Department of English

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320/520-001 Special Topics in Linguistics: The Linguistics of Language Play

320/520-001 Special Topics in Linguistics: The Linguistics of Language Play
Instructor: Margaret Hostetler
Description:
The past, present, and future walk into a bar. It was tense." Everyone plays with language; it is part of our innate language instinct to do so. No one needs special training. "What's brown and sticky? A stick." And the play that we can do with language reveals a lot about how language works. This course will survey a variety of the types of language play (puns, anagrams, jokes, crosswords, jumbles, made up languages, poetry, etc.) for what is revealed about the workings of human language. We will look at the social arenas in which language play occurs often (advertising, graffiti, texting language, social media, etc.) and look at some of the social uses for language play from a sociolinguistic perspective. No previous linguistic study is necessary, but this course will introduce you to the basics of linguistic study and some sociolinguistic context. Fulfills the linguistic requirement for English Liberal Arts Majors/Minors and English Secondary Education Majors/Minors.

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