Linguistics 001     Schedule of lectures and readings

(Fall 2016)

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.

As of the first week of class, the schedule will be based on the sequence in an earlier edition of the course, normally updated a few days before each lecture. It's also possible that the order of lectures will be changed over the course of the semester -- any such changes will be reflected on this page.

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 08/31
Introduction to the course  
M 09/05 Labor Day  
2. W 09/07
Perspectives and approaches


3. M 09/12 Prescriptive
and descriptive linguistics
Nunberg G. "The Decline of Grammar". The Atlantic, 1983.
Halpern, M. "A War that Never Ends". The Atlantic, 1997.
"James Kilpatrick, Linguistic socialist"
"25 Questions for Teaching with 'Word Crimes'"

"If it was good enough for King Alfred the Great";
"Hot Dryden-on-Jonson action";
"Some kind of grammar, um, strict police";
"Teaching zombie rules";
"The social psychology of linguistic naming and shaming";
"Angry linguistic mobs with torches";
"Uptalk anxiety";
"English grammar: not for debate";
"The future and the past";
"Logical prescriptivism"'
"The theology of phonology"
4. W 09/14

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"
5. M 09/19
philosophical perspectives

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

6. W 09/21 

The sound of linguistic structure: phonetics

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 09/26
The structure of linguistic sound: phonology

Mawukakan Tone

8. W 09/28

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.
9. M 10/03 Basic elements of linguistic form: morphology "Who let the 'n' in?"
"The curious case of quasiregularity"
"Sasha Aikhenvald on Inuit snow words"
10. W 10/05 

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 10/10

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 10/12
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 10/17
Meaning II: pragmatics

14. W 10/19 American Sign Language
(Guest lecture by Beatrice Santorini
and Jami Fisher)
(lecture slides)
Mo 10/24 MIDTERM 1 Midterm Answer Key
15. W 10/26 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"
16. M 10/31
Language and gender
17. W 11/02 Linguistic form in art, ritual and play
18. M 11/07
Patterns and performances in speech and music
(Same readings as for 11/02)
19. W 11/09

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

20. M 11/14

Computer analysis of text
(Guest Lecture by Lyle Ungar)
Lecture slides
"Measuring Psychological States Through Social Media"

"Data-Driven Content Analysis of Social Media: A Systematic Overview of Automated Methods"
"Personality, Gender, and Age in the Language of Social Media: The Open-Vocabulary Approach"
"Sex, age, and pronouns on Facebook"
"More fun with Facebook pronouns"
"More fun with Facebook: THE"
21. W 11/16 Languages of the World

Lecture Slides
Gibbs, W. W. "Saving Dying Languages". Scientific American, August 2002. 
"Experiencing language death"
22. M 11/21  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"
W 11/23 Thur-Fri classes on Tue-Wed  
23.M 11/28
Child language acquisition
24. W 11/30
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?"
25. M 12/05 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 12/07 Brain and language "Blinded by neuroscience"
"Distracted by the brain"
"David Brooks, Cognitive Neuroscientist"
"Localization of emotion perception in the brain of fish"
"Flacks and hacks and brainscans"
"Color vocabulary and pre-attentive color perception"
"The inner fish speaks"
"Debasing the coinage of rational inquiry: a case study"
"Locating the sarcasm bump"
Mo 12/12 MIDTERM 2
Sample exam (from 2015)





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