Introduction to Language (Ling 1811) sec 1

Fall 2007

Class Time 9:00 to 9:50 MWF Humanities 458

Introduction to Language is a lower division course that provides an introduction to linguistics. Here the term Linguistics is used in the sense used by American Linguists as the scientific study of Language. It does not mean knowing or studying many languages. As a scientific study, it will have a mathematic component to it. Examples of linguistic phenomena will be taken primarily from English, but we examine other languages as well. Linguistics 1811 counts as Category 2 of the UMD Liberal Education Requirements. This requirement to develop the develop the ability to use and analyze formal symbolic systems. Emphasis should be on theory and the development of skills in symbolic systems, logic, and critical thinking.

Instructor: Michael D. Linn
Office: Humanities 435
Office Hours: 10:00 to 11:00 MWF and by appointment
Office Phone: 726-8525 Email
Home Phone: 728-2245 Call before 10:00 P.M.

Office Hours 10:00 to 11:00 MWF and by appointment

How to get in touch with me: I will be in my office during office hours and will be around considerably more often. You have my email address. Finally you may call me either at the office or at home.

Attendance and Evaluation: It is important for you to be in class. More than six absences will lower your grade half a letter and more than eight will lower it a letter. Every homework assignment is expected to be turned in on time. If there is a special problem with attendance, contact me to make arrangements. You must turn in your assignments on or before the due date. Late assignment will not be accepted. Email submissions will be accepted.

Grades are calculated using the following table:

      Group pts
Homework 5 assignments 5 pts per assignment 25 pts
Quizes 2 8 pts per quiz 16 pts
Midterm Exam 1 20 pts. 20 pts
Final Exam1 1 30 pts 30 pts
Total     100

Final grades            
  93-100 A 80-82   67-69 D+
  90-92 A- 77-79 C+ 63-66 D
  87-89 B+ 73-76 C 60-62 D-
  83-86 B 70-72 C- 59 or less F

Tentative Day-by-Day Assignments – subject to change. The daily readings will be the basis of daily assignments. Also check my homepage ( for changes and practice exercises. After Ling 1811 is on it, updates will be listed there along with practice exercises. Unless stated explicitly, exercises do not need to be written out to hand in.

Sept 04 Class Orientation
  06 Introduction pages 2 to 29 and practice exercises File 1.3 (p. 31) and in File 1.4 ex. 22 and 23 pp. 32-33
  11 Phonetics: File 2,0, pages 38 to 59. You can hear and practice the various phonetics sounds of the IPA at a link to this address is provided at the end of my home page under phonetic practice.
  13 Continue on phonetics including File 2.4 (pages 59 to 68) and phonetic practice in class. Look at exercises in File 2.8 on pages 91 and 92.
  18 Phonemes and allophones (File 3.1) pp. 101 to 116.
  20 File 3.5 (pages 127 to 136) and practice problems 23 through 30. First homework assignment give out.
  25 Continue on phonology probles and do problems 31, 36, and 38
  27 First Homework Assignment due. Begin File 4.4, Words and Word Formation (pages 149-162)
Oct 02 File 4.5 Morphological Analysis (pages 172 to 178 through number 10.)
  04 Morphological Analysis 29 and 30 on page 183, no. 32 (Quiche) on page 184 and Swahili on page 187. Second Homework Assignment given out.
  09 Review for quiz and catch-up on assignments
  11 Second Homework Assigment due. Review for the First Quiz.
  16 First Quiz
  18 Go over quiz and begin Chapter 5, syntax 194 to 203.
  23 Lexical Categories (204 to 207) and begin Phrase Structure Files 5.4 pages 208 to 215.
  25 Continue on Phrase Structure File 5.4 pages 208 to 215 and Tests for Structure and Constituency (216 tp 220). Third homework Assignment given out
  30 Go over exercises on page 223 to 230.
Nov 01 Third Homework Assignment Due and review for Midterm Exam
  06 Midterm Examination
  08 Begin Chapter 8, Language Acquisition p. 310 to 342
  13 Handout Fourth Homework Assignment and continue of Chapter 8.
  15 Go over practice exercises on page 343 to 349.
  20 Continue on practice exercises.
  22 Enjoy Thanksgiving Break
  27 Video: American Tongues and Fourth Homework Assignment due,
  29 Chapter 10 Language Variation pages 406 to 441.
Dec 04 Continue on Chapter 10 and give out Fifth Homework Assignment
  06 Go over problems in Chapter to on pages 434 to 441. Specific ones to be assigned after class discussion.
  11 Fifth Homework Assignment due and discussion of pages 434 to 441.
  13 Last Day of Class. Review for the Final Examination
  20 Final Examination 8:00 to 9:50

"Academic dishonesty tarnishes UMD's reputation and discredits the accomplishments of students. UMD is committed to providing students every possible opportunity to grow in mind and spirit. This pledge can only be redeemed in an environment of trust, honesty, and fairness. As a result, academic dishonesty is regarded as a serious offense by all members of the academic community. In keeping with this ideal, this course will adhere to UMD's Student Academic Integrity Policy, which can be found at This policy
sanctions students engaging in academic dishonesty with penalties up to and including expulsion from the university for repeat offenders."

"The instructor will enforce and students are expected to follow the University's Student Conduct Code ( Appropriate classroom conduct promotes an environment of academic achievement and integrity. Disruptive classroom behavior that substantially or repeatedly interrupts either the instructor's ability to teach, or student
learning, is prohibited. Disruptive behavior includes inappropriate use of technology in the classroom. Examples include ringing cell phones, text-messaging, watching videos, playing computer games, doing email, or surfing the Internet on your computer instead of note-taking or
other instructor-sanctioned activities."