Words in English public website
Ling/Engl 215 course information
Rice University
Prof. S. Kemmer

Provisional Course Schedule

Fall 2007

With Assigned Readings from the Textbook

Aspects of this schedule will change as I read through the new edition of the book and modify accordingly; and as our progress in class dictates.

In addition to the assigned readings specified in the schedule, students are responsible for reading the Course Content Links (from the bordered grid of links on the Course Information page as these links become activated on the web. Exams will cover readings, the two DVD episodes, class discussions, the web materials in the Course Content Links, and any materials distributed in class. Optional quizzes are based on numbered Morpheme Sets (called "Word Elements" in the textbook, and listed at the end of most of the chapters).

The midterms and final examination will be administered by making them accessible in the Quizzes and Exams tool on Owlspace. Students can take them from any computer, as long as sufficient web connectivity and bandwidth is available from that computer. Students are responsible for checking this connectivity in advance if they choose to take the exam from a computer off the Rice campus. As stated on the Course Information page, the exams are pledged and closed book. The midterms will be max 1.5 hours and the final exam will be max 3 hours (but they are designed to take less time than that; you either know the answer or not. )

Any illness or other disaster that keeps a student from taking an exam during the accessibility window must be reported to me (kemmer AT rice.edu) before the exam is due (if you can't notify me, then ask your parent or college master to do so). There are no make-up exams.

The registrar has assigned final exam times for the various course blocks. Our online exam counts as a "take-home exam", meaning that it must be submitted by the end of the assigned final exam time, but can be accessed and submitted before that. The beginning of the accessibility period is the official beginning of final exams.

Final exams begin Dec. 12, and our exam is due Dec. 17 10:00 p.m. You will be able to take and submit it any time during that window via Owlspace (within a single block of time). Again, you are responsible for making sure you have the needed connectivity. If you don't know if you have good broadband at home, take the exam BEFORE you go home. There is plenty of time for you to schedule yourself to take this exam during the exam period, so don't leave it to the last possible 3 hours.

Week 1
Introduction; the breadth and diversity of English. Basic concepts: Related languages vs. languages in social contact; native vs. borrowed vocabulary. Pairs (or triplets) of synonyms and their historical rationale. (read Ch. 1)
Week 2
Labor day,no class 9/3.
Classes 9/5-9/7
Kinds of words. Kinds of English. The beginnings of English (read Ch. 2) Adventure of English DVD, Parts 1 and 2. (If you missed the videos, make them up by checking them out of Fondren. Each part 50 min.)
Week 3
The beginnings of English cont. (finish reading Ch. 2) Layers of borrowings. Overview: The English Vocabulary.
Week 4
Final remarks on history of English. Modern Period. Standardization. New topic: Word structure and word analysis. English word formation processes. (read Ch. 3)
Week 5
Word analysis and word formation processes cont. Parsing. (Ch. 3 cont.) Online Midterm #1 exam accessible Friday 9/28 after class. Due Monday 10/1 9:00 a.m.
Week 6
Word analysis and parsing cont. Introduction to allomorphy. Assignment for Friday before class: submit to Owlspace 5 neologisms (words new to the language) with definitions and examples of each. (begin Ch. 4)
Week 7
Allomorphs: the variant forms of morphemes. Some basic phonetics; assimilation. (Ch. 4 cont. and Ch. 5)
Week 8
Midterm recess, no class 10/15. Classes 10/17-10/19:
Regular and irregular allomorphy. (Ch. 5 cont. and first part of Ch. 6)
Week 9
Numerals and number words. Phonetics: consonants and vowels. The Big Picture. (finish Chs. 4-6)
Week 10
10/29-10/31, 11/2
Etymology. Polysemy and semantic change (read Ch. 7) Online Midterm #2 exam posted Friday evening. Due Monday 11/5 9:00 a.m.
Week 11
Exam review. Latin and Greek inflectional and derivational morphology in English. (read Ch. 9)
Week 12
Latin and Greek morphology continued. (Ch. 9; and be sure to read the Classical Morphology page). Spelling and pronunciation; Other changes (Ch. 11). Start: The Linguistic Relatives of English. (Start reading Ch. 10)
Week 13
11/19; no class due to Thanksgiving recess 11/21 and 11/23.
The Indo-European language family. (Ch. 10)
Week 14
The Indo-Europeans: who were they, what did they do? Other language families. Begin usage and variation. Slang. (Ch. 10 cont.; start Ch. 8)
Week 15
Slang, cont. (finish Ch. 8) Sources of new words. Creativity and conventionalization. Conclusion. Review. New Word Journal due Monday 12/3.
"Take-home" (actually online) final exam
Dec. 12 9:00 a.m.-Dec. 17, 10:00 p.m.
Accessibility window on Owlspace for our online final examination (I am aiming to actually get the exam up by Dec 10 in the evening.)

© 2007 Suzanne Kemmer
Last modified 7 Dec 07