LINGS202-19A (HAM)

Exploring English: From Grammar to Discourse

15 Points

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Division of Arts Law Psychology & Social Sciences
School of Arts
General and Applied Linguistics

Staff

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Convenor(s)

Lecturer(s)

Administrator(s)

: alexandra.cullen@waikato.ac.nz

Placement Coordinator(s)

Tutor(s)

Student Representative(s)

Lab Technician(s)

Librarian(s)

: anne.ferrier-watson@waikato.ac.nz

You can contact staff by:

  • Calling +64 7 838 4466 select option 1, then enter the extension.
  • Extensions starting with 4, 5 or 9 can also be direct dialled:
    • For extensions starting with 4: dial +64 7 838 extension.
    • For extensions starting with 5: dial +64 7 858 extension.
    • For extensions starting with 9: dial +64 7 837 extension.
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Paper Description

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This course provides an introduction to the area of "grammar" as understood in linguistics, namely as a field concerned with studying how words are organised in natural language. We will concern ourselves almost exclusively with English data. Grammar is presented as a dynamic system of patterns, ever changing with the pressure of communication, and thus being shaped by and emerging out of language use. The study of grammar is therefore tightly connected with that of discourse and one key aim of the paper is to establish how grammar is employed to create meaning.

Various basic concepts involved in the study of grammar are introduced, such as, word classes, subordinate and main clauses, heads and modifiers, constituency, information structure, new/given information, theme/rheme. These are discussed with relation to real linguistic exchanges. Time permitting, spoken and written language will be contrasted and their grammars will be discussed, and shown to arise as a result of the differences in communicative needs and goals across the two modes of communication.

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Paper Structure

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This course has an associated Reading List. I will also use Moodle from time to time but the main point of contact will take place during lectures and tutorials so attendance of lectures cannot be underestimated.
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Learning Outcomes

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Students who successfully complete the course should be able to:

  • recognize the hierarchical nature of how discourse is formulated in a range of contexts
    Linked to the following assessments:
  • identify and classify major parts of the structure of (primarily) written texts (constituents, heads, modifiers, complements, adjuncts, clauses)
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  • analyse how tense is signalled in a portion of discourse, and be able to contrast the use of various tenses in a given text
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  • evaluate how coherence and cohesion are signalled and maintained in a given text,
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  • critically analyse passages of writing (their own or that of others) with respect to their adherence (or lack thereof) to the syntactic principles discussed, and cohesion and coherence.
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  • become aware of the goals and rationale of the field of syntax
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  • obtain sufficient background in order to facilitate the study of grammar at a higher level
    Linked to the following assessments:
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Assessment

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Please note that all assessments count toward the final grade and I recommend that students attempt all assessments. There is no final exam for this course.
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Assessment Components

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The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0. There is no final exam. The final exam makes up 0% of the overall mark.

The internal assessment/exam ratio (as stated in the University Calendar) is 100:0 or 0:0, whichever is more favourable for the student. The final exam makes up either 0% or 0% of the overall mark.

Component DescriptionDue Date TimePercentage of overall markSubmission MethodCompulsory
1. Online Test
8 Mar 2019
5:00 PM
10
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
2. Assignment 1
29 Mar 2019
5:00 PM
20
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
3. Assignment 2
10 May 2019
5:00 PM
20
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
4. Assignment 3
7 Jun 2019
5:00 PM
30
  • Online: Submit through Moodle
5. Homework exercises
20
  • Hand-in: In Lecture
Assessment Total:     100    
Failing to complete a compulsory assessment component of a paper will result in an IC grade
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Required and Recommended Readings

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Required Readings

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Börjars, Kersti and Kate Burridge. (2010). Introducing English grammar. Routledge. Call number PE1112.B67 2001

Miller, Jim. (2002). An introduction to English syntax. Edinburgh: University of Edinburgh Press.

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Recommended Readings

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Collins, Peter and Carmella Hollo (2001). English Grammar – an introduction. Macmillan Press. (chapter 9) - From separate sentences to connected text

Leech, Geoffrey (2000). Grammars of Spoken English: New Outcomes of Corpus-Oriented Research. Language Learning 50: 675-724.

Biber, Douglas (1999). A Register Perspective on Grammar and Discourse: Variability in the Form and Use of English Complement Clauses. Discourse Studies 1:131-150.

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Online Support

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The course has an associated Moodle website and all assessment will be handed in via this site.
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Workload

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This paper involves three contact hours per week, supported by reading and problem solving of up to 10 hours per week, with additional hours required for the preparation of formal assessment.

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Linkages to Other Papers

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PLEASE NOTE THAT THERE ARE NO PREREQUISITE PAPERS TO THIS COURSE (counter to what is stated below).
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Prerequisite(s)

Corequisite(s)

Equivalent(s)

Restriction(s)

Restricted papers: LING230

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