One thing that makes SIL-UND stand out is our work with the linguistics of signed languages. Our courses do not teach any one particular signed language, but rather the basic characteristics and organizing principles shared by all signed languages as well as tools used to analyze them.

These courses do not provide everything that a person needs to know to work with signed languages; they should be taken in combination with more general linguistics courses. People seeking a first exposure to linguistics are recommended to take package a with Ling 455 (Sign Language Phonetics) as their phonetics course.

Deaf students are especially invited to take these courses, as well as any other courses listed in this catalog that may interest them. ASL-English interpretation is available on request; some class sessions are conducted in ASL, with interpretation to English if needed.

Some of these courses require proficiency in a natural signed language which is equivalent to at least one year of college-level study. Knowledge of artificial signing systems such as Signing Exact English is not adequate. Prior background in linguistics is required to take some courses. See the prerequisites for each course below for details; some of these prerequisites may be waived in special circumstances.

If you are interested in these courses, please contact the SIL-UND director through our UND website to discuss your particular needs and interests and how well they fit with what we have to offer.


  • Ling 455: Phonetics of Signed Languages
  • Ling 507: Translation of Signed languages
  • Ling 516: Phonology of Signed Languages
  • Ling 526: Morphosyntax of Signed Languages
  • Ling 506: Field Methods (signed language section)
  • Ling 506L: Media Technology for Linguistic Research (signed language section)

back to classes overview