Wide-range introduction to the study of written and spoken English. The nature of language; ways of describing language; the use of language study as an approach to English literature and the teaching of English.
For Autumn 2012: This course is an introduction to the formal and empirical study of language, with an emphasis on English. We'll study the sound system through phonetics and phonology, how words are formed through morphology, how we build words and phrases into clauses and more in syntax, meaning through semantics, and then turn to the social side with the history of the English language, sociolinguistics and U.S. dialects, and social interaction in discourse. In the first part, we'll be using Ed Finegan's Language, 5th ed., and in the second part, Lippi Green's English with an Accent, 2nd ed.
Student learning goals
General method of instruction
Lecture and discussion. With each linguistic level, we will begin with the formal analysis and then we will do more reading in the second half.
Class assignments and grading
Knowing something about linguistics will help you understand important issues about language variation in this country. That there are right and wrong answers in this course is often a surprise to English students, but once you get the hang of it, you will better understand how the English language works. There are homework exercises for each class and passing performance on the exams requires that you have done the homework. There are also written assignments so that you can demonstrate your understanding in prose as well.
Evaluation will be through weekly homework problems, short reading responses, a midterm, a final, and a paper.