Course instructor: Fontana, Josep M. (language of instruction: en)

          Taught: yearly

In this course we explore the basic principles of the syntax (the structural properties of sentences) of human language. During the term we focus on constructions and syntactic phenomena in English, Catalan, Spanish, and other languages and thus we build, in weekly practical tasks, analyses or partial grammars that attempt to model the conscious or unconscious knowledge that native speakers have of the properties and function of these structures. This knowledge is what syntactic theory intends to model or explain and is what allows speakers to obtain meaning from the interpretation of lexical items inserted in the various constructions or structures that the grammar of each language allows. Practical exercises are very important component in this course.

Phonetics and phonology

          Course instructor: Prieto, Pilar (language of instruction: en)

          Taught: yearly

This course offers a general overview of the main concepts used to describe and explain how languages are structured from a phonic point of view. Throughout the course, we will discuss phonetic and phonological phenomena using recent data from a crosslinguistic perspective. We will also look at the latest topics in phonetics and phonology, including work on gesture and language acquisition. In the labs, the student will learn to use several experimental tools used in the analysis of phonetics and phonology, such as the Praat software for acoustic analysis, as well as the Phon and ELAN software for visual analysis. At the end of the course the student will be familiarized with current phonological theory, phonetic foundations of phonology, the mainstream in experimental phonology, as well as the interface between phonology and other parts of the grammar.

Semantics and pragmatics

          Course instructor: MaNally, Louise and Mayol, Laia (language of instruction: en)

          Taught: yearly

This course is an introduction to natural language semantics and pragmatics, including the basic issues and data that have traditionally been the focus of study in formal approaches, the most influential theoretical frameworks, and the most commonly used research methodologies. The overall goal is to develop the student's ability to analyze natural language semantic and pragmatic phenomena.


Argumentation in linguistic analysis

          Course instructor: Alsina, Àlex (language of instruction: en)

          Taught: yearly

The main goal of the course is to enable the student to evaluate analyses in linguistics, to present arguments for or against a specific theoretical proposal, and, ultimately, to develop solid well-grounded analyses in the subfield of linguistics in which she/he is going to carry out her/his research. More specific goals are: understanding the concepts of analysis, theory, and framework in linguistics, knowing and applying the evaluation criteria for theories, being able to derive the predictions of a theory, etc.

Experimental and observational techniques

          Course instructor: Perpiñán, Sílvia (language of instruction: en)

          Taught: yearly

This course introduces the main experimental research methods and data collection techniques used in present-day linguistics research. It focuses on the treatment of extemporaneous language production and the design and analysis of on-line and off-line tasks in linguistic data collection. The main objective of the course is to provide students with the necessary knowledge to be able to select the appropriate empirical research methods and to implement them for research in linguiistics. It will also provide students with basic practical knowledge of statistics applied to the analysis of linguistic data. 

Corpora and computational tools

          Course instructor: Bel, Núria (language of instruction: en)

          Taught: yearly

The course provides the necessary methodology for carrying out empirical, corpus-based research on linguistics and applied linguistics. In particular, it enables the student to use software programs as basic tools to handle large quantities of data and to exhaustively find particular data in a collection of texts. The course aims to offer  students a basis to become autonomous in the use of current and future tools for handling and exploiting linguistic data.


Specialization: Formal linguistics

Crosslinguistic analysis

         Course instructor: Wiltschko, Martina (language of instruction: en)

         Taught: every other year (2023-2024)

This course is concerned with the systematic comparison of two or more languages or subsystems of languages. The goal of this comparison is to explore the range and limits of variation across the languages of the world. We will compare two different approaches two this question: i) the universalist approach in the Chomskyan tradition according to which there is a core language faculty that forms the basis for all languages; and ii) the typological approach which seeks to catalogue surface properties of the languages of the world and which often denies the existence of a universal base for all languages. We will review the differences in assumptions and introduce a formal typology which reconciles these opposing views. We will cover several syntactic, semantic and pragmatic phenomena from a variety genetically and geographically unrelated languages.  

Language variation and change

          Course instructor: Vallduví, Enric and Costa, Joan (language of instruction: en)

           Taught: every other year (2022-2023)

The course offers a perspective on the study of language in its social context that allows us to explain its use from a sociolinguistic approach. The goal of the course is to develop the student's capacity to explore sociolinguistic phenomena, in particular, the sociolinguistic variation that originates in language contact situations, grammatical and lexical changes related to register, situations of diglossia, pidginization, creolization and standardization of a language. Through the course the student will analyse situations of language variation and change directly related to the social use of the language, with practical tasks of analysis of oral transcriptions and real multilingual and language contact situations.

Current issues in formal linguistics

          Course instructor: Sutton, Peter and Wiltschko, Martina  (language of instruction: en)

          Taught: every other year (2023-2024)

This course focuses on the connection between linguistic description, typological variation, and formal linguistics by addressing a number of specific linguistic phenomena through the traditional grammar modules and their interfaces. One of the main goals of formal linguistics is to try to model the spectrum of variation documented in natural languages, which is not unlimited or random. In order to achieve this goal it is necessary to arrive at accurate descriptions of individual languages ​​that allow us to compare them with different properties from other languages. Linguistic typology, the study of linguistic universals or parametric approaches from the perspective of universal grammar address this topic with different theoretical and analytical tools that we will attempt to understand through a review of several case studies with a strong crosslinguistic component.

Advanced topics in linguistic theory

          Course instructor: Quer, Josep (language of instruction: en)

          Taught: every other year (2022-2023)

This course focuses on the study of the structural and interpretive dimensions of natural languages ​​from the perspective of linguistic theory. Relying on a representative selection of topics and that theoretical linguistics has addressed, we delve into specific samples of research in order to understand the interaction between theoretical analysis and empirical basis of linguistic phenomena. 

Specialization: Computational linguistics

Natural Language Processing  

          Course instructor: Brochhagen, Thomas (language of instruction: en)

          Taught: yearly

This is an introductory course to natural language processing techniques, both based on rules and statistical. It is organised in three main blocks: a) morphological analysis; b) part-of-speech-tagging of texts; c) syntactic analysis. the course attempts at guaranteeing the understanding of the technologies, the execution of analysis processes and the acquisition of basic abilities to writing scripts useful for the automated processing of texts. 


Computational Semantics 

          Course instructor: Boleda, Gemma; Gualdoni, Eleonora i Liao, Xixian (language of instruction: en)

          Taught: yearly 

This course will provide you with the basics of how natural language meaning is modeled in Computational Linguistics / Natural Language Processing. We will analyze the relevant semantic phenomena (focusing on word and sentence meaning) and current approaches to tackling them, especially empirical and Machine Learning approaches. Along the way, we will learn to use computational tools and resources for semantic data analysis.

Specialization: Language acquisition

Language acquisition and bilingualism
       Course instructor:  Bel, Aurora (language of instruction: en)
       Taught: yearly

This course seeks to define the scope of second Language acquisition (SLA) research while providing a general understanding of linguistic and cognitive processes and outcomes in the acquisition of second/foreign languages, within the background of first language acquisition research. SLA theories, models and constructs will also be reviewed, together with the individual and extra-linguistic factors which come into play in language acquisition and learning. Issues in bi/tri/multilingual language acquisition will also be considered.

Cognition and language acquisition
      Course instructor:  Perpiñán, Sílvia (language of instruction: en)
      Taught: yearly

The course is devoted to the discussion of linguistic and cognitive factors in language acquisition in different situations and contexts (L1, L2, 2L1 in child language acquisition, adult language acquisition, etc.). Apart from the conditions imposed by the language system internally (interfaces), there are other factors which affect linguistic development (variables such as age, proficiency level, working memory and other cognitive abilities, crosslinguistic influence, etc.).The main goal of the course is to gain an understanding of the nature of language acquisition processes and factors and to relate them to general theories of language acquisition identifying cognitive and linguistic variations. 

Specialization: Language teaching

Language teaching

          Course instructors:  Atienza, Encarna, Cañada, Maria Dolors and Cassany, Daniel (language of instruction: es)   

          Taught: every other year (2023-2024)

Through classroom experiences, lectures, readings and discussions,this course provides the more relevant issues about teaching and learning language skills, cognitive and meta-cognitive processes on the language learner, forms of evaluation and teacher scaffolding. Other methodological aspects could be addressed: they concerned with the development of the communicative competence, cooperative learning or the use of Information and communications technology (ICT) in linguistic education.

Language learning processes

          Course instructors: Cañada, Maria Dolors (language of instruction: es)                                 

          Taught: every other year (2023-2024)

This course provides a general overview in the key concepts of the process of teaching and learning second and foreign languages, with an especial focus on the interactionists and constructivits paradigms in learning languages, and also on the teaching-learning models in accordance with them. It pays special attention to the structure and procedures of the tasks and projects based language teaching, with respect to the communicative language use, the development of language awareness and metalinguistic reflexion, as well as to the furthering of selfregulation learning processes. The program combines lectures on concepts and theories inherent to the discussed topics with practical sessions in which the participants analyse and produce teaching materials and classroom planning. 


Specialization: Lexicon

Morphology and the Lexicon  

          Course instructor: Bernal, Elisenda (language of instruction: es)

          Taught: yearly

The relationship between lexis and lexicography. Word-formation: derivation, compounding, and conversion. The representation of lexical meaning and polysemy in monolingual dictionaries. Criteria for inclusion in dictionaries. Sense extension and its representation in dictionaries. Typology of dictionaries. Defining styles. The dictionary as the representation of a language's lexicon. Word meaning, equivalence, and bilingual lexicography. 

Vocabulary and language teaching

Course instructor: Estopà, Rosa (language of instruction: es)

 Taught: yearly

This course focuses on vocabulary and its role in language learning and teaching. First of all, the course introduces basic concepts in vocabulary structure and it also delves into more complex structures that go beyond simple words, such as metaphors and collocations. The course reviews the most important trends in vocabulary teaching, from the traditional approaches to the Lexical Approach, and it explores the connection between vocabulary, language teaching and dictionary use. Finally, the different ways in which lexical competence can be developed and evaluated are addressed. This course is meant to be an introduction into vocabulary, and its aim is to provide students with background on the subject as related to language teaching through the use of advanced readings and activities.

Terminology, neology and society

Course instructors: Freixa, Judit (academic year 2023-2024) / Lorente, Mercè (academic year 2022-2023) (language of instruction: es)

Taught: every year

The aim of this course is to introduce students to the social aspects related to new words, the object of study of neology, and specialized vocabulary, the focus of terminology. It includes broad topics, with the presentation of the main research lines that are currently being explored in neology and terminology, and theoretical aspects, such as the study of the concepts term and neologism (which are both characterized by their undefined nature), and other fundamental aspects. This course will also take on more applied approaches, by analyzing cases of linguistic normalization and by solving terminological and neological cases in a multilingual framework, as well as explore the technological dimension, through the design of applications that are suited to actual terminological and neological needs.


Disorders of language and cognition: empirical approaches 

          Course instructor: Hinzen, Wolfram (language of instruction: en)

          Taught: yearly

Neither language nor cognition are uniform or stable across the human population: both are affected by various disorders. Typically, impairments in neurocognitive functioning are reflected in language patterns, from which inferences on the relation between linguistic and cognitive functioning can be drawn. This course is a basic introduction to this field and on how to apply linguistic theory to the study of language disorders. We will specifically consider: 1. Problems of language development as often seen in autism spectrum disorders and how these differ from Specific Language Impairment (SLI), including cases where language does not develop at all. 2. Deviant language patterns in neurodegenerative disorders (dementia), which often reflect how cognition disintegrates in these populations. 3. Disorganized language in psychiatric disorders (especially formal thought disorder in schizophrenia). 4. Acquired aphasia following strokes. We will do this by looking at a number of case studies, many from our own lab, which apply a variety of methods including speech analysis, functional MRI, and eye-tracking.

Text and translation     

          Course instructor: Zabalbeascoa, Patrick (language of instruction: es)

          Taught: yearly

Descripción y categorización de los fenómenos textuales y discursivos en relación con la traducción. La traducción como operación lingüística y textual de transferencia de sentido. Texto y discurso. Géneros textuales. Funciones textuales y traducción. Microestructura y macroestructura en contraste. Mecanismos de articulación y de cohesión del texto. Contribución de los instrumentos microlingüísticos (elementos deícticos, anafóricos, marcas de enunciación, marques de argumentación, etc.) al sentido del texto. Valoración crítica de las teorías de análisis del discurso desde su aplicabilidad a los estudios de traducción.

Translation and Language

          Course instructor: Espunya, Anna (language of instruction: es)

          Taught: yearly

Introduction to the main concepts and methods of descriptive and contrastive linguistics, in order to apply these concepts to translation practice and reflection on translation. Levels of meaning construction. Grammar (word order, grammatical categories, etc.), lexicon (denotation, connotation, figurative senses, etc.), units of sense (phraseology). The cognitive dimension of context (organization of information, inferences, etc.). The social dimension of context (intentionality, politeness). The linguistic variation (dialects, registers, the spoken-written continuum, etc.). The course combines translation exercises and the analysis of translations with the application of theoretical concepts. 

Classroom procedures and skills

          Course instructor: López, Carmen (language of instruction: es)

          Taught: yearly

The course deals with methodology issues in applied linguistics, particularly in the teaching and learning of modern languages, and more specifically of Spanish as a foreign language, whose basic grammar notions are dealt with in it.  In this sense, the course has a direct relation to the one on Pedagogical Spanish grammar. It discusses analysis and practical teaching of language as a formal system, viewed as one of the essential components in a teaching program. The course deepens the student's knowledge of  the types of linguistic knowledge as defined in language learning research and of the main criteria followed in the teaching of these individual components. 

Pedagogical Spanish grammar

          Course instructor: Sanz, Maria (language of instruction: es)

          Taught: yearly

This course provides a reflexion on the properties of a grammar description for learners of Spanish as a foreign language. Thus, it combines theoretical thinking and the reading of articles and other basic works with practical analysis of teaching materials and other pedagogic resources for the teaching of grammar. The theoretical component is approached from a holistic view of language knowledge and use, which takes into account the mutual relation of grammar, discourse, text, and pragmatics, while focusing on those elements which turn out to be most relevant for a non native speaker. Practical analysis encompasses criteria for the selection and sequencing of grammar content in a teaching program, as well as techniques and procedures which prove most effective in teaching and in learning. 

Enunciation theories and oral genres

          Course instructor: Alba Milà (language of instruction: es)

          Taught: yearly

This course aims, firstly, to present basic theoretical notions in discourse linguistics and the main analytical approaches from an interdisciplinary point of view; the specific features of verbal face-to-face interaction are studied in particular. The second goal of the course is to equip the students with analytical tools to be applied to different discourse domains (daily life, literature, politics, and mass media). The third and last goal of the course is to introduce students to practical analysis.

Discourse and Social Cognition

          Course instructor: Bisiada, Mario (language of instruction: es)

          Taught: yearly

This course pays special attention to socio-cognitive discourse: social representations, knowledge, ideologies and their social bases. In order to guide analysis and reflection,  the course discusses perspectives and theoretical models, introduces methodologies that facilitate observation and analysis of critical data, and focuses on problems and specific texts, for example on racism and immigration.


Linguistic Levelling  

          Course instructor: Gabarró, Sílvia (language of instruction: en)         

          Taught: yearly
This course presents a basic overview of the discipline of linguistics as a whole for students with no prior background in the field. To that end, there will be succinct introductions to the main concepts and basic methodology that students will see in more detail in the advanced courses they will also take throughout the year. The objectives of the course are twofold: (a) to provide students with a basic understanding of how language works, and of Linguistics as a discipline; and (b) to troubleshoot any problems students may have in the advanced courses they will be taking.

Natural Language Interaction

You will find more information about this course in the following webpage:  

Levelling 2 course Basics of Programming and Python

Docent responsable: Gualdoni, Eleonora

This course proposes a review of the basic concepts of programming: algorithm, program, variable, expression, data types, etc. and in particular, the understanding and practice of: 

(i) data structures (e.g. lists, dictionaries, sets, matrices);

(ii) actions, iterations and functions; and

(iii) workflows (exception handling; testing).

 The main objective of this course is to consolidate knowledge on how to structure and write basic code in Python, to ultimately carry on linguistic data processing.