Introduction to Linguistics


This is a fully online course.

"Coca-Cola" in Amharic, one of many Ethiopian languages.

What do you find fascinating about language?

You are invited to bring your personal experiences to this course.

  • Together, we will critically evaluate your everyday uses of language.

  • We will also explore the importance of language in arenas of education, law, politics, arts & entertainment, immigration, language learning, urban planning, mobile & voice-assist technology, and more.

Check out this video welcome to LING1!

Pro tip: Sign up for an office-hours appointment on our Course Calendar on Canvas!

  • That way, you and I can meet via Zoom videoconference, audio, or online chat.

  • We’ll discuss your questions & talk about your goals as a linguist.

Welcome, Linguists!

Greetings From Your Instructor

I'm Professor Jamie A. Thomas, and I will be your online instructor for Introduction to Linguistics!

I look forward to getting to know you this semester.

In our time together, I pledge to bring you content that challenges your conceptions of:

  • what ‘good’ language is,

  • how language works,

  • why people become linguists, and

  • the many ways we can use language for good.

Let’s work on building our strategies for communication and learning!


Prof. Thomas

(pronouns: she/her, they/their)

"Welcome" in Pakistani Sign Language (PSL).

About This Syllabus

This syllabus is designed to be mobile-friendly and provide you with essential information to support you with a successful start in this course.

  • This syllabus is provided as a website so you can easily access it from your smartphone.

  • I encourage you to bookmark it on your phone so it's easy to find and reference when you need it.

  • A pdf version of this syllabus is available on our Canvas course page, with the official course outline of record.

How to Contact Me Directly

My Preferred Contact Method is the Canvas Inbox

Alternatively, you may email me.

( )

If you contact me Monday-Friday, please allow 24-48 hours for a response.

  • The subject line of your message should begin with LING1 and your Section number: "LING1 2 # # # "

How to Get Answers to General Questions

Use the Q&A Discussion

(Coming soon - once Canvas is open!)

The Q&A Discussion on our Canvas course page is a great place for general, course-related questions. Your peers might even answer you there!

  • If your question is personal in nature, please send it directly to me through the Canvas inbox or email.