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Kit Belgum, Chair 2505 University Avenue, Burdine Hall 336, Mailcode C3300, Austin TX 78712-1802 • 512-471-4123

Marc Pierce

Associate Professor Ph.D, Germanic Linguistics, University of Michigan

Marc Pierce

Contact

Biography

Marc Pierce's published research is mainly in the areas of historical linguistics (especially historical phonology and etymology), phonology, and the history of linguistics.  He teaches or has taught a variety of courses in Germanic linguistics and philology (including the history of the German language, Old Saxon, and the structure of the German language), as well as courses in German language and literature, Scandinavian literature, and Great Books.

Interests

Historical linguistics, Germanic linguistics and philology, history of linguistics, phonology, Scandinavian studies

GER 369 • Structure Of German Language

37295 • Spring 2015
Meets TTH 1100am-1230pm BUR 234
show description

Course description:

This course gives students a thorough overview of the structure of the German language.  The course begins with a brief introduction to the historical background of the German language, before proceeding to the structure of the German language, including phonology, morphology, and syntax. While various theoretical frameworks will be discussed, the primary focus will be on the data itself.  Important current issues, such as the relative status of standard and non-standard varieties of German, and oral vs. written usage, will also be discussed.  Previous coursework in linguistics is helpful, but not required.  The course will be taught in English.

Course goals: 

By the end of this course, you should be able to:

1.         Analyze and discover the organizing principles of German sounds, words, sentences, and dialects.

2.         Relate acquired linguistic knowledge to everyday language use.

3.         Understand how German differs from English and why

Prerequisite:

Six semester hours of upper-division coursework in German, or fourteen hours of coursework in German and six hours of coursework in linguistics

Required text:

Sally Johnson, Exploring the German Language [available at the University Co-Op]

Additional texts will be posted on Blackboard and/or distributed by the instructor.

Instructor:                 Marc Pierce

E-mail:                       mpierc@austin.utexas.edu (usually the best way to contact me)

Phone:                        232-6360 (office), 471-4123 (Germanic Department)

Grading scheme:

Tests:                          60%

Homework:                 20%

Class participation:     20%

Tests:

There will be three testsin class over the course of the semester.  They will invite your comments on readings and discussions, and may be written in either English or German.  The third test will be given on the last day of class. The instructor also reserves the right to give short quizzes, both announced and unannounced, about the material we have read and discussed.

Homework:

There will be ten short homework assignments over the course of the semester, due dates TBA.  There are also exercises in the Johnson book, which are not required (although you may certainly do them, if you would like).    Please hand in your homework by the due date.  All assignments must be handed in on paper; electronic versions will not be accepted. 

Participation:

Participation includes attendance, asking and answering questions, and taking part in class discussions.  Attendance is crucial.  Unexcused absences will result in poor grades for participation.  Absences will be unexcused except in cases of documented emergency (normally medical or family).  You will need to sign in at the beginning of each class.  Please notify me as soon as possible by e-mail or phone if it is necessary for you to be absent from class.  In accordance with UT policy, you may be excused from class to participate in religious observances and official obligations like club or varsity sports.  In such cases, written documentation must be presented to the instructor at least one week before the absence takes place.

GER 393K • Landmarks 19/20-C Linguistic

37360 • Spring 2015
Meets TTH 200pm-330pm BUR 232
(also listed as ANT 393, LIN 393 )
show description

Course description:

            This course is intended to give students a solid overview of some of the major works of linguistic theory published in the last two centuries, with a goal of understanding how these works shaped the field and contributed to the development of current linguistic theories, as well as obtaining a knowledge of the principles of linguistic historiography.  Major topics of discussion will include social vs. individual aspects of language, synchrony vs. diachrony, and mental vs. physical realities of language.

After an introduction to the field of linguistic historiography, we shall examine Sir William Jones’ famous discourse on the languages of India, and then some of the major works of nineteenth-century linguistics, by authors like Rasmus Rask, Jacob Grimm, and William Dwight Whitney, with an eye to understanding the impact of such scholars on the emerging field of linguistics.  We then turn to the twentieth century, beginning with Ferdinand de Saussure, and progressing through the Prague School to later American structuralists like Edward Sapir and Leonard Bloomfield.  The final section of the course will deal with more recent developments, with special emphasis on the growth and spread of transformational grammar and sociolinguistics; in this portion of the course, we shall discuss works by Noam Chomsky, Morris Halle, William Labov, and others.

All readings will be in English.

 

Requirements/Grading:

Participation:              25%

Short essays:               25%

Final paper:                 50%

 

Participation:

Participation includes attendance, asking questions, answering my questions, and taking part in class discussions.  Attendance is mandatory; unexcused absences may be compensated for (to be negotiated as required).  The instructor also reserves the right to give short quizzes, both announced and unannounced, about the material we have covered.   If such quizzes are given, they will form part of your participation grade.  You will also have to lead the discussion of one article.

 

Short essays:

You will be required to write five short response papers (2-3 pp. each).

 

Final paper:

You will be required to write a final paper (15-20 pp.) on a topic of your choice (I will distribute a list of some possible topics), and to give a brief in-class presentation on your topic.  Please clear your topic with me in advance.  The paper will be due on Friday, December 9.

 

Reading List

Works read and discussed in this class will be taken from the following list:

 

Leonard Bloomfield, Language [excerpts]

Franz Boas, “Introduction to the Handbook of American Indian Languages”

Noam Chomsky, Syntactic Structures and Aspects of the Theory of Syntax [excerpts]

Morris Halle, “Phonology in Generative Grammar”

Roman Jakobson, “Principles of Historical Phonology”

Robert D. King, Historical Linguistics and Generative Grammar [excerpts]

William Labov, Sociolinguistic Patterns [excerpts]

W.P. Lehmann (ed.), A Reader in Nineteenth Century Historical Indo-European Linguistics

Hermann Paul, Principles of the History of Language [excerpts]

Paul Postal, Aspects of Phonological Theory [excerpts]

Edward Sapir, Language [excerpts]

Ferdinand de Saussure, Course in General Linguistics [excerpts]

Hugo Schuchardt, “On Sound Laws: Against the Neogrammarians”

Elizabeth Closs [Traugott], “Diachronic Syntax and Generative Grammar”

Nikolai Trubetzkoy, Principles of Phonology [excerpts]

Benjamin Lee Whorf, Language, Thought, and Reality [excerpts]

GER 347L • Lang/Socty Ger-Spkng Countries

38220 • Fall 2014
Meets MWF 200pm-300pm BUR 214
show description

This course provides an introduction to the cultural aspects of German language variation (spatial, social, and chronological).  The course opens with an overview of the history of the German language in order to understand the roots of present-day varieties of German.  We will then discuss traditional German dialectology, as well as more sociolinguistically-oriented approaches to language.  From there, we will investigate the cultural status of various varieties of German within Germany, Austria, Switzerland, and Luxembourg, as well as German language varieties overseas, in North America, Australia, and Africa.  In this context, we will also discuss German in contact with other languages, such as French, Danish, Russian, Hungarian, and English; and the cultural and linguistic results thereof; as well as the cultural and political status of German in officially multilingual societies like Switzerland and unofficially multilingual societies like Germany. 

We will see how differences in linguistic behavior attain social and cultural significance, how social and political developments (e.g. the division and reunification of Germany) can motivate linguistic and cultural change, and how people change their linguistic and cultural behavior when confronted with a different political or social environment.  Most importantly, we will come to understand the role of language in shaping culture and society in the German-speaking world. 

This course is taught in German.  It carries a Writing flag, a Global Cultures flag, and a Cultural Diversity in the USA flag.

Prerequisite: Three semester hours of upper-division course-work in German with a grade of C or better.

Required Text

-Barbour, S. and Stevenson, P. 1998. Variation im Deutschen: Soziolinguistische Perspektiven

            Berlin: de Gruyter.

-Other readings will be posted on Blackboard. 

Course requirements and grading

Essays:            30%

Term paper:    40%

Quizzes:          15%

Participation: 15%

Essays:

You will write three brief (3-4 page) essays over the course of the semester.  Topics will be distributed at least one week in advance.  I will return your essay to you, with corrections and comments; you may then rewrite the essay and give me the final version within one week.  Both the original and final versions will be graded (50% for grammar and 50% for content); if you choose to rewrite the paper, the original version will count for 1/3 of the final grade, and the final version for 2/3.  You must include a list of sources (Literaturhinweise) at the end of the paper.

Term paper:

You will write an 8-10 page term paper.  You will also give a brief (5-10 minutes) in-class presentation on your term paper topic. 

Quizzes:

Four quizzes will be given in class over the course of the semester.  They will invite your comments on readings and discussions, and will be given at the beginning of class.  Your lowest quiz grade will be dropped.  The instructor also reserves the right to give short quizzes, both announced and unannounced, about the material we have read and discussed.

Participation:

Participation includes attendance, asking questions, answering my questions, and taking part in class discussions.  Attendance is crucial.  Unexcused absences will result in poor grades for participation!  Absences will be unexcused except in cases of documented emergency (normally medical or family).  You will need to sign in at the beginning of each class.  Please notify me as soon as possible by e-mail or phone if it is necessary for you to be absent from class.  In accordance with University of Texas policy, you may be excused from class to participate in religious observances and official obligations like club or varsity sports.  In such cases, written documentation must be presented to the instructor at least one week before the absence takes place.

Participation grade profiles:          

A:        volunteers frequently and is well-prepared

B:        volunteers several times and is well-prepared

C:        does not usually volunteer but is usually well-prepared

D:        does not volunteer and is generally poorly prepared

F:         consistently unprepared

Language in class

The language of essays, written exercises, and class discussions is German.  If you find yourself in a linguistic bind, swamped by German syntax, or at a loss for a German word, feel free to make a temporary switch to English.  You will not be penalized for resorting to English, although you should do your best to avoid it.  

GER 393K • Older Langs/Culs: Old Saxon

38300 • Fall 2014
Meets MWF 1200pm-100pm BUR 232
show description

            This course focuses on Old Saxon (sometimes referred to as Old Low German), which was spoken and written in northwestern Germany and parts of Denmark between the 9th and 12th centuries.  The major Old Saxon text is the Hêliand (‘Savior’), an epic poem of roughly 6000 lines, composed around 830, probably in the monastery at Fulda.  The Hêliand is a gospel harmony, summarizing and adapting the story of Jesus related in the New Testament for a Saxon audience.  While the Hêliand remains theologically true to the Bible story, it exhibits a number of pre-Christian elements and a profound pre-Christian world view, thus synthesizing Christian theology with Germanic tradition.  In this course, students will learn to read and translate Old Saxon, as well as familiarize themselves with relevant previous scholarship.  The focus will be on the Hêliand, but we will also plan to examine the other Old Saxon texts (e.g. the Old Saxon version of Genesis and the Freckenhorster Heberegister).  In addition to linguistic analysis, we will discuss some cultural, historical, and literary topics relevant to the readings, including the conversion of the Saxons and the imagery of the poem.  Assignments will consist of readings and translations, quizzes, a midterm paper, and a term paper.

 

Textbook:

Cathey, James E.  2002.  Hêliand: Text and Commentary.

Other readings will be distributed as necessary by the instructor.

 

Course requirements and grading:

Participation:  20%

Quizzes:          10%

Short paper:    20%

Term paper:    50%

 

Participation:

Participation includes attendance, asking questions, answering my questions, and taking part in class discussions.  Attendance is mandatory. 

 

Quizzes:

There will be five short quizzes on OS grammar and translation, given at regular intervals.  Your lowest quiz grade will be dropped.

 

Midterm paper:

Students will be required to write a brief midterm paper (circa 5 pp.), involving a close reading, discussion of a tricky passage, or a research topic.  Details to follow.

 

Final paper:

Students will be required to write a final paper (15-20 pp.) on a topic of their choice and to give a brief in-class presentation on their topic.  Details to follow.

GER 340C • Hist Backgrounds Of German Civ

38400 • Spring 2014
Meets MWF 200pm-300pm BUR 337
(also listed as EUS 346 )
show description

DESCRIPTION:
Beginning with the development of medieval cities and concluding with the French Revolution, this course focuses on the historical, cultural, and literary development of German-speaking Europe. Political, social, religious, economic, and philosophical developments as well as architecture, art, music, and literature of the time period will be discussed. History will not be discussed in terms of specific events but rather in terms of large-scale developments and factors that contributed to them; focus will be on cultural history. Most importantly, we will learn to understand how Germany's past helped shape the Germany we know today.

You will be assigned daily readings and should expect to turn in at least one homework assignment per week. Some assignments will require group work (work in groups is generally encouraged). You also should expect one or two additional assignments that will require you to visit the Blanton Museum of Art and the HRC. You are expected to read the relevant pages in the textbook and/or the materials posted on Blackboard in preparation for every class. One objective of this course is vocabulary building: you will receive lists with vocabulary taken from the reading assignment, and you are expected to be able to use that vocabulary in your homework and during exams. This course will be taught in German, but any motivated student with at least four semesters of college German can take this course. More than two unexcused absences may result in a lower grade.

TEXTS:
Hans-Georg Hofacker and Thomas Schuler. Geschichtsbuch 2: Das Mittelalter und die frühe Neuzeit. Berlin: Cornelsen, 1994. ISBN 3-464-64202-X

Hilke Günther-Arndt and Jürgen Kocka. Geschichtsbuch 3: Vom Zeitalter des Absolutismus bis zum Ende des Ersten Weltkrieges. Berlin: Cornelsen, 1995. ISBN 3-464-64203-8

GRADING:
homework    10%
class participation (incl. in-class group work notes)    10%
class presentation (in German)    15%
three short papers (2-3 pages)    15%
three hourly exams (15+15+20%)    50%

GER 369 • Ger Lang: Historical Perspec

38425 • Spring 2014
Meets MWF 1200pm-100pm WEL 3.402
(also listed as ANT 320L, C C 348, LIN 373 )
show description

WRITING FLAG COURSE

Description:

This class provides an overview of language, language evolution, and sociolinguistics, within the particular context of the history of German. The goal is to enlarge participants’ understanding and appreciation of German, its historical and dialectal development, and the rich ways speakers of German express meaning.  The course will begin with a discussion of German’s Indo-European origins, and progress from there through Germanic, West Germanic, Old, Middle, and Early New High German to the modern language.  The class will also examine examples from a broad range of Germanic languages, social and regional dialects, and pidgins and creoles, with an eye to developing a better understanding of the characteristics, origins and development of language and communication systems.  Other topics discussed in class will include the social roles of dialect as a divider and a unifier, Gastarbeiterdeutsch, the effects of TV and other forms of mass media on language, language acquisition, and language contact.

 

No prior training in linguistics is required. 

The course will be conducted in English.

 

Required texts:

A course packet will be made available, containing excerpts from the following sources (among others): Fortson, Indo-European Language and Culture: An Introduction, Robinson, Old English and its Closest Relatives, the OSU Language Files, Stevenson, The German-Speaking World, and Clyne, The German Language in a Changing Europe.

Homework and assignments:

Essays, written exercises, participation, term paper

 

Grading scheme:

Essays: 25%

Written exercises: 25%

Final paper: 25%

Participation: 25%

GER 381 • Intro To Diachron Ling: Ger

38540 • Fall 2013
Meets MWF 100pm-200pm BUR 232
show description

DESCRIPTION

This seminar will provide students with an overview of the emergence and development of the German language. A wide range of topics and issues in the history of German will be considered, progressing from Old High German (including the emergence of umlaut and the Second Sound Shift) through Middle High German (most prominently changes in the vowel system and the inflectional system) and Early New High German (especially the further erosion of the inflectional system and changes in the verbal system), and concluding with ongoing changes in the modern language (including the introduction of new vocabulary triggered by contact with English and various semantic changes).  Some cultural topics (e.g. the change from a largely preliterate society to a largely literate one, urbanization, and the impact of Christianity on the German language) will also be considered.  In addition to the history of German, this course will introduce students to the basic principles of historical linguistics, including models of how languages change (Neogrammarian, Structuralist, generative) and how linguistic changes spread geographically and socially (lexical diffusion, Labovian models)   

 

TEXTS/READINGS

-Lyle Campbell, Historical Linguistics

-Joseph Salmons, A History of German: What the Past Reveals about Today's Language

-various other readings will be made available on Blackboard.

 

REQUIREMENTS/GRADING

Participation:              25%

Midterm paper:          25%

Final paper:                 50%

 

Participation:

Participation includes attendance, asking questions, answering my questions, and taking part in class discussions.  Attendance is mandatory. 

 

Midterm paper:

Students will be required to write a brief midterm paper (circa 5 pp.).

 

Final paper:

Students will be required to write a final paper (15-20 pp.) on a topic of their choice and to give a brief in-class presentation on their topic. 

 

GER 369 • Structure Of German Language

38110 • Spring 2013
Meets MWF 100pm-200pm BUR 337
show description

Course description:

This course gives students a thorough overview of the structure of the German language.  The course begins with a brief introduction to the historical background of the German language, before proceeding to the structure of the German language, including phonology, morphology, and syntax. While various theoretical frameworks will be discussed, the primary focus will be on the data itself.  Important current issues, such as the relative status of standard and non-standard varieties of German, and oral vs. written usage, will also be discussed.  Previous coursework in linguistics is helpful, but not required.  The course will be taught in English.

Course goals: 

By the end of this course, you should be able to:

1.         Analyze and discover the organizing principles of German sounds, words, sentences, and dialects.

2.         Relate acquired linguistic knowledge to everyday language use.

3.         Understand how German differs from English and why

Prerequisite:

Six semester hours of upper-division coursework in German, or fourteen hours of coursework in German and six hours of coursework in linguistics

Required text:

Sally Johnson, Exploring the German Language [available at the University Co-Op]

Additional texts will be posted on Blackboard and/or distributed by the instructor.

Instructor:                 Marc Pierce

E-mail:                       mpierc@austin.utexas.edu (usually the best way to contact me)

Phone:                        232-6360 (office), 471-4123 (Germanic Department)

Grading scheme:

Tests:                          60%

Homework:                 20%

Class participation:     20%

Tests:

There will be three testsin class over the course of the semester.  They will invite your comments on readings and discussions, and may be written in either English or German.  The third test will be given on the last day of class.  The instructor also reserves the right to give short quizzes, both announced and unannounced, about the material we have read and discussed.

Homework:

There will be ten short homework assignments over the course of the semester, due dates TBA.  There are also exercises in the Johnson book, which are not required (although you may certainly do them, if you would like).    Please hand in your homework by the due date.  All assignments must be handed in on paper; electronic versions will not be accepted. 

Participation:

Participation includes attendance, asking and answering questions, and taking part in class discussions.  Attendance is crucial.  Unexcused absences will result in poor grades for participation.  Absences will be unexcused except in cases of documented emergency (normally medical or family).  You will need to sign in at the beginning of each class.  Please notify me as soon as possible by e-mail or phone if it is necessary for you to be absent from class.  In accordance with UT policy, you may be excused from class to participate in religious observances and official obligations like club or varsity sports.  In such cases, written documentation must be presented to the instructor at least one week before the absence takes place.

GER 393K • Older Langs/Culs: Gothic

38170 • Spring 2013
Meets MWF 200pm-300pm BUR 337
show description

This course focuses on Gothic, the oldest well-attested Germanic language, which is best preserved in a partial 4th century translation of the Bible.  Gothic is primarily of interest to linguists (Germanic, general, and Indo-European), as it exhibits a rich array of important linguistic phenomena which are either unattested (reduplication, the 4th class of weak verbs) or less strongly attested (Sievers’ Law) in the other Germanic languages.  This course therefore introduces students to the Gothic language, and helps them to familiarize themselves with relevant previous scholarship.  Readings and translations will be coordinated with an overview of Gothic grammar.  Class time will be devoted to translation and to discussion of grammatical, lexical, and cultural topics.  Assignments will consist of readings and translations, short quizzes, a short paper, and a final paper.

Readings

William Bennett, An Introduction to the Gothic Language

Other readings will be distributed by the instructor and/or made available on Blackboard.

Grading

20% Participation

10% Quizzes

20% Short paper

50% Term paper

Participation: Participation includes attendance, asking questions, answering questions, and taking part in class discussions.  Attendance is mandatory. 

Quizzes: There will be several short quizzes on Gothic grammar and translation, given at regular intervals.  The lowest quiz grade will be dropped.

Midterm paper: Students will be required to write a brief midterm paper (circa 5 pp.), involving a close reading, discussion of a tricky passage, or a research topic.

Final paper: Students will be required to write a final paper (15-20 pp.) on a topic of their choice and to give a brief in-class presentation on their topic. 

GER 369 • Ger Lang: Historical Perspec

38050 • Fall 2012
Meets MWF 200pm-300pm BUR 337
(also listed as ANT 320L, LIN 373 )
show description

Description:

This class provides an overview of language, language evolution, and sociolinguistics, within the particular context of the history of German. The goal is to enlarge participants’ understanding and appreciation of German, its historical and dialectal development, and the rich ways speakers of German express meaning.  The course will begin with a discussion of German’s Indo-European origins, and progress from there through Germanic, West Germanic, Old, Middle, and Early New High German to the modern language.  The class will also examine examples from a broad range of Germanic languages, social and regional dialects, and pidgins and creoles, with an eye to developing a better understanding of the characteristics, origins and development of language and communication systems.  Other topics discussed in class will include the social roles of dialect as a divider and a unifier, Gastarbeiterdeutsch, the effects of TV and other forms of mass media on language, language acquisition, and language contact. 

No prior training in linguistics is required.  The course will be conducted in English.

Required texts:

A course packet will be made available, containing excerpts from the following sources (among others): Fortson, Indo-European Language and Culture: An Introduction, Robinson, Old English and its Closest Relatives, the OSU Language Files, Stevenson, The German-Speaking World, and Clyne, The German Language in a Changing Europe.

Homework and assignments:

Essays, written exercises, participation, term paper

Grading scheme:

Essays:        25%

Written exercises:    25%

Final paper:        25%

Participation:        25%

GER 328 • Advanced German Grammar

37945 • Spring 2012
Meets MWF 200pm-300pm GEA 127
show description

Course Description:
German 328 is designed to help you refine your command and understanding of German grammar.  The course focuses primarily on formal accuracy, but class activities will include communicative applications of grammatical points.  German 328 is not a course in composition, conversation, or stylistics, although there are elements of such courses in German 328.  (The department offers other courses dedicated to these topics.)  You must have completed second year German here at UT or have earned credit for second year German through a placement exam, AP exam, or transfer credit to enroll in German 328.

Texts/Readings:

-Frank E. Donahue, Deutsche Wiederholungsgrammatik (required)
-A German-English dictionary of your choice

Grading/Requirements:
Tests (4 x 20%):     80%
Participation:         20%

Tests:
Four tests will be given over the course of the semester.  Tests typically cover four or more chapters of the textbook and consist of items similar to those on the homework assignments and in-class exercises.  Each test is worth 20% of your semester grade. Because the tests are increasingly cumulative, there is no final exam in this class.

Participation:

Participation includes attendance, asking questions, answering questions, and taking part in class discussions.  Attendance is crucial.  Unexcused absences will result in poor grades for participation!  Please notify the instructor as soon as possible if it is necessary for you to be absent from class.  In accordance with UT policy, you may be excused from class to participate in religious observances and official obligations like club or varsity sports.  In such cases, written documentation must be presented to the instructor at least one week before the absence takes place.

GER 381 • Intro To Diachronic Lin: Ger

38010 • Spring 2012
Meets MWF 1200pm-100pm BUR 232
(also listed as LIN 383 )
show description

Description

This seminar will provide students with an overview of the emergence and development of the German language. A wide range of topics and issues in the history of German will be considered, progressing from Old High German (including the emergence of umlaut and the Second Sound Shift) through Middle High German (most prominently changes in the vowel system and the inflectional system) and Early New High German (especially the further erosion of the inflectional system and changes in the verbal system), and concluding with ongoing changes in the modern language (including the introduction of new vocabulary triggered by contact with English and various semantic changes).  Some cultural topics (e.g. the change from a largely preliterate society to a largely literate one, urbanization, and the impact of Christianity on the German language) will also be considered.  In addition to the history of German, this course will introduce students to the basic principles of historical linguistics, including models of how languages change (Neogrammarian, Structuralist, generative) and how linguistic changes spread geographically and socially (lexical diffusion, Labovian models)  

Texts

- Lyle Campbell, Historical Linguistics: An Introduction

- Joseph C. Salmons, A History of German: What the Past reveals about today's Language

- Other readings will be posted on Blackboard and/or made available by the instructor.

Grading

Participation: 25%

Midterm paper: 25%

Final paper: 50%

Participation: Participation includes attendance, asking questions, answering questions, and taking part in class discussions.  Attendance is mandatory. 

Midterm paper: Students will be required to write a brief midterm paper (circa 5 pp.).  

Final paper: Students will be required to write a final paper (15-20 pp.) on a topic of their choice and to give a brief in-class presentation on their topic. 

GER 328 • Advanced German Grammar

38000 • Fall 2011
Meets MWF 1200pm-100pm GEA 114
show description

Course Description:
German 328 is designed to help you refine your command and understanding of German grammar.  The course focuses primarily on formal accuracy, but class activities will include communicative applications of grammatical points.  German 328 is not a course in composition, conversation, or stylistics, although there are elements of such courses in German 328.  (The department offers other courses dedicated to these topics.)  You must have completed second year German here at UT or have earned credit for second year German through a placement exam, AP exam, or transfer credit to enroll in German 328.

Texts/Readings:

-Frank E. Donahue, Deutsche Wiederholungsgrammatik (required)
-A German-English dictionary of your choice

Grading/Requirements:
Tests (4 x 20%):     80%
Participation:         20%

Tests:
Four tests will be given over the course of the semester.  Tests typically cover four or more chapters of the textbook and consist of items similar to those on the homework assignments and in-class exercises.  Each test is worth 20% of your semester grade. Because the tests are increasingly cumulative, there is no final exam in this class.

Participation:

Participation includes attendance, asking questions, answering questions, and taking part in class discussions.  Attendance is crucial.  Unexcused absences will result in poor grades for participation!  Please notify the instructor as soon as possible if it is necessary for you to be absent from class.  In accordance with UT policy, you may be excused from class to participate in religious observances and official obligations like club or varsity sports.  In such cases, written documentation must be presented to the instructor at least one week before the absence takes place.

GER 393K • Linguistic Thought Landmarks

38090 • Fall 2011
Meets MW 130pm-300pm BUR 234
(also listed as LIN 393 )
show description

This course discusses some of the major works of linguistic theory published in the last two centuries, with an eye to understanding how these works have shaped the field of linguistics and contributed to current theoretical developments.  Major topics of discussion will include social vs. individual aspects of language, synchrony vs. diachrony, and structuralist vs generative theories.  After an introduction to the field of linguistic historiography, we shall examine Sir William Jones’ famous discourse on the languages of India, and then turn to some of the major works of nineteenth-century linguistics, by authors like Rasmus Rask, Jacob Grimm, Wilhelm von Humboldt, Franz Bopp, and William Dwight Whitney, in order to understand the impact of such scholars on the emerging field of linguistics.  We shall then turn to the twentieth century, beginning with Ferdinand de Saussure, and progressing to American structuralists like Edward Sapir, Leonard Bloomfield, and Benjamin Lee Whorf.  The final section of the course will deal with more recent developments, with special emphasis on the growth and spread of transformational grammar and sociolinguistics; in this portion of the course, we shall discuss works by Noam Chomsky, Morris Halle, Roman Jakobson, William Labov, and others.

Requirements include attendance and participation, an oral presentation, a midterm essay, and a term paper.  All readings will be in English.

 

TEXTS

Paul, Principles of the History of Language [excerpts]

de Saussure, Course in General Linguistics [excerpts]

Sapir, Language [excerpts]

Bloomfield, Language [excerpts]

Chomsky, Syntactic Structures [excerpts]

Hans Aarsleff, “The History of Linguistics and Professor Chomsky”

Elisabeth Closs [Traugott], “Diachronic Syntax and Generative Grammar”

Morris Halle, “Phonology in Generative Grammar”

Roman Jakobson, “Principles of Historical Phonology”

Konrad Koerner, “Practicing Linguistic Historiography”

William Labov, “On the Social Motivation of a Sound Change”

Herbert Penzl, “Phonetic and Phonemic Change”

W. Freeman Twaddell, “A Note on Old High German Umlaut”

Benjamin Lee Whorf, “Grammatical Categories”

 

GRADING

Participation:                        25%

Midterm essay:            25%

Term paper:                        50%

GRC F301 • Grimms' Fairy Tales

85080 • Summer 2011
Meets MTWTHF 1130am-100pm BUR 337
(also listed as C L F305, EUS F307 )
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This course focuses on one of the most popular works of German literature, the Kinder- und Hausmärchen of the Brothers Grimm.  After a biographical introduction and a brief discussion of the Grimms’ contributions to various scholarly fields, we will spend the bulk of the semester reading and discussing tales from the Grimms’ collection, as well as some of the relevant secondary literature on the tales.  We will address questions like the following: In what cultural context did Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm collect their fairy tales?  Who did they get the tales from?  Do the tales really reflect Germanic culture, or have they been revised in line with the Grimms’ personal beliefs?  Do the tales advocate any specific values (“the moral of the story is…”)?  We will also look at possible interpretations of the tales from different theoretical perspectives (feminist, psychoanalytic, etc.).  Knowledge of German is not required, as all readings and discussions are in English.  However, if you do know German, I strongly encourage you to read at least some of the tales in German. 

Required Texts:

Maria Tatar, The Hard Facts of the Grimms’ Fairy Tales, expanded 2d ed.

Jack Zipes, The Brothers Grimm: From Enchanted Forests to the Modern World, 2d ed.

Jack Zipes (editor and translator), The Complete Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm

[These texts are available at the University Co-Op.]

Additional texts may be distributed as necessary by the instructor.

Grading scheme:

Papers:    20%

Tests:      50%

Attendance and Participation:    20%

GER 393K • Older Lang/Cul:old High Ger

38250 • Spring 2011
Meets MWF 1100am-1200pm BUR 337
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Description:

This course focuses on Old High German (OHG), which was spoken between roughly 750 and 1050.  OHG is of interest to students of both linguistics and literature, thanks to the various important linguistic developments it exhibits (e.g. umlaut, the Second Consonant Shift) and the rich array of OHG literature, including texts like the OHG Charms, the Hildebrandslied, and Otfrid’s Evangelienbuch.  This course therefore introduces students to OHG language, literature, and culture, and helps them to familiarize themselves with relevant previous scholarship.  Readings and translations will be coordinated with an overview of OHG grammar; linguistic comparison with Modern German will enhance the development of translation skills.  We will read a representative selection from various genres of OHG literature.  Class time will be devoted to translation and to discussion of grammatical, lexical, literary, and cultural topics.  Assignments will consist of readings and translations, short quizzes, a short paper, and a final paper.

Texts:

Charles C. Barber, An Old High German Reader

There will also be a coursepack with readings on various topics.

Course requirements and grading:

Participation:            20%

Quizzes:            10%

Short paper:            20%

Term paper:            50%

Participation:

Participation includes attendance, asking questions, answering my questions, and taking part in class discussions.  Attendance is mandatory. 

Quizzes:

There will be several short quizzes on OHG grammar and translations.

Midterm paper:

Students will be required to write a brief midterm paper (circa 5 pp.), involving a close reading, discussion of a tricky passage, or a research topic.

Final paper:

Students will be required to write a final paper (15-20 pp.) on a topic of their choice and to give a brief in-class presentation on their topic. 

GER 328 • Advanced German Grammar

37795 • Fall 2010
Meets MWF 200pm-300pm BUR 337
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Course Description:
German 328 is designed to help you refine your command and understanding of German grammar.  The course focuses primarily on formal accuracy, but class activities will include communicative applications of grammatical points.  German 328 is not a course in composition, conversation, or stylistics, although there are elements of such courses in German 328.  (The department offers other courses dedicated to these topics.)  You must have completed fourth semester German here at UT or have earned credit for fourth semester German to enroll in German 328. 

Texts/Readings:

-Frank E. Donahue, Deutsche Wiederholungsgrammatik (required)
-A German-English dictionary of your choice

Grading/Requirements:
Tests (4 x 20%):     80%
Participation:         20%

Tests:
Four tests will be given over the course of the semester.  Tests typically cover four or more chapters of the textbook and consist of items similar to those on the homework assignments and in-class exercises.  Each test is worth 20% of your semester grade. Because the tests are increasingly cumulative, there is no final exam in this class. 

Participation:

Participation includes attendance, asking questions, answering my questions, and taking part in class discussions.  Attendance is crucial.  Unexcused absences will result in poor grades for participation!  Please notify me as soon as possible if it is necessary for you to be absent from class.  In accordance with UT policy, you may be excused from class to participate in religious observances and official obligations like club or varsity sports.  In such cases, written documentation must be presented to the instructor at least one week before the absence takes place.

GER 347L • Lang/Socty Ger-Spkng Countries

37812 • Fall 2010
Meets MWF 1200pm-100pm BUR 337
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Course Description

This course provides an extensive insight into German language variation, covering regional, ethnic, and social differences. We will start our course with a short overview of the history of the German language in order to understand the historic roots of the present-day varieties of German. From there we will investigate the status of different German language within Germany, Austria, Switzerland and Luxembourg, as well as German language varieties overseas such as German in the Americas, in Australia, and in Namibia. In this connection, we will consider cases in which German has been in contact with other languages, such as French, Danish, Polish, Russian, Hungarian, Italian, English and Spanish.

We will see how differences in linguistic behavior are given social and cultural significance and will discuss the question of the socio-economic status of “standard” German and its relation to other non-standard varieties. The differences in language use in former East and West Germany will form the center of our investigation of how social and political changes can bring about linguistic change. We will see how people change their linguistic and cultural behavior once they are confronted with a different political culture that employs different terminology. This will form the basis for our discussion of “Gastarbeiterdeutsch” (foreign worker’s German) which is at the center of ongoing research on pidginization.

The last part of the course is concerned with language planning and language reform. After a short overview of the German legal and educational system we will discuss the political issues surrounding the “Rechtschreibreform” (reform of German orthography). We will focus on the linguistic, political, and cultural issues involved and will see whether the goals set out by the reform have been successfully met.

This course is taught in German.

Prerequisite: Three semester hours of upper-division course-work in German with a grade of C or better.

Required Text

Barbour, S. and Stevenson, P. 1998. Variation im Deutschen: Soziolinguistische Perspektiven, Berlin / New York, de Gruyter.

Class reader on reserve.


Testing and Evaluation


A.  Midterm exam 30%

B.  Final exam 40%

C. Short quizzes 10%. 

D. Class participation 10%.

E. Homework 10%.

Grading:     A: 90+        B: 80-89      C: 70-79       D: 60-69        F: 59 or less

GRC 301 • Grimms' Fairy Tales-W

84595 • Summer 2010
Meets MTWTHF 1130am-100pm RLM 5.112
(also listed as C L 305, EUS 307 )
show description

Description:
This course focuses on one of the most popular works of German literature, the Kinder- und Hausmärchen of the Brothers Grimm.  After a biographical introduction and a brief discussion of the Grimms’ contributions to various scholarly fields, we will spend the bulk of the semester reading and discussing tales from the Grimms’ collection, as well as some of the relevant secondary literature on the tales.  We will address questions like the following: In what cultural context did Jacob and Wilhelm Grimm collect their fairy tales?  Who did they get the tales from?  Do the tales really reflect Germanic culture, or have they been revised in line with the Grimms’ personal beliefs?  Do the tales advocate any specific values (“the moral of the story is…”)?  We will also look at possible interpretations of the tales from different theoretical perspectives (feminist, psychoanalytic, etc.).  Knowledge of German is not required, as all readings and discussions are in English.  However, if you do know German, I strongly encourage you to read at least some of the tales in German. 


Required Texts:
Maria Tatar, The Hard Facts of the Grimms’ Fairy Tales, expanded 2d ed.
Jack Zipes, The Brothers Grimm: From Enchanted Forests to the Modern World, 2d ed.
Jack Zipes (editor and translator), The Complete Fairy Tales of the Brothers Grimm
[These texts are available at the University Co-Op.]
Additional texts may be distributed as necessary by the instructor.


Grading scheme:
Papers:                20%
Tests:                50%
Attendance and Participation:    20%

GER 328 • Advanced German Grammar

38400 • Fall 2009
Meets MWF 1000-1100 NOA 1.102
show description

see attached file

GER 381 • Intro To Diachronic Lin: Ger

38470 • Fall 2009
Meets MW 300pm-430pm BUR 232
show description

see attached file

Publications

2014    Hans C. Boas, Marc Pierce, and Collin Brown.  On the variability of Texas German wo as a complementizer.  Sprachtypologie und Universalienforschung —Language Typology and Universals 67: 589-611.

2014    The Further Degrammaticalization of ishAmerican Speech 89: 115-118.

2013    Syllable Weight in Gothic.  Indogermanische Forschungen 118: 213-226.

2013    The Onset Principle in Finnish.  Nordic Prosody: Proceedings of the XIth Conference, Tartu 2012, edited by Eva Liina Asu and Pärtel Lippus, 283-291.  Frankfurt: Peter Lang.

2012    Zum Status des Onset-Prinzips im Altenglischen.  Anglia 130: 526-532.

2012    Evaluating the Evidence for Old Norse Syllable Structure.  Vox Germanica: Essays in Germanic Culture in Honor of James E. Cathey, edited by Stephen Harris, Michael Moynihan, and Sherrill Harbison, 49-67.  Tempe, AZ: Arizona Center for Medieval and Renaissance Studies.

2011    On the Resilience of Edgerton’s Law.  Folia Linguistica Historica 32: 189-218.

2011    The Status of the Onset Principle in Early Germanic.  Proceedings of the 22d Annual UCLA Indo-European Conference, edited by Stephanie W. Jamison, H. Craig Melchert, and Brent Vine, 193-208.  Bremen: Hempen Verlag.

2010    Marc Pierce and Hans C. Boas.  First Diminutive Formation and [d]-Epenthesis in Yiddish.  Interdisciplinary Journal for Germanic Linguistics and Semiotic Analysis 15: 213-230.

2010    Slobbovia: An Etymological Note.  American Speech 85: 464-465.

2010     Hans C. Boas, Marc Pierce, Hunter Weilbacher, Karen Roesch, and Guido Halder.  The Texas German Dialect Archive: A Multimedia Resource for Research, Teaching, and Outreach.  Journal of Germanic Linguistics 22: 277-296.

2010     An Overview of Old Saxon Linguistics, 1992 to 2008.  Perspectives on the Old Saxon Heliand: Introductory and Critical Essays, with an Edition of the Leipzig Fragment, edited by Valentine Pakis, 63-89.  Morgantown, WV: West Virginia University Press.

 

 

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