Linguistics 101 Course Syllabus
University of Coastal Florida, Orlando Island Campus
[Editor’s Note: In September a ferocious bolt of lightning struck the 50 kW broadcast tower that sits atop SpecGram headquarters, broadcasting linguistic wit and wisdom 24 hours a day to literally dozens of listeners across the tri-state area. The power surge knocked out most of our circuits. However, the printing room was filled with a flickering blue light, a crackling sense of electricity, and a faint smell of cinnamon. Our editorial staff watched nervously from outside the door as a printer violently spat out a few sheets of paper, levitated, started rotating rapidly, and suddenly disappeared with a “bloop”. We sent our most junior intern in to investigate. Moments later he ran out shrieking, dropping the following pages.
Unrelatedly, SpecGram is looking for a new intern.]
3x108 Miett Rsprs Ekkont Hall
TA: Anita Eet
Grad Student Detention Center 7 of 9
Class Time and Location
1:37–3:03 p.m. M-F
Rm B5, Bldg 42, Xenolinguistics Quad
0:01–0:42 a.m. on the fifth Friday of each month (except in November, when the fifth Friday is a holiday)
All personal interactions shall take place in English, as it is painful for Prof. Fleednorb to listen to humans trying to pronounce Plíâkpisïiï words. Humans are asked not to contact zir telepathically because ze is disgusted by what runs through the mind of a typical human teenager. Class accounts have been set up on Instahologram, Yok-Yak-Yik, and Myspace Classic.
Code of Conduct
It is university policy that all students shall treat each other with respect, regardless of race, gender, or planet of origin. Violators of this policy will automatically receive the lowest grade the university allows, a B+.
- Ëø Daerl stiic Uasŝăź swerz Ê. 2096. An Introduction to the More-or-Less Scientific Study of What Passes for “Language” on Your Backwater Planet. 47,118th Edition.
- Ohio State University. 2007. Language Files. 10th Edition.
0h!o 5T4te uN1vEr51TY. 2097. Linguistics in the New Order: The Nature, Structure and Functions of the Universe’s Communication Systems, Including the So-Called “Languages” of Humans. 2nd Edition.
Schedule of Lectures
- Week of September 2nd
- No classes on the 2nd, which is Post-Contact Human Forced Labor Remembrance Day.
- Lecture: “What Is a Grammar and How Can You Tell Whether Your Biological Substrate Supports One?” (Introduction)
- Week of September 9th
- Lecture: “Transcription Systems”—Standard Universal Phonetic Alphabet (UPA), plus extensions for additional tongues and velar ventholes; standard Stokoe notation, plus extensions for tentacles, wings, holograms, and prehensile tails; augmented UPA/Stokoe notation for mandibles and nested mouths. (Phonetics)
- Enrichment: “Who Thought That Would Work?”—How the failed IPA pathetically attempted to account for multiple tongues and the velar vent hole. (Historical Phonetics)
- Week of September 16th
- No class on the 19th, which is Intergalactic Talk Like a Space Pirate Day.
- Lecture: “What Are Phonemes and Will They Be On The Test?”—Yes, yes they will. (Phonology)
- Week of September 23rd
- Laboratory Exercises: “Approximate Human Substitutions”—Tetralabial trills, vertical fricatives, simultaneously articulated tonemes, bi-nasal ejectives, singularity-inducing implosives, voiced oral egestives, postgresive database insertions, and neutrino stream modulation. (Language Lab)
- Quiz #1: Phonemes—They Will Be On The Test.
- Week of September 30th
- Lecture: “What Exactly Is a Word? Linguists Finally Agree!” (Morphology)
- Week of 0o10ber 7th
- Machine intelligences are excused from attending classes on the 7th, from 3:14:15.926535897 p.m. to 3:14:15.926535898 p.m., so that they may celebrate 0o10berfest.
- Guest Lecture from AI Unit #69669: “Binary for Beginners”—10 Linguistic Theories for Understanding Your Robot Caretakers. (Computational Linguistics)
- Week of 0o10ber 14th
- No class on the 14th, which is Be Thankful Only Canada Was Obliterated During Your Liberation Day, Indigenous Humans’ Day, and The Celebration of Romance. Students are encouraged to also celebrate Germanic Day on 0o10ber 13th.
- Guest Lecture from Noam Chomsky, IV: “Nostra Culpa—Maximalism Explains Everything” (Syntax)
- Week of 0o10ber 21st
- Lecture: “Babel-17 and the Danger Inherent in Meaning” (Semantics)
- Quiz #2: Morphology, Syntax, and Semantics—The Quiz That Covers Material Not Yet Covered in Class; Phoneme Make-Up Quiz.
- Week of 0o10ber 28th
- Students are encouraged to wear school-appropriate costumes on the 31st, in celebration of All Gratuitous Glottal Stops’ E’eee’eeeee’e’e’’eee’e’eee’en.
- Lecture: “Politeness in Plíâkpisïiï, a Case Study”—The twelve levels of politeness in Plíâkpisïiï, and which ones humans should avoid when describing Plíâkpisïiïan cuisine, which is absolutely delicious no matter what you and your unsophisticated palates think. (Pragmatics)
- Week of November 4th
- Guest Lecture from Dr. Who: “Dialects and Daleks”—An exploration of code-switching behavior in cyborgs; the intimidatory effectiveness of U.K. vs U.S. pronunciations of Exterminate!; was the update from Java 7 to Java 8 instrumental in their downfall? (Sociolinguistics)
- Week of November 11th
- No class on the 11th, in celebration of
Ve(la|te)r(i[nz])?a([tr]i[ao])?n/Regular Expression Day
- Lecture: “How Interplanetary Linguists Reconstructed Proto-Areo-Nostratic-Khoisan” (Comparative Linguistics)
- Week of November 18th
- Lecture: “Sumerian and the Snow Crash”—A review of this primary source material related to the discovery of the human brainstem’s firmware. (Historical Bio-Computational Linguistics)
- Quiz #3: Doesn’t Matter—The Quiz That Is Never Graded or Returned and Ends up Being Irrelevant to Your Course Grade.
- Week of November 25th
- No class on the 28th or 29th in celebration of the holiday of Giving Thanks for a Long Weekend
- Guest Lecture from Benjamin Whorf Clone #3: “Updated Linguistic Relativity: Why the Inuit Have Zero Words for Snow” (Cognitive Linguistics)
- Week of Glor’bonTheDestroyermber 2nd
- No class on the 3rd, in celebration of Cinco de Mayo
- Lecture: “Animal Communication Is a Hate Crime”—The term ‘animal communication’ is not a useful term of art, and referring to any form of language or language-like communication system used by a non-conspecific entity is punishable as a hate crime. (Meta-Linguistics)
- Week of Glor’bonTheDestroyermber 9th
- Last day of classes is the 11th. Reading Days are the 12th and 13th.
- Lecture: “May-mays and you-you”—An introduction to memes, LOLcats, image macros, and the social construction of reduplicative dankness. (Memetic Linguistics)
The Final Exam will be scheduled some time the week of Glor’bonTheDestroyermber 16th.