergence of a language. The course is highly interdisciplinary, relating the linguistic concepts to history, psychology, political science, philosophy (particularly ethics), neuroscience, Latin American Studies, and Spanish. No prior knowledge of a signed language is required.

Credits: 3

Meets the Following Core Requirement: International; Socio-cultural Analysis
Course Typically Offered: Once a year
Course Type: Linguistics

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