Both are sound options for introducing you to the scientific study of language, and providing you with a solid grounding to build on in future courses. Intro to Linguistics will be a systematic overview of the field of linguistics and give you exposure to different areas of linguistic analysis. Most of the semester will be spent studying sound systems (phonetics and phonology), word structure (morphology) and phrase/sentence structure (syntax). Broader issues involving linguistic variation will also play a prominent role, including dialect variation, prescriptive versus descriptive grammar, pidgin and creole formation, and the distinctly human nature of the language faculty.
Cognitive Science of Language will situate the study of language and linguistic structure within the broader field of cognitive science, and will explore different methodological approaches (including linguistic analysis, but also experimentation, neuroscience, computation) to the science of language. This course will cover the fundamentals of phonetics/phonology, morphology and syntax, and will prepare students for further courses in these specific subfields.