Stephen F. Austin State University

Linguistics Courses

Spring 2015 Schedule

ENG 341 Introduction to Linguistics
MWF 9:00-9:50 a.m.
C. Sams
ENG 344.001 Structures of English
MWF 12:00-12:50 p.m.
J. Sams
ENG 344.002 Structures of English TR 2:00-3:15 p.m.
J. Sams
ENG 437 Invented Languages TR 12:30-1:45 p.m.
J. Sams
ENG 458 Veracity and Language TR 9:30-10:45 a.m.
C. Sams
ENG 442 Comparative Romance Linguistics MWF 10:00-10:50 a.m.
C. Sams

Proposed Fall 2015 Schedule

ENG 341.001 Introduction to Linguistics
MWF 9:00-9:50 a.m.
C. Sams
ENG 342.001 History of the English Language
MWF 1:00-1:50 p.m.
J. Sams
ENG 344.001 Structures of English MWF 12:00-12:50 p.m.
J. Sams
ENG 344.002 Structures of English
TR 2:00-3:15 p.m.
J. Sams
ENG 438.001 Forensic Linguistics TR 9:30-10:45 a.m.
C. Sams
ENG 439.001 Advanced Grammar TR 12:30-1:45 p.m. J. Sams

Spring 2015 topics course descriptions

ENG 442 Comparative Romance Linguistics

In this course we will begin with a look at the Latin language (no prior knowledge of Latin assumed) and its transformation into the Romance languages from a socio-historical perspective. We will then concentrate on selected linguistic phenomena of some of the Romance languages (mainly French, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish) from a comparative standpoint. For example, how do French, Italian, Portuguese, and Spanish pluralize nouns? How do determiner, noun, and adjective agreement work? What options are available for past tense formation (e.g., simple (preterite), compound, or both)? How is negation accomplished? What are the sound correspondences between languages (e.g., the Latin ct in NOCTEM 'night' became tt in Italian notte, ch in Spanish noche, and it in French 'nuit < nueit' and Portuguese noite)? How did the T/V (politeness) pronouns come about? One of the course assignments will deal with independently researching a less commonly researched Romance language (e.g., Romanian, Catalan, Occitan, Gascon, Corsican, or one of the so called "dialects" of Italian). Course materials will be provided by the instructor. There is no prerequisite; however, intermediate reading knowledge of a modern Romance language or Latin (or a combination of both at the novice level) will be necessary. The class will be taught in English. Please contact Dr. Chris Sams at with any questions.

ENG 458 Veracity and Language

In this course we will look at veracity as it pertains to forensic linguistic analysis. We will investigate topics such as what constitutes deception, whether linguistic analysis contains the tools to detect it, what linguistic strategies are used to deceive, and what role kinesics (body language) plays in deception. We will examine both written and spoken discourse, including confessions, depositions, and courtroom discourse.

Linguistics Courses

ENG 341. Introduction to Linguistics (offered every fall and spring)

*Used to be ENG 441.
Introduction to the core concepts of linguistic study, including phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, and semantics, and to the application of those concepts, such as language acquisition, language disorders, sociolinguistics, and language change. Analyses of linguistic concepts and applications focus on data from languages spoken around the world (i.e., will not focus on or be limited to English).
Prerequisites: None

ENG 342. History of the English Language (offered every fall)

Study of language change and reasons for change in the English language over the three major periods: Old, Middle, and Modern English. Types of linguistic changes include sound, structure, and meaning; investigation of possible causes for these changes focus on literary developments and socio-political factors that influenced the language. Within Modern English, examination of current English dialects around the world.

ENG 343. Descriptive Linguistics* (last offered Spring 2014)

Linguistic analysis of a language or language family. May be repeated up to three times under different languages.

Languages in focus include the following:

Proposed for Spring 2016
Spring 2014

ENG 344. Structures of English (offered every fall, spring, and Summer I)

Linguistic study of English, including phonology, morphology, syntax, and semantics. Includes an examination of several applied topics, focusing on topics such as English stylistics, language acquisition as it pertains to structures of English, English dialects, and history of English.

ENG 411. Teaching English as a Second Language* (last offered Spring 2013)

Survey of pedagogical, language learning and language development theories relevant to the teaching of English as a second language. Application of theories for particular language-learning groups. 30 hours of lecture and 15 hours of field-experience practicum.

ENG 437. Invented Languages* (offered every odd spring)

Examination of how language works and typical features of world languages in order to construct an invented language; also, examination of famous constructed languages (including Elvish, Na'vi, and Esperanto). Students will invent their own languages to better understand the challenges of constructing a language and linguistic principles at work in natural languages.

ENG 438. Forensic Linguistics (offered every fall)

Linguistic study of texts to determine authorship, evasion strategies, possible coercion, stylistic changes, deception, and so on. Linguistic tools include structural analysis and word choice. Texts analyzed include hate mail, suicide letters, ransom notes, confessions, manifestos, and text messages.

ENG 439. Advanced Grammar (offered every fall)

Advanced investigation of the concepts of grammatical form and function, including the application of labels such as noun, adjective, verb, subject, object, phrase, clause. Study will also include discussion of the use of grammar in written and spoken language, the teaching of grammar in classrooms, the debates about grammatical change in current language, and the notion of standard language.

ENG 440. Advanced Linguistics* (last offered Spring 2014 as Field Methods)

Advanced study of a combination of or all of the following areas of linguistics: phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics; topics (i.e., area focus) will rotate. Linguistic areas may be examined through historical analysis, typological principles, and/or theoretical application. Students can take this course up to three times under different topics.

Prerequisite: ENG 341 or instructor approval

ENG 442. Topics in Linguistics* (last offered Spring 2015)

Advanced study of a topic within linguistics; topics will rotate. Example topics include sociolinguistics, language and culture, psycholinguistics, language and literature, corpus linguistics, and history of linguistic study. Students may repeat the course up to three times under different topics.

Past topics have included the following:

Spring 2015
Comparative Romance Linguistics
Spring 2014
Applied Linguistics in Media
Fall 2012
Conversation Analysis
Spring 2012
Language and Culture
Fall 2011
Second Language Acquisition
Fall 2010

ENG 458. Topics in Forensic Linguistics* (last offered Spring 2015 as Veracity and Language)

Advanced study of a topic within Forensic Linguistics; topics will rotate. Example topics include veracity and language, authorship analysis, and forensic semantics. Students may repeat the course up to three times under different topics.

*Denotes courses that are offered based on student interest and department need. If you are interested in a particular course/topic being offered, contact