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

Post Hurricane Course Schedule

Fall 2017

With Assigned Readings from the
Textbook and Course Content Links

Topics may be slightly updated as course progresses. If there are any changes in deadlines they will be announced well in advance.

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 Links page as these links become activated on the web. (I will also gradually enter these links on this page.) These links are also organized into the sequential Topic Modules on Canvas. Follow along with the modules on Canvas. The material there is undated but will correspond to class progress and also to this schedule (once updated after hurricane). Post-hurricane, the class will be modified to put more emphasis on your own explorations into English and its words, and less on the exams.

The 4 exams - Study Test 1, Midterm 1, Study Test 2, and Midterm 2, will cover readings, the two DVD episodes (one viewed in class, the other on library reserve) class lectures and discussions, the web materials in the Course Content Links and this page, and any materials distributed in class. Additional links in the modules are provided as aids to understanding; or because they will viewed in class. The short vocabulary quizzes are based on the sets of "Word Elements" in the textbook (which I sometimes refer to as "Morpheme Sets"), and listed at the end of most of the chapters.

Any illness or other disaster that keeps a student from taking an exam or quiz during the assigned time 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 for non-emergency situations.

There is an opportunity for extra credit (5%): create a short (3-5 min) video on some topic relating to course topics.

Day Date Topic Readings from textbook and other materials; Assignments
MAug 21 Introduction. What do we know about English? (Or think we know?) What kind of a language is English? What language(s) are most closely related to English? Some basic concepts. What are "related languages"; "sister languages"; ancestor/descendent languages; Germanic languages; Anglo-Saxon/Old English? No reading. Preview Questions about Words in English; Lord's Prayer through time
WAug 23 Breadth and diversity of English. English around the world. Basic concepts: synonyms; native vs. borrowed words; nativization. basic historical relations ("genetic relationships") of English to other languages: Germanic languages, Romance languages, Celtic, Slavic languages and others; cognates Chapter 1; Questions about Words in English; From public website: read sections on English as a World Language; Varieties and Dialects.
FAug 25 English and its relatives. Chapter 2 p. 19-28 (to middle of page).
MAug 28 Hurricane cancellation. Explore course links according to interest and time.
WAug 30 Hurricane cancellation. Explore course links according to interest and time.
FSept 1 Hurricane cancellation. Explore course links according to interest and time.
MSept 4 Labor Day holiday, no class. Continue exploring links from first course module.
WSept 6 Anglo-Saxon period. Angles, Saxons and Jutes. Chronology of the English Language to 10th century. Anglo-Saxon Chronicle. Maps: Visual aids on History of England and English Chronology of the English Language to 1066.
FSept 8 The Anglo-Saxon Period. The first period of Viking invasion. DVD: The Adventure of English, Part 1. Chapter 2 to Middle English Period. Chronology of the English Language to 1066. Lord's Prayer through time. Chronology of the English Language to 1500. Anglo-Saxon Chronicle.
MSept 11 The Norman Conquest and its consequences. DVD: The Adventure of English Part 2. A Brief History of the English Language (introductory paragraphs); Chronology of English to 1500.
WSept 13 Vikings and Normans, cont. Chronology of English cont.
FSept 15 Early Modern English. The King James Bible. William Shakespeare. Extra: Explore the Luminarium to see texts in various periods.
MSept 18 Begin morphology. Basic concepts: Word elements or morphs: minimal units of word formation; inflection vs. derivation. Exploration of word elements as building blocks. Roots and affixes, prefixes and suffixes. Some affixes of English. Noun-forming, verb-forming, and adjective-forming suffixes. The nature of meaning: the flexibility of form-meaning relations. Ch. 3 pp. 41-48 to section end top of p. 48. Morphemes and Roots and affixes, Some derivational affixes of English.
WSept 20 Morphs and meaning. Word analysis (= Word parsing, or just parsing). Differences between Latin/Greek vs. English/other Germanic word structure. Compounding in the two types of languages. Latin and Greek as inflectional languages. Derivation vs. inflection. How we make words. Word formation in English: Word structure and word analysis. Complexity of Greek/Latin (Classical) words and their parsing. The derivational suffixes of English, native and borrowed. Definitions. Read rest of Chapter 3; but discussion will continue on concepts from pp. 41-48 and material from pp. 48-51.
FSept 22 Special word formation processes. Exploration of texts for word information. Ch. 3 51-68 cont. Types of Word Formation. Definitions. Ch. 3 p. 51-68. Review Terms 1 for Study Test 1 and Midterm 1.
MSept 25 Special word formation processes, cont. and other aspects of morphology. Study Test #1 (on course materials from topics in Chapters 1-3, not 4) open on Canvas after class (latest 7pm) Review Terms 1
WSept 27 Allomorphs: variant forms of morphemes. Allomorphy in the English morphological system; allomorphy in Latinate vocabulary. Sound contexts affect the sounds speakers produce. Ch. 4. Study Test #1 (on material from topics in Chapters 1-3, not 4) due 11:55pm
FSept 29 Allomorphs, cont. Parsing: word analysis. Making complete parses of Latinate vocabulary, for understanding word structure. Ch. 4. Parsing: Method and examples.
MOct 2 More on parsing; more on phonologically motivated allomorphy. Parsing vs. etymology. Ch. 4.
WOct 4 Phonetics: the system behind our sounds. Basic concepts: Consonants and vowels: what are they? The sounds of English I. Consonants. Sounds vs. spelling. Mismatches. end Ch. 4; Ch. 5. Definitions; Sound terminology
FOct 6 The English sound system, cont. More on consonants. Vowels. Diphthongs. Ch. 5. Preview Ch. 6 and review Sound terminology and parsing of these sound terms.
MOct 9 Midterm Break, no class. Study guide for Review 2: Study Guide for Midterm 1
WOct 11 More types of phonological processes (deletion etc.). Number Greek and Latin numerals. Borrowing pattern-- Especially in compounds: where whole words were borrowed, Latin typically goes with Latin, Greek with Greek. Latin vs. Greek loanwords: how do we tell? Ch. 6. Continue reviewing Study Guide. Midterm 1 starts.
FOct 13 Meaning change. Paths of meaning change and radial categories. Polysemy and semantic change. Finite words, infinite concepts. Ch. 7. Semantic change: Types of developments. Midterm 1 due Saturday 11:55pm.
MOct 16 Two frequent types of change: Metaphor and metonymy as types of change AND cognitive processes. Spatial metaphor in Classical prefixes (e.g. hyper-, hypo-, super-, sub- and others). Ch. 7. Semantic change
WOct 18 Other types of change. Meaning change and social and technological change. Technological change and Meaning Change.
FOct 20 Etymology. Word stories: the historical trajectory of words through time. Word Stories: What types of change can you identify in these examples?
MOct 23 False etymologies and folk etymology. Reading and creating dictionary etymologies. Authoritative etymologies. Parsing vs. etymology revisited. Etymonline: The online etymology dictionary. Look at some sample etymologies and citations (quotations) in the Oxford English Dictionary Online. Read General Info about the OED. Preview Overview of the OED Online. Also: review Parsing, section on Parsing vs. Etymology.
WOct 25 Introduction to the Oxford English Dictionary. Lexicography. Look at some sample entries on OED online.
FOct 27 Using the OED. More examples. OED online. History of dictionaries and the OED. About the Oxford English Dictionary.
MOct 30 Classical morphology in English words. Nouns, number gender and case; adjectives. What happens when the words become English. Ch. 9; Classical morphology: nouns and verbs.
WNov 1 The verb system in Latin. "Stem vowels" as linkers. What happens to Latin verbs when they become English verbs; and what happens in derivational processes. Participles and other weird forms. Spellings and pronunciations. Ch. 9 and Classical morphology: nouns and verbs cont. Amusing but true history: The Latin Language.
FNov 3
MNov 6 The Linguistic Relatives of English. Sir William Jones and the discovery of the Indo-European language family. Ch. 10 pp. 189-196. Sir William Jones quotation; Genetic relations of languages. Indo-European family tree
WNov 8 Comparison of cognates. Recurrent sound correspondences. Reconstruction of vocabulary of a proto-language. Grimm's law (first part). Ch. 10 Indo-European cognates: family words
FNov 10 Features of Proto-Indo-European; changes leading to Latin and Greek. Associating Latin and Greek morphemes with each other; and to English and other Germanic cognates. Ch. 10
MNov 13 The Indo-Europeans: Who were they? What did they do? Ch. 10 pp. 196-200. Wikipedia article on the Proto-Indo-Europeans (Sections 1-2.1). Optional famous article: Indo-European and the Indo-Europeans by Calvert Watkins. The section on Language and Culture (and its subsections) and the Conclusion are especially recommended.
WNov 15
FNov 17
MNov 20
WNov 22 Usage and variation. Review/re-introduction of a basic concept: Linguistic varieties. Types and styles of language defined by groups and contexts. Ch. 8
FNov 24 Thanksgiving holiday, no class. No reading.
MNov 27 Geographical and social dialects. Introduction to Shibboleths: Language as a group-defining tool. Language and power. (For Word Journal: Be sure to read/review the part of Chapter 3 on word formation processes (derivation, compounding, clipping, blending, acronyms, etc. so you can check the classifications of the words you submit. Also review Word formation processes and types. ) The Story of the Shibboleth. Ch. 8
WNov 29 Slang and jargon. Characteristics of slang. Special lexical varieties: Cockney rhyming slang, others. (Wikipedia page on Cockney Rhyming Slang is useful.) Lexical innovations. Slang as an important source of neologisms. Two more word formation types: malapropisms and 'eggcorns' [optional links]. Slang page. Completed Word Journal due. Neologisms and the information you collected on them must be entered into database and MS Word file uploaded to Assignments. Rice Neologisms Database activated.
FDec 1 Video clips: 'English Dialects': Kid of 24 accents Voice Recognition Elevator; The Dialect Coach; Extra credit videos/presentations. Student videos will be uploaded to Canvas. Recap on Course Expectations will be useful to see whether you have accomplished the course objectives. Midterm topics and terminology: see Review page for Midterm 2.
S-TDec 2-5 Study days, formerly known as Dead Week. Zombies.
W-W Dec 6-13 Final Exam Week. No final exam in the class. Take care of yourself! Don't overdo the all-nighters, caffeine consumption, or sugar consumption.
daydate Topics Readings and Materials
daydate Other changes. Changes in older loanwords from French (ca 1100-1450); derivational relations with Latin loanwords. (Some of these changes were discussed preliminarily in Ch. 6.) Ch. 11.
daydate Language peeves. Prescriptivism as a weapon. (For Word Journal: Review instructions at Word Journal before entering your words, so that you get the right information in the right fields.)

© Suzanne Kemmer
Modified 9 Sept 2017; 20 Sept 2017