Words in English public website
LING 216 course information
Rice University
Prof. S. Kemmer

Course Recap

Fall 2017

Here is a recap on the course objectives from the Course Information page:

Course objectives: By the end of the course, the student should

  • have an awareness of the internal structure of words and of the systematic relationships among words in English

  • have a basic understanding of the history of the English language, with particular reference to the major periods of vocabulary expansion that it has undergone and how those periods are reflected in the modern lexicon

  • understand some basic principles of language change that have affected the English language, including principles of sound change and meaning change

  • know the basic stock of Classical roots and affixes that recurrently appear in English words; be able to interpret newly encountered words incorporating elements of that stock

  • be familiar with a wide range of words and their origins, meanings, and domains of use; be able to apply the knowledge gained so as to be able to say something about the origin and/or meaning of unfamiliar words

  • understand how the study of words can be used as an access point into knowledge and history of an entire culture, and be able to further pursue such knowledge via the study of words

  • have a good working knowledge of the incredibly rich lexical resources available in the English language, providing a basis for increased mastery of the spoken and written language

  • Over the course of the semester from class to class and from exam to exam, my aim was to help you acquire and improve some of the following abilities.

    Capabilities to Develop:

    If you managed to develop to any degree most or all of these skills and realms of knowledge, then I feel I have succeeded!

    After leaving this course, I hope you take with you not only this knowledge and these abilities, but also a greatly increased appreciation and respect for the vast and rich English language and all its verbal treasures.

    Last modified November 20, 2017