GB 105: Languages and Their Place in the World

Class Program
Credits 4.0
This core course will explore the essential role played by language in the liberal arts, in the professional world, and in international contexts. In addition, students will examine the complex, often undefined relationship between language and culture, as well as strategies for learning the components of speaking, listening, writing, and reading in a foreign language. We will investigate a variety of topics which are drawn from the fields of sociolinguistics, literary and cultural studies etc. The course will begin with a general overview of what constitutes language. We will examine the different proposed hypotheses which attempt to account for the nature of the relationship between language and culture. The remainder of the course will cover a variety of topics which explore language in its social context. Some questions that we will consider include: How is language used to create and maintain social institutions and rituals? How do we use language to create different personae? How is language used by people of different genders, ethnicities, and social classes? How are social and linguistic roles acquired by children?
Open to all students; no specific language prerequisite