Universiteit Leiden

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Free online linguistics course: Miracles of Human Language

Language is a little bit like owning a mobile phone. We use it all the time, but we don’t really understand how it works. Where is language located in our brain? Do all humans have language? These and many other questions will be answered by professor Marc van Oostendorp in the MOOC Miracles of Human Language: an Introduction to Linguistics. The course starts on October 26th on Coursera.

Introductory course

Miracles of Human Language: an Introduction to Linguistics is an introductory course in linguistics that focuses on two aspects: building blocks and field work. Building blocks are the smallest elements of human language, such as sounds, words and sentences. Ample attention will also be given to field work, how do linguists collect data? Not only Dutch and English will be studied, but we will look at many different languages. From Hixkaryana to Abruzzese, from Mandarin Chinese to Finnish, from Mising to Japanese.

In short: what's important?

  • Start date of the MOOC: the 26th of October 2015 (you may start later!)
  • Course duration: 6 weeks
  • Cost: free
  • Register here: www.coursera.org

Worldwide and for free

The course will be given in the form of a ‘MOOC’, a Massive Open Online Course. This means that Miracles of Human Language will be accessible for free worldwide. This is the second edition of the course, last year more than 40.000 people joined Van Oostendorp’s web lectures on linguistics. This year, the participants will be immersed in the wonders of human language with succinct classes, Socratic discussions and interviews with world-renowned linguists. 

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