LIN | linguistics

Canada Institute of Linguistics course set I, part of the linguistics program at Trinity Western University, or equivalent, is required before any of the following courses may be taken.

LIN 555 – Historical & Comparative Linguistics (3 Credits)

This course introduces students to language change. It considers how and why languages change and the role of language contact. It also presents different theories and methodologies useful for historical and comparative linguistic investigation. Students will investigate a number of related existing languages from language families around the world and seek to reconstruct substantial elements of earlier proto-language stages in terms of phonology, morphology, lexicon and historical dialectology.

LIN 560 – Morphosyntax II (3 Credits)

This course explores the rich variety of syntactic and semantic structures found in human language, deepening the students’ understanding of syntactic phenomena addressed in the prerequisite courses (360 or 361/362). The topics are examined within the framework of a current theory of Syntax.

LIN 566 – Principles of Sociolinguistic Survey (3 Credits)

This course introduces the students to the rudiments of linguistic and sociolinguistic survey. The focus is on purpose-driven language survey design and appropriate subsequent reporting of the findings. Consideration is given to current issues in social science research such as the ethics of sampling, and statistical significance of sample populations. (3-0; 0-0) Co-requisite(s): LING 210 Language and Society, or equivalent introduction to sociolinguistics (Summer).

LIN 570 – Language & Culture Acquisition (3 Credits)

This course introduces students to theories of second language and second culture acquisition. Students develop and evaluate self-directed strategies based on personal learning styles. Practical experience in the above topics is gained by working with a speaker of a non-Indo-European language. NB: LIN 560 and 580 are recommended in the same semester.

LIN 571 – Training Across Cultures (3 Credits)

This course provides linguists, translators and literacy trainers with principles of adult learning to increase their knowledge, skills and attitudes as effective trainers of adults in cross-cultural settings. Students will interact with literature in adult education; describe how these principles might apply cross-culturally; practice teaching using these methods; then analyze and compare approaches used in other cultures with practical application to training across cultures. While the focus is for training linguists, the principles can be applied to training adults in a wide variety of training situations. Maximum: 12 Students

LIN 575 – Scripture Use (3 Credits)

This course focuses on literature use as the goal of a language development project. The course is designed to create an early awareness of the interrelated parameters of literature use, its timing in language development planning, and the logistics of promotion and distribution. Topics covered include: culture variation and cross-cultural communication, the role of religion in culture, literacy strategies, promotion and distribution methods and strategies, and the role of non-print media.

LIN 576 – Acoustic Phonetics (3 Credits)

This course introduces students to fundamental principles of acoustics that are relevant to the study of human speech sounds. Students will gain a basic understanding of properties of speech sound waves and learn how to investigate these properties instrumentally using acoustic analysis software. There will be extensive practice interpreting acoustic displays such as waveform graphs, fundamental frequency graphs, and spectrograms. A major focus of the course is the effective use of these displays as an aid to correctly transcribing speech sounds and understanding their phonetic properties in the context of descriptive phonetic and/or phonological fieldwork. Significant attention is also given to the complex interrelationships among acoustic, articulatory, and perceptual correlates of speech sounds.

LIN 580 – Field Methods: Data Management & Analysis (3 Credits)

An exploration of practical methodology for managing, analyzing and describing language data. Working with a native speaker of a non-Indo-European language, students gain experience in the ethics of fieldwork, techniques of data collection and recording, analysis using the scientific method and the use of linguistic software. NB: LIN 560 is recommended in the same semester.

LIN 581 – Anthropological Ling: Ethnography (3 Credits)

This course introduces crucial concepts in anthropology and ethnography to linguists. It focuses on cross-cultural communication with an emphasis on participant observation as an effective methodology for such research. Students collect and analyze data related to topics such as oral traditions, kinship, and social structure. They are introduced to various tools for ethno-semantic analysis, including analysis of cultural themes and worldview, semantic domain analysis, and taxonomic analysis. Prerequisite: LING 210 or equivalent introduction to sociolinguistics.

LIN 582 – Issues in Community Literacy (3 Credits)

The issues in community literacy work that are covered in this course include various program issues such as introducing literacy in an oral community, motivation for literacy, capacity-building and sustainability, training of personnel and evaluation of the program, and using participatory approaches in all aspects of the program. Co-requisite: LIN 584

LIN 583 – Language Programs Design & Management (3 Credits)

This course investigates the sociolinguistic and background factors upon which a language development program for speakers of vernacular languages may be based. Students learn to work with local people and agencies in designing and implementing a program to effectively meet the needs of specific language groups. Prerequisite: LING 210 or instructor’s consent.

LIN 584 – Principles of Literacy (3 Credits)

As an introductory course in principles for literacy work in ethno-linguistic minority groups, this course includes an introduction to what a literacy program involves, including orthography design, pre- and post- literacy considerations, learning and reading theory and instructional methodologies. It requires a background knowledge of phonology.

LIN 585 – Principles of Translation (3 Credits)

This course covers the process of translating from a source language to a target language. Students will develop skill in understanding a message as originally communicated in one language and cultural setting, and in communicating essentially that message in a very different language and culture. Discussion includes source language, target language, and cross-language transfer, with particular attention to the translation of Scripture. Prerequisite(s): 560, 570, 580, or instructor’s consent.

LIN 586 – Advanced Phonological Analysis (3 Credits)

This course introduces students to advanced concepts of phonological theory. Employing the theoretical models they are learning, students develop a clearer understanding of the typological behavior of phonological systems by analyzing data from a variety of languages. Students are also taught how to integrate insights from phonological theory into the development of practical orthographies.

LIN 587 – Lexicography (3 Credits)

This course provides a theoretical and practical basis for analyzing the semantics of the lexicon, managing a lexical database and producing dictionaries for a variety of audiences including the local community, translators and linguists. Prerequisite: LIN 580

LIN 588 – Literacy Materials Development (3 Credits)

This course teaches students how to prepare basic pedagogical materials and early readers in languages that may not have a long written tradition. Special emphasis is given to teaching techniques for involving the local language community in the production of these materials. Co-requisite: LIN 584

LIN 591 – Special Topic (Linguistics) (3 Credits)

This course gives the student an opportunity to do focused study in a specialized area of Linguistics and Translation Ministry. It will help students to broaden and deepen their knowledge of the field, challenge them to do in-depth critical research of current issues and concepts, and promote growth in skills that are relevant to ministry in this field.

LIN 593 – Semantics & Pragmatics (3 credits)


This course provides students with the theoretical tools with which to study meaning at the word and sentence levels, and to explain how people interpret utterances in context. Students will study various models of semantics and pragmatics, and learn how to apply different approaches to the study of meaning in natural language.

LIN 599 – Philosophical Perspectives in Linguistics (3 Credits)

An examination of the philosophical basis of human language and communication, with special attention to issues relating to semantics, discourse, lexicon, metaphor, and translation–all the areas that deal with meaning creation. There will be a critical review of some major schools of thought within philosophy of language and hermeneutics. These will be examined in light of current insights in text linguistics, cognitive linguistics, and integrational linguistics.

LIN 650 – Survey of Linguistic Theories (3 Credits)

An introduction to a wide range of linguistic theories. Students read and discuss original works written from various perspectives and gain in the process a clearer appreciation for the range of views that exist concerning the nature of human language and its syntactic, semantic, phonological, and discourse properties. Prerequisite: LIN 560, LIN 586

LIN 660 – Problems in Morphology & Syntax (3 Credits)

This course provides an in-depth exploration of current issues in the linguistic sub-fields of Morphology and Syntax, expanding on the knowledge acquired in the prerequisite course (560). The topics are explored via published articles and book chapters written from a variety of theoretical positions. Prerequisite: LIN 560

LIN 680 – Advanced Field Methods (3 Credits)

Students analyze a non-Indo-European language by working extensively with a native speaker. A major focus in the course is on developing descriptive writing skills. Prerequisite: LIN 560, LIN 580, LIN 586

LIN 688 – Tone Analysis (3 Credits)

This course introduces students to a methodology of tone analysis, incorporating the insights of current theoretical approaches. Students also learn to apply insights from the analysis of a tone system to developing practical orthographies. Co-requisite: LIN 586

LIN 691 – Discourse Analysis (3 Credits)

This course focuses on the question of how speakers of a given language effectively accomplish their communicative goals through the strategic use and shaping of language in both written and oral discourse. Students learn to identify different discourse genres, to chart texts for analysis, to discern hierarchical units within the macrostructure of a text, and to describe features of cohesion and participant reference, as well as identifying strategies in language for establishing the relative prominence of various streams of information. Special attention is paid to the interaction between alternate syntactic forms and their varying pragmatic functions in context. Prerequisite: LIN 560

LIN 803* – Research Writing and the Ministry of Scholarship (1 Credits)

The student is introduced to the world of academic scholarship, research, writing, and teaching within the field of Linguistics to help students discern and prepare for their own contribution to the ministry of Christian scholarship. The course explores broad epistemological issues that shape research within the Christian worldview; it considers other specific issues and methodologies related to research writing in the fields of specialization represented by the MLE program; and it helps students prepare for teaching in an educational setting. Students are challenged to develop skills of persuasion in the academic context, and to build a personal philosophy of scholarly ministry. In addition, the course prepares students for the specific task of researching, writing, and defending a graduate thesis.