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Martin Kevorkian, Chair CAL 226, Mailcode B5000, Austin, TX 78712 • 512-471-4991

Spring 2008

E 318M • Introduction to the English Language

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
34960 MWF
9:00 AM-10:00 AM

Course Description

This course is designed to introduce basic linguistic concepts to students who have no previous experience with systematic language study. We will begin by exploring how children acquire language and become competent speakers. In our next unit, we will consider the structure of the English language, including the system of sounds (phonology) and the grammatical structures (syntax). Finally, after considering the history of the English language, we will discuss developments in current English, including language variation, economic, cultural, and social factors affecting language diversity, and our own attitudes about these issues. Throughout our study, we will examine the various ways that scholars have approached these subjects.

Because this is a Substantial Writing Component course, much of your grade will be determined by the quality of your written work, including three essays with two submissions each; throughout the semester, we will discuss types of academic writing and learn to conduct library research and document sources based on conventions in the field. The class will be conducted as much as possible by discussion; therefore, attendance and active participation are required.

Grading Policy

Three 5-page papers:
Paper 1 20%
Paper 2 10%
Paper 2 rewrite 20%
Paper 3 10%
Paper 3 rewrite 30%
Reading responses, participation, presentations, attendance 10%


Corliss, Richard, "Fargo," Time 147.12:91 (March 18, 1996).
Curzan, Anne and Michael Adams, How English Works: A Linguistic Introduction, New York: Longman, 2005
Labov, William, "General Attitudes Towards the Speech of New York City," in Richard Bailey and Jay Robinson, Varieties of Present-Day English, New York: Macmillan, 1973
Stetson, Jeff, "They've done taken my blues and gone," MELUS, 16.3:52 (Fall 89/90)
Ulaby, Neda, "British-Iranian actor Omid Djalili breaks into American Television and Film Entertainment," National Public Radio All Things Considered, September 9, 2003
Warmack, Lena, "Bilingual Education Lags for Vietnamese in Texas," Fort Worth Star-Telegram, September 25, 2003


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