LS1SG-Sounds, Grammar & Meaning

Module Provider: English Language and Applied Linguistics
Number of credits: 20 [10 ECTS credits]
Level:4
Terms in which taught: Autumn / Spring / Summer module
Pre-requisites:
Non-modular pre-requisites:
Co-requisites:
Modules excluded: PL1PPH Phonetics and Phonology and PL1GM Grammar and Meaning
Module version for: 2017/8

Module Convenor: Prof Jane Setter

Email: J.E.Setter@reading.ac.uk

Summary module description:
This module aims to examine the nature of language as a communication system, and to introduce the individual components of the system which relate to sound production/perception, grammatical categorisation, and meaning.

Aims:
This module aims to examine the nature of language as a communication system, and to introduce the individual components of the system which relate to sound production/perception, grammatical categorisation, and to meaning.

Assessable learning outcomes:
By the end of the module it is expected that the student will be able to:

  • identify the articulatory organs and explain how they are involved in speech production
  • analyse and transcribe spoken language and understand the principles of acoustic phonetics
  • apply a parsing system to analyse sentences at clause, phrase and word level
  • identify and illustrate the main categories of meaning in language, from units smaller than the word to discourse and context
  • organise their knowledge and articulate their arguments effectively in writing, in assessed task-based assignments

Additional outcomes:
The module also aims to encourage the development of academic writing abilities and to reinforce what is learned in large lecture groups through involvement in small-group seminars. Students will also develop their bibliographic and IT skills by use of indicated resources.

Outline content:
The speech chain; segments - consonants, vowels; the International Phonetic Alphabet. Making speech sounds; speech and breathing; the larynx; the vocal tract. Classifying speech sounds; vowels - the cardinal vowels; consonants - place, manner and airstream mechanism. Tone and tone languages: lexical and grammatical use of tone; tone levels and tone contours; tone and context; tone and pitch-accents. Suprasegmentals: stress and accent; intonation; rhythm. Sounds in systems: phonology vs. phonetics - vowels, consonants. Groups of sounds. Connected speech and co-articulation: assimilation; co-articulation. Acoustics of speech sounds: acoustic wave-forms; spectral analysis; formants.

Language and symbol systems; sentence meaning and utterance meaning; grammatical meaning; types of grammar - prescriptive, descriptive, theoretical. Morphology (word structure): affixes and stems; inflection and derivation. Word-formation: affixation; compounding; conversion; other word-formation devices. Word classes: traditional definitions; grammatical definitions; major word classes; other word classes. Syntax: phrases; the structure of simple sentences; optional elements. Ambiguity: grammatical relations - subject, object; complex sentences. Meaning: lexical and sentence meaning; lexical relations - homonymy, polysemy, synonymy, antonymy, hyponymy; lexicalisation patterns. Sentence meaning: rules for combining meanings; truth conditions, sense and reference; entailment; presupposition. Pragmatics: pragmatics and semantics; deixis; indirect speech acts; performative verbs; the co-operative principle. Discourse analysis: discourse meaning vs. sentence and word meaning; cohesion; coherence.

Brief description of teaching and learning methods:
Lectures and seminar-style discussion.

Contact hours:
  Autumn Spring Summer
Lectures 10 10 2
Seminars 4 4 2
Guided independent study 61 61 46
       
Total hours by term 75.00 75.00 50.00
       
Total hours for module 200.00

Summative Assessment Methods:
Method Percentage
Written exam 67
Written assignment including essay 33

Other information on summative assessment:

Formative assessment methods:

  • TRUE/FALSE Questionnaire on Blackboard in Week 8, Autumn term
  • Weekly parsing exercises posted on Blackboard in the Spring term

Penalties for late submission:
The Module Convenor will apply the following penalties for work submitted late, in accordance with the University policy.

  • where the piece of work is submitted up to one calendar week after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): 10% of the total marks available for the piece of work will be deducted from the mark for each working day (or part thereof) following the deadline up to a total of five working days;
  • where the piece of work is submitted more than five working days after the original deadline (or any formally agreed extension to the deadline): a mark of zero will be recorded.

  • The University policy statement on penalties for late submission can be found at: http://www.reading.ac.uk/web/FILES/qualitysupport/penaltiesforlatesubmission.pdf
    You are strongly advised to ensure that coursework is submitted by the relevant deadline. You should note that it is advisable to submit work in an unfinished state rather than to fail to submit any work.

    Length of examination:
    One hour

    Requirements for a pass:
    A mark of 40% overall.

    Reassessment arrangements:

    Re-examination in August / September. Coursework will be carried forward if it bears a mark of 40% or more overall. Otherwise it must be re-submitted by 17 August.


    Additional Costs (specified where applicable):
    1) Required text books:
    2) Specialist equipment or materials:
    3) Specialist clothing, footwear or headgear:
    4) Printing and binding:
    5) Computers and devices with a particular specification:
    6) Travel, accommodation and subsistence:

    Last updated: 13 September 2017

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