Introduction to Linguistics

Learn the general properties that all languages in the entire world have.
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  • Lectures 22
  • Length 5 hours
  • Skill Level Beginner Level
  • Languages English
  • Includes Lifetime access
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    Available on iOS and Android
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About This Course

Published 4/2016 English

Course Description

In this course, we look at the five major pillars of analytic linguistics. These five pillars tell us about the general properties of language and help us talk about the similarities and differences in languages. 

The primary focus of the course will be teaching you the tools in our language toolbox using English. However, we will also look at different languages, such as Japanese, Marshalese, Khmer, Tagalog, and a few others.

The course primarily consists of videos, but I've included a couple practice exams that you can use to demonstrate your mastery of the course. 

Even if you're not interested in demonstrating mastery, the content provided is incredibly interesting for those who wish to learn languages in the future. The tools you learn here will help you understand that not all languages have the same sets of rules and features, and that you can use that knowledge to help you learn other languages even faster! We discuss how you make sounds, how you put sounds together, word orders, conjugation, and more!

What are the requirements?

  • You will not need any background in linguistics to understand the content in this course.

What am I going to get from this course?

  • Understand the fundamentals of language
  • Understand sentence structure and word order of various languages.
  • Classify words into nouns, verbs, adjectives, prepositions, quantifiers, and adverbs.
  • Draw syntactic trees for simple sentences.
  • Understand the difference between entailment, implicature, presupposition, and contradiction.
  • Understand Gricean Maxims and when they are utilized or broken in conversation.
  • Identify the thematic role of words in a sentence.
  • Understand what affixes do and how they can change the meaning of words.
  • Identify morphological processes in languages across the world.
  • Understand the properties of vowels and consonants.
  • Read and write the International Phonetic Alphabet.
  • Understand how sounds interact with each other.
  • Use the features of sounds to create rules about how sounds change in different environments.
  • Attain the toolbox required to learn languages a little bit easier.

Who is the target audience?

  • This course is meant for anyone with an interest in language, languages, or the general properties of language. This is not a course that will teach you languages, however, you will learn bits and pieces of other languages through examples of the various processes we discuss in the course.

What you get with this course?

Not for you? No problem.
30 day money back guarantee.

Forever yours.
Lifetime access.

Learn on the go.
Desktop, iOS and Android.

Get rewarded.
Certificate of completion.


Section 1: Syllabus and Overview

The syllabus is attached.


We go over the general idea of each section in the entire course.

Section 2: Syntax

We look at word order in languages, what grammar is, and how we use rules to generate sentences.


We look at nouns, verbs, adjectives, prepositions, and more, as well as what constituency is.


We look at how we put trees together to make sentences, as well as adjuncts, complements, and specifiers.

Section 3: Semantics

We look at semantic notions, such as ambiguity, entailment, paraphrase, and contradiction.


We look at the four maxims of speech, as well as implicature and presupposition.


All words have thematic roles, so we learn to identify them.

Section 4: Morphology

We distinguish between free and bound morphemes, and then have a discussion about affixes.


We discuss the differences between derivational and inflectional morphemes, then take a look at other morphological processes.


We look at different processes that govern word creation.

Section 5: Phonetics

We learn about acoustic and articulatory phonetics, as well as the IPA and different sound classes.


We discuss the production and transcription of consonants.


We discuss the production and transcription of vowels.

Section 6: Phonology

We look at what phonemes are, show allophonic variation, and then discuss minimal pairs and complementary distribution.


We look at syllable structure and the sonority hierarchy.


We discuss phonological features.


We look at phonological rules and how we derive them.

Section 7: Exams

The exam 1 is attached in the resource section.


The solutions to exam 1 are attached in the resource section.


The exam 2 is attached in the resource section.


The solutions to exam 2 are attached in the resource section.

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Instructor Biography

Trevor Block, Tutor and Mathematics Enthusiast

Hello everyone! My name is Trevor and I am a mathematics enthusiast that wants to help you get better at mathematics. I have been creating videos of mathematics for over a year now and have helped hundreds of individuals around the world.

My main areas of interest are logic and mathematical linguistics, specifically formal grammars and how natural language can be modeled, but I also enjoy abstract algebra and number theory.

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