Об этом курсе
Everywhere, every day, everybody uses language. There is no human society, no matter how small or how isolated, which does not employ a language that is rich and diverse. This course introduces you to linguistics, featuring interviews with well-known linguists and with speakers of many different languages. Join us to explore the miracles of human language! The Miracles of Human Language introduces you to the many-faceted study of languages, which has amazed humans since the beginning of history. Together with speakers of many other languages around the world, as well as with famous linguists such as Noam Chomsky and Adele Goldberg, you will learn to understand and analyse how your native tongue is at the same time similar and different from many other languages. You will learn the basic concepts of linguistics, get to know some of the key features of big and small languages and get insight into what linguists do. This course gives an introduction into the study of languages, the field of linguistics. With the support of the basic linguistic terminology that is offered in the course, you will soon be able to comment both on variety between languages, as well as on a single language’s internal structure. Anyone who wishes to understand how languages work, and how they can give us insight into the human mind is very welcome to join. The course is useful if you want to get a fairly quick introduction into linguistics, for instance because you are considering studying it further, or because you are interested in a neighbouring discipline such as psychology, computer science or anthropology. Furthermore, the course will help you develop analytical skills. If you are curious to understand how language works and how it gives insight into the human mind, this course is definitely for you!
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Только онлайн-курс

Начните сейчас и учитесь по собственному графику.
Beginner Level

Начальный уровень

Clock

Прибл. 24 ч. на завершение

Предполагаемая нагрузка: 5 hours/week
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English

Субтитры: English, Romanian, Bulgarian
Globe

Только онлайн-курс

Начните сейчас и учитесь по собственному графику.
Beginner Level

Начальный уровень

Clock

Прибл. 24 ч. на завершение

Предполагаемая нагрузка: 5 hours/week
Comment Dots

English

Субтитры: English, Romanian, Bulgarian

Syllabus - What you will learn from this course

1

Section
Clock
4 hours to complete

Introduction to Linguistics

In this first week, we will try to determine what makes language human: why do (almost) all human beings have a language, and what makes human language different from animal communication systems? We will furthermore discuss the many different places where linguists work, and the many different methodologies that they use for conducting their research. You will moreover get to know all the other participants in this MOOC: my students Inge and Marten, as well as the speakers of six different languages. Finally, don't forget to watch our first expert interview: Marten and Inge have talked with Dr. Victoria Nyst of Leiden University, who has enlightened us in the fascinating world of sign languages! For the assignments with the support of Ethnologue, please make sure to study the instructions listed in 'required and optional readings' of this module....
Reading
14 videos (Total 74 min), 7 readings, 1 quiz
Video14 videos
Human Language and Animal Communication Systems6m
Human Language Versus Other 'Languages'9m
Discussion with Marten and Inge: Language Diversity9m
Language Diversity and Ethnologue8m
Discussion with Marten and Inge: What do Linguists do?13m
Interview with Dr. Victoria Nyst10m
Introduction language informants + introducing Han Hu, Speaker of Mandarin Chinese4m
Introducing Roberta D'Alessandro, speaker of Abruzzese0m
Introducing Khalid Mourigh, speaker of Tarifit Berber0m
Introducing Varun DeCastro-Arrazola, speaker of Basque1m
Introducing Beste Sevindik, speaker of Turkish1m
Introducing Enoch Aboh, speaker of Gungbe1m
Conclusion; language and dialect2m
Reading7 readings
Meet the instructor & his team5m
Welcome to Leiden University5m
Study tips for studying online5m
Being succesful in an international virtual learning community5m
Behaving in an academic way5m
Registration Ethnologue10m
Required and optional readings30m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Test your knowledge 124m

2

Section
Clock
2 hours to complete

The study of sound: Phonology and Phonetics

In this module we will delve into what appear to be the smallest building blocks of spoken language: 'sounds'. As we will see however, all is not what it seems, as we will in fact encounter an even smaller building block of language, a true atom. Another interesting thing about this module is that as of this week our 6 informants will all only speak their own language. Naturally, there is also an interview with my very special friend Prof. dr. Claartje Levelt, whom I have announced before....
Reading
13 videos (Total 62 min), 1 reading, 1 quiz
Video13 videos
Production of speech sounds7m
Discussion with Marten and Inge: consonants of world languages8m
Sounds in systems7m
Discussion with Marten and Inge: sounds and language change11m
Interview with Prof. dr. Claartje Levelt7m
Introduction + Tarifit Berber4m
Gungbe1m
Turkish1m
Abruzzese1m
Mandarin Chinese1m
Basque1m
Conclusion; sounds and gestures1m
Reading1 readings
Required and optional readings30m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Test your knowledge 224m

3

Section
Clock
5 hours to complete

The study of words and sentences: Morphology and Syntax

In this module we will discuss words and sentences. All languages have them; but as I will illustrate, they can be organized in very different ways in different languages. I will furthermore demonstrate what cupcakes have in common with words in a sentence. This module's interview is with one of the most cited and re-knowned linguists alive, Prof. Noam Chomsky! Finally, our 6 language informants will provide us with information about the word order in their languages....
Reading
14 videos (Total 86 min), 1 reading, 2 quizzes
Video14 videos
Morphology9m
Discussion with Marten and Inge: world of words11m
Syntax and word order (a)8m
Syntax and word order (b)5m
Discussion with Marten and Inge: world of word order8m
Interview with Prof. Noam Chomsky28m
Introduction + Basque3m
Tarifit Berber2m
Gungbe1m
Turkish0m
Abruzzese1m
Mandarin Chinese0m
Conclusion; structure beyond sentences1m
Reading1 readings
Required and optional readings0m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Test your knowledge 324m

4

Section
Clock
3 hours to complete

The study of meaning: Pragmatics and Semantics

This module deals with a topic which many of you find very interesting: meaning. How do we determine what a word means? To what extent does our language influence our thinking? How can we change the world with language? As usual, we also have an additional interview with an expert of the current module's theme: in this module Barend Beekhuizen talks to Inge and Marten about his work as a Leiden PhD student in computational linguistics....
Reading
13 videos (Total 66 min), 2 readings, 1 quiz
Video13 videos
Semantics7m
Discussion with Marten and Inge: color and snow10m
Pragmatics11m
Discussion with Marten and Inge: changing the world with sentences9m
Interview with Barend Beekhuizen MA11m
Introduction + Abruzzese1m
Tarifit Berber1m
Turkish1m
Basque0m
Mandarin Chinese2m
Gungbe1m
Conclusion; untranslatable words?1m
Reading2 readings
Required and optional readings0m
Quiz readings10m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Test your knowledge 424m

5

Section
Clock
3 hours to complete

Language in the Brain

This module features all of the well-known parts of the current MOOC. Informants tell us about speech errors in their native tongue, I discuss everyday mistakes with my students Marten and Inge, and we have an interview with Prof. Niels Schiller of Leiden University. He discusses with us his own research among others. We moreover go on a little outing, to see linguists in their natural habitat! Furthermore, thanks to our friends at 'Babel, -The Language Magazine' we have some interesting reading for you. For example, linguist Jörg Schwyter tells us all about how he had to deal with aphasia, and how that has influenced him as a multilingual speaker. ...
Reading
11 videos (Total 74 min), 2 readings, 1 quiz
Video11 videos
Aphasia8m
Discussion with Marten and Inge: everyday mistakes and the Foreign Accent Syndrome12m
Reading in the brain10m
Visiting the lab12m
Interview with Prof. Dr. Niels Schiller14m
Introduction + Turkish4m
Tarifit Berber1m
Abruzzese0m
Basque1m
Conclusion; dyslexia1m
Reading2 readings
Required and optional readings30m
Crowdfunding credits2m
Quiz1 practice exercises
Test your knowledge 524m

6

Section
Clock
6 hours to complete

Language in the Society

In the previous modules we have dissected the structure of languages, but now we will study language in its real context: how does language change? How do people use language to be polite? Our informants are demonstrating their acting skills, and furthermore we have an interview with Prof. Adele Goldberg! She presents us with an alternative view of language, compared to the one as previously discussed by Prof. Chomsky in the third module....
Reading
13 videos (Total 85 min), 1 reading, 3 quizzes
Video13 videos
Social stratification11m
Discussion with Marten and Inge: social variables11m
Politeness10m
Discussion with Marten and Inge: examples of Face13m
Interview with Prof. Adele Goldberg14m
Introduction + Gungbe2m
Tarifit Berber0m
Turkish1m
Abruzzese1m
Mandarin Chinese3m
Basque1m
Conclusion; how personal are politeness strategies?2m
Reading1 readings
Required and optional readings0m
Quiz2 practice exercises
Test your knowledge 624m
Final exam0m
4.7
Direction Signs

38%

started a new career after completing these courses
Briefcase

83%

got a tangible career benefit from this course

Top Reviews

By DCSep 24th 2017

Extremely informational, well presented, with questions that stimulate reflection. The optional reading material is food for thought. I hope to see more courses from the same professor and University.

By DPJan 3rd 2017

Excellent! Really enjoyed and learnt a lot. I did not expect such a great content and professionalism in a free course. I am definitely purchasing for the title.\n\nThanks to all the team! Great job!

Instructor

About Universiteit Leiden

Leiden University is one of Europe's foremost research universities. This prominent position gives our graduates a leading edge in applying for academic posts and for functions outside academia. Leiden University is the oldest university in the Netherlands. It was founded in February 1575, as a gift from William of Orange to the citizens of Leiden after they had withstood a long siege by the Spanish. Our motto is: Praesidium Libertatis — Bastion of Liberty....

About Meertens instituut (KNAW)

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