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Miracles of Human Language: An Introduction to Linguistics

Leiden University via Coursera

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  • Provider Coursera
  • $ Cost Free Online Course (Audit)
  • Session Upcoming
  • Language English
  • Certificate Paid Certificate Available
  • Effort 4-6 hours a week
  • Start Date
  • Duration 6 weeks long

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Everywhere, every day, everybody uses language. There is no human society, no matter how small or how isolated, which does not employ a language that is rich and diverse. This course introduces you to linguistics, featuring interviews with well-known linguists and with speakers of many different languages. Join us to explore the miracles of human language!

The Miracles of Human Language introduces you to the many-faceted study of languages, which has amazed humans since the beginning of history. Together with speakers of many other languages around the world, as well as with famous linguists such as Noam Chomsky and Adele Goldberg, you will learn to understand and analyse how your native tongue is at the same time similar and different from many other languages. You will learn the basic concepts of linguistics, get to know some of the key features of big and small languages and get insight into what linguists do.

This course gives an introduction into the study of languages, the field of linguistics. With the support of the basic linguistic terminology that is offered in the course, you will soon be able to comment both on variety between languages, as well as on a single language’s internal structure. Anyone who wishes to understand how languages work, and how they can give us insight into the human mind is very welcome to join.

The course is useful if you want to get a fairly quick introduction into linguistics, for instance because you are considering studying it further, or because you are interested in a neighbouring discipline such as psychology, computer science or anthropology. Furthermore, the course will help you develop analytical skills.

If you are curious to understand how language works and how it gives insight into the human mind, this course is definitely for you!

Taught by

Marc van Oostendorp

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Reviews for Coursera's Miracles of Human Language: An Introduction to Linguistics
4.7 Based on 20 reviews

  • 5 stars 70%
  • 4 stars 30%
  • 3 star 0%
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  • 1
Marleen L
4.0 3 years ago
by Marleen audited this course.
I've always been passionate about language, and I am very grateful that this MOOC provided me with the opportunity to gain some beginner-level insights into the field of linguistics. The lecture videos were fantastic - short, to the point, and giving a good general overview. The difficulty level and pace were perfect: very informative, without being overwhelming - perfect for some "casual learning" on the side. I also enjoyed the forum discussions. That being said, I do have one important criticism: questions in the weekly quizzes suffered from ambiguous wording. This was brought to the course…
10 people found
this review helpful
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Deepak J
5.0 3 years ago
by Deepak completed this course, spending 2 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be easy.
This is probably the first linguistics course offered on Coursera. The course material is very engaging, and the instructors are fantastic. I especially liked the interaction sessions between the Professor and his two students Martin and Inge. The interview with Noam Chomsky was another great highlight.

The assignments are really interesting, as they deepen your knowledge of the course material.
1 person found
this review helpful
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Julie W
5.0 2 years ago
Julie audited this course and found the course difficulty to be easy.
Due to time constraints, I was only able to audit this enjoyable linguistic course. I can not provide a comprehensive review, other than to say the course content is well presented and interesting, especially for someone new to the subject, like me. If my university studies allowed some time, I would like to fully engage with the material. This course is recommended, as supported by the crowd funding project for the last module.

Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Auntie V
5.0 11 months ago
by Auntie completed this course, spending 10 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be very hard.
For someone who doesn't master English, this course can be difficult because of the technical terms applied througout the course. Apart from this, this course is well structured and substantial, the quizzes are very challenging. It requests lots of effort, but I truely enjoyed the learning and benefited a lot from this MOOC.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Monica S
4.0 a year ago
Monica is taking this course right now, spending 5 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be hard.
I am really enjoying and benefiting from this course. If you're at all interested in human language, and as a human being you probably should be, I would strongly recommend this course. It will take some effort on your part, but I assure you that it will be worth it.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Maia M
5.0 2 years ago
Maia completed this course, spending 3 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
It was a very nice introductory course. The professor and his assistants were great, as well as the guests who showed their works in fields of linguistics, which was very useful to see how the field is going on.
Was this review helpful to you? Yes
Francesco F
4.0 2 years ago
by Francesco completed this course.
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Monica G
5.0 2 years ago
Monica partially completed this course.
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David P
5.0 2 years ago
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Colin K
4.0 2 years ago
by Colin completed this course.
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Margaret F
5.0 a year ago
by Margaret partially completed this course.
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Yue Y
5.0 3 years ago
by Yue completed this course.
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Rick R
4.0 2 years ago
by Rick completed this course.
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Beatriz S
5.0 3 years ago
by Beatriz is taking this course right now.
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Kamil T
5.0 2 years ago
by Kamil partially completed this course.
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Zhe L
5.0 a year ago
by Zhe completed this course.
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Lydia G
5.0 3 years ago
by Lydia audited this course, spending 2 hours a week on it and found the course difficulty to be medium.
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Alejandro V
4.0 2 years ago
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Wong C
5.0 2 years ago
by Wong completed this course.
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Georgakopoulou V
5.0 a year ago
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