Course: LIN201
Instructor: Christiane Fellbaum
F 2019

Description of Course Goals and Curriculum

Course serves as an introduction to analysis of the structure and use of language with topics including phonetics, phonology, morphology, lexicon, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics. Most of these topics involve reading text from various languages and looking for patterns and using hints to learn more about the structure of the written text and sounds associated with it.

Learning From Classroom Instruction

Lectures given by Dr. Fellbaum cover all the topics and information necessary to do well in the class. If you attend lecture and pay attention to the slides, you’ll know everything you need to for the psets and exams. The presentation slides are provided on Blackboard so there is no need to take notes during class unless you are someone who finds taking notes helpful for memorizing concepts. I found it easier to pick up the material by just paying attention in class when Dr. Fellbaum explained the material and examples (sometimes writing notes down about the examples if the explanations in the slides weren’t clear), then printing out the notes to review for the exams. Dr. Fellbaums slides give examples and explanations that contain everything you need to know for the course and are basically all that you need to study for the exams. Topics are easy to understand once you’ve seen some examples, which you get practice with in precept for reinforcement.

Learning For and From Assignments

There are only a few psets that count for a huge portion of your grade. The best strategy for completing them is to review the lecture slides then do the precept problems covered in it, then completing the pset as the problems will be similar to what was done in precept. Be careful not to turn them in late or to incorrectly write any syntax because they count a lot for your grade and a small error in the way you do a set of similar problems can lose you a lot of points. If you feel there is any ambiguity about the correct way to construct the answer to a certain type of problem (e.g. between lecture examples and precept problems), make sure to clarify after precept or during office hours. Since this class is not curved, every point from these psets count. Do your best to not miss anything on the psets. To be well prepared for the exams, pay attention in lecture, review the slides, participate and ask any questions you have in precept, then use the slides to review concepts and the psets and precept questions as practice for the exams and you’ll be fine. The most useful thing to do is review vocab in case you’ve forgotten what some of the terms mean and doing practice questions. Many times on the exams, even if you are unfamiliar with a type of problem being asked, if you are at least familiar with the vocab terms in the question, you may be able to infer at least a partial answer to the question (e.g. if you forgot to review semantics questions).

External Resources

No external resources are needed for this course. Everything you need to know for the exams and psets is covered in lecture and precept (course materials are comprehensive). Some of the phonology stuff may require some online searches for the correct sounds or clarification from the professors.

What Students Should Know About This Course For Purposes Of Course Selection

Course gives a comprehensive overview of linguistics if you are interested in it at all but is probably a bit basic if you’re intending to go further with linguistics (certificate, etc.).
Introduction to Language and Linguistics

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