Linguistics 001     Schedule of lectures and readings

(Fall 2015)

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 in their final form 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.

1. W 08/26
Introduction to the course  
2. M 08/31
Perspectives and approaches


3. W 09/02

a biological perspective


Robert Seyfarth & Dorothy Cheney, "The Evolution of Language from Social Cognition"

"The science and theology of global language change";
"The Wrathful Dispersion Controversy";
"JP versus FHC+CHF versus PJ versus HCF";
"Chomksy testifies in Kansas";
"A new idea about the evolution of language"
M 09/07 Labor Day  
4. W 09/09
Prescriptive and descriptive linguistics
5. M 09/14
philosophical perspectives

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

6. W 09/16 

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. M 09/21
Basic elements of linguistic form: morphology

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

8. W 09/23
The sound of linguistic structure: phonetics

9. M 09/28 
The structure of linguistic sound: phonology

Mawukakan Tone

10. W 09/30  

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. M 10/05 

Syntax II

Santorini & Kroch's Syntax Text , Chap. 2:
"Constituent structure".
Geoffrey Pullum, "Fear and Loathing of the English Passive", Language and Communication 2014.
"Confusion over avoiding the passive"

12. W 10/07
Meaning I: semantics

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

13. M 10/12
Meaning II: pragmatics
14. W 10/14

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. M 10/19
Language and gender
16. W 10/21 Linguistic form in art, ritual and play
Mo 10/26 MIDTERM 1 Sample Midterm Questions & Answersa
Midterm Grade Distribution
Optional Paper
17. W 10/28
Patterns and performances in speech and music
(Same readings as for 10/22)
18. M 11/02

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. W 11/04

Languages of the World

Gibbs, W. W. "Saving Dying Languages". Scientific American, August 2002. 
"Experiencing language death"
20. M 11/09
Brain and language
21. W 11/11 American Sign Language (lecture slides)
22. M 11/16  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. W 11/18
Child language acquisition
24. M 11/23 
The Language of Law Antonin Scalia, "Law and Language: Review of 'Law's Quandary'"
Lawrence Solan, "Private Language, Public Laws: The Central Role of Legislative Intent in Statutory Interpretation"
Geoffrey Nunberg, "The Book of Samuels"
"Is marriage identical or similar to itself?"
W 11/25 Open office hours 11:00-1:00
[McClelland South Lounge,
the Quad]
25. M 11/30 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"
David Anthony and Don Ringe, "The Indo-European Homeland from Linguistic and Archaeological Perspectives"
26. W 12/02
Human Language Technology lecture slides
Mo 12/07 MIDTERM 2





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