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English 370

Spring, 2015

Assignments and Updates

See also: Blackboard

This is the Assignments and Updates Page. All assignments and updates to earlier assignments will be posted here, beginning with the most recent first.

This is the most up-to-date information available on this website. Please check this page frequently throughout the quarter!!

For Final Exam click HERE

The Final Exam for this class will take place on Monday June 8 at 10:30am, Pacific Daylight Time. It will be an electronic final. I will post for you the exam on line at 10:30am, and you will have two hours--until 12:30pm--to submit your final. This means you can be anywhere in the world just so long as you have access to my webpage and email. You will write your essay(s) on your computers and you will submit them to me as a block-and-paste entry in your email program. NO ATTACHMENTS!

To Help You Prepare:

I have already given you some sample analyses of texts to help guide your work towards being able to comment on a speaker's voice. You can reread Lincoln's Gettysburg address along with the paper about it that is included in The Speaker in the Text; you can also review the sample analyses of four of the passages we have spent time with in class. Those can be found at:

Eng370.StudyGuide Ecc and Hem.htm

and at

Eng370.StudyGuide Sal and Dickens.htm

SPECIAL DEAL: You are invited to submit paragraphs you would like to write on for the Final. I will select at least one from the class submissions. Your reward if yours is chosen is that you will have already thought about it from a stylistic point of view, so you will have a headstart. If you want to submit a paragraph, get it to me either by email or by turning it in to me in class or in my office before the end of Friday, June 4. Include along your nomination a paragraph explaining what you think the passage's voice is doing.

We have also decided as a class that we should have a study session at 3:30 on Thursday and on Friday of this week in my office (or if several of you come, at the study table in the corridor nearby).

We already discussed the other two things you will be turning in this week: Part 2 to your Linguistic Self Profile, and your course Portfolio. Descriptions of those assignments are on the Blackboard: LSP and Portfolio

Thursday, June 4

Reading: No new Reading. I'll bring some new passages to class and we can do a trial run for the final.

Writing: We have already discussed the two things you will be turning in this week on Thursday: Part 2 to your Linguistic Self Profile, and your course Portfolio. Descriptions of those assignments are on the Blackboard: LSP and Portfolio.

Tuesday, June 2

Reading: Passages for Analysis 5 and 6 (MORE Passages for Analysis)

Writing: Two more passages for practice analysis. Again, start by "listening" to the voice, and describing what you seem to hear--the tone the speaker takes. 

Then, before you begin to write, go back to the section of the Speaker in the Text that is titled:  Speaker Checklist.  Use that as a way to prompt your attention as you analyze the texts.  (You should find these passages easier than the two we had on Thursday.) 

To help I also include here a file that has short example essays about first Ecclesiastes and then Hemingway's "Big Two-Hearted River."  We have talked about both those passages a good deal in class; here are for me two very strong examples of written stylistic analyses that give an analysis of each passage's style in about 500-600 words each. 

Thursday, May 28

Reading and Writing: For Tuesday you explored the very different styles of Ecclesiastes and Hemingway. For Thursday prepare an analysis of the speaker in the excerpts from Margaret Atwood and Jayne Ann Phillips (MORE Passages for Analysis). Again, start off by trying to find two or three adjectives to describe the speaking voice. Then write a list of things you notice about the style. Finally, write a pair of paragraphs describing as best you can how the things you have noticed about each passage might help describe why you used the adjectives you did after first reading the paragraph. 2pp

Tuesday, May 26

Reading: The Speaker in the Text. This will be the main reading for the rest of the course, though we will also have some final readings from the textbook. This reading lays out a way of extending all of the work we have done this quarter to the reading of texts. It introduces new vocabulary, some of which parallels and puts to use the linguistic vocabulary you have been learning. Literary critics have not always been linguists; you now know more than many of them do about how to describe language. That is a good thing. We'll start practicing with two passages you can find by clicking on this link: Passages for Analysis.

Writing: You will have read Lincoln's Gettysburg Address as part of the Speaker in the Text, and you will have read the essay that makes an argument about what the stylistic effect of that essay is and what it is about the language that supports his case.

I'd like you to go to two Passages for Analysis, each a paragraph long, and study them for yourself. Start off by trying to find two or three adjectives to describe the speaking voice. Then write a list of things you notice about the style. Finally, write a pair of paragraphs describing as best you can how the things you have noticed about each passage might help describe why you used the adjectives you did after first reading the paragraph.

This may seem pretty difficult--but you are only getting your feet wet here. (There is a metaphor for you!) Do what you can, and that will set you up for better learning when we look at those and other paragraphs in class.

Thursday, May 21

Three Practice Sentences for Thursday's Midterm

1. Sally's playing baseball impressed her family.

2. The man who came to dinner ate a huge meal.

3. The pillow was placed in the room by the babysitter because she thought that she needed some rest.

(Send me a note if you want the key; I'll send it to you as an attachment.)

Reading: None

Writing: Midterm #2

You may bring your one-sheet Mini-Grammar, and you may write on that sheet anything you would like to write. You can also bring your cheat sheet from Midterm 1. You can bring a dictionary, but no electronic devices. Your exam will be principally on syntax, but as a review question I'll ask you for a morphemic and phonemic representation of one of the sentences you'll be asked to diagram.

Tuesday, May 19

Reading: Review for Mini-exam

You may bring your one-sheet Mini-Grammar, and you may write on that sheet anything you would like to write. You can bring a dictionary, but no electronic devices.

We'll do review sentences in hour 1, and we'll do a mini-midterm in hour two.

Writing: Exercises:

1. For readers to buy books in bookstores stimulates local economies.

2. Leaving class late meant that Sherry needed to run to the bus stop.

3. That Al's car was burglarized tramatized his roommate.

4. Paul dropped his wallet while he was running down the road

5. A day that has a rain shower can cause trouble for people who have forgotten their umbrellas.

(In #5, the verb is "can cause." It features the auxiliary verb "can." We haven't dealt with verb structures--except with the passive, where you have learned about the passive auxiliary. Auxiliary verbs are, of course, very frequently used. We'll look at them more as we move to actual texts.)

Thursday, May 14

Reading: Re-read Part 1 of the Metaphor Essay, and pay special attention to the section on Semantic Features.

Writing: Then pick two of the cat sentences and explain what semantic features associated with "cat" you think are relevant to the metaphors you have selected (don't try this with sentence 18).

And then: some more practice sentences:

1. For a person to walk to Tacoma in a day means that they walk fast.

2. England was invaded by the Normans in 1066.

3. China's last emperor was deposed in 1911.

4. Our next reading asks for you to apply the things that we have learned to literary examples.

(This last sentence is X-rated, not for the normal reason but because it has some tricky bits. You DO, however, have the knowledge to analyze it, even if you may not have the patience to figure it out! See how far you can get....)

Tuesday, May 12

Reading: Conceptual Metaphor, (Part 2 of the Metaphor essay).

Writing: Please give me Basic Structure diagrams of these five sentences:

1. Charlie's throwing the ball pleased the gallery.

2. For Charlie to throw a curveball indicated that he learned a new grip.

3. Carolyn laid down the cards because she had a royal flush.

4. That my friend was robbed by a banker created chaos in the office.

5. The man who won the prize received the trophy from Sam.

Thursday, May 7

Reading:, Part 1: Literary Metaphor (which includes "the Semantics of Metaphor"). We will, of course, be doing syntax for the next couple weeks, but we will start developing your understanding of "Semantics" and "Pragmatics" as we do so, as if in parallel. So:

Writing: First, find or create three different sentences with metaphors in them. Use the terminology of linguistics to explain how each of the metaphors in your examples works.

(This may be a difficult exercise, but you don't have to make them complicated metaphors!)

And second: supply tree diagrams for the following three sentences:

1.  The new, sparkling day brought memories to his mind. 

2.  My having lost my wallet complicated my life.

3.  For someone to answer the question correctly surprised the teacher.  

Tuesday, May 5

Reading: None for today, though you can get started on the reading for Thursday if you have time.

Writing: Create a Tree Diagram for each of the three sentences below.

(The third one may seem hard—but see how far you can get with it. Hint: What question does "while his daughter did homwork" answer? You will need the ADV → conj. S rule.)

1. The speedy student finished her exercises promptly. 

2. The judge ruled that the defendent owed the money.

3. Gabe played baseball while his daughter did homework.

Thursday, April 30

Reading: Syntax: Making Sense of the Constituent Structures of English parts I and II.

Writing: We introduced today's subject a week ago; the reading for today sets the matters we discussed out in a more organized way. At the end of the Syntax essay you'll find four sentences to practice your constituent structure analysis on. What you are doing is really only extending the same kind of attention to syntax that you have already been learning to exercise upon phonology and morphology. Here, too, you know a great deal more than you think you know—the syntax of any language is very complex. But there are still ways to simplify by recognizing the underlying rules and structures. That's the project for today.

Again, do the best you can. You do already "know" all of this, even if many of you will find it challenging to bring that knowledge to consciousness.

Tuesday, April 28


You may bring a Study Sheet to the exam; otherwise, it is a closed book exam. The Study Sheet must be an 8.5"x11" piece of paper, with writing on one side only. No xeroxes or pasting in of information—everything must be in your own handwriting (you may use any language you wish, however). You will be asked to turn the Study Sheet in along with your exam.

You may also bring a printed dictionary should you wish to do so. (No electronic dictionaries.)

Most of you will finish the exam within an hour; you will, however, have the full two hours of the class period to work on the exam.

Thursday, April 23

Reading: Review for the exam. Today you will have a Mini-exam. It will count for 15% of your midterm grade and will be held in the FIRST class hour. The Maxi-midterm (for the remaining 85% of your grade) will be held on April 30.

Writing: Practice Midterm. This is an actual midterm I have given in the past. If you can pass this test, you will be able to pass the upcoming midterm.

Tuesday, April 21

Reading: As a way to summarize and make clear what we have read in our text, you can now read "Morphology: Once More from the Top." Most of it just repeats in new words what you have already learned, but it also introduces two new pairs of terms: functional and lexical, and productive and non-productive. We'll discuss these in class on Tuesday to make sure you've understood what you've read. (What you will need to know about Morphology for the exam is all in this reading.)

When you get to the end of that reading, continue on to read as well the following section on Phonological Rules.

Writing: Here are four more sentences. Again do a morphemic analysis of all four, and do a phonemic and phonetic analysis of sentence #1.

1. Morphology requires attention to etymologies.

2. The experiment exploded after the biochemist had plugged in the generator.

3. Dictionaries can be extraordinarily helpful when researching how different words were formed.

4. The kittens wrestled with unrelenting effort.


For number 5 below, give me a phonemic analysis of the phonetic form given here. Then list the phonological rules that the speaker of this sentence used to transform the phonemic form into the phonetic form. (We've done some of this in class, but it will still seem confusing for some of you. Do your best, and don't worry if it doesn't seem to come out right. And be sure you read the Blackboard section on Phonological Rules before you start!!) (And yes, this will be on the midterm.)

5. [wʌ’dǝ yǝ Ɵɪ͂ŋk’ǝ ðǝ ge͂m’?]

Thursday, April 16

Reading: C&A, Chapter 4, pp 98-108, and 118-122.

Writing: Exercise 4.1, and the following 3 sentence exercise:

Give me, first, a morphological analysis of each, and then, just sentence #1, give me a phonemic and a phonetic analysis as well.

For the morphemic analysis, be sure to label as necessary all categories listed in today's reading: root (or matrix), affix (including “prefix, suffix”), free, bound, open, closed, derivational, inflectional.

1. I wanted to go to the Superbowl.

2. William yelled so loudly that his vocal chords needed reconstruction.

3. Sherman gave the most animated postgame interview ever.


Tuesday, April 14

Reading: C&A, Chapter 3, pp 77-82, 86-89 (including the Summary).

Writing: Phonetic transcription exercise with Sonnet 95. Do a phonetic transcription of the whole poem.

Thursday, April 9

Reading: C&A, Chapter 3, pp 62-77 (top paragraph).

Writing: Exercises 2 and 3a in section 3.1 (skip the intro to 3a)

Tuesday, April 7

Reading: C&A, Chapter 2, pp 32-42, 49-52, 56 (Summary).

Writing: Response Paper on the reading. What do you think about prescriptive and descriptive ways of describing and using language? What usages do you avoid or prefer? Do you always avoid/prefer them, or only in some situations? How would those situations differ? Do you know why you avoid them/prefer them? Where did your sense of strictures come from? (P.S. Whatever you may think, you DO in fact quite closely monitor your word and syntax choices—though you may never have noticed it!)

Thursday, April 2

Reading: C&A, Chapter 1, pp 1-13, 20-27 (including the Summary), and the online syllabus. Perfect Quiz on Thursday.


Your Language Self-Profile, Step 1

You will be doing a language profile of your own language use as one of your term projects. Step 1 will be due on Thursday of this week; Step 2 will be due at the end of the quarter. This first step is just an opening snapshot of you as a speaker of English, and as such it will be your first measure of what you already know about language study and about you yourself as a language user.

The second step at the end of the quarter will ask you to revisit this essay, but at that point with the perspective that a term's worth of study will have provided. You will have acquired an extensive set of understandings about what language is and about how and why we use it. Step Two will thus give you a chance to demonstrate not just how much more sophisticated you will have become about your own language use by the end of this quarter, but also a good deal about how much you've learned about the study of language generally.

LSP Step 1: Background

You will be working over the next 10 weeks through a series of ways of thinking about how people use the English language. Technically, we’ll survey phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics, and then we’ll go on to look at language in use—particularly the ways in which utterances can be meaningful in extra-literal ways.

Through all of this I hope it becomes very clear that being a speaker of a language is always a balancing act between what “the language speaking community” defines as appropriate sounds/words/modes of expression (the constraints on us as speakers), on one hand, and what any given individual’s own language experience and/or creativity enables him or her to bring to a given speech situation (the variation or diversity or creativity we display as speakers), on the other.

In all that you write, please believe that I’m really interested in what you actually do when you speak English. I don’t care whether the differences you find between the way you speak and others speak are huge or small, but I do want you to sort through what you do as a speaker and writer of English and locate a set of identifying characteristics of YOUR idiolect.

The Writing

This assignment asks you to write a 2-3 page description of yourself as a user of English. This will be the first step towards taking yourself as a “case study” for this project. You won't yet know a lot about linguistics, but you are nevertheless already the best authority there is on your particular idiolect. You are thus the insider here, and your job is to give me a verbal snapshot of your linguistic self as best you can.

So describe your language use now—i.e., do you always speak English? or do you speak another language in your daily life? If you are a native speaker what do you see as your strengths? or your challenges as a user of English? How would you describe your language use? What "accent" do you think you have? What are your favorite words? Why? If you are an English language learner, think about your strengths, and about what you want to do better. What problems crop up in your efforts to speak with or write to others? like classmates or professors? Can you tell a story that illustrates these issues?

Other questions you might address: What is the richest part of your vocabulary? What kind of writer are you? What is your strength? What are your challenges?

In Short: Think of yourself in your role as user of English, and describe and illustrate as best you can your own particular idiolect.

Ordinarily, a good essay in this class would be well-focused, equipped with well-selected detail/example, as complete as 3 pages allow, and written in an engaging, colloquial English. But since you only have a couple days to do this, and most of you don't yet know a lot about how linguists describe the ways we use language, the criterion is simply ECI: Engaged Critical Intelligence.

(This assignment is based on an assignment designed by Professor Colette Moore.)