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Linguistics 503

Functions of Language Syntax


This course will serve as an introduction to the functions of language, including functions in syntax, morphology, phonetics, phonology, and discourse.


The course will use the textbook Analyzing Grammar: An Introduction, by Andrew Paul R. Kroeger, available in the campus bookstore. There will be exercises for most of the chapters covered.

The course begins with a brief survey of corpus methods, and some practice with corpus tools, then introduces some important concepts in morphology and constituent structure and applies them to data in various languages.

The textbook for the phonology/phonetics segment of the courwse is Discovering Speech, Words, and Mind, by Dani Byrd and Toben H. Mintz. It provides a strong introduction to phonetics, emphasizing acoustics, with an excellent array of examples from diverse languages. We will begin with a phonetic survey, attending to the acoustics, and take a close look at examples illustrtaing the diversity of sound systems. We will also look at some of the basic issues in speech perception. How do we as hearers consistently classify sounds correctly, given their acoustic variability? Finally, we will look at some of the discourse functions of language, and see how some of the syntactic and phonological structures we have looked at interact with features of the discourse context.

Prerequisites and Grading

Linguistics 501 or equivalent.

Grading will be based on exercises, a writing assignment, and take-home midterms and finals.

Place and Time

Tu Th 1230-145 EBA340

Contact Info

Mailing address:
Department of Linguistics and Oriental Languages
San Diego State University
5500 Campanile Drive
San Diego, CA 92182-7727
Telephone: (619) 594-0252
Office location: BAM, room 321
Office hours: Tu 2:00-4:00, Th 11:00-12:00

Unix | Computational Linguistics Lab