This course is an introduction to the study of language, with particular attention to the structure of English. It will examine the component parts of language, namely, phonetics and phonology (the sound system), morphology (the internal structure of words), syntax (the structure of phrases and sentences), and semantics and pragmatics (meaning) as well as touch on other linguistic topics (e.g. language typology, first language acquisition, etc.). While emphasis will be given to the structure of English, especially its morphosyntax, data from other languages will also be looked at. The overall goals are (a) to become familiar with the key concepts and terminology needed to describe and analyze language; (b) to gain a basic understanding of the way language works; (c) to appreciate how languages differ (and how they're the same); and (d) to help in your reading of the primary (second language acquisition) literature.
The course will be a combination of assigned readings, lectures, exercises, group discussions and small group projects. No prior knowledge of linguistics or language description is assumed.