Linguistics L303/L503 — Summer 2012
Introduction to Linguistic Analysis

Instructor:Jonathan North Washington
Office hours:by request
Email: jonwashi@indi...
Lecture Times:MTWR 10:20-12:10
Classroom:Ballentine (BH) 222
Course website:
Backup website:


This class is designed to introduce you to the structure and nature of language through linguistic analysis techniques, as well as to the theory and assumptions upon which these analyses are built. Besides being an introduction to linguistic thought, this class will investigate in depth what goes into an utterance, from the production-related patterns of human language (phonetics and phonology) to patterns of words (syntax) and their parts (morphology).

Required Materials

The following textbook is required, and is available at the IU Bookstore.

Problem sets and quizzes will often be drawn from the textbook, as well as classroom activities, so please bring the book to class every day.

Also, you'll need to be able to access OnCourse ( This is where you'll access quizzes, among other things, and will be referred to a certain amount in class. If you've never used OnCourse before, please see the instructor.

Office Hours

If you are having any trouble with class, such as with understanding a concept or completing an assignment, please don't hesitate to ask me for help.

I will be available after class every day for consultation. Alternatively, I will be available at other times by appointment—just send me an e-mail letting me know when would be most convenient for you.


Class etiquette

Show up on time and silence cell phones. You may eat and drink as long as it doesn't disturb other students and the lecturer, but there will also be a 5 minute break in the middle of class, at which point you may decide to eat and drink. If you need to step out of the class for any reason (bathroom, emergency phone call, etc.), please do so with minimum disruption (i.e., don't ask for permission).

Class material

All material covered during lecture, class activities, as well as in assigned readings, problem sets, and quizzes, is required course content, and may be included in exams. It is each student's responsibility to attend all classes to learn the material covered. If you must miss a class, it is courteous to email your professor ahead of time, but it will be your responsibility to learn about missed material from classmates. It is not an instructor's responsibility to make up for your absence or re-teach the material.

The assigned readings are to be read in advance of the class dates they're assigned for, and the online quizzes will test your understanding of the content. The readings complement the lectures and class activities and provide the necessary background; however, you should not assume that they will be fully summarized or reviewed in class. Students should be prepared to evaluate, integrate, or respond to the readings in class discussions.

Late assignments

Assigned problem sets must be handed in at the beginning of class on the day they are due or they are considered late. Any assignments turned in after the beginning of class but before class is dismissed will receive a late grade penalty. Assignments turned in after class is dismissed receive no credit. The lowest homework grade will be dropped.

Quizzes are to be completed online before you come to class, and OnCourse will enforce this by deactivating the quiz when class starts. If for some reason you won't be able to take an assigned quiz, please let the instructor know ahead of time, so an alternative can be arranged; however, because you will usually have at least 20 hours to complete these quizzes and may do so at your convenience, you will have to have a pretty good excuse to be granted an alternative to a quiz.

Academic Dishonesty

You are always expected to do your own work on assignments. On the other hand, for completing problem sets, you are allowed to collaborate with other students and use the internet as a resource; however, please cite any sources you use or other students you worked with on homeworks. In the end, you must always do your own work—this means that you must state things in your own words and show that you understand any ideas that you got from another source.

Copying from another source without attribution constitutes plagiarism, and misrepresenting another student's work as your own is cheating. Please see the IU Code for the University's policies on these topics ( Suspected violations of the policy can result in a failing grade for the assignment in question or for the course, and the student will be reported to the Office of the Dean of Students, which may suspend or expel repeat offenders from the University.

So please just be honest.

Course Grade Components

Problem sets:20%
Research project:20%
Midterm exam:15%
Final exam:15%

Problem sets (20%)

There will be approximately 10 to 12 problem sets assigned (i.e., one to two per week). These assignments must be typed, stapled (no paperclips, folded corners, etc.), and handed in on paper before class begins on the due date (see late policy above). Problem sets will not be accepted late or emailed. Please put your name and assignment number at the top of each problem set.

You may collaborate on the problem solving portions of problem sets, but you must write your own assignment, unique from other students'. I suggest you only take notes when working with friends and then write the homework down alone, in your own words. Work identical to another student's, even partially, will receive a score of zero.

No make-up or extra credit assignments will be given, and if you miss class, it is your responsibility to get the assignment(s) in order to complete it on time, and to make sure the assignment is turned in on time. Please talk with the instructor if you think you will miss a class.

Quizzes (20%)

Approximately two quizzes will be assigned each week. Each of these quizzes will cover material from the assigned reading. They are meant to test your understanding of the reading and provide you with materials from which to study. The quizzes will be accessible on OnCourse and are to be completed outside of class before class begins on the day they are due; they will be deactivated at the time class is scheduled to begin. You can take each quiz as many times as you want, and your highest score will be recorded; however, you will not be shown which answers you got wrong. There will be no make-ups for quizzes without a valid excuse (see late assignment policy above).

Research Project (20%)

A 5-page research paper on any language-related topic of your choice will be due at the end of the term. However, throughout the term, several assignments related to this project will be due. You will choose the topic for your paper early in the term, and will be expected to read (and cite) at least two academic articles (approved by the instructor) on the topic you choose and write a review of one of them. A rough draft of the paper will be due approximately one week before the final draft is due. Each stage will be graded, so the actual final draft of the paper will be worth a fraction of your grade for the project. More information on the research project will be distributed at a later date.

Midterm Exam (15%)

There will be one mid-term exam involving the material covered up to that point. No make-up midterms will be given except following applicable university guidelines (see make-up policy above). The midterm will take place in the on Monday, July 9th. (Additional information to come.)

Final Exam (15%)

The final will be cumulative (covering topics starting with the first day of class) and will be given during the last day of class (Thursday, July 26th). No early or make-up finals will be given except following applicable university guidelines.

Participation (10%)

I do not grade on attendance, but you will be graded on participation, and this requires attendance. Beyond simply showing up, you're encouraged to ask questions, answer questions, make relevant comments, contribute to discussions, etc.; this is an intro class to a complicated field—you will not be ridiculed for asking even simple questions (ask as many questions as you need to grasp the concepts!). Also, please bring your textbook (Language Files—see above) to class, even though we won't always use it. You are encouraged to post relevant questions and responses via the OnCourse forums.


If you have any disability that affects your ability to complete class requirements, please contact the IU Office of Disability Services for Students at (812) 855-3508 for assistance with accommodations and to receive appropriate documentation to give your instructors. Additionally, please notify your instructor during the first week of class (either via email or in person) to discuss with them any special arrangements you may require.