English 256: Introduction to Linguistics (3 credits)

Spring 2017

MWF 1:10-2:00 Avery 102

Dr. Lynn Gordon

office: Avery 347

office hours: W 3-5 and by appointment

telephone: (509) 335-2117/332-2591

e-mail address:

Objectives: The purpose of this course is to introduce students to the field of linguistics, the study of the nature, structure and use of language. Students will able to

  • analyze simple phonology, morphology, syntax and semantic data;

  • identify speech sounds and do simple phonetic transcription; and

  • analyze language variation and change.

Text: An Introduction to Language and Linguistics, 2nd edition, Ralph W. Fasold and Jeff Connor-Linton (eds) (available at the Bookie, at in both paper and electronic formats,, etc.)

Tentative Schedule: (Subject to instant revision depending on how things are going)

Grading: Grades are based on homework and class participation (20%), quizzes (40%) and a cumulative final exam (40%).

Homework: There will be regular homework assignments. Homework will be graded credit/no credit. You will have the opportunity to ask questions before the homework is due. I encourage you to talk about your homework with each other and me; however, you should each write up your homework separately.

Your homework will be accepted only at the time due or before--even if you feel your attempt is unsatisfactory, turn it in(unless there is a disaster which calls you out of school; colds, the press of other classes, or the usual difficulties of life do not constitute disasters). If you do not turn in an assignment on or before the due date (without an acceptable reason), your grade for that assignment will be "no credit." Homework will be accepted through the dropbox on the class website.

Quizzes: In place of midterm exams, there will be short quizzes at the end of each section (excluding the introduction and the section on language and the politics, since the latter falls during dead week). The quizzes will consist of problems similar to those we discuss in class and those on the homework assignments. No individual quiz is worth much (worth less than 6% each); however all together they will form 40% of your course grade. There will be no make-up quizzes unless there is a disaster. (See above for what a disaster isn't.)

Attendance: You must make your own decisions as an adult whether or not to come to class. However, you should realize that coming to class is part of your job as a student, as is completing the homework on time and passing the quizzes and the final exam. Just coming to class will make meeting your other responsibilities in this class easier. I do not take attendance in this class, but I do reserve the right to give an attendance quiz (worth 50% of a regular quiz) without warning if the attendance in class falls too low.

Final Exam: The final exam is scheduled for 3:10-5:10 on Wednesday, 3 May 2017. The final exam will be cumulative. You will be allowed to bring one standard letter-size page of notes into the exam.

University Announcements

  • Students with Disabilities: Reasonable accommodations are available for students with documented disabilities or chronic medical conditions. If you have a disability and need accommodations to fully participate in this class, please visit the Access Center website to follow published procedures to request accommodations: Students may also either call or visit the Access Center in person to schedule an appointment with an Access Advisor. Location: Washington Building 217; Phone: 509-335-3417. All disability related accommodations MUST be approved through the Access Center. Students with approved accommodations are strongly encouraged to visit with instructors early in the semester during office hours to discuss logistics.

  • For more information contact a Disability Specialist: 509-335-3417, e-mail

  • Academic Integrity: Academic integrity is the cornerstone of higher education. As such, all members of the university community share responsibility for maintaining and promoting the principles of integrity in all activities, including academic integrity and honest scholarship. Academic integrity will be strongly enforced in this course. Students who violate WSU’s Academic Integrity Policy (identified in Washington Administrative Code (WAC) 504-26-010(3) and -404) will fail the assignment, quiz or exam; if the violation is repeated or very serious (copying an entire quiz or homework assignment or cheating on the final exam, for example), you will fail the class, you will not have the option to withdraw from the course pending an appeal, and you will be reported to the Office of Student Conduct.

  • Cheating includes, but is not limited to, plagiarism and unauthorized collaboration as defined in the Standards of Conduct for Students, WAC 504-26-010(3). You need to read and understand all of the definitions of cheating:

  • If you have any questions about what is and is not allowed in this course, you should ask course instructors before proceeding.

  • If you wish to appeal a faculty member's decision relating to academic integrity, please use the form available at

  • Grade Appeals: According to the Education Policies and Procedures Manual (EPPM), “Students having complaints about instruction or grading should refer them first to the instructor. If the complaint is not resolved, then the student may refer the complaint in writing to the chairperson of the department in which the course is offered by the end of the last day of the following semester.”

    • Safety and Emergency Notification: Classroom and campus safety are of paramount importance at Washington State University, and are the shared responsibility of the entire campus population. WSU urges students to follow the “Alert, Assess, Act,” protocol for all types of emergencies and the “Run, Hide, Fight” response for an active shooter incident. Remain ALERT (through direct observation or emergency notification), ASSESS your specific situation, and ACT in the most appropriate way to assure your own safety (and the safety of others if you are able). Please sign up for emergency alerts on your account at MyWSU. For more information on this subject, campus safety, and related topics, please view the FBI’s Run, Hide, Fight video and visit the WSU safety portal.

  • Severe Weather: For severe weather alerts, see and In the event of severe weather affecting university operations, guidance will be issued through the alert system.

  • E-Mail: In compliance with WSU policy, I can only respond to e-mail sent from your WSU e-mail address (the address in your myWSU account). I cannot respond to e-mail sent from non-WSU accounts