English 465

ENGL 465
English Linguistics

Catalog Entry

ENGL 465. English Linguistics
Three hours lecture (3).

Prerequisite: CORE 101 and CORE 102.

Study of major theories, methods, and techniques of linguistic analysis. Emphasis is placed on application to the English language.


Detailed Description of Content of Course

This course provides an overview of contemporary approaches to linguistic analysis, as well as a more detailed examination of specific methods and techniques and their application to the study of English. Syllabus topics include:

1. The history of linguistic analysis, especially the Chomskyan revolution and the development of generative linguistics.
2. Selected methods and techniques of linguistic analysis, and their applicability to specific aspects of English, e.g. phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics.
3. The relevance of linguistics to an understanding of first- and second-language acquisition.
4. The applicability of the methods and techniques of linguistic analysis to problems such as dialect variation and language change in English.
5. Interdisciplinary approaches to linguistic analysis, such as psycholinguistics and sociolinguistics, and their relevance to the study of English.


Detailed Description of Conduct of Course

The course includes lecture, individual and/or small group work, and general discussion. Since the subject is unfamiliar to most students at the beginning of the course, a substantial amount of lecture is necessary to introduce, explain, and review essential concepts. Since much of linguistic study consists of problem-solving, e.g. of problems assigned as homework, much class time may be devoted to review and discussion of assigned problems.


Goals and Objectives of Course

The goal of this course is to familiarize students with the fundamental concepts and methodologies of linguistic study, especially as they are relevant to the study of English. Students completing this course should be aware of the history of linguistic analysis; they should be familiar with the principal methods and techniques of generative linguistics, and should be able to apply those methods and techniques to the English language. They should also be aware of the relationship between linguistics and other disciplines such as literary analysis, psychology, and sociology.


Assessment Measures

Since much of the material presented in this course is more technical or “objective” than the material covered in a literature course, the assessment of students’ progress in this course depends less on extended written assignments and more on shorter, more focused assignments. Written homework assignments, especially specific problems, give students the opportunity to apply their knowledge of linguistics to specific cases; short response essays give them the opportunity to reflect on their developing awareness of language; tests and examinations consisting of short answers, problem-solving exercises, and more extended responses to larger problems give them the opportunity to demonstrate their grasps of specific concepts as well as their ability to apply those concepts on a larger scale.


Other Course Information


Review and Approval

October, 2009