Elements of Linguistics 4101-6SEJO
The principal aim of the course “Elements of linguistics” is to acquaint the student with the theory as well as descriptive and analytic practice of contemporary linguistics, focusing primarily on the 19th and 20th centuries. The course provides an overview of selected schools, approaches, controversies and applications. Theoretical issues are illustrated with language data taken mainly from English and Polish.
Students familiarize themselves with the basic terms and conceptual categories in linguistics, beginning with general concepts like language and grammar. A variety of research traditions and theoretical frameworks are outlined (including the model of generative grammar). The internal components of the grammar are characterized in some detail, followed by a presentation of some grammatical interfaces as well as interdisciplinary links between linguistics and other disciplines (e.g. sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics). The crucial role of the fundamental linguistic dichotomies is emphasized and explained (such as form and function, synchrony vs diachrony). Elements of theoretical knowledge are used in practical problem solving (analytic tasks). It is demonstrated how linguistic knowledge and skills may be employed in other scholarly and scientific disciplines as well as in everyday life (e.g. applications of computational linguistics).
The course covers the following major topics:
- General terms and concepts in linguistics:
language, grammar, linguistics, language universals, the origins of language, etc.
- Morphology as a grammatical component and a linguistic discipline:
morpheme, morph and allomorph, types of morphemes, classification of morphological processes, inflection and derivation, principal conceptual categories encoded morphologically, the interfaces between morphology, the lexicon, and other components of the grammar
- Syntax as a grammatical component and a linguistic discipline:
traditional syntactic concepts and categories, an outline of generative syntax (phrase structure, transformations), subcategorization, recursiveness, syntactic typology
- Semantics as a grammatical component and a linguistic discipline:
lexical semantics vs. the meaning of phrases and sentences, types of semantic relations in the lexicon (synonymy, antonymy, hyponymy, etc.), semantic properties, thematic roles, predicate-argument structures, metaphor, idioms, semiotics, pragmatics
- Phonology as a grammatical component and a linguistic discipline:
differences between phonology and phonetics, theories and definitions of the phoneme, phoneme vs. allophone, the concept of phonological contrast, distinctive features, types of phonological processes and rules, phonotactics, syllable structure, prosodic phenomena
- Recapitulation: major schools and approaches in modern linguistics
Type of course
On completion of the course students should be able to:
1) define basic linguistic concepts and problems;
2) describe a given grammatical phenomenon using suitable terminology and methods;
3) assign language data to particular research domains within linguistics;
4) construct a language database in connection with a given problem;
5) illustrate grammatical categories with examples from English and/or Polish;
6) analyse the grammatical structure of a variety of expressions in English;
7) explain the main trends and developments in contemporary linguistics;
8) effectively co-operate with other members of the group in carrying out a collective task.
Throughout the course the student is expected to fulfil the following partial requirements: reading assignments (homework), active participation in classroom discussions and analysis of language data. There will be three written tests per semester (ca. 30 minutes each), plus one individual presentation (ca. 20 minutes each).
- Fromkin, V., Rodman, R., An Introduction to Language
- Blake, B., All About Language
- O’Grady, W., Dobrovolsky, M., Katamba, F., Contemporary Linguistics. An Introduction
- Radford, A., Atkinson, M., Britain, D., Clahsen, H., Spencer, A., Linguistics. An Introduction.
- Sapir, E., Language
Plus a selection of Internet resources.
Information on level of this course, year of study and semester when the course unit is delivered, types and amount of class hours - can be found in course structure diagrams of apropriate study programmes. This course is related to the following study programmes:
- Teaching Foreign Languages, English, French (2nd subject), full time studies, first cycle programme
- Teaching foreign languages: English, 2nd subj. teaching 'history and social studies'
Additional information (registration calendar, class conductors, localization and schedules of classes), might be available in the USOSweb system: