Linguistics aims to discover the forms, rules and representations that underlie human languages. The Linguistics unit housed within IIT Delhi engages with questions pertaining to the production and comprehension of language. Between the faculty members and the students here, we cover a wide range of interests that spans from phonology, syntax to computational linguistics as well as psycholinguistics.

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News: PhD Entrance Exam on 16th May 2017. Here is a sample paper from the last entrance test.

Linguistics Faculty

Assistant Professor
Associate Professor
Associate Professor

Linguistics Courses

Course Number: HSL850 | Credits:
Course Objective:

This course will introduce students to advanced topics in Linguistics as decided by the instructor.

Course Number: HSV748 | Credits:
Course Objective:

On the successful completion of this course, a student will be able to independently use R for analyzing standard psycholinguistic experimental data. The data can pertain to measures such as reaction time, eye-fixation measures, grammaticality judgments, correct-incorrect question response etc. In addition, the course will also equip the student with experimental-data visualization techniques.

Course Number: HSV747 | Credits:
Course Objective:

The course aims to equip linguistics research scholars with programming knowledge that can enable them to handle text data/resource and tools. This will help them to explore data for mining linguistic patterns related to a research question.

Course Number: HUL 242 | Credits: 4
Course Objective:

This course provides answers to basic questions about the nature and constitution of human language in the mind/brain of native speakers. Varied aspects of linguistic organization, including structures of sounds, words and sentences are considered to understand the core universals of all languages as well as their variations. Cases of feral children, language deficiencies and cognition-language interactions are also highlighted.

Course Number: HSL743 | Credits:
Course Objective:

Language is a part of the human cognitive apparatus and intricately interlinked with the manner in which we experience the world. While this has been a central understanding of cognitive science, the second language classroom, usually focuses on syllabus and content, like any other "subject". This course aims to explore pedagogic methods to create cognitive challenges so as to enable naturalized contexts of language acquisition.

Course Number: HUL 243 | Credits: 4
Course Objective:

This course offers a wide-ranging introduction to, and analysis of, varieties of spoken and written language. From political oratory to examination answer scripts to computer codes, not to mention jokes, riddles and poetry, human language offers an amazingly rich set of structures for expressing and conveying our thoughts, intentions and desires. The course will consider some of these linguistic structures and communicative strategies in detail, beginning with early childhood development. How is it that children in every culture learn language so effortlessly despite its great complexity? The course aims to introduce students to a set of theories that address this and other puzzles and mysteries in the arena of language studies. Finally, since a central focus of the course is communication, it will strive to be as interactive as possible, with lots of scope for the discussion and working out of actual 'problems' in language use.

Course Number: HSL541 | Credits:
Course Objective:

All human beings without exception learn and use language. Yet, it is more common to associate it with cultural phenomena than as a cognitive or biological phenomena. The objective of this course is to look at language as a form of computation in the mind. It will introduce both symbolic and non-symbolic approaches that have been used by linguists and computer scientists to understand the computational mechanism of languages in the mind. On successful completion of the course, students will be familiar with the use of a few analytical tools used in linguistics to make generalizations about natural languages.

Course Number: HUL 341 | Credits: 3
Course Objective:

This course examines different aspects of meaning/semantics in language. Some specific questions addressed here are: a) what is meaning?, b) how do we use words to convey meanings?, and c) how does our grammatical knowledge interact with the interpretive system? We try to answer these and other questions while introducing students to the formal techniques used in research on the semantics of natural language.

Course Number: HUL 381 | Credits: 3
Course Objective:

Exploratory in nature, the course seeks to debate questions such as: What are the implications of conceiving the mind as a 'machine'? Can evolutionary theories about language and tool- using help us understand how we continually manage today to process the world around us 'online'? On this course, the class will be introduced to some state-of-the-art discussions in the interdisciplinary field of cognitive studies. These topics will include: i) the modularity of mind ii) the content of consciousness, iii) the language bio-programme hypothesis, iv) the relativism versus universals of controversy; v) strong and weak positions on AI, etc.. The course will rely on down-to-earth examples to demonstrate that such an interconnected area of study is not remote or esoteric but part of the intellectual excitement of living in the new millennium and attempting to anticipate both how it will shape us and how we will shape it.

Course Number: HSL841 | Credits:
Course Objective:

This course will introduce students to most recent generative/transformational theories of syntax of languages. It will start with the basic assumptions of the Principles and the Parameters Approach, highlighting some aspects of Chomsky’s 1981 Government and Binding Theory. It will then move on to the main tenets of the Minimalist Paradigm for language and the motivations behind this major shift from an explanatorily adequate system to a ‘beyond’ explanatory model.

Course Number: HSL746 | Credits:
Course Objective:

This course aims to develop an understanding of the physiological as well as psychological basis for phonological theory. In doing so the course discusses the manner in which the gradient acoustic properties of a speech signal, like frequency, amplitude, harmonic frequency or formants, time-period, pulse etc, map onto phonological categories of perception like sonority, voicing, continuancy, stridency etc, across different languages.

Course Number: HSL842 | Credits:
Course Objective:

On successful completion of this course the student will be able to analyze data from any natural language with respect to the following concepts in linguistics:
• Markedness and Faithfulness
• Correspondence between Prosodic and lexical word
• Root vs Affix faithfulness and allomorphy
• Reduplication and anti-faithfulness
• Conflict resolution between phonological and morphological well-formedness

Course Number: HSL745 | Credits:
Course Objective:

On successful completion of this, a student should be able to understand the cognitive underpinning of language. The student will appreciate the immense complexity that underly our language cognition, he/she will be introduced to relevant questions along with the theories that attempt to answer these questions.

Course Number: HSL843 | Credits:
Course Objective:

The course aims to introduce advanced students of linguistics/psycholinguistics with the interaction between reading processes and sentence comprehension. On successful completion of this course, a student will be able to conceptualize relevant research questions pertaining to the topic covered during the course.

Course Number: HUL 350 | Credits: 3
Course Objective:

The course will introduce students to selected topics in Linguistics as decided by the instructor.

Course Number: HSL741 | Credits:
Course Objective:

This course examines linguistic variation from a sociolinguistic perspective. Students will examine case studies on typological and dialectal variation that show how languages naturally tend towards variation, owing to both internal (UG-level) and external factors. They will also learn how variation is often curbed by socio-political and cultural factors, giving rise to homogenizing language and education policies and consequent linguistic identity struggles.

Course Number: HSL742 | Credits:
Course Objective:

The objective of this course is to familiarize students with generative theories of syntax/sentence formation. The course will inform them about the inadequacies of finite state machines and top-down automata for generating natural language strings and how transformational theories are better suited for the purpose.