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ASIAN 401 A: Introduction to Asian Linguistics

Meeting Time: 
MWF 10:00am - 11:20am
ARC G070
Zev Handel

Syllabus Description:

You can find all course materials through the Modules page.

Welcome to ASIAN 401, "Introduction to Asian Linguistics".

This course is a general introduction to contemporary linguistics—the formal description and analysis of human language—with special reference to the languages of Asia. Students will learn the basic concepts and methodologies of linguistic inquiry and the linguistic features of Asian languages. Topics covered include phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, historical and comparative linguistics, language classification. Note: This is an introductory course, and is probably not suitable for those who have had Linguistics 400 or other advanced linguistics courses. Speak to the instructor if you have questions.


MWF 10-11:20 in ARC G070


Zev Handel |  |  Gowen Hall 245 |  206-543-4863

Office hours:  

Wednesdays 3:30–4:20, Fridays 2:30–3:20, or by appointment


  • Asian 401 Course Packet: Asian Linguistics Workbook (purchase at EZ Copy N Print, 4336 University Way (206-632-2523) for $12.99 plus tax = $14.30). You will need your own copy of the course packet in class every day.
  • O’Grady, William et al. 2010. Contemporary Linguistics: An Introduction (Sixth Edition). Boston: Bedford/St. Martin’s. [ISBN #978-0-312-55528-3. Available at University Book Store and on reserve at Odegaard.]
  • Goddard, Cliff. 2005. The Languages of East and Southeast Asia. Oxford University Press. [ISBN #978-0-199-24860-5. Available at University Book Store, on reserve at Odegaard, and available as ebook to UW students via the UW library.]


Grades will be based on the following requirements. See grading scale on the course website.
• Participation                          10%
• Homework                             40%
• Midterm examination      20%
• Final examination               30%

Class Participation:

Students are expected to have completed the readings and exercises as indicated on the schedule, and to participate in classroom discussions and activities. Students with more than three unexcused absences will receive a reduction of credit in this category.


Students are responsible for the content of all lectures, assigned readings, exercises, and homework assignments. No make-up exams will be given unless arranged in advance.

Late Policy:

Assignments must be handed in at the beginning of class on the due date. Homework assignments that are up to one class meeting late will lose 10% credit and up to two meetings late will lose 20% credit. Late homework will not be accepted after two class meetings without instructor approval.


Phone ringers should be off during class to avoid disruption. Please do not use phones (texting, apps, internet, etc.) during class, as it is a distraction to others.


Additional Information for all UW students and courses


Religious Accommodations

Washington state law requires that UW develop a policy for accommodation of student absences or significant hardship due to reasons of faith or conscience, or for organized religious activities. The UW’s policy, including more information about how to request an accommodation, is available at Accommodations must be requested within the first two weeks of this course using the Religious Accommodations Request form available at:

Disability Resources

If you have already established accommodations with Disability Resources for Students (DRS), please communicate your approved accommodations to me at your earliest convenience so we can discuss your needs in this course.

If you have not yet established services through DRS, but have a temporary health condition or permanent disability that requires accommodations (conditions include but not limited to; mental health, attention-related, learning, vision, hearing, physical or health impacts), you are welcome to contact DRS at 206-543-8924 or or DRS offers resources and coordinates reasonable accommodations for students with disabilities and/or temporary health conditions.  Reasonable accommodations are established through an interactive process between you, your instructor(s) and DRS.  It is the policy and practice of the University of Washington to create inclusive and accessible learning environments consistent with federal and state law.

Student Conduct

The University takes academic integrity very seriously, as do I. Behaving with integrity is part of our responsibility to our shared learning community. If you’re uncertain about whether something is academic misconduct, don’t hesitate to ask me.

Acts of academic misconduct may include but are not limited to:

  • Cheating (working collaboratively on quizzes/exams and discussion submissions, sharing answers and previewing quizzes/exams)
  • Plagiarism (representing the work of others as your own without giving appropriate credit to the original author(s)–for more information on plagiarism and how to avoid it, see
  • Unauthorized collaboration (working with each other on assignments)

Concerns about these or other behaviors prohibited by the Student Conduct Code will be referred for investigation and adjudication by the College of Arts & Sciences.

Students found to have engaged in academic misconduct may receive a zero on the assignment (or other possible outcome).

For more information, see

Campus Safety

Call SafeCampus at 206-685-7233 anytime – no matter where you work or study – to anonymously discuss safety and well-being concerns for yourself or others. SafeCampus’s team of caring professionals will provide individualized support, while discussing short- and long-term solutions and connecting you with additional resources when requested.


For a printable version of this syllabus and the full schedule, please click the links below:

Asian 401 syllabusAsian 401 schedule

Catalog Description: 
Linguistic analysis, with emphasis on languages of East, Southeast, South, and Central Asia. Includes phonetics, phonemics, morphology, syntax, historical reconstruction, linguistic typology, comparative grammar. Survey of major languages and language families of Asia. Diverse Asian languages as subjects of linguistic analysis. Prior knowledge of linguistics not required.
GE Requirements: 
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Last updated: 
August 28, 2019 - 9:50pm