LING 326

Language and Culture

4 Undergraduate credits
Effective August 1, 1998 – Present

Graduation requirements this course fulfills

In this course students undertake language analysis (e.g., phonology, morphology, syntax) in a cultural context, including the relationship between language, culture and thought. It presents an anthropological perspective on various linguistic and cultural systems, with special emphasis on those of Chicano/Latino, African-American, American Indian and Anglo-American peoples. Students are introduced to the implications of linguistic and cultural differences in work and classroom situations. Significant focus is given to issues of race and racism throughout the course.

Learning outcomes


  • Analyze interactions between language and culture, including the influence of race and other constructs (e.g., gender, social class). This includes the relationship between colonization, languages and dialects used to privilege and marginalize speakers, and the complex relationships between identity and language.
  • Analyze languages in social and cultural contexts, including the influence of race and other constructs (e.g., gender, social class). This includes the relationship between language variations used, their social prestige, and their access to power.
  • Examine the anthropological study of language (e.g., phonology, morphology, syntax) and communication, including the influence of race and other constructs (e.g., gender, social class). Such study provides students with linguistic tools for understanding accents, structures of diverse languages, and ways to acquire new languages and dialects within diverse contexts.
  • Explore the anthropological origin and development of language within and across human populations, including analysis of more recent developments in language use and extinction, including colonization, race, and power.
  • Understand the basics of cross-cultural communication. This includes cultural distinctives related to non-verbal communication (e.g. proxemics, kinesics) leading to communicative competence.
  • Understand African-American English, its rules for grammar and pronunciation, and the complex, sociohistorical influences (e.g., slavery, segregation, HBCU's)in its creation
  • Understand the present and past racism connected with speakers of African-American English (AAE) at the individual, collective, cultural, political, and institutional levels.
  • Understand the structure of American Sign Language (ASL), the past/present marginalization of its users, and the influences of identity and power within the Deaf community, including influences of social class and race.

Minnesota Transfer Curriculum

Goal 5: History and the Social and Behavioral Sciences

  • Employ the methods and data that historians and social and behavioral scientists use to investigate the human condition.
  • Examine social institutions and processes across a range of historical periods and cultures.
  • Use and critique alternative explanatory systems or theories.
  • Develop and communicate alternative explanations or solutions for contemporary social issues.

Goal 8: Global Perspective

  • Describe and analyze political, economic, and cultural elements which influence relations of states and societies in their historical and contemporary dimensions.
  • Demonstrate knowledge of cultural, social, religious and linguistic differences.
  • Analyze specific international problems, illustrating the cultural, economic, and political differences that affect their solution.
  • Understand the role of a world citizen and the responsibility world citizens share for their common global future.

Fall 2019

Section Title Instructor
01 Language and Culture Parks, Da Books Course details

Spring 2020

Section Title Instructor
01 Language and Culture Abdurrahman, Mu Books Course details