My background and areas of emphasis

Mechanics of the class (grades, projects, evaluations)

Projects: topics



  • How do language changes (especially lexical) reflect historical, societal, and cultural shifts in the US? (computers, flapper*, reds, teenager*)

  • Structural shifts in American English during the last 200 years -- lexical (above), morphology (*ism), syntax (end up V-ing), semantics (gay), prescriptive/stylistics (who/whom)

  • What do the changes tell us about language change in general? (What causes change, how it spreads through the language (all of the sudden or gradual), how social groups are involved, etc)

  • What type of variation exists in the language currently? (passives, (phrasal) verbs in fiction/academic)

  • How does the current variation relate to historical changes? (Which genres are most conservative / innovative?)

  • LDS discourse (General Conference)

  • What are the advantages and disadvantages of a corpus-based approach to language change and variation?

  • What types of resources (other than structured corpora) can be used to look at language change and variation? (Text archives (e.g. NY Times, Project Gutenberg (bottom)) examples: teenager, *ism, end up V-ing, meaning of strike)

  • Learn to collaborate with others -- sharing and presenting ideas, evaluating others' projects, etc  (4-Rec, 5-Success)

  • Be able to use technology in simple ways to share your findings

For Thursday / Tuesday: Adventure of English

Google sites tutorials: