THIS SYLLABUS IS FOR FALL 2009.
|Homework assignments and weekly readings are linked to the class schedule and on LATTE. Please check it every week!|
Ling 100 is a general introduction to the nature, history, and use of human language, speech, and writing. It is appropriate for any undergraduate or graduate student interested in language or its use. Topics include:
The course has no prerequisites.
|Community Engaged / Experiential Learning|
This class will have a Community-Engaged Learning / Experiential Learning component. Students will record Waltham residents' speech, transcribe it, and create a linguistic resource for the academic community and the local community, with the guidance from the instructor and TAs. To create the linguistic resource, students will apply the knowledge of linguistics to annotating the transcript with information about the linguistic properties of the sound, structure, meaning, and context of the speech.
Meetings are scheduled for Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at 10:10pm, in Volen 105.
SOME Monday class meetings will be recitation/practice sessions (see schedule)!
There is one required text, available at the Brandeis bookstore.
Additional readings will be distributed in class and/or online.
In addition to doing the readings and attending class, students will be expected to complete four kinds of assignments for which they will be graded.
Waltham Speech Project
Small groups of students will be assigned specific portions of the Community Engaged/Experiential Learning project. The project will involve different groups of students engaging with the local residents to create a digital recording of a sample of their speech, creating a transcript of the recording, and annotating the transcript with phonetic, phonological, syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic information. A portion of lecture time and of the homework will be dedicated to training students in the tasks necessary for the project. A T.A. will meet with each group to discuss their portion of the project, and students will be individually graded on the annotation they produce. The results of everyone's efforts will be put together into a digital resource, which will be made available to local residents whose speech is analysed, as well as published to be utilized by the academic community.
There will be eleven homework assignments, handed out once a week. The homeworks will be usually (but not always!) due on the following Wednesday at the beginning of class. They will be graded on a scale of 0-10.
Your lowest homework grade will automatically be dropped at the end of the semester, and will not figure in the calculation of your final grade. If you skip any homework, that grade of zero will be dropped. Rules for homework submission:
- Your assignment is due at the beginning of class on the due day (usually Wednesday), 12:10 pm. It's your job to leave enough time to deal with any printing or other technical glitches that may arise.
- Assignments that are submitted after the end of class will be penalized 1 point. Assignments that arrive after midnight Wednesday (or the due date) will be penalized 2 points. No late assignments will be accepted after 12 noon on Friday, because that is when the answers will generally be posted.
- Email submissions are not accepted unless you have prior permission due to illness, school-related travel, or other extenuating circumstances.
- All homeworks must be either printed on the computer, or written in pen. - this is so that we could read the homeworks. Pencil-written homeworks smudge, and are generally hard to read, so we won't accept them.
- Make-up assignments will be provided only for students with proof of a medical or personal emergency.
A take-home midterm exam will be given out in October.
A comprehensive final exam will cover material from the entire course, but with more emphasis on the second half of the course not covered in the mid-term.
Attendance and Participation
Attendance at practice/recitation sessions will be checked every week when there is a recitation. Class attendance at lectures will be checked randomly. Attendance and participation is mandatory for passing this course. This is because we are not strictly following the textbook, and while assigned readings will provide a lot of information, the only way to learn what is covered is to attend.
Please be on time - lateness is disruptive to your own and others' learning.
While the class meetings on Wednesdays and Thursdays will mainly take the form of lectures, a certain amount of discussion will be helpful. The Monday classes will be for the most part dedicated to recitation-like review and in-class exercises, and students are expected to take an active role in these meetings.
The final grade for the course will be determined according to the following weights:
Homework assignments 50% Waltham Speech Project 12% Midterm 15% Final exam 15% Attendance and Participation 8%
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