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Linguistics for Teachers and Writers

TESC/E&W Studies Sumer 12 Syllabus

Instructor: Rick McKinnon, Ph.D. Email: Time: Thurs., 5:30 pm. 8:00 pm. Course Description: Language is the most salient behavior distinguishing humans from other animals. This course will investigate this surprising and sophisticated instinct by looking carefully at the knowledge entailed by its use. In doing so, we will develop the linguistic tools necessary to explore the various levels of description found in human language (phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics), coming away with an appreciation for the exquisite complexity of this behavior. Participants will become familiar with the terminology associated with linguistic analysis, as well as the style of argumentation within the field. The course will focus on making explicit the ways in which innate knowledge and environmental input combine to create human linguistic ability. This course is crucial for students who wish to do further work in communication, linguistics, computer science, anthropology, psychology and education. Required Texts: OSU Linguistics Faculty. Language Files, 11th Ed. (2011). Ohio State University. Columbus, OH: OSU Press. Pinker, S. (1994). The Language Instinct. NY: Basic Books. Web Resources: Course Requirements: In addition to contributing to class discussion, participants will be required to complete weekly study guides. Study guides will include exercises, questions for discussion, analytical problems, and essential concepts. Participants will work on exercises in small groups during class and will individually complete (in writing) the assignments detailed in each study guide and return their work the following week. Each participants work will be evaluated based on the following components: Contribution to discussion of readings. Completion of study guides. Peer-reviewed self-assessment. Each participant will bring a written self-assessment on the 9th week, describing in detail how s/he has progressed in meeting the goals and objectives of the course as outlined in file 1.1. This selfassessment will be shared and discussed within a peer group. Participants will then bring a revised version on the 10th week for submission to the instructor. The self-assessment will constitute the most comprehensive description of the participants work, and will contribute to the participants course evaluation for the quarter.

Course Schedule
*All readings should be completed before class on the week they are assigned.* Topic Week 1: Week 2: Week 3: Week 4: Week 5: Week 6: Week 7: Week 8: Week 9: Week 10: Language as instinct. Language and thought; Phonetics: the production of speech. Phonology: patterns of sounds. Morphology: words and their parts. Basic concepts of syntax. Syntax: phrases and sentences. Semantics Pragmatics: making of meaning. Language and the brain. Language change and diversity. Readings: Lang. Files Chs. 1, 14 Ch. 2 Ch. 3 Ch. 4 Ch. 5 Ch. 5 Ch. 6 Ch. 7 Ch. 9 Ch. 10 Ch. 7 Ch. 10 Chs. 8, 12 Pinker Ch. 1, 2 Ch. 3, 6 Ch. 9 Ch. 5 Ch. 4 Ch. 4

*All readings should be completed before class on the week they are assigned.*