to the schedule of readings and assignments
course prerequisites: 1301, 1302, and six hours of 2000-level English
required textbooks: Milroy and Milroy, Authority in Language (third edition, Routledge); Wardhaugh, Understanding English Grammar (Blackwell). Both are in paperback. Other required readings on handouts.
syllabus: This syllabus may be updated as the semester goes on. However, every writing assignment and every component of your grade is here at the beginning. Please refer to the date and time of printing (at the bottom of each page) to see when the version you are holding was printed. For continuous updates look on line at http://www.uta.edu/english/tim/courses/3384su00/
course description: This course offers a study of the grammar and phonology of present-day English (especially US varieties of English), with attention to the social contexts of language.
course objectives: Students who successfully complete this course will have some introductory understanding of English grammar, will know some of the technical and theoretical approaches used in the academic study of language, and will be aware of some current political, social, and pedagogical debates about language in the US.
attendance is not mandatory, but you will not have the faintest idea what's going on if you don't come to class. I will not meet with you outside of class to bring you up to speed.
drop policy: UTA instructors may not drop students for any reason. You may drop with a W until the first drop deadline (Monday 12 June). After that date, you may drop with a W only if you have a passing average on all assignments due on or before your drop date; otherwise, you will have to drop with an F. You may not drop at all after Monday 26 June.
assignments: There will be thirteen (13) short "daily" assignments due on the days indicated. Each "daily" will be collected at the start of class on the day it's due. (It's a good idea to keep a copy for yourself so you can follow the day's discussion.) No daily will be accepted late; if you know you must miss class, arrange to turn the work in early. A typical day in class will consist of one hour reviewing the daily that's just come in and one hour preparing for the one due on the next day. That sounds intense, but hey, if you want three credit hours in five weeks, it's the only way to do it. The final exam will be in our regular classroom from 8-10am on Monday 3 July. It will be an open-book, open-note final; you may bring anything you need to the exam meeting but you may not confer with other students during the exam period.
grading: Each daily paper will be graded 1 (for satisfactory work) or 0 (for unsatisfactory). If you earn 12 or 13 daily points, your grade going into the final will be C. If you earn 11 dailies, your grade going into the final will be D. If you earn 10 dailies, your grade going into the final will be a provisional "E," and if you earn 9, your grade going into the final will be F. (If you earn 8 or fewer, you will make an F for the course no matter what you do on the final.) If your grade on the final is 80-89, your course grade will be one letter above your daily total. If your grade on the final is 90-100, your course grade will be two letters above your daily total. The final is optional; you cannot lose points by not taking it.
I think that a B is a good grade for an undergraduate course, and that a C grade is quite acceptable. The grade of A should indicate excellence rather than mere completion of the course.
academic dishonesty policy: It is the philosophy of The University of Texas at Arlington that academic dishonesty is a completely unacceptable mode of conduct and will not be tolerated in any form. All persons involved in academic dishonesty will be disciplined in accordance with University regulations and procedures. Discipline may include suspension or expulsion from the University. "Scholastic dishonesty includes but is not limited to cheating, plagiarism, collusion, the submission for credit of any work or materials that are attributable in whole or in part to another person, any act designed to give unfair advantage to a student or the attempt to commit such acts." [Regents' Rules and Regulations, Part One, Chapter Vi, Section 3, Subsection 3.2, Subdivision 3.22] Note for the purposes of this section of 3384 only: you may confer with other students on daily papers. You are on your honor to master the material yourself. I reserve the right to assign a grade of 0 on any daily paper you don't understand when you are questioned about it. YOU MAY NOT CONFER WITH OTHER STUDENTS ON THE FINAL EXAM.
disability policy: The University of Texas at Arlington is on record as being committed to both the spirit and letter of federal equal opportunity legislation; reference Public Law 93112--The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 as amended. With the passage of new federal legislation entitled Americans with Disabilities Act - (ADA), pursuant to section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, there is renewed focus on providing this population with the same opportunities enjoyed by all citizens. As a faculty member, I am required by law to provide "reasonable accommodation" to students with disabilities, so as not to discriminate on the basis of that disability. Student responsibility primarily rests with informing faculty at the beginning of the semester and in providing authorized documentation through designated administrative channels.
library: Noel Anderson is the Librarian for the English Department. He can be reached at 817 272 3000, ext. 4984, and by email at firstname.lastname@example.org You will find online databases for English among the Arts & Humanities databases at http://www.uta.edu/library/mavinfo/arts.html
schedule of assignments and readings
Tues 30 May: syllabus, procedures, introductions. Lecture: some axioms of language study.
Wed 31 May: read Milroy & Milroy, chs. 3, 5. Lecture and discussion.
Thurs 1 June: read Milroy & Milroy, ch. 9; Wardhaugh, ch. 1. Daily #1 due: write a 1,000-word (maximum) essay that gives an inventory of your sense of how you use English. Address the following questions:
Mon 5 June: read Wardhaugh, ch. 2. Daily #2 due: Question 1 in Exercises 1.2 (Wardhaugh pp. 2-3). Not much preparation is needed to do this daily. It's meant as a check on your preconceptions, on your existing sense of "proper" English usage.
Tues 6 June: read Wardhaugh, ch. 3. Daily #3 due: Questions 1, 3, and 5 in Exercises 2.9 (Wardhaugh pp. 32-32).
Wed 7 June: read Wardhaugh, ch. 4. Daily #4 due: Questions 2, 3, and 6 in Exercises 3.7 (Wardhaugh pp. 65-68).
Thurs 8 June: read Wardhaugh, ch. 5. Daily #5 due: Questions 3, 4, and 5 in Exercises 4.6 (Wardhaugh pp. 94-96).
Mon 12 June: read Wardhaugh, ch. 6. Daily #6 due: Questions 1, 2, and 5 in Exercises 5.7 (Wardhaugh pp. 115-117).
Tues 13 June: read Wardhaugh, ch. 9. Daily #7 due: Questions 1, 2, and 3 in Exercises 6.7 (Wardhaugh pp. 134-135).
Wed 14 June: read Wardhaugh, ch. 10. Daily #8 due: Questions 1, 5, 6, and 7 in Exercises 9.7 (Wardhaugh pp. 198-199).
Thurs 15 June: read Wardhaugh, ch. 11. Daily #9 due: Questions 1, 2, and 3 in Exercises 10.4 (Wardhaugh pp. 212-213).
Mon 19 June: read Brazil (handout). Daily #10 due: Questions 1, 4, 11, and 12 in Exercises 11.7 (Wardhaugh pp. 236-238).
Tues 20 June: read Baugh (handout). Daily #11 due: Ask a friend or family member to tell you a brief story. (Could be anything: what they did today, something they heard happen in a news story, whatever.) Transcribe about 30-45 seconds of the story exactly as the person says it--not in phonological transcription, but in regular English spelling. (People can say an awful lot in a few seconds, and they talk faster than you can write. You want them to speak at normal speed, not deliberately or artificially, so it will help if you can record their speech.)
Analyze the passage of speech you've transcribed according to the simple directions in Brazil's basic method. (Ignore anything too weird to analyze.) Then, try to do a "sentence-grammar" diagram of the passage using Wardhaugh's method. Is such an analysis possible? What are the implications of using either method of analysis?
Wed 21 June: read Maley, Lippi-Green (handout). Daily #12 due: given Baugh's analysis of the theoretical problems involved in "Ebonics," what is your critique (informed by everything we've done this semester) of the issues relating to African-American Vernacular English in schools? Write a 1,000-word (maximum) essay on this question.
Thurs 22 June: no readings. Daily #13 due: this is sort of a return to Daily #1 from an informed perspective. Using at least one reference to the Maley piece and one to Lippi-Green, write a 1,000-word (maximum) essay on how you've seen the dynamic of "accent" intersect with the notion of "intelligence," or with educational or economic opportunity, or with social class status or prestige. Be concrete.
Mon 26 June: Review, course evaluations. After today, there will be no more class meetings before the final exam.
Mon 3 July: Final Exam. Same time & place as regular class meeting.