LING 1100 V - The Mysteries of Language

This course explores some intriguing mysteries of language - whether it is unique to humans, how children master its complexities so easily, how the brain handles language, how languages are born and die. These questions lead us to interesting discoveries about the human mind. Precludes additional credit for LALS 1100 (no longer offered).

CRN for section V: 13357

CRN for section VOD (optional Video On Demand service): 13358

In-class lecture time & location:
Mondays and Wednesdays, 4:05pm to 5:25pm, THB SA

Instructor: Lev Blumenfeld

Lev Blumenfeld

About the instructor: My course, Mysteries of Language, is a non-technical introduction to language from a linguist's point of view. We will focus on issues of popular interest, such as language change, social context in communication, language diversity, language and music, and animal communication - topics about which the general public often has opinions, and where linguistics have something to offer.

I enjoy teaching large introductory courses because it gives me a chance to talk about language with a large variety of students of different backgrounds, and to show that language can be an object of scientific study. Linguistics appeals to me because it combines some methods of the natural sciences with a certain humanistic bent that comes from its subject matter. My own interests are primarily in sounds of languages, especially rhythm and the use of rhythm in poetry, where it is especially productive to apply the scientific rigor of linguistics to an area that traditionally belongs to the humanities. I have also done fieldwork on Nauruan, an indigenous language of the Central Pacific.

More about taking courses through CUOL

Registration and Course Section information

For more information, please contact: 613.520.4055 or email CUOL at