Linguistics 001     Schedule of lectures and readings

(Fall 2014)

There is no textbook for this course -- all required readings will be linked in this schedule, or in the lecture notes. The links (and the lecture notes) will appear roughly a week ahead of the corresponding lecture dates.

If you want to read ahead, you can look at the completed schedule for an earlier edition of the course. But keep in mind that that the lecture notes and readings this fall will be an updated version.

Follow the links in the middle column for lecture notes. In this course, these are notes for the lecture, rather than notes on the lecture, so that they serve as an on-line textbook. As such, they generally provide a larger volume of material than is presented in the lectures. In class, I'll give an overview of the day's topic, and work through examples and sample problems in detail, typically in ways that are not entirely covered in the lecture notes.

The right-hand column provides links to additional course readings. These are articles or book chapters that provide useful background. In many cases, additional links will be provided within the main page of lecture notes.

We'll be using Piazza to mediate course-related discussion.

1. We 08/27
Introduction to the course  
Mo 09/01 Labor Day  
2.We 09/03
Perspectives and approaches


3. Mo 09/08
Prescriptive and descriptive linguistics
4. We 09/10
5. Mo 09/15
Communication: philosophical perspectives

"What did Justice Scalia mean?";
"Grice in the Ladies' Room";
"The implications of excessive praise";
Dan Zettwoch, "Deadlock"

6. We 09/17 

The pronunciation of English


For examples of how the IPA can be used to transcribe various geographically and socially diverse varieties of English, see the speech accent archive at GMU.
7. Mo 09/22
Basic elements of linguistic form: morphology

"Who let the 'n' in?"
"The curious case of quasiregularity"
"Sasha Aikhenvald on Inuit snow words"

8. We 09/24
The sound of linguistic structure: phonetics

9. Mo 09/29 
The structure of linguistic sound: phonology

Mawukakan Tone

10. We 10/01  

Syntax I

"Inaugural embedding"
"Parataxis in Pirahã"
"Homo hemingwayensis"
"Articles currently living in the Hamilton area"
"Call me Ishmael"
"Writing style and dementia"
"Nun study update"

11. Mo 10/06 

Syntax II

Beatrice Santorini's Syntax Text , Chap. 2:
"Constituent structure".
12. We 10/08
Meaning I: semantics

"No wug is too dax to be zonged"
"The Wason selection test"
"'Cannot underestimate' = 'must not underestimate'?"
"Donkeys in Cyberspace!"

13. Mo 10/13
Meaning II: pragmatics
14. We 10/15

Language in society: sociolinguistics


Labov, W. "Driving Forces in Linguistic Change." International Conference on Korean Linguistics, August 2, 2002. Seoul National University

"Palin's tactical g-lessness"
"Joe Wilson's problem with progessives"
"The sociolinguistics of English middle names"
"Real BeijingeRs
"Our Z remains Z from Sindh to Punjab"
"Prescriptivism in Europe"
"Doomed to mediocrity by accent"
"'Be done' again"
"Status and fluency"
15. Mo 10/20
Language and gender
16. We 10/22 Linguistic form in art, ritual and play
Mo 10/27 MIDTERM 1 Sample Midterm Questions & Answers
Distribution of grades (before and after adjustment)
17. We 10/29
Patterns and performances in speech and music
(Same readings as for 10/22)
18. Mo 11/03

Language production and perception

"Finger spoonerisms and conservation of caps
"Reverse English"
"Phonetics quiz"
"Notes from the ESL trauma unit"
"Noi lai and contrepets"
"Get your boyfriend to move it: a speech perception story"
"The doors of infant perception"
"Escher sentences"
"The Wason Selection Test"
"Halfalogues onward
"This delayed and dominating echo
The Eggcorn Database

19. We 11/05

Languages of the World

Gibbs, W. W. "Saving Dying Languages". Scientific American, August 2002. 
"Experiencing language death"
20. Mo 11/10
Brain and language
21. We 11/12
The Language of Law
22. Mo 11/17  Reading and writing "The globalization of educational fads and fallacies"
"Reading corruption"
"Mark Seidenberg on the Reading First controversy"
"Ghoti and choughs again"
"Conditional entropy and the Indus Script"
"The Gladwell pivot"
23. We 11/19
Child language acquisition
24. Mo 11/24 
American SIgn Language
(guest lecture by Jami Fisher
& Beatrice Santorini)
We 11/26 Open office hours 11:00-1:00
[McClelland South Lounge,
the Quad]
25. Mo 12/01 Language Change Around Us (Guest lecture by William Labov) (lecture slides as pdf)
(lecture slides as .pptx with embedded sound)
26. We 12/01 Language Change
"Ticks and tocks of glottoclocks"
"Good glottochronology"
"More on Harper"
"New results on Austronesian linguistic phylogeny"
"The linguistic diversity of aboriginal Europe"
"Horse and wheel in the early history of Indo-European"
"The linguistic history of horses, gods and wheeled vehicles"
Mo 12/08 MIDTERM 2





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