Learning Goals for the Linguistics Major

GENERAL: There are specific learning goals expected of Linguistics majors. Students should be able to analyze and explain the structure of sounds, words, and sentences in language data drawn from a wide representative sample of the world's languages. As a result, they should be able to explain the properties of linear order, categorization, and hierarchical structure in each of these components of grammar. They should also be able to articulate the defining properties of human language, which include innateness, creativity, recursion, and displacement.

SYNTAX: When it comes to the structure of sentences and phrases, students should be able to recognize syntactic patterns in English and other languages for which glosses are provided and to utilize the theoretical concepts of syntactic theory in order to describe and analyze such patterns. They should be able to analyze the structure of reasonably complex sentences and to represent them precisely by drawing syntactic diagrams. The students should also be able to test the predictions of the syntactic theory by gathering relevant data and determining whether they conform to the theory or not.

PHONOLOGY: As far as phonology is concerned, students should be able to find sound patterns in data sets and characterize these patterns in terms of contemporary theories of grammar. They should develop a sense of what is natural in speech sound inventories and sound change processes. They should also be able to explain the differences between contemporary theories/models of how sounds are stored and produced.

LANGUAGE USAGE: Students should also be able to recognize and analyze the patterns of language usage as researched in one or more of the following linguistic subdisciplines: pragmatics/discourse, sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics, anthropological linguistics.

WRITING: Finally, through their Writing Intensive project, and possibly other term papers as well, students should be able to demonstrate their ability to write a scholarly paper in linguistics, based on being able to do a linguistic analysis, to perform a literature search, and to use the relevant computer proficiency skills in the process.  

 

Learning Outcomes for Specific Courses

ENG/LIN 2720: Basic Concepts in Linguistics

Students successfully completing ENG/LIN 2720 will be able to:

1. describe and exemplify the distinguishing properties of human language

2. relate a range of basic concepts in various subfields of linguistics to English and other languages

3. use established terminology and analytical tools, such as the International Phonetic Alphabet and syntactic diagrams, for analyzing and describing language, its structure, and its use. 

 

ENG/LIN 3700: Structure of English

Students successfully completing ENG/LIN 3700 will be able to:

1. do a basic structural analysis of spoken English at the levels of sounds (phonetics/phonology), words (morphology), and sentences (syntax)

2. use the International Phonetic Alphabet to do both transcription and reverse transcription

3. break words into morphemes and use tree diagrams to show word structure

4. analyze sentence structure in terms of both form and function

5. explain the difference between prescriptive and descriptive grammars, and recognize that language is a dynamic, changing system

 

ENG/LIN 5720: Linguistics and Education

Students successfully completing ENG/LIN 5720 will be able to:

1. apply linguistic concepts to a language arts curriculum using the fundamental structures of English, including phonetics, phonology, morphology, and syntax

2. explain the difference between prescriptive and descriptive grammars

3. evaluate current approaches to teaching grammar, and recognize classroom challenges to both students and teachers

4. explain sociolinguistic concepts such as dialect, standard and non-standard English, and how they are negotiated in the classroom

5. recognize that language is a dynamic, changing system

 

ENG/LIN 5730: English Grammar

Students successfully completing ENG/LIN 5730 will be able to:

1. analyze any given sentence of English into its grammatical components

2. represent the hierarchical structure of simple and complex sentences

3. identify the lexical category of each word, as well as the strings of words constituting phrases

4. apply appropriate tests to determine which category each word or phrase belongs to

 

ENG/LIN 5700: Introduction to Linguistic Theory

Students successfully completing ENG/LIN 5700 will be able to:

1. analyze and explain the structure of sounds, words, and sentences in language data drawn from a wide representative sample of the world's languages

2. explain the properties of linear order, categorization, and hierarchical structure, in each of the components of grammar

3. articulate the defining properties of human language, which include innateness, creativity, recursion, and displacement

 

ENG 5710/LIN 5290: Phonology

Students successfully completing ENG 5710/LIN 5290 will be able to:

1. find sound patterns in data sets and characterize these patterns in terms of contemporary theories of grammar

2. explain what speech sounds and sound change processes are widely encountered across languages, and what speech sounds and sound change processes are comparatively rare

3. explain the differences between contemporary theories/models of how sounds are stored and produced

 

ENG 5740/LIN 5300: Syntax

Students successfully completing ENG 5740/LIN 5300 will be able to:

1. recognize syntactic patterns in English and other languages for which glosses are provided

2. utilize the theoretical concepts and tools of syntactic theory in order to describe and analyze such patterns

3. analyze the structure of reasonably complex sentences

4. test the predictions of the syntactic theory by gathering relevant data and determining whether they conform to the theory or not

5. be fluent in syntactic terminology

 

ENG/LIN 5745: Semantics

Students successfully completing ENG/LIN 5745 will be able to:

1. explain the principle of compositionality and what is meant by truth-conditional meaning;

2. use predicate logic to analyze the semantics of natural language expressions, including quantifiers;

3. distinguish between entailments, presuppositions, and implicatures;

4. use Gricean reasoning, the most prominent theory of pragmatic enrichment, to calculate the implicatures of an utterance

 

ENG/LIN 6720: Topics in Language

Students successfully completing ENG/LIN 67200 will be able to:

1. explain the connections of the topic to other topics and subfields of linguistics

2. demonstrate understanding of the topic in a term paper or final project

3. demonstrate other abilities as appropriate for each topic


BA in Linguistics Assessment Report

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