Rob Hagiwara's Monthly Mystery Spectrogram Webzone

Welcome to the Monthly Mystery Spectrogram webzone. These pages are Rob Hagiwara's professional web-space. For personal musings, please see Rob's blog.

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This page is for the information of students and colleagues who may be interested in the courses I teach. Documents available from this web page are in PDF format. You must have Adobe (Acrobat) Reader or the equivalent to open these files.

What's here:

PLEASE NOTE: Details in syllabi and other documents available here are subject to change without notice and cannot be considered final or binding. They are placed here only as a courtesy to prospective students or colleagues who would like a view at the probable organization of a course, topics to be covered, evaluation criteria, etc. No such document can be considered official unless distributed in class, and then only for that offering of the course.

General stuff

I've been developing some general materials which may interest students.

Courses for 2009-10

Sorry to disappoint, but I'll be on Research Leave for the entire 2009-10 school year, and not teaching at the University of Manitoba.

It seems like it's a long way in the future, and anything could happen in the meantime, but since we'll presumably start timetabling for 2010-11 in late 09, I'm putting in requests to offer:

Click the links above to go to my course descriptions below--see the Aurora Student for official descriptions.

Overviews of regularly-offered courses

All courses described in this section are one term (three credit hours).

LING 2800 Communication Disorders

Usually offered in alternating years. Linguistic communication involves encoding, transmission and reception of complexly structured messages. Given this complexity, there are many opportunities for the system to break down in large and small ways. In this course, we will discuss common disorders of language, hearing and speech, and their classes and causes with respect to an idealized 'normal' model. Topics include:

Textbook: Minifie, 1994, Introduction to Communication Sciences and Disorders). Recent syllabus: 06-07.

Note: I'm shopping for a new textbook for this course, and as a result the course content is likely to change a little. Probably nothing major, as far as general topics covered, but certainly my emphasis and point of view will change. Stay tuned!

LING 2830 Linguistic Anatomy and Physiology 1: Musculoskeletal bases of speech production

Usually offered in alternating years. This course offers the student an intensive survey of the speech production mechanism. Structural and functional aspects of respiration, phonation, articulation and resonance are considered as they serve and relate to basic organic functions (like breathing, chewing and swallowing) and specialized speech and language functions. Topics include:

Textbook: Perkins and Kent (1986, Functional Anatomy of Speech, Language, and Hearing). Recent syllabus: 06-07.

LING 2850 Linguistic Anatomy and Physiology 2: Neurological bases of hearing, language and speech

Usually offered in alternating years. This course offers the student an intensive introduction to neuroanatomy and neurophysiology of speech, language, and hearing. Topics include:

Textbook: Perkins and Kent (1986, Functional Anatomy of Speech, Language, and Hearing). Recent syllabus: 06-07.

LING 2880 Acoustic Phonetics

Usually offered in alternating years. In this course we discuss the physical/mathematical properties of sound and resonance as they relate to the study of speech and linguistic phonetics. Topics include:

Textbook: Johnson (2001, Acoustic and Auditory Phonetics, 2nd ed.) Recent syllabus: 05-06.

Other courses (recent)

These are courses I do not teach on a regular schedule. Some are regularly scheduled but usually (or at least often) taught by someone else, and others are one-shots. All are three credit hours, unless otherwise indicated. For general information regarding these courses, please see the Undergraduate Calendar. For recent syllabi, please contact the department, unless otherwise indicated.

LING 1200 Introduction to Linguistics

(6 credit hours) Linguistics is the scientific study of human language. What is it you know when you know a language? It must be more than just words, since you can recognize a sentence in your language even if you don't know all the words ("The vasonce destrifted some pelish trisses"), and you can tell something that isn't a sentence in your language, even if you know all the words ("Another swiftly rock balanced and six"). Language is a body of knowledge, a finite system (made up of units and processes) that can produce an (in principle) infinite number of utterances. I prefer to teach the whole course (two terms), so that I can coordinate material across terms. In my first term we cover 'core' areas of linguistic competence: morphology, articulatory phonetics, core phonology, core syntax, structural and lexical semantics, and some pragmatics. In the second term I turn to 'hyphenated' (interdisciplinary) areas, like historical linguistics, sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics, neurolinguistics, and various things that 'combine' these areas: pidgin and creole formation, writing and writing systems, sign language (formation of, acquisition of, processing of, breakdown of, etc.). All stuff people should know about and we can relate back to general core and interdisciplinary issues. Recent syllabus: 06-07.

LING 1420 Language and Gender

Usually offered every year, but often taught by Dr Ghomeshi. Language is integral to how we relate to each other. Gender is a (set of) sociological distinction(s) that also greatly affects our interactions. Do men and women communicate differently? Do they communicate differently among themselves than with each other? This course is about the relationship of linguistic variables (choices we make in using language) and the sociology of gender (and related social categories such as authority, history and ethnicity). How are gender differences encoded in linguistic or communicative choices? How do these choices effect how we communicate? This course will give you plenty of practice at critical reading, thinking, and writing while we discuss this very interesting area.

Textbook: Coates, Jennifer (1998). Language and Gender: A reader. Recent syllabus: 08-09.

LING 2420 Phonology

Offered every year, though not always by me. Phonology comprises the patterns of sounds used as the re-combinable units in spoken language.From a finite and universal number of basic parameters, languages can select a seemingly infinite array of contrastive sounds and sound patterns. This course explores the basics of the phonological units and phenomena: speech sounds and features, contrast and alternation, organization into higher units, and the way linguists represent and describe the phonology of human languages.

LING 2860 Language Acquisition

Offered every other year or so, I thought LA in 06R. In this course we explored language in developmental perspective, as it is acquired by (or emerges in) an individual. We began by looking at the typical developmental sequence in each of the core areas of linguistic knowledge/behavio(u)r--phonology, lexicon, syntax, semantics, pragmatics and so on--and then looked in detail at the general models used to describe and explain the emergence of language--especially strict (and not-so-strict) versions of behavio(u)rism, nativism, and social and cognitive interactionism.

LING 3400 Field Methods

(6 credit hours) Usually offered every other year, I taught Field Methods in 2004-05. In Field Methods, the student gains direct experience in working with primary data.working with a native speaker, keeping records, organizing the data, and doing preliminary analysis.on a language with which they have little or no previous knowledge. We were very fortunate to locate a very talented speaker of Yorb to be our consultant. I probably won't get the opportunity to teach Field Methods again for a while.

LING 3820 Special Topics

The 3820 courses are variable topic seminars. Previous topics:

Phonetic and phonological development in second language learning

Foreign accent is not inevitable when learning a foreign language, but it seems ubiquitous. Why? What production and perception processes underlie the learner's experience of their target language? Does the 'interference' model adequately capture the production or perceptual behaviours of second language learners?  This seminar is based on seminal papers in this field, which come at the issue of acquiring a second-language phonology from various descriptive, experimental and theoretical perpectives. (F07)

Perspectives on Canadian English

While there's a lot of literature on Canadian English, there isn't a heck of a lot of data floating around in the literature. In this survey, we tried to take a critical look at the state of the literature on Canadian English.its origins and history, its 'place' in comparative English dialectology, and the methods used to study Canadian English and variation. (W05)

Physiology and Phonetics of Signed Languages

Intensive survey of physiology of facial expression, eyegaze, and hand and arm movement, and the theoretical and empirical underpinnings of a 'phonetics' of sign language (as distinct from sign phonology). With some revamping, I may offer this again as a 384 (Special Topics in ASL) or try to turn it into a regular course. (F03)

Speech Variation and Phonetic Theory

Explored sources and kinds of phonetic variation, and theoretical and experimental models of phonetic variation. (W02)

LING 3840 Special Topics in ASL

Offered in F05 with the title "Articulatory Phonetics of ASL". In this course, we looked at ASL (and sign languages in general) in terms of a Universal Grammar, i.e. an innate faculty for language, interacting with a modality, in this case gestural-visual. We looked at the anatomical structures of the sign articulators, especially hand and arm control, facial expression, and eyegaze, then look at ways in which ASL exploits the capabilities of the body (and the eye) to communicate. We discussed evidence from acquisition and breakdown as they related to sign phonetic competence, and experimental evidence of processing sign as it relates to the innateness and specialness of language.

Seeking a recommendation?

Generally, I'm happy to help. Before you ask, please consider that I write literally dozens of recommendations every year, particularly for students seeking to go on in communication disorders. In so doing, I must make some attempt at prioritizing students I am recommending. While I do not directly compare individual students, I do my best to indicate strengths and weaknesses, and general potential for scholarship (I don't feel qualified to assess clinical potential). How any given admissions committee may weight my recommendations relative to any others, or other indicators (grades, breadth or focus in coursework, practical or research experience, etc.) is not my responsibility. So, ask yourself if I'm really the one to give the best assessment of your suitability. If I am, by all means, I'm willing to do my bit.

Let me know as early as possible you would like a recommendation. Assuming I don't refuse outright, please submit

Please get me these things before the end of November, as I generally write letters just after the term ends, and it helps to have everybody's requests in front of me at one time. Many schools say that letters should be sealed and submitted with your package, but I usually just get all the letters written and send them off (to each school) as a package. This works fine, and even if they say you have to have your letters with your applicaiton package, we've never had a problem with this. Trust me. So please don't give me any envelopes, stamps, or anything like that. The University (in a rare moment of largesse) pays for postage for this sort of thing, and it's cheaper and easier to do things in packages than as individual things going in a thousand different directions. Trust me.

I keep letters on file for a couple years or so, so if you need a similar letter next year (either for another round of applications or for a grant/bursary application or something) I can generate one fairly quickly. Also if you decide at the last minute that you're applying somewhere in February that you didn't know about in November. Whatever.

For more information about applications and such things, please see our clinical and developmental linguistics curriculum page.