LING 480: First Language Acquisition

LING 480-DL1: First Language Acquisition
(Fall 2020)

04:30 PM to 07:10 PM R


Section Information for Fall 2020

This course explores two questions: How do children learn language? And how can we tell?

In a few short years, cooing, wailing infants become kindergartners who can excitedly tell you about their latest adventure at the park. What do they need to learn to make that transition, what tools do they use to do it, and when have they acquired different parts of the puzzle? 

It’s not easy to answer those questions, though! Toddlers aren’t very good at explaining what went wrong when they misinterpreted your instructions, and infants can’t tell you whether they recognize a phoneme. Instead researchers use a variety of creative methods to explore children’s knowledge.

In this project-based course, students study a range of theories and findings in the field of language acquisition, and design and conduct their own original research project. The course typically culminates with students presenting their research in a public poster session. Presentations this year will be online.

This is an OSCAR Research Intensive (RI) course, and the Capstone for the Linguistics Concentration in the English Major. Projects are eligible for Mason IMPACT recognition. Registration with instructor permission only. Please email to request permission.

LING 480 DL1 is controlled and is an online section. Please contact Professor Lukyanenko ( for permission to register.


Course Information from the University Catalog

Credits: 3

Examines first language acquisition from a linguistic perspective. Covers the development of a first phonology, syntax, and semantics. Emphasizes research methods in the study of child language. Limited to three attempts.
Mason Core: Capstone
Specialized Designation: Research/Scholarship Intensive
Registration Restrictions:

Required Prerequisite: LING 306C.
C Requires minimum grade of C.

Schedule Type: Lecture
This course is graded on the Undergraduate Regular scale.

The University Catalog is the authoritative source for information on courses. The Schedule of Classes is the authoritative source for information on classes scheduled for this semester. See the Schedule for the most up-to-date information and see Patriot web to register for classes.