Linguistics Competencies

Intro to Language Study (ENGL 220)

Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  • Students will be able to identify and discuss key issues related to these fields and subfields, including the neurology of language, language acquisition, language variation (in both its regional and social dimensions), and language change.
    • Identify 3 principles of language acquisition.
    • Describe regional and social variation of language.
    • Identify examples of linguistic change.
  • Students will apply methods of linguistic analysis to language structures and meanings, including phonology (sounds), morphology (words), syntax (sentences), semantics (meanings), and pragmatics (contexts).

  • Apply an appropriate technique of linguistic analysis to a given problem.

Introduction to Linguistic Analysis (English 221)

Students who successfully complete the course will be able to:

  • Effectively find and evaluate materials in the field by
    • Using academic databases such as Library Search and Google Scholar to discover and evaluate quality secondary research materials.
    • Comparing and evaluating scholarly vs. popular press articles in linguistics field, further evaluating the authors and the periodicals themselves.
  • Pose thoughtful, researchable questions on linguistic topics.
  • Differentiate between, find, use, and do primary, secondary, and tertiary research in linguistics areas. (See Research.)

English Syntax (English 321, formerly Transformational Grammar)

Students will be able to
  • analyze the syntactic structure of English sentences;
  • compare various theoretical approaches to syntax, such as traditional, structural, and especially generative grammatical theory, with an understanding of their historical relationships and how they build on each other;
  • explain key developments in the history of grammatical analysis;
  • apply theoretical principles to specific syntactic structures;
  • understand the principles and terminology of this field of study; and
  • critically examine questions of linguistic authority, usage, and correctness.

History of English (English 322)

Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  • explain the origin and development of the English alphabetic system of writing;
  • identify the major processes of phonological, morphological, syntactic, and semantic change and provide examples of each;
  • identify and explain the major types of linguistic borrowing and provide examples of each;
  • explain the concept of language family and provide examples of language families, including the Indo-European and Germanic; and
  • identify and describe major characteristics of the stages in the development of Modern English, including Proto-Indo-European, Proto-Germanic, Old English, and Middle English.

Old English Language and Literature (ENGL 401)

Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  • explain the place of English in the Germanic and Indo-European language families
  • identify key historical events in the Anglo-Saxon Period and the time immediately prior to it
  • identify and explain central cultural beliefs and practices of the Germanic world
  • acquire a dictionary-reading knowledge of Old English
  • identify and discuss some of the important prose and poetic works written in Old English
  • perform literary analyses of selected Old English prose and poetry largely in translation but also in the original language.

Dialects of American English (English 462/H/662)

Students will be able to:

  • identify the primary features (phonological, grammatical, lexical, and pragmatic) of the major regional and social dialects of American English.
  • discuss historical and social factors which gave rise to these dialects.
  • explain and engage in methodologies employed by linguists in the identification of these dialects.
  • point to primary resources available in the study of American regional and social dialects.

Applied Linguistics (ENGL 463/663)

Students who successfully complete this course will be able to:

  • identify the key goals and assumptions underlying traditional, structural and generative grammatical theories;
  • explain and apply insights into the phonological, morphological, syntactic, semantic, and pragmatic structure of English provided by these theories; and
  • further apply the latter to key issues in teaching grammar to both standard and non-standard speakers, in teaching second languages, in teaching writing, in teaching reading, and in analyzing literature.