UMass Sesquicentennial

101 People and Their Language (SBU) (4 units)

Fall 2011


MW 1:25 - 2:15 - Bartlett 65


Margaret Speas []


Disc 1: F 1:25-2:15 (Minta Elsman; ) Machmer E-10

Disc 2: F 11:15-12:05 (Minta Elsman; ) Hasbrouck 228

Disc 3: F 12:20-1:10 (Aleksei Nazarov; ) Hasbrouck 228

Disc 4: F 1:25-2:15 (Aleksei Nazarov; ) Hasbrouck 228

Disc 5: F 1:25-2:15 (Clinton Hartzell; ) Hasbrouck 137

Disc 6: F 11:15-12:05 (Clinton Hartzell; ) Hasbrouck 242

Disc 7: F 12:20-1:10 (Emily Elfner; ) Hasbrouck 242

Disc 8: F 1:25-2:15 (Nicholas LaCara; ) Hasbrouck 242

Disc 9: F 1:25-2:15 (Emily Elfner; ) Hasbrouck 109

Disc 10: F 10:10-11:00 (Nicholas LaCara; ) Hasbrouck 242


Fulfills Social & Behavioral and Diversity U.S. General Education Requirements. This course looks at human language from two perspectives. One perspective is biological: language is a uniquely human instinct, a part of the human genome. Because language is an instinct, all human languages are, at some deep level, the same. The other perspective is social: language is an important -- perhaps the most important -- cultural artifact in any society. With this perspective, we will look at how and why languages and dialects differ, studying language as a force that dynamically shapes and is shaped by history, class, status, ethnicity, gender, and institutions like the media and the law. Throughout, we will also examine the interplay of biological and social factors in human language. No prerequisites, and you don't have to be good at languages to enjoy this course. Discussions meet on Friday. There are 10 sections at times ranging from 10:10 to 1:25.