Linguistics 2288B: Introductory to General Linguistics


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General Course Objectives / Learning Outcomes:
This is a foundational introductory course in Linguistics. Learning outcomes described below are planned in a way that contributes to meeting UWO degree-level expectations in all six of the following areas: depth and breadth of knowledge, knowledge of methodologies, application of knowledge, communication skills, awareness of limits of knowledge, autonomy and professional capacity.

Students are expected to be able to do the following upon successful completion of the course:
General Linguistics:
- Distinguish between the scientific approach linguistics takes to studying language and the perspectives commonly found in our culture, identifying examples of each, and critiquing misconceptions about language.
- Outline the main characteristics of human language and give an example for each that illustrates it clearly.
- Explain why vocal and gestural modalities are equivalent ways of communicating with human language, and describe in general terms how sign languages function.
Phonetics and Phonology:
- Describe and classify the sounds of English and other languages according to how they are articulated, using appropriate phonetic terminology.
- Describe the suprasegmental features of language (length, intonation, tone, stress), using appropriate phonetic terminology
- Describe of the sound system (phonology) of English in terms of basic units (phonemes, distinctive features) and rules.
- Analyze sound patterns in English and other languages through solving problems based on data.
- Identify the structure of words and the morphological processes that operate in word formation, using the appropriate linguistic terminology.
- Identify different morphological types of language according to their word structure patterns.
- Analyze the structure of words in English and other languages through solving problems based on data.
- Identify the elements of sentence structure in English and other languages, using the appropriate linguistic terminology.
- Analyze English sentences in terms of their syntactic structure using tree diagrams, identifying phrases and lexical categories.
- Explain how meaning is encoded in words and sentences, using primarily examples from English.
- Critique common perspectives on meaning in language.
- Explain the difference between sentences and utterances in context, and how context affects meaning.
- Identify and illustrate with examples the rules the speakers follow in using language in conversation, in drawing conclusions, and in doing things with language: e.g. making requests, giving orders, etc.

Learning Activities:
As is the case for other subject areas, you learn linguistics by doing linguistics. While some of your learning will come from reading the textbook and listening to the instructor present material in class, much of it will come from doing linguistics exercises and problem sets inside and outside of class and interacting with your peers.

Term Tests (2): 40%
Homework Assignments (4): 30%
Final Exam: 30%

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