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Montclair LNGN 220 - LNGN 220 Syllabus

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Structure of American English (LNGN 220-01 & 02) Fall 2020 Professor Zachary Zerby Mon & Thurs 3:45 - 5:00 pm; 5:30 - 6:45 pm Online via Canvas Conferences Course Description This course presents an overview of the English language with a particular focus on American English. Rather than examining the language through a prescriptive lens of what is and isn’t correct, we take a descriptive approach in our examination of English grammar. We ask how speakers use grammar, not if they are using it correctly. We attempt to discern what structures exist in the English language which define how we use it, but also to understand the ways in which this knowledge can be useful to us, irrespective of field. We examine the role of grammar in second language instruction, effective writing, and communication, paying especially careful consideration to the differences between casual and formal language (i.e. everyday conversations vs. professional correspondence or academic writing). The course covers the grammatical structures of English including word formation (morphology) and sentence structure (syntax) with reference to other aspects of language as necessary (i.e. phonetics, phonology, semantics, sociolinguistics, and a bit of language history). The course is designed to promote inductive thinking; it presents students with problems or situations which guide them towards discovery of grammatical facts. We already internally know how English works (for the most part), so the goal of this course is to turn those unconscious instincts into conscious knowledge. Students will also be exposed to the cross-section of language and technology through corpus linguistics and will be encouraged to examine the grammar of English from the perspective of usage rather than explicitly written rules. Course Objectives Upon completion of this course, students will be able to: 1. Understand the fundamental concepts of the structure of American English 2. Explain morphological and syntactic behavior in a conscious and analytical manner 3. Understand and make use of the different conventions of casual and formal and prescriptive and descriptive grammar 4. Appreciate the challenges of learning English as a second language 5. Understand and use rhetorical and linguistic choices 6. Use language corpora to enhance their understanding of English grammar Required Text Analyzing English Grammar. 2013. Thomas Klammer, Muriel Schulz, and Angella Della Volpe. Pearson. ISBN-10: 0-205-25255-9, ISBN-13: 978-0-205-25255-8. (Hereafter referred to as KSV)Note: You are not required to purchase the most recent edition of the text. There are minor differences in the editions which should not affect your learning experience, and all versions are acceptable, including digital versions. Course Requirements Students are responsible for all the material contained in: ● class lectures and discussions ● assigned readings ● assigned homework ● quizzes ● a brief corpus-related research paper Grades Your final grade will be based on the following categories: 1. Quizzes - 60% 2. Homework - 20% 3. Corpus Paper - 20% Quizzes Students will take six (6) quizzes throughout the course. Each quiz will be based on the most recent chapter(s) and lectures; quizzes are not cumulative. Quizzes will be distributed online via Canvas and each quiz will be preceded by a quiz review in class. Your final grade will only account for your five highest quiz grades; your lowest grade of the six quizzes will be dropped. Homework Students will receive homework assignments at the end of each lecture unit. Assignments will be posted to Canvas and students will upload and submit completed assignments to Canvas. Homework grades are based on completion rather than correctness. Corpus Paper Over the course of the semester, students will determine an English grammar related topic which they will address in a 500-1000 word research paper due at the end of the semester. Class time will be dedicated to explaining the paper in detail as well as introducing students to the necessary tools and concepts which drive the paper. Contact and Office Hours Office hours are available by appointment only. I am available on Mondays and Thursdays from 1:30 pm until 3:30 pm; you can schedule an appointment here or at this URL: Email: [email protected] Schedule of Course Material Date Topic Chapter(s) Assignments 8/27 Syllabus Day, Introduction KSV Chapter 1 8/31 9/3 Varieties of English Introduction to Corpus Linguistics KSV Chapter 2 Homework 1 9/7 9/10 Labor Day (No Classes) Quiz 1 Review Quiz 1 opens (due 9/17) 9/14 9/17 Corpus Tutorial English Word Formation KSV Chapter 3 Corpus Tutorial Worksheet Quiz 1 closes 9/21 9/24 Inflectional Morphology Derivational Morphology Homework 3 9/28 10/1 Quiz 2 Review Form Class Words KSV Chapter 4 Quiz 2 opens (due 10/5) Corpus Paper Topic due 10/5 10/8 Nouns, Verbs Adjectives, Adverbs Homework 4 10/12 10/15 Quiz 3 Review Structure Class Words KSV Chapter 5 Quiz 3 opens (due 10/19) 10/19 10/22 Determiners, Auxiliaries Qualifiers, Prepositions KSV Chapter 6 Quiz 3 closes Homework 5 10/26 10/29 Pronouns, Conjunctions Quiz 4 Review Homework 6 Quiz 4 opens (due 11/5) 11/2 11/5 Phrase Structure Phrase Types KSV Chapter 7 Corpus Paper 1st Draft due Quiz 4 closes 11/9 11/12 Tense and Aspect Sentence Types KSV Chapter 8 Homework 7 11/16 11/19 Sentence Types cont. Sentence Types cont. Homework 8 11/23 11/26 Quiz 5 Review Thanksgiving (No Classes) Quiz 5 opens (due 11/30) 11/30 12/3 Sentence Transformations Passive and Dative KSV Chapter 9 Quiz 5 closes 12/7 12/10 Other types of Transformations Quiz 6 Review Homework 9 Quiz 6 opens (due 12/14) 12/14 Last Day of Classes Corpus Paper Final Draft

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