Dr. Lynn Gordon
telephone:  5-2117/2-2591
office:  Avery 347
class website:
e-mail address:
office hours: On-line WF 4-5 and  by appointment (If you want an appointment, just catch me at the end of class or e-mail me to find a time.)

Course Objectives
We will be discussing a number of things, including the terms and concepts of traditional English grammar, the history of the traditional approaches and their relationship to "school" grammar, and the application of traditional and contemporary methods to the analysis of English sentences.   The primary goals of the class are to enable you to
  • analyze a range of English sentences;
  • get access to the literature on traditional English grammar;
  • evaluate traditional descriptions, prescriptions, and methods; and
  • apply the methods of description to new constructions.
The primary goal of this class is not, therefore, to improve your written or spoken English, but to learn to apply of one kind of analysis to English sentences. This kind of analysis introduces the terms and methods of traditional analysis which underly style sheets and manuals. It should, therefore, make editing and revising to a specific style sheet much easier.

Homework & Class Exercises20%

The course textbook will be distributed in class on CD and will be available on-line.

Tentative Schedule
Week 1Introduction to language and grammar; issues in grammar
Week 2-3Verbs: full (lexical) verbs and auxiliary verbs
Week 4-5Nouns, pronouns and determiners
Week 6-7Modifiers; Prepositions and particles
Week 8-10Types of Sentences; Grammatical relations in simple sentences
Week 11Ellipsis; Coordination and compound sentences
Week 12-15Subordination and complex sentences

The computer exercises consist of software available for Mac or Windows machines. The computer exercises for this class will be distributed on flash drives. If you do not have a computer, you will need to arrange to use a friend's or get access to the Avery Microcomputer Lab or Student Computing Services Labs. Neill Public Library also has computers with free Internet access, but use of these computers is quite restricted: The library has a limited hours and you compete with all of Pullman for use. The results of your computer exercises are kept in log files turned in class or by email. Each individual exercise will be graded credit/no credit. You will get full credit for each individual homework exercise you complete on time.

The quizzes will take place every week or two--whenever I feel like a testable amount of material has been dealt with. They will typically be announced one class session in advance, but they can occur without prior notice. The quizzes take the place of a midterm exam. The quizzes are all open-note. No individual quiz will be worth much (no more than 5% of the grade), but as a group they represent more than a third of your course grade.

I don't take attendance--you are adults and are expected to allocate your time intelligently. However, this is not a course that people succeed in without attending and participating in actively. If you feel like you don't understand what is happening in class, failing to come to class will not improve your comprehension. If you find yourself unwilling to come to class, I strongly suggest dropping. If class attendance is remarkably low, I reserve the right to give an attendance quiz--which is worth half of a regular quiz and just asks you for your name and student ID number.

Final Exam
The final exam is scheduled for 3:10 p.m. - 5:10 p.m. on Thursday, 13 December. The final exam is required to pass the course and will be cumulative.  You will be allowed to bring one standard letter-size page of notes into the exam.

Disability Policy
Reasonable accommodations are available for students with a documented disability. If you have a disability and need accommodations to fully participate in this class, please either visit or call the Access Center (Washington Building 217; 509-335-3417) to schedule an appointment with an Access Advisor. All accommodations MUST be approved through the Access Center.

Academic Integrity
As an institution of higher education, Washington State University is committed to principles of truth and academic honesty. All members of the University community share the responsibility for maintaining and supporting these principles. When a student enrolls in Washington State University, the student assumes an obligation to pursue academic endeavors in a manner consistent with the standards of academic integrity adopted by the University. To maintain the academic integrity of the community, the University cannot tolerate acts of academic dishonesty including any forms of cheating, plagiarism, or fabrication. Washington State University reserves the right and the power to discipline or to exclude students who engage in academic dishonesty.

You are expected to know and adhere to the rules on academic honesty as outlined in the WSU student handbook. If you violate those rules, depending on the degree of seriousness of your breach of academic integrity, you may fail the quiz or exam or the class as a whole and you may be reported to the Office of Student Conduct for further discipline.

Please be aware that the university has a comprehensive safety plan that can be viewed at, as well as one regarding emergencies at Emergency alerts are posted at