Structure and History
of the English Language
|English 202 - 01
9:30-10:50 a.m. MR
Prof. G. Steinberg
Office: Bliss 216
Office Phone: 771-2106
Office Hours: 9:30-10:50 TF
and by appointment
Thomas Pyles and John Algeo, The Origins and Development of the English Language (4th ed.; ISBN 015500168X)
COURSE DESCRIPTION. I can assure you that this course will be one of the most difficult but also one of the best classes you will ever take. As a user of language, you already know a great deal about English intuitively. In this course, we are going to learn about the history of our language, and as we do so, we’ll also learn about the nuts and bolts of how languages work and change. We’ll take a lot of knowledge that you currently possess on an intuitive level and make you more conscious of it. When you finish the course, you will have a better understanding of why English is the way it is (usually because of historical accident or a universal linguistic rule or both), and you will have a store of conversation starters and fun facts to know and tell about your mother tongue. Most of the material we will cover in this class is inherently interesting. Who doesn’t want to know the answers to questions such as
But you will have to work hard to master a large amount of new material in order to be able to answer these questions adequately. In this course, you will be introduced to a lot of information that will be entirely new to you. You will need to memorize, digest, and assimilate a great deal as the term goes along. But I will help you in every way I can, and your classmates will be there with you the whole way. NOTE THAT THIS COURSE DOES NOT CARRY ANY GENERAL EDUCATION CREDIT OR MEET ANY GENERAL EDUCATION REQUIREMENTS.
GOALS. As my goals for this course, I want you
REQUIREMENTS. For this course, you must complete the following graded assignments:
Your final grade will be based on a 1000-point scale: A = 930-1000, A- = 900-929, B+ = 870-899, B = 830-869, B- = 800-829, C+ = 770-799, C = 730-769, C- = 700-729, D+ = 670-699, D = 600-669, and F = below 600.
QUIZZES. In addition to your graded assignments, I will also periodically give ungraded quizzes. These quizzes are primarily a diagnostic tool. They help me see what you as a class are having trouble with, and they help you see what you still need to study before the exam. I intend them to be a low-stress experience and therefore do not grade them, but I do collect them and look them over in order to get a sense of what you have learned and what you may still need to learn in order to do well in the class.
ATTENDANCE. Regular attendance is a virtual necessity for successful completion of the exams and papers in this class. Class exercises and discussion constitute important, useful preparation for the course’s graded assignments. If you miss a class, you will essentially lose out on that day’s contribution to your preparation, since it is never really possible to reproduce or recapture the dynamics and flow of information for a missed class meeting (even if you get notes from someone). If, however, you positively must miss a class, I expect you to find out what you missed and to come fully prepared -- without excuses -- to the next class meeting.
OFFICE HOURS. My office is Bliss 216. My office hours this semester will be 9:30-10:50 a.m. on Tuesdays and Fridays. If you cannot see me at this time, however, feel free as needed to call my office (771-2106) or talk to me before or after class to arrange an appointment at another time. You may also contact me by e-mail (firstname.lastname@example.org), or you may leave a message for me in my box at the English department offices in Bliss 124. E-mail is generally the fastest way to contact me in an emergency.
EMAIL. I may, on occasion, want to e-mail everyone in class. I generally only have access to your TCNJ e-mail addresses, however. As a result, if you regularly use an e-mail address other than your TCNJ address, I recommend that you have mail from your TCNJ address forwarded to the address you use more regularly. That way, if I e-mail your TCNJ address, my message will be forwarded to your other address automatically. To forward mail from your TCNJ address, just go to http://managemail.tcnj.edu/ and click “Mail Forwarding Manager.” Follow the directions there to set up the mail forwarding.
If you would like to send an e-mail message to one or more of your classmates, you can do so through SOCS. To access SOCS, go to http://socs.tcnj.edu and, after you have logged in with your TCNJ e-mail username and password, choose this course (ENGL20201) from the list of your courses this semester. Then, when our course page comes up, click the “Email” button. From there, you can select individual e-mail addresses or the entire class and send a message to the addresses you’ve selected.
COURSE SCHEDULE. This schedule is subject to revision at the discretion of the professor.
|M Jan 20||Introductions||----------|
|R Jan 23||Language Acquisition||Pyles and Algeo, pp. 1-24|
|M Jan 27||Conversation||language acquisition exercise|
|R Jan 30||Phonetics||conversation exercise; literary conversation exercise; Pyles and Algeo, pp. 25-35|
|M Feb 3||Phonetics||phonetics exercise|
|R Feb 6||Quiz and Sound Change||phonetics exercise; Pyles and Algeo, pp. 35-41|
|M Feb 10||Sound Change||phonetics exercise, another phonetics exercise, and sound change exercise|
|R Feb 13||Sound and Sense||sound change exercise|
|M Feb 17|
|R Feb 20||
Quiz and Sound and Sense
|sound change exercise
|M Feb 24||Sound and Sense, Indo-European languages, and Grimm's Law||
Pyles and Algeo, pp. 61-94
|R Feb 27||Quiz and Inflection||Grimm's Law exercise|
|M Mar 3||Old English||inflection exercise and other inflection exercises; Pyles and Algeo, pp. 95-133|
|R Mar 6||Old English||PAPER 1 DUE|
|M Mar 10||NO CLASS||Spring Break|
|R Mar 13||NO CLASS||Spring Break|
|M Mar 17||Old English||Old English exercise|
|W Mar 19||11:30 a.m.-12:50 p.m.: Optional Review Session||I will meet with any interested students in our regular classroom. Bring questions or topics that you would like to review for the mid-term exam. Click here for a sample mid-term exam. Click here for a review exercise on sound changes. Click here for a review exercise on Old English.|
|R Mar 20||Old English||Old English exercise|
|M Mar 24||MID-TERM EXAM||Study, study, study|
|R Mar 27||Lexicon, Semantic Shift, and Derivation||Pyles and Algeo, pp. 237-285|
|M Mar 31||Middle English||semantic shift and derivation exercises; Pyles and Algeo, pp. 134-164|
|R Apr 3||Modern English and Great Vowel Shift||Middle English exercise; Pyles and Algeo, pp. 165-181|
|M Apr 7||Quiz and Borrowing||Great Vowel Shift exercise; Pyles and Algeo, pp. 286-311|
|R Apr 10||Quiz and Standardization||borrowing exercise; Pyles and Algeo, pp. 182-211|
|M Apr 14||Syntax||
|R Apr 17||Quiz, Syntax, and Transformations||syntax exercise|
|M Apr 21||Syntax and Transformations||transformations exercises. PAPER 2 DUE.|
|R Apr 24||Quiz and Dialects||transformations exercise; Pyles and Algeo, pp. 212-236|
|M Apr 28||Quiz and Registers||dialect exercise|
|R May 1||Dialects and Registers||registers exercise, dialect and registers exercises|
|W May 7||11 a.m.-12:30 p.m.: Optional Review Session||I will meet with any interested students in our regular classroom from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. Bring questions or topics that you would like to review for the final exam. Click here for a sample final exam (in Microsoft Word format).|
|Finals Week||FINAL EXAM||Study, study, study.|
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