Fall 2021 Syllabus
Wed 3:30-6:00pm WLNT 300C (seminar room)
The course is full! Join the waitlist!
Dr. Kathryn Schuler - you can call me Katie
Neurolinguistics is a seminar on language and the brain. For the first few weeks, you will build a foundation of knowledge, first on how brains work (neurons, networks, and anatomy) and later on the methods researchers use to study language in the brain. The remainder of the course will explore the literature on different topics in language and the brain, including various levels of linguistics (phonology, morphology, syntax), acquisition, evolution, signed languages, and more.
This course is open to all graduate students and upper-level undergraduates. No specific background in neuroscience or linguistics is necessary to participate in the course
- Reading and posting discussion questions: Each week, you will be responsible for preparing for the discussion by reading and annotating 2-3 papers on the weeks’ topic with discussion questions (on Perusall). See the annotation guidelines
- Lead discussions: Several times throughout the semester (but not every week), you will serve as discussion leader for a paper with one or two other students. As discussion leader, you’ll be responsible for presenting the paper, including summarizing (motivation, research questions, approach, and findings) and leading a discussion of the work. If you cannot attend synchronously you can submit a pre-recorded presentation.
- Lit Review: You will select a topic of interest (within the bounds of language and the brain) and write a formal literature review. There will be several assignments leading up to this final paper to help you make progress.
- Fridays are deadline days. Writing assignment and feedback deadlines are always Friday at midnight (but note not all Fridays have something due)
- Wednesdays are discussion days. Small groups of students will present papers and lead the discussion during class time.
- Ed Disucssion: The best way to get help anytime is to ask a question on the discussion board. You’ll get a response within 24 hours, usually much faster. Students are encouraged to answer each other’s questions as well.
- On papers: You can ask questions about papers and discuss them via Perusall.
- Course website (you are here) for schedule, policies, and links to all assigned materials
- Canvas site for assignment submissions and grade related things
- Perusall for reading assignments (access code on canvas).
- Ed Discussion for online discussion and support
- Class participation and preparation (50%) including reading and annotating to start the discussion on Perusall, participating in class discussions, and preparing for and leading discussions when you are a discussion leader. Grading rubric here.
- Literature review (50%) including several check-points throughout the semester (abstract, bibliography, drafts, peer review) and your final literature review.
Schedule is subject to change. All sessions will be recorded and posted here a few minutes after each class.
||Readings & Resources
||Sep 01: Welcome & Overview
||von Melchner, Pallas, & Sur 2000
first day of Penn classes (31)
||Sep 08: CNS, Neurons & Methods
||Brain & Behavior
Organization of the CNS
Language and the Brain
Notes on the CNS
Notes on Neurons
Video overview of CNS
Virtual anatomy lab
||Sep 15: Networks
||Catani, Jones, & Ffytche 2005- Wenting, Amanda, Abigail
Fedorenko & Thompson-Schill 2014 - June, Xiao, Mikaal
Friederici & Gierhan 2013 - optional background
course selection period ends (14)
Topic & Reading List - due Fri
||Sep 22: Perspective
||Krakauer et al. 2017 - Elizabeth G, Jorke, Cynthia
Embick & Poeppel 2015 - Ava, Elizabeth V, Rebecca
||Sep 29: Sounds & Phonemes
||Scott et al 2000 - May & Aini
Nishimura et al 1999 - Xin & Abigail
Annotated Bib due Fri
||Oct 06: Words
||Davis & Gaskell 2009
Quiroga et al. 2015
||Oct 13: Syntax I
||Fitch & Martins 2014
Kaan & Swaab 2002
drop period ends (11)
fall break (14 - 17)
Full Outline due Fri
||Oct 20: Syntax II
||Mikuuchi et al 2009
Ding et al. 2016
||Oct 27: Semantics
||Lau et al. 2008
Friedrich & Friederici 2005
grade types change deadline (29)
Full Outline PR due Fri
||Nov 03: Acquisition
||Petitto et al. 2000
advanced registration begins (1)
||Nov 10: Sign Language
||Mayberry et al. 2011
Perani et al. 2011
last day to withdraw (8)
First Draft due Fri
||Nov 17: Bilingualism
||Weber-Fox & Neville 1996
||Nov 24: Friday classes, no class!
||R & F classes on T & W
thanksgiving break (25-28)
First Draft PR due Wed
||Dec 01: Evolution
||Perani et al. 2011
Rilling et al 2008
||Dec 08: Cerebellum
||Marien et al. 2014
Lesage et al. 2012
last day of classes (10)
Final Draft with Responses due Fri
||Dec 15: Finals week, no class!
- Attendance: There is no formal attendance policy, but participation is highly correlated with class performance (see Evaluation section).
- Accommodations: I’m happy to provide accommodations to anyone with documentation from Student Disability Services and to make alternate arrangements when class conflicts with a religious holiday. Please notify your lab section TA as soon as possible to make these arrangements.
- Academic Integrity: We will follow the rules of the University and the Code of Academic Integrity. It is your responsibility to be familiar with these policies.
- Support: Asking for help is a sign of strength! We hope you’ll reach out to us if you need help. We also want you to be aware of Penn’s Academic & Wellness Resources
The table below shows the minimum score before rounding for letter grades. Grading in this course is not on a curve: there is room for everyone to do well!