The Structure of Modern English: Sounds and Words

Course description:

This course explores and examines contemporary English linguistic structure at the level of sounds and words. It begins with a study of speech sounds. We study the articulation of sounds in English, methods for phonetic transcription and the possible sound combinations in English (phonology). We then study words, and the processes of word formation and word classification in English (morphology). Finally, we consider word meaning and look at a variety of approaches to appreciating the nuances of meaning in English words (lexical semantics). Our focus will be on developing skills for analysing these 3 components of language, with an eye toward understanding how they belong to one communication system.

Course evaluation: There will be 3 tests of equal weight (31%) and a class participation mark of 7%. The tests are not cumulative. A variety of in-class, homework and test questions will be given, including problem solving, short answer and fill-in-the-blank questions, with an emphasis placed on using and applying the techniques learned in class.

Required Text: L. Brinton and D. Brinton. (2010) The Linguistic Structure of Modern English. (2nd ed.). Amsterdam/Philadelphia: John Benjamins. Chapters 1-6.

No previous linguistics or language course is required. ENGL 330 and 331 may be taken concurrently or in reverse sequence.

N.B. This course is not open to students who have taken ENGL 329.