This year, the midterm is take-home but closed-book. It will consist of multiple-choice and short fill-in questions, and is designed to be taken in a one-hour session, just as if it had been a sit-down exam given in class.
Paper copies of the exam will be handed out in class on Wednesday, Oct. 25, and will be due at the start of class on Monday, Oct. 30. Late exams will not be accepted without a medical excuse. If for some reason you must miss class on 10/25, extra copies of the exam will be left with the secretary in the Linguistics Department office, 619 Williams Hall.
You should do the exam by yourself and without reference to books, notes, the on-line lecture notes or other external aids. Unless you have a documented medical condition requiring extra time on exams, you should finish the exam within an hour.
The exam will cover lectures 1-12 (as numbered in the schedule of lectures on the course web site), the associated on-line lecture notes and readings in the course text, and the material covered in the homeworks assignments 1-6.
The exam will focus on important facts, concepts and skills. Thus you will not be expected to know birth and death dates of important thinkers, but you might be asked something about their key intellectual contributions, or the general period of time within which they worked. You will not be expected to memorize the Breton phrase meaning "horse manure", which was mentioned in one of the lectures, but you might be asked a question that depends on knowing that modifier-head order is not the same in all languages. You might be asked about things like the basic anatomy of the vocal organs, the mechanisms of sound production used in speaking, or the meaning of concepts such as "phoneme", "morpheme", and so on.
Skills taught in the homework assignments are fair game -- for instance, you can count on being asked to give the dictionary-style pronunciation of an English word in IPA form.