Topic: People create new words and expressions all the time – and these may become popular or fashionable. Examples are jedi, chirps, and arancini, which were added to the Oxford English Dictionary in its latest update. The new words range from slang, technical vocabulary and media language to Star Wars terms. There are various ways to enlarge the vocabulary: Already existing word constituents are combined; words are borrowed from other languages; established words change their meaning. Neologisms are so fascinating, in particular, because they reflect and constitute developments and innovations in the world at large and in society. Especially interesting, in this regard, are new words arising from internet communication, language contact, World Englishes, and in-group talk.
Requirements and assessment: Active participation (up to +/-0.7 of the final mark; including regular attendance, reading assignments, forum postings on GRIPS, quiz, oral presentation (20 minutes; with handout/ppt-presentation/activities/discussion); quiz (20%), review (4-5 pages, for MA students), research paper (15-20 pages), due September 8, 2020, 80%); (Times New Roman, 12 font, space 1½; or approx. 400 words per page). Flex-now registration required.
Lecture: Since the 1960’s, new areas of linguistics have evolved that deal with English as used in specific contexts. In particular, two major fields emerged: pragmatics, which is about the meaning of utterances in particular situations; and sociolinguistics, which is about social factors that influence the use of language. Pragmatics mainly includes deixis, speech acts, conversational principles, politeness, and discourse analysis. Sociolinguistics encompasses language variation, language change, multilingualism, language contact phenomena, as well as language and culture. Apart from pragmatics and sociolinguistics, the lecture will give an introduction into text linguistics, the history of English, corpus linguistics, and English dictionaries.Requirements: Regular attendance, final exam.
Accompanying course: Linguistics certainly has its theoretical, even philosophical side, but it also offers a practical toolkit of notions and definitions that enable informed users to analyse and savour a language that less informed users merely speak. In addition to recapitulating and practising the more general and historical contents of lecture 35702, this seminar will show how the categories and terminologies introduced there can be profitably applied to the sounds, word forms, and syntactic structures of the English language.Requirements: regular attendance, active participation, completion of written exercises.
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