What makes human language unique? This course is an introduction to the study of human language and its underlying properties. Much of our linguistic competence lies below the level of conscious awareness, and linguists seek to uncover the subconscious principles and parameters that govern our knowledge of language. This course first explores the core theoretical areas of linguistics: phonology (sound structure), morphology (word structure), syntax (sentence structure), and semantics (meaning). Then, we will explore such topics as the workings of language use, language variation, and first- and second-language acquisition.