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Elizabeth Cullingford, Chair CAL 226, Mailcode B5000, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4991

Fall 2006

E 360K • English Grammar

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
35435 TTh
12:30 PM-2:00 PM
PAR 105

Course Description

Note: E 360K and LIN 360K cannot both be counted.

The purpose of this course is to encourage you to think about the English language and English grammar in a new way. Specifically, English Grammar examines the syntax or structure of present-day English. The term "grammar" describes both the linguistic knowledge that speakers of English share (an internalized or mental "grammar") and any representation of linguistic conventions (a "grammar" or model of English). Thus one course aim is to make explicit the syntactic conventions speakers of English know unconsciously (Why do you interpret "Igor ran up a hill" differently than "Igor ran up a bill"?). A second course goal is to study ways of modeling language structure (How should we describe the linguistic conventions you just applied?). We will use traditional terminology as we investigate English syntax for some of the course, but we will also draw on the methods of generative grammar, especially as we consider alternative explanations for language structure and for linguistic knowledge. A final course aim is to consider English syntax in context. So we will also briefly discuss syntactic variation in American English (regional and class differences in speech), attitudes toward language variation (why speakers correct each other), and controversies involving English usage.

Grading Policy

Grades are based half on problems and tests (quizzes and problems 5%; exams 45%, 15% for each of three) and half on writing assignments (minor written assignments 10%; final paper 40%). Discussion and attendance are considered essential, and unsatisfactory marks in these areas are deducted from the final average.


(some revisions TBA)
Laurie Bauer and Peter Trudgill, eds., Language Myths, Penguin, 1998
Virginia Clark, Paul Eschholz, Alfred Rosa, eds., Language: Introductory Readings, St.Martin's, 6th ed., 1998
Martha Kolln and Robert Funk, Understanding English Grammar, Allyn and Bacon, 6th ed., 2001
Kathryn Riley and Frank Parker, English Grammar: Prescriptive, Descriptive, Generative, Performance, Allyn and Bacon, 1998
Course packet (available at Speedway Copy in Dobie Mall or on-line through electronic reserves).


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