Mersin University



Year 2014-2015
Semester Fall
Course Code İDB 221
Course Title Languages of the World
Instructor Asst. Prof. Dr. Özlem KURTOĞLU
Office Hours Friday 14:50 – 16:30


The aim of the course is to enable students to explain what all human languages have in common and in what ways they are different, to have an understanding of  language families of the world, to place a language geographically or genealogically and to explain why and how languages are dying.


– 16.09.2014 Introduction, Language Families Pereltsvaig (1-12)
– 23.09.2014 Indo-European Languages Pereltsvaig (13-38)
– 30.09.2014 Non-Indo-European Languages of Europe and India Pereltsvaig (39-63)
– 14.10.2014 Languages of Caucasus Pereltsvaig (64-85)
– 21.10.2014 Languages of Northern Africa, Middle East and Central Asia Pereltsvaig (86-104) presentation
– 28.10.2014 Languages of Sub-Saharan Africa Pereltsvaig (105-123) presentation
– 04.11.2014 Languages of Eastern Asia Pereltsvaig (124-142) presentation
– 11.11.2014 MID-TERM MID-TERM
– 18.11.2014 Languages of South Sea Islands Pereltsvaig (143-165) presentation
– 25.11.2014 Aboriginal languages of Australia and Papua New Guina Pereltsvaig (166-182) presentation
– 02.12.2014 Native Languages of Americas Pereltsvaig (183-204) presentation
– 09.12.2014 Macro Families: Afroasiatic, Uralic Altaic, etc. Pereltsvaig (205-229) presentation
– 16.12.2014 Pidgins, Creoles and Other mixed languages Pereltsvaig (230-253) presentation
– 23.12.2014 The Extinction of Languages Nettle & Romaine (1-204); Harrison (1-22)
-06.01.2015 FINAL FINAL


Textbook(s) Pereltsvaig, A. (2012). Languages of the World: An Introduction. Cambridge: CUP.
Supplementary Reading(s) Comrie, B. (Ed.) (2009). The World’s Major Languages. New York: Routledge.

Campbell, G. L. (1995). Concise Compendium of the World’s Languages. London: Routledge.

Brown, K. & Ogilvie, S. (Eds.) (2009). Concise Encyclopedia of Languages of the World. Oxford: Elsevier.

Katzner, K. (2002). The Languages of the World. New York: Routledge.

Nettle, D. & Romaine, S. (2000). Vanishing Voices: The Extinction of the World’s Languages. New York: OUP.

Harrison, K. D. (2007). When Languages Die: The Extinction of the World’s Languages and the Erosion of Human Knowledge. New York: OUP.


Mid-Term Exam (16%) + Presentations (24%) 40
Final 60
Total 100




STUDENT REQUIREMENTS                                                 
  • It is the student’s responsibility to record and follow his own attendance. (For the percentages, refer to the University’s Education Guide.)
  • Students should not enter the classroom after the class has been started.
  • Students who do not bring their course materials are not allowed to enter the class.
  • Cell phones should be turned off, or set to vibrate for emergency during the class. Camera, tape or video recording is not allowed if not stated otherwise.
  • Assignments should be prepared in accordance with the Department’s Assignment, Research Paper and Thesis (A.R.T.) Preparation Guide. (can be accessed from the department’s site;
  • It is the student’s responsibility to practice the highest standards of academic honesty. Cheating, plagiarism and any other form of academic dishonesty will not be tolerated.
  • Assignments submitted later than the indicated dates are not accepted. Deadlines should strictly be followed.
  • It is the student’s responsibility to obtain missed information from another student, not from the instructor.