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Miracles of Human Language

An Introduction to Linguistics

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!

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Universiteit Leiden

Rating 4.6 based on 298 ratings
Length 7 weeks
Starts Jun 3 (4 weeks ago)
Cost $49
From Universiteit Leiden, Meertens instituut (KNAW) via Coursera
Instructor Marc van Oostendorp
Download Videos On all desktop and mobile devices
Language English
Subjects Art & Design Humanities Languages
Tags Arts And Humanities Music And Art Language Learning Other Languages

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What people are saying

According to other learners, here's what you need to know

marc van oostendorp in 17 reviews

Professor Marc van Oostendorp explains everything in a clear and simple way and makes one get involved in the course and wants to deepen the study of Linguistics.

Professor Marc van Oostendorp is a wonderful teacher.

I am very appreciated to the professor Marc van Oostendorp and his students for this MOOC.

I had no special need for the course and, accordingly, no special expectations besides the joy of learning the basics of a subject that I've always liked, and of acquiring some basic skills on it.Professor Marc van Oostendorp does a remarkable job on being didactic, clear, interesting and covering a nice selection of aspects of this wonderful field.The course's dynamics is very nice: lectures, dialogues, assignments, interviews, informants' contributions, readings, forum, quiz... it's never boring, really nicely structured!A point which in my opinion can be improved: the redaction of the questions in the quizzes are many times unclear, confusing and even misleading.

I want to thank Leiden University and Marc van Oostendorp for providing such a professionally delivered MOOC.

Thanks to professor Marc van Oostendorp, Martin, Inga and other informants and contributors who made this course so highly informative and well-structured.

Professor Marc van Oostendorp was very engaging in his presentation of the material, and I liked the fact that his students were there to ask questions as well.

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professor marc in 13 reviews

I would like to say an enormous "Thank You" to everyone who contributed to this Course to be accessible: to professor Marc van Oostendorp, to Marten and Inge, to informants, to translators, redactors, designers and all whom I didn't mention but who were those thanks to whom we now know all we know and share this with others!

My time with this course was awesome...I learned things more than my expectations .... thanks coursera especially thanks to " Professor Marc Van Oostendorp",doing a great job ... Great course, but the quizzes can be a bit too demanding and without clear answers.

The professor Marc made it interesting and at times funny, and thus he did a great job, but because of the quizzes I nearly qu This is a challenging course, but if you are truly interested in linguistics this is an excellent choice.

i would really thank the professor Marc Van Oostendrop for his kindness and for his simple style to facilitate the materials of this course.

My special thanks to Professor Marc van Oostendorp who was just amazing and made the topics very interesting and creative.

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language informants in 9 reviews

really good and interesting, the quizzes (especailly the final one) were a bit irritating when you had to keep flicking back to previous videos on the same page (the language informants); I felt that the final quiz should have been exclusively what has been lerned rather than going back to langauge informant videos.

Love the material, readings and language informants!

I found some of the quiz questions to be unnecessarily difficult because of how specific they were to the videos of the language informants, but overall, I enjoyed the course and the wide range of supplemental materials that are offered.

I also liked how the language informants were used - I was able to practice what I had learned in the other videos by analysing their speech patterns.

His discussions with Marten and Inge were engaging and his interactions with the language informants was, well... informing!

There were errors, apparently, and I couldn't see the connection between the foreign language informants and what we were supposed to do in the quizzes.

The language informants part is quite nicely done, too.

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highly recommend in 8 reviews

I highly recommend this course.

I highly recommend this course to anyone interested in Linguistics and languages, especially beginners.

This is the most interesting MOOC I've ever taken!I highly recommend everyone to try it Brilliant Course!

I highly recommend it!

Highly recommended.

I would highly recommend this course!

Oostendorp is a fantastic professor and I highly recommend his course.

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field of linguistics in 7 reviews

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.

This course gives learners a general picture of how the field of linguistics look like.

It provides a great overview of the field of linguistics and does so in an engaging manner.

Miracles of Human Language is a wonderful introduction to the field of linguistics.

I feel like a got a real introduction to the field of linguistics!

It had interesting case studies and gave me a good grounding in the field of linguistics.

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reading material in 7 reviews

Some assignments seemed daunting at first, but the reading material provided was usually enough to pass the quizzes.

Simply I can not be able to stop watching videos and go over reading materials.

Most the background reading material were Amazon books, which are expensive if you come from a country with a weak currency.

I obtained two books from the suggested reading material to further my learning.

Very interesting course, well-made videos, interesting interviews and reading materials.

I'm not giving 5 stars because I believe the estimated workload (in terms of time) for the mandatory reading material is at times vastly underestimated (like with the article on typology in module 1 and the audio lecture in module 6, for instance).

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Coursera

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Universiteit Leiden

Rating 4.6 based on 298 ratings
Length 7 weeks
Starts Jun 3 (4 weeks ago)
Cost $49
From Universiteit Leiden, Meertens instituut (KNAW) via Coursera
Instructor Marc van Oostendorp
Download Videos On all desktop and mobile devices
Language English
Subjects Art & Design Humanities Languages
Tags Arts And Humanities Music And Art Language Learning Other Languages

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