Meet LING282W: Writing for Linguistics!

September 20, 2018

LING 282W: Writing for Linguistics is a new course in the department which is permanently replacing LING 221: Introduction to Phonetics and Phonology, and LING 222: Introduction to Syntax.

New majors will now be required to complete LING 220 and LING 282W before taking any upper division linguistics courses such as LING 321: Phonology, LING 322: Syntax. For more information, please see the requirements for majors here.


What is taught during LING 282W?

Each offering of LING 282W covers different topics, but all of them focus on improving your writing ability by analyzing various topics within linguistics. Here are some of the topics that have already been offered.

The Language of Humour (Spring 2017, Spring 2018), taught by Dr. Keir Moulton

This course examines aspects of structure and meaning that underlie common misinterpretations, misunderstandings and humour. We will study syntactic ambiguities and how the human sentence processor structures linguistic input, as well as the process of recovering a speaker’s meaning from what a speaker literally says. Topics covered include phrase structure and grammatical category, garden path sentences, and pragmatic reasoning. Students will build on their knowledge of linguistic analyses through written assignments on data description, pattern extraction and hypothesis testing. 

Language and Law: An Introduction (Summer 2018, Fall 2018), taught by Dr. Cliff Burgess

Almost everything you could possibly want to know about language can be found in language about law. A parking ticket, for example, has a ton of information regarding the structure of language, why it is used that way, and the people and purposes that it serves. Or a call to 911. Here we learn about speech sounds and the rhythm of language. A contract — spoken or written — provides us with insights into all of the preceding and more. And actual written laws, as in the Canadian Criminal Code, are not only a treasure of linguistic information but pretty entertaining, too.

This course, in a basic and student-friendly way, helps you to develop writing skills for linguistics. Through language as it is used in different corners of law, you’ll get a grasp of the fundamentals of linguistic science. 

Writing is a skill that is so necessary, it is worth practicing at every chance. Here then is another chance in a supportive setting. I will make you a better writer or, at the very least, get you started down that path! 


When is LING 282W being offered next?

At the moment, LING 282W is offered every semester. In Spring 2019, Dr. Panos Pappas will be teaching the course as the topic "Solving Linguistic Puzzles". Does it sound fun? It is!

(By the way, LING 282W is also a Q course. This means that you can knock out a W and a Q in one course!)