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English 370

Spring, 2022

Assignments and Updates

See also: Blackboard

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FINAL!

The final will be on a link from this page and will open at 2:30pm today, June 7, 2022. There are four different passages, each quite different from the others. You are to choose ONE of the passages and write about it. Instructions precede the passages--be sure to read them carefully! You will have until 4:25pm; few of you will still be working at that point.

If something goes wrong, send me an email at cicero@uw.edu

 

 

 

Wednesday, June 1

Reading: Chapter 14, pp.467-478.

These pages are on World English. The short version is that at this point English has become something like a World English. It isn't just spoken in America and the remnants of the British Empire, it has become an important language in many countries. So, what does this mean to English speakers? And how did this happen? Will it stay this way? Where is English headed?

Writing:

a)As I explained to you last Wednesday, we will be doing a mock Final in class

b) Linguistic Self-Profile: Step 2. Due Anytime between now and June 6

The Assignment:

This is the same assignment you wrote as we began the course, now done with your newly acquired knowledge of phonetics/phonemics, morphology, syntax, metaphor, conversational pragmatics, and stylistics. The second step of this assignment asks you to reflect upon your experience in this class with language and to construct a 2-3 page essay about you as a language user. You know more now than you did ten weeks ago, and this is asking you to reread what you wrote then and write now about what you know that you didn't know then. Some of what you might talk about now:

  • Language / dialect factors: How would you describe your regional or personal dialect (your idiolect)? Are you multilingual / multidialectal? If so, what languages do you speak, and how, if at all, is your dialect affected by your knowledge of other languages? How do others respond to your dialect(s), styles, and/or language(s)? And what do you know now that you didn't about other dialects of English?
  • Family / community factors: When you did you learn language and what do you remember about your early relationship to written and spoken language? Where are you from? What languages / dialects did your parents speak with you? How did your spoken language change when you went to school? What have your teachers told you about your use of language? How have your friends affected your speech?
  • Register / style factors: do you use different levels of language in different circumstances or to different people? Using concrete examples, how does your formal speech differ from your informal speech? How does your written language differ from your spoken language? Are you aware of particular vocabulary items which are characteristically yours?
  • Individual factors: Have you developed any quirky or idiosyncratic ways of using languge? How do you feel about language (reading, speaking, etc.)? What are your pleasures with language? What do you detest? How? Why?

In Short: Think as you did ten weeks ago of yourself in your role as a speaker of English, and re-describe and re-illustrate your own particular idiolect. This is due no later than Monday, June 6

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

Wednesday, May 25

Reading: Chapter 12: pp. 377-382; 391-394; 402-413

Writing: TBA

Monday, May 23

Reading: We are reading further in Chapter 8, from p245-256; 263-67.

Writing: Do exercises 8.2, 8.3

Wednesday, May 18

I'm a little slow getting this up--But here it is--do what you can......

Reading: Chapter 8 pp236-249

Writing: We will do exercises in class........

Monday, May 16

Reading: More on Metaphor

Two things. First, read the material on the Blackboard about Literary Metaphor. You can find that here.

Then, after reading this account of how metaphors work, read "Cat in the Rain"(click on "Cat in the Rain") —a two-page short, short, short story by Ernest Hemingway. This is a very different story from what we looked at on Wednesday in class, though here as there, Hemingway wanted to be as condensed as he could. As you read, your job is to look for any word that is connected with "cat." Once you have finished reading the story, then go back and first underline each and every reference to any sort of cat (not just the cat that is out in the rain), and second, write about how you think "cat" functions in different ways as a metaphor in the story. What features of cats does Hemingway invite you to transfer, and what features does he NOT invite you to transfer? (Hint: what is relevant to the metaphor of the cat early in the story may not be the same as what is relevant later on.)

Don't worry if you feel you are not very good at this. The point is not to be a great literary critic (you can become that NEXT week!), but only to approach the story from the perspective of one who has begun to think about metaphor in a more conscious and analytic way.

Wednesday, May 11

No homework--we were recovering from the midterm. And preparing for the rest of the course, which starts with metaphor and other forms of indirection in the way we talk and write to each other.

Monday, May 9

Midterm on phonetics, morphology and syntax. I will give an exam that will take the average person in class about an hour. Some of you will finish earlier, and others will take longer. You may have the entire class period to finish the exam--so don't worry about having time enough. We've been analyzing syntax for the past three weeks, along with phonology and morphology, both summarized by entries on the Blackboard page.

Syntax: I handed out a page on Wednesday with the syntax rules, and I advised you that you could write whatever you'd like on the blank backpage.No xeroxes or pasted on info, but you can write large or small--even post diagrams for yourself.

Phonology and Morphology: You can reach the summaries of morphology and of phonological rules (you'll need your book for the IPA) by clicking on numbers 6a and 6b at the top of the Blackboard page on this website (see link above).

 

Monday, May 2

Here is a mock Midterm. Take an hour to see how well you can do. We will go over the answers in class. You may use any of the materials you've read for these skills, and that includes the Ye Newe Mini-Grammar.[The actual Midterm will be a week from Monday on May 9.]

English 370

Mock Midterm (MM)

The point of a mock midterm is to locate whatever you may not yet understand about what we've been doing with syntax in particular.. Syntax can be confusing, and each of you will take in this material at different rates and in different ways. This MM is an effort to ensure everyone does well on Midterm day.

 

A. For each of the sentences below, give a) a Basic Structure diagram, b) a list of the T-rules necessary to change the Basic Structure into the Revised Structure, and c) show how those changes apply.

 

1. My playing the piano pleased the barking dogs. (20: 10 5 5)

 

2. The puppy that we brought home liked the little girl because she fed him everyday. (20: 10 5 5)

 

3. The baseball that left the park was hit by the powerful rookie. (25: 15 5 5)

 

4. For the new safe to be opened by a burglar surprised everyone who knew that the lock was electronic. (35: 20 10 5)

 

Optional 10 points Extra Credit:

 

5. Sam knew when he saw the claw-marks that his grandfather had died when his house was invaded by werewolves.

 

 

B. For sentence 1 above:

a. Give a phonemic transcription:

 

b. Give a morphological analysis (you may use a dictionary for the morphological analysis):

 

 

Wednesday, April 27

Reading: Continue reading How We Make Sentences: The Basics of English Language Constituent Structure This time read the last section, which is on passive constructions. That will be the last syntax-based topic we'll attend to.

We will be working with relative clauses and passive constructions in class.

See you tomorrow....

Monday, April 25

Reading: Continue reading How We Make Sentences: The Basics of English Language Constituent Structure This time read part 3 on Adverbials.

Writing: Here are 6 sentences. For each, create a tree diagram like those we introduced on Wednesday. We illustrated these relatively simple structures in class on Wednesday, and descriptions of what we did were described in Sections 1 and 2 in How We Make Sentences: The Basics of English Language Constituent Structure. Parts 1&2. You should also, however, read on to Part 3 on Adverbs--you will see one or more adverbs in 3 of the sentences below.

1. The tall stranger ate lunch.

2. The children swam and the adults barbequed vegetables.

3. The students studied the chapter.

4. The old, rickety car struggled uphill

5. A beetle crawled across the desktop.

6. After lunch, we took a walk.

We will also have just one hour of class on Monday; we will meet from 2:30-3:20

Wednesday, April 13

Writing: First we will again do some phonetics--focusing now on allophones.

Remember that there is a list of the allophones we'll use here on the Blackboard here.

Use the following opening of a famous novel from the 20th Century:

If you really want to hear about it, the first thing you’ll probably want to know is where I was born, and what my lousy childhood was like, and how my parents were occupied and all before they had me, and all that David Copperfield kind of crap, but I don’t feel like going into it, if you want to know the truth.

Reading: How We Make Sentences: The Basics of English Language Constituent Structure. Parts 1&2

Monday, April 11

We will review what we've done with phonetics and phonemics on Monday; go ahead and read in Chapter 4 pages: 98-108, 110-122.

Do exercise 4.1 on page 123.

Wednesday, April 6

Reading: Chapter 3, pp 62-77

Writing: Exercises, pp 91 1a, 1b, 1c; 2; 3c, and then take a try with this:

 

Gwendolyn Brooks, kitchenette building

We are things of dry hours and the involuntary plan,

Grayed in, and gray. “Dream” makes a giddy sound,

Not strong like “rent,” “feeding a wife,” “satisfying a man.”

 

But could a dream send up through onion fumes

Its white and violet, fight with fried potatoes

And yesterday’s garbage ripening in the hall,

Flutter, or sing an aria down these rooms

 

Even if we were willing to let it in,

Had time to warm it, keep it very clean,

Anticipate a message, let it begin?

 

We wonder. But not well! not for a minute!

Since Number Five is out of the bathroom now,

We think of lukewarm water, hope to get in it.

 

 

Monday, April 4

Reading: HEW, Read Chapter 1, 1-13, 20-27 and the Syllabus. Syllabus Perfect Quiz.

Writing: Answer Exercise 1.4: 1-6, 9,12

Linguistic Self-Profile: Step 1 (Modified during posting online)

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, 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 any given speech situation, on the other. We will talk about how that means that variation—or diversity—is always at the center of our language practices.

Thus each of us has our own idiolect, which is the sum of our ability to participate in the set of discourse communities and stylistic registers that we ourselves know. All of us in this classroom share some ways of speaking—that’s how we can make sense to each other. But in fact NO ONE will or even could have identical language experience. The differences between us may not always be large, but they are nevertheless there. Some of you have multi-language backgrounds, some have different regional or national English dialects, and others will have essentially shared Northwest American English. But even if you only share the local northwest dialect, you will still have different discourse communities to which you belong, and that fact will affect in some degree how you perform English. Thus if you belong to a special business or trade, you are likely to have a set of words in your idiolect that no one else here has. Or you may have made some habitual choices about how you greet people, or how you swear (!). The point is, as much standardization as there is in language, there is also a lot of variation.

In the old days, traditional “guardians” of language worried about variation. If we don’t do everything we can to standardize English in every respect, these folks felt, the whole language would take on more and more variety and difference until the whole thing collapsed! Few linguists would now accept that possibility; indeed, most would think it not just impossible, but deeply injurious to our culture’s future if it were so. For if language is to be able to make room for new and more powerful modes of expression and for new and differently educated speakers, we’d better be able to innovate. Linguistic variation is thus not just possible; it is also a very great asset.

In that context, perhaps you will 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 Assignment.

This assignment asks you to reflect upon your experience with language and to construct a 2-3 page essay about you as a language user. You will be taking yourself as a “case study” for this project and therefore you are the best authority there is on which aspects of your history to focus upon. Here are some ideas and questions to consider (though please do not go through and address these as a list!):

  • Language / dialect factors: How would you describe your regional or personal dialect (your idiolect)? Are you multilingual / multidialectal? If so, what languages do you speak, and how, if at all, is your dialect affected by your knowledge of other languages? How do others respond to your dialect(s), styles, and/or language(s)?
  • Family / community factors: When you did you learn language and what do you remember about your early relationship to written and spoken language? Where are you from? What languages / dialects did your parents speak with you? How did your spoken language change when you went to school? What have your teachers told you about your use of language? How have your friends affected your speech?
  • Register / style factors: do you use different levels of language in different circumstances or to different people? Using concrete examples, how does your formal speech differ from your informal speech? How does your written language differ from your spoken language? Are you aware of particular vocabulary items which are characteristically yours?
  • Individual factors: Have you developed any quirky or idiosyncratic ways of using language? How do you feel about language (reading, speaking, etc.)? What are your pleasures with language? What do you detest? How? Why?

In Short: Think of yourself in your role as speaker of English, and describe and illustrate your own particular idiolect.

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