English 256: Introduction to Linguistics

Instructor: Dr. Lynn Gordon
Office: Avery 347
Email Address: lynn.gordon@wsu.edu
Telephone: (509) 335-2117/(509) 332-2591
Office Hours: W 3-5 and by appointment

Class Announcements

  • Answers to the Sample Final Exam
    The answers to the sample final exam are now posted here and linked on the Course Materials page.  It is protected with the Class Dropbox password.

    Question:  How do we answer the question about the order of morphemes (question 8(b))?
    Answer: After you’ve identified the morphemes, pick out the words with the most morphemes—then pull them apart and state the order in which they occur.  So from the Turkish data, 

    ellerinize  ‘to your (pl) hands’ = el-ler-in-iz-e   ‘hand’ Noun Root - Plural - 2nd Person Possessor - Plural Possessor - ‘to’ Case Marker
    evlerimiz  ‘our houses’ = ev-ler-im-iz                 ‘house’ Noun Root - Plural -1st Person Possessor - Plural Possessor - no Case Marker

    Check some  shorter words:

    ev-im-iz   ‘our house’ = ‘house’ Noun Root - 1st Person Possessor - Plural Possessor

    el-ler  ‘hands’

    el-ler-im  ‘my hands’

    Now you can see, when a word contains all the overt morphemes it can, they come in the order

                        Noun Root - Plural -  Person of Possessor - Plural Possessor -  Case Marker

    Only the noun root must occur to make a noun, so

                        Noun Root (- Plural) (- Person of Possessor) (- Plural Possessor) (-  Case Marker)

    Posted May 1, 2016, 4:49 PM by Lynn Gordon
  • English Compounds Handout
    As noted in class today, I forgot to post the handout on English compounds.  It's now linked to the Course Materials page and available here.
    Posted Apr 29, 2016, 3:02 PM by Lynn Gordon
  • Last Homework Assignment
    Do the sample final exam (available here) and distributed in class, before class on Friday, 29 April 2016.
    Posted Apr 22, 2016, 4:26 PM by Lynn Gordon
  • Assignment extended to Friday, 22 April.
    Please remember to turn in the last page on Regional Dialect handout so we can discuss the results in class on Friday.
    Posted Apr 20, 2016, 7:35 PM by Lynn Gordon
  • Sample Questions for Quiz 6 (Scheduled for Monday, 11 April)
    1. Given the following set of English words, please describe their semantic relationships in terms of synonymy, hyponymy, and antonymy. If the words are opposites, identify them as complementary antonyms, gradable antonyms, converses or reverse antonyms.      speak     yell     whisper   scream     shout   
    2. Use the notion of analytic, contradictory and synthetic sentences to describe the differences in the meaning and truth values in these sentences.

                  a. My boss is a man.

                  b. The queen of England is a man.

                  c. My paternal grandfather is my father's father.

    3. The utterance  The organist extracted himself from the wreckage  presupposes that _________________________________________________________

    4. Grice stated a set of maxims or postulates which he proposed govern the speech of a cooperative participant in a conversation. The maxims are listed below. Using whichever of these maxims seems relevant (either as something being adhered to or being violated), explain how the following remark could be interpreted as a compliment and how they could be interpreted as an insult.

      What can I say about that movie? Well, the music was beautiful. 

      Be specific as to what conditions must hold for each interpretation and how those conditions together with the Gricean maxims determine the hearer's interpretation. 

      Grice's Maxims ("Logic and conversation", in Syntax and Semantics: Speech Acts, 1975, edited by Peter Cole and Jerry Morgan: 45-7):

      1. The Maxim of Quantity
         a.  Make your contribution as informative as is required (for the current purposes of the exchange).
         b.  Do not make your contribution more informative than is required.

      2.  The Maxim of Quality: Try to make your contribution one that is true.
         a.  Do not say what you believe to be false.
         b. Do not say that for which you lack adequate evidence.

      3. The Maxim of Relevance: Be relevant.

      4. The Maxim of Manner: Be perspicuous.   
         a. Avoid obscurity of expression.
         b. Avoid ambiguity.
         c. Be brief (avoid unnecessary prolixity).
         d. Be orderly.

    Posted Apr 11, 2016, 1:24 PM by Lynn Gordon
  • Semantics Homework
    The semantics homework is linked on the Course Materials page and here and due in the Class Dropbox before class on Wednesday, 6 April.
    Posted Apr 2, 2016, 3:46 PM by Lynn Gordon
  • Next Quiz
    The next quiz is scheduled for Monday, 28 March.  It will consist of the same kind of questions as those on the last homework assignment.
    Posted Mar 25, 2016, 9:16 PM by Lynn Gordon
  • First Syntax Homework
    The first syntax homework is available here and on the Course Materials page.
    Posted Mar 21, 2016, 4:24 PM by Lynn Gordon
  • Next Quiz
    The next quiz is scheduled for Friday, 4 March.
    Posted Mar 2, 2016, 4:27 PM by Lynn Gordon
  • Morphology Assignment #2 Due Date Change
    Morphology Assignment #2 is now due before class on Wednesday, 2 March 2016.


    Posted Feb 27, 2016, 12:57 AM by Lynn Gordon
  • Next Quiz
    is scheduled for Wednesday, 24 February 2016.
    Posted Feb 22, 2016, 6:47 PM by Lynn Gordon
  • Change in due date for Morphology Homework #1
    The due date for the current homework has been changed from Friday, 19 February, to Monday, 22 February.
    Posted Feb 17, 2016, 4:49 PM by Lynn Gordon
  • Next Quiz
    The next quiz (phonology problem + some phonetics) will happen on Friday, 12 February.
    Posted Feb 8, 2016, 3:35 PM by Lynn Gordon
  • No recording Wednesday, 3 February 2016
    Due to a computer glitch, there is no recording of today's class.  A link to today's PowerPoint is available on the Course Materials page.
    Posted Feb 3, 2016, 6:34 PM by Lynn Gordon
  • Homework #1
    Homework #1--deadline changed to before class on Wednesday, 27 January-- is available as a Word file and as an Acrobat file.
    Posted Jan 22, 2016, 11:57 PM by Lynn Gordon
  • Welcome
    to the class website for WSU English 256: Introduction to Linguistics for Spring 2016!
    Posted Jan 4, 2016, 8:30 PM by Lynn Gordon
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