Posted by: gdevi | August 24, 2015

English 280 – Introduction to Linguistics Syllabus and Reading List

Syllabus and Reading List

Engl 280.01, Introduction to the Study of Language

[3 credits-Writing Competency-WC]


Dr. Gayatri Devi

Office: Raub 302

Office Hrs: MW: 12:30-3pm, T: 2-3 pm and by appointment

Tel: 570-484-2284


 Course Description

In this course we will look at the systematic and conceptual foundations of the study of language, or Linguistics. Though our study is largely limited to the study of the English language, the processes of hypothesis testing, argumentation, justification and analysis within the field of English linguistics will introduce us to the general theoretical and methodological concerns that govern the study of all languages. We will review the structural properties of the English language (morphology, phonetics, phonology, semantics and syntax or “structural linguistics”) as well as discuss briefly important subfields of linguistics: language variation, language change, language acquisition, pragmatics and discourse, and language processing in the brain.

Course Objectives

 Upon successful completion of this course, you will be able to do the following:

  1. Demonstrate knowledge of, and skills in the use of the English language. (NCATE 3.1)
  2. Demonstrate knowledge of linguistic change, etymology, processes of word formation, and variation (dialects and registers). (PDE IA)
  3. Demonstrate knowledge of the origins and evolution of English language from Old English to Global English.
  4. Demonstrate knowledge of psycholinguistics including language processing in the brain, processes of first and second language acquisition, literacy and language disability.
  5. Identify the major language families of the world and show an understanding of the position/role of English in the family of modern world languages.
  6. Demonstrate an understanding of the key features of modern English including its morphology, phonology, phonetics, syntax, lexicon and discourse.
  7. Demonstrate knowledge of the major geographic, cultural, and social varieties of modern English as well as the features and controversies associated with conflicting domains of Standard and non-Standard English.
  8. Demonstrate an understanding of the controversies surrounding theories of “correctness” and “usage” in the speaking, writing and teaching of English

Required Texts and Other Supplies

Akmajian, Adrian, Richard Demers, Ann Farmer et al. Linguistics: An

Introduction to Language and Communication. 6th ed. Cambridge and London: The MIT Press, 2001.

Instructor Handouts in class

Notebook for class work



Recommended Texts

Good College Dictionary

Good Thesaurus

Additional Writing Support

Online Writing Site of Purdue University at Common writing questions answered plus MLA style guide freely available here. Check it out!

LHUP’s Writing Center in the Learning Commons at Stevenson Library: Make an appointment with a peer tutor for help with your writing.

LHU Title IX Policy

Lock Haven University and its faculty are committed to assuring a safe and productive educational environment for all students. In order to meet this commitment and to comply with Title IX of the Education Amendments of 1972 and guidance from the Office for Civil Rights, the University requires faculty members to report incidents of sexual violence shared by students to the University’s Title IX coordinator. The only exceptions to the faculty member’s reporting obligation are when incidents of sexual violence are communicated by a student during a classroom discussion, in a writing assignment for a class, or as part of a university-approved research project. Faculty members are obligated to report sexual violence or any other abuse of a student who was, or is, a child (a person under 18 years of age) when the abuse allegedly occurred to the person designated in the University protection of minors policy. Information regarding the reporting of sexual violence and resources that are available to victim of sexual violence is set forth  .

Course policies

Attendance: The ideal situation is when you are not absent at all through the course of the semester. Three documented absences (show me the official letter for a family or medical emergency) are excused. That is a whole week of missed classes for a class that meets thrice a week. With the fourth unexcused absence, you miss 5 points for each absence. If you are absent or you know you will be absent, please find out about due items, readings, assignments, activities etc from your classmates or me. Also, if you know you will miss class, please email me regarding your absence as early as possible.

Lateness: All assignments and responses are due at the beginning of class. I will not accept late assignments, except in the case of excused absences.

Submission of Assignments: All assignments must be submitted as typed, hard paper copy in class on the day it is due. This includes weekly homework as well. Linguistics problems solved by hand should be written cleanly and clearly. No email attachments. No email submissions of any kind. No exceptions. If you know you are going to be absent on the day the assignment is due, you must submit the assignment as hard copy prior to your absence. If you are absent on the day the assignment is due, for an unexcused purpose, I shall not grade your assignment. An absence will be excused only if you present official documentation to me.

Plagiarism and Scholarly Misconduct

Plagiarism is the act of using another person’s ideas, words, phrases or sentences without formal acknowledgement. It is also copying another student’s work, cheating in an exam, pipelining assignments between instructors and classes without permission, or otherwise engaging in scholarly misconduct. Plagiarism is not that difficult to ascertain; following University guidelines, I, the instructor, reserve the right to determine if a particular behavior is misconduct or plagiarism. A first offense will result in a failing grade for that assignment. A second offense will result in failing the course. For a third offense, you shall be referred to Student Service for appropriate penalties, which might include expulsion from the school. Consult the Student Handbook for LHUP’s full policy. Your best course of action is to do your own work and learn something in the process. So when in doubt, cite it.

Email: Be sure to sign up for and regularly check your “” email account. If I need to contact you, individually or as a class, I will only use your LHU address. Instructions for setting up an account can be found on LHU’s webpage (, at department chairs’ offices, and at Enrollment Services (Russell Hall).

Disabilities: Qualified students with disabilities needing appropriate academic adjustments should contact me as soon as possible to ensure your needs are met in a timely manner. The office of Disability Services must verify the disability.

Assignments and Course Work: The format for this course is lecture, discussion, peer group work, and individual work. This means that you must come to class prepared with the readings for the day.

Assignments and Grade Points: During the semester you will be given points, not letter grades.

Three Unit Tests: 50 points each [Test 1-Morphology; Test 2-Phonetics & Phonology; Test 3-Syntax & Semantics] 0PEN BOOK; You may use the text, and the text alone. You may not use notes, slides or index cards.

Term Paper – 50 points [minimum 5 typed, double-spaced pages]

Term Paper Draft Review – 20 points

Report #1: 10 pts [minimum 2 typed double-spaced pages]

Report #2: 10 pts [minimum 2 typed double-spaced pages]

Final comprehensive exam – 50 available points. Part 1: Closed Book. Part 2: Open Book.

Quizzes/homework – 100 available points

Final Grade Distribution [on a percentage scale]

A: 93% and above; A-: 90%-92%, B+: 86%-89%, B: 83%-85%, B-: 80%-82%, C+: 76%-79%, C: 73%-75%, C-: 70%-72%, D: 60%-69%, E: Less than 59%

Reading List [1]


Each day you must come prepared with the reading for the day. The readings are indicated for each day in the form of section numbers. You must finish the assigned sections. There are several exercises in your textbook. Review them at home, and give yourself some strategies on how to answer these questions. You do not need to answer any of these questions at home, unless I specifically ask you to do so as homework. We shall be working with these exercises in class. You will not be given time to read in class; you will have time only to respond to the questions. So please come prepared with the readings and ready to write.

Schedule of Readings and Assignments

Week 1

Aug 24            Course Introduction; syllabus review; diagnostic test in class

Aug 26            Ch.1, What is Linguistics?

Aug 28            Ch. 2, Morphology 2.1, 2.2

Week 2

Aug 31            Ch. 2, Morphology, 2.3, p. 23-32

Sept 2             Ch. 2, Morphology, 2.3, p. 32-42 [convocation compressed schedule]

Sept 4             Ch. 2, Morphology, 2.4 [GRADED HOMEWORK ASSIGNED

Week 3

Sept 7            Labor Day Holiday – No class                 

Sept 9            Morphology Review in class [GRADED HOMEWORK DUE FOR GRADING]

Sept 11           Ch. 3, Phonetics, 3.2

Week 4


Sept 16           Ch. 3, Phonetics, 3.2

Sept 18           Ch. 3, Phonetics, 3.2 (GRADED HOMEWORK ASSIGNED]

Week 5

Sept 21           Ch. 3, Phonetics, 3.2 (English Plural Rule)

Sept 23           Phonology Slides (GRADED HOMEWORK DUE FOR GRADING]

Sept 25           Phonology Slides

Week 6

Sept 28           Phonology Slides

Sept 30          Ch. 7, Language Variation, 7.1


Week 7

Oct 5               Fall Holiday – No class       

Oct 6 (T)        Ch. 7, Language Variation, 7.3

Oct 7               Ch. 7, Language Variation, 7.1, 7.2

Oct 9              Ch. 7, Language Variation, 7.1, 7.2/Dialects of Pennsylvania [Report on Dialects assigned

Week 8

Oct 12            Ch. 8, Language Change, 8.1

Oct 14             Ch. 8, The Linguistic History of English [Report on dialects due for grading]

Oct 16             Ch. 8, The Linguistic History of English

Week 9

Oct 19             Ch. 11, Language Acquisition in Children

Oct 21             Ch. 11, Language Acquisition in Children

Oct 23             Ch. 11, Language Acquisition in Children [Report on Language Acquisition assigned; Term Paper assigned]

Week 10

Oct 26           Syntax, Fromkin handout

Oct 28             Syntax, Fromkin handout [Report on Language Acquisition due for grading]

Oct 30             Syntax, Fromkin handout [GRADED HOMEWORK ASSIGNED]

Week 11

Nov 2              Syntax, Fromkin handout

Nov 4              Syntax, Fromkin handout [GRADED HOMEWORK DUE FOR GRADING]

Nov 6              Ch. 6, Semantics

Week 12


Nov 11            Ch. 6, Semantics

Nov 13            Ch. 6, Deictics and Proper Names [SYNTAX-SEMANTICS TAKE HOME TEST ASSIGNED]

Week 13

Nov 16            Ch. 12, NeuroLinguistics, Language and the Brain

Nov 18           Ch. 12, NeuroLinguistics, Language and the Brain [[SYNTAX-SEMANTICS TAKE HOME TEST DUE FOR GRADING]

Nov 20           Ch. 9, Pragmatics, Discourse and Conversation Ch. 12,

Week 14

Nov 23           Ch. 9, Pragmatics, Discourse and Conversation

Nov 25-27     Thanksgiving Holiday – No class

Week 15

Nov 30           Ch. 9, Pragmatics, Discourse and Conversation; Speech Acts

Dec 2              Ch. 9, Speech Acts

Dec 4              Last day of class; Final Review in class – Exam Topics (comprehensive final); [TERM PAPER FINAL COPY DUE FOR GRADING]

December 7-11 – exam week


December 9 (Wednesday)            Final Exam, 8:00-9:50 am in the classroom

[1] This is our reading list in the ideal world. We shall attempt to follow this schedule to the best of our abilities. If there are any changes to this schedule I shall give that to you in writing. Until then, please come prepared each day to class with all readings done.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s


%d bloggers like this: