ENGL 6880: Language and Linguistics

Fall 2017
Meets Mondays, 4:00 - 6:40

Dr M C Morgan
HS 314 • 755 2814 • mmorgan@bemidjistate.edu
Office hours: M 3:00. T and R 11:30 - 12:30, and by appointment

Course URL: http://biro.erhetoric.org/wikka.php?wakka=LanguageAndLinguisticsFall2017


Required text: Curzan and Adams. How English Works: A Linguistic Introduction. 3rd Edition. Pearson ISBN-13: 978-0205032280 $120 retail. $30 rental. #boycottPearsonPub. Used on Amazon and elsewhere.

Recommended: Crystal. How Language Works. Avery, 2007. ISBN-13: 978-1583332917. About $15-20 anywhere.

Bring a laptop to class. We may need to access the OED or linguistic corpora in class.


The Statement

The principles and practices of linguistics are learned by doing rather than reading and reciting. Each week, we'll work with a chapter Curzan. By work with I mean read the chapter, practice with some selected exercises, and then consider what you've found by working with those exercises. In class meetings we'll compare what we found and further discuss the concepts of the chapter.

On some weeks, when the area of linguistics demands, I'll give brief in-class quizzes - phonetic transcription and morphemic analysis, for instance, but there may be others. You'll know a week in advance.

The mid-term will ask you to perform a stylistic analysis of a text that I select. I'm drawing the mid-term from Curzan:

... perform a stylistic analysis [on a selected text]. Try to employ all of the linguistics you’ve studied so far (phonology, morphology, semantics, syntax, pragmatics, and speech act theory) in making sense of the text in question. (Curzan, 308)

For the final, I'll ask you to select a book that addresses an area of linguistic study in more detail and develop a small project that lets you apply and critique a linguistic principle of that book. You'll have two to three weeks near end of semester to work on this project when you won't have to prepare for class. We won't meet as a class those weeks but we will have conferences individually.

As a grad student, you are expected to go beyond meeting the minimal requirements of reading the chapter and doing exercises. You should be testing ideas and practicing as they occur to you, and they should occur to you more frequently as the semester progresses. You should be exploring the linguistic source material available to us: Start with the OED, the linguistic corpora Curzan mentions, and the Language Log weblog, and add sites and texts and references that you will use as the course proceeds.

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