Usama Soltan

Associate Professor of Arabic

 
 work(802) 443-5869
 On leave 2017-2018
 on leave academic year

 Usama Soltan has been at Middlebury College since 2006, where he teaches courses in Arabic language and culture at all levels as well as courses in Arabic linguistics, including Arabic Sociolinguistics (taught in English) and Arabic Diglossia (an upper-level seminar taught in Arabic). He is also a faculty member of the Linguistics Program at Middlebury, offering courses on general linguistics, including Introduction to Linguistics and Morphology and Syntax. He holds a PhD in linguistics from the University of Maryland, College Park, and is primarily interested in questions related to the study of human language as a cognitive capacity: What is the nature of linguistic knowledge and how does such knowledge arise in the human mind? To this endeavor, his research agenda has focused on bringing empirical facts from Standard Arabic and Egyptian Arabic to bear on issues of linguistic theory, particularly with regard to the study of cross-linguistic diversity in syntactic structure in human languages. More detailed information about his teaching and research, including links to course websites and some downloadable articles, can be found at this webpage: http://sites.middlebury.edu/usamasoltan/.

 

Courses

Course List: 

Courses offered in the past four years.
indicates offered in the current term
indicates offered in the upcoming term[s]

ARBC 0101 - Beginning Arabic I      

Beginning Arabic I
The goal of this course is to begin developing reading, speaking, listening, writing, and cultural skills in Arabic. This course stresses written and oral communication, using both formal Arabic and some Egyptian dialect. Emphasis is also placed on reading authentic texts from Arabic media sources, listening to and watching audio and video materials, and developing students' understanding of Arab culture. 6 hrs lect/disc. LNG

Fall 2016

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ARBC 0103 - Beginning Arabic III      

Beginning Arabic III
This course is a continuation of ARBC 0102. 6 hrs. lect/disc (ARBC 0102 or equivalent) LNG

Spring 2014, Spring 2017

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ARBC 0201 - Intermediate Arabic I      

Intermediate Arabic I
This course is a continuation of ARBC 0103. Emphasis is placed on reading authentic materials from Arabic media, expanding students' vocabulary, listening to and watching audio and video materials, and developing students' understanding of Arab culture and communicative competence. (ARBC 0103 or equivalent) 6 hrs. lect/disc LNG

Fall 2016

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ARBC 0202 - Intermediate Arabic II      

Intermediate Arabic II
This course is a continuation of Arabic 0201. Fifth in a series of courses that develop reading, speaking, listening, writing, and cultural skills in Arabic. This course stresses communication in formal and spoken Arabic. (ARBC 0201 or equivalent). 6 hrs. lect/disc LNG

Spring 2015, Spring 2016

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ARBC 0225 / LNGT 0225 - Arabic Linguistics      

Introduction to Arabic Linguistics
In this course we will focus on the study of Arabic as a “language system" in terms of the frameworks and tools of modern linguistic analysis. Topics covered include the sound system (phonology), word structure (morphology), phrase and sentence structure (syntax), meaning at the word and sentential level (semantics), as well as the history of Arabic and the Arabic grammatical tradition. We will give equal attention to the study of the linguistic features of both Standard Arabic and the modern Arabic dialects of today. Readings will be drawn from a variety of sources, including descriptive grammars and modern linguistic analyses. (ARBC 0101 or by approval) 3 hrs lect/disc. AAL LNG MDE

Spring 2014

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ARBC 0421 / LNGT 0421 - Arabic Linguistic Variation      

Aspects of Arabic Linguistic Variation
In this course we will focus on aspects of Arabic linguistic variation across the Arab world. Topics will include: regional variation among major Arabic dialects in the lexicon and grammar; alternation in usage between Modern Standard Arabic and the vernacular dialects; and variation tied to literary, religious, and political discourse. Readings will consist of Arabic texts taken from a variety of sources, including print and non-print media, political speeches and commentaries, and the language of literature. This course will be taught in Arabic. (ARBC 0302 or equivalent) 3 hrs. sem. AAL LNG MDE SOC

Fall 2015

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ARBC 0435 / LNGT 0435 - Arabic Diglossia      

Arabic Diglossia: A Linguistic Approach
Diglossia is an intricate sociolinguistic situation in which two related varieties of the same language co-exist within the same speech community. In this course we will focus on the study of diglossia as manifested in Arabic-speaking communities, where Modern Standard Arabic is used side by side with Vernacular Arabic. In particular, we will discuss the linguistic differences between the two varieties, their distinct and overlapping functions, their status in society, and code-switching between them in various contexts of language use. Course materials will be drawn from a variety of sources, including articles and book chapters, print and non-print media, political and religious discourse, and literary texts. The language of instruction is exclusively Arabic. (ARBC 0302 or equivalent) 3 hrs. sem. AAL LNG MDE SOC

Fall 2014

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ARBC 0500 - Independent Study      

Independent Study
(Approval Required)

Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Winter 2015, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Winter 2016, Spring 2016, Winter 2017, Winter 2018, Fall 2018

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ARBC 0600 - Senior Project      

Spring 2016

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ARBC 0700 - Senior Thesis I      

Senior Thesis I
Approval required.

Fall 2014, Winter 2015, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Winter 2016, Spring 2016, Winter 2017, Winter 2018, Fall 2018

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ARBC 0701 - Senior Thesis II      

Senior Thesis II
Approval required.

Spring 2014, Fall 2014, Winter 2015, Spring 2015, Fall 2015, Winter 2016, Spring 2016, Winter 2017, Winter 2018, Fall 2018

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LNGT 0101 - Introduction to Linguistics      

Introduction to Linguistics
In this course we will discuss the major issues and findings in the study of human language within theories of modern linguistics. The main topics include the nature of human language as opposed to other communication systems; sound patterns (phonology); word-formation (morphology); sentence structure (syntax); meaning (semantics); language and the brain; language acquisition; geographical and social dialects; and historical development of language and language change. 3 hrs. lect./disc. SOC

Fall 2014, Fall 2015

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LNGT 0250 - Morphology and Syntax      

The Structure of Language: Introduction to Morphology and Syntax
In this course we will focus on two fundamental areas in the study of language structure: morphology and syntax. Morphology is the study of the internal structure of words and their meaningful parts (e.g., roots and affixes), whereas syntax studies how words are combined to form larger units (phrases and sentences). Linguistic data for illustration and analysis will be taken both from English and a variety of languages belonging to different language families to help us better understand the unity and diversity of human language with regard to word and sentence structure. The course is intended to enhance students’ skills in linguistic description and analysis, as well as general problem-solving and analytical reasoning skills. DED WTR

Spring 2015, Spring 2016

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Department of Arabic

Voter Hall
381 College Street
Middlebury College
Middlebury, VT 05753