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LINGUIST 3M03 Morphology

Academic Year: Winter 2016

Term: Winter

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Dr. Magda Stroinska


Office: Togo Salmon Hall 501

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 27067


Office Hours: Tuesday 12:30-1:30

Course Objectives:

This course explores issues related to the internal structure of words in various languages and relates word structure to other subsystems of language, such as phonology, syntax and semantics. Students will be introduced to morphological theory and will then learn how to analyse linguistic data from a variety of languages using the acquired tools.

Students will work individually or in groups on two research projects on specific linguistic problems. Each student will then submit an individual written report. Apart from these two projects, students will hand in biweekly homework exercises to ensure that they can apply theory to practical analysis of linguistic data

Students who wish to work with human subjects for some of the class projects (through interviews, surveys or focus groups) will be instructed about principles of ethical research and will need to familiarize themselves with the guidelines prepared by the Ethics Board of the Office of Research Services which are available on-line at:

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

TEXT: Haspelmath, M. & A.D. Sims. 2010. Understanding Morphology. 2nd edition. Hodder Education.

Avenue to Learn website.

Method of Assessment:

Six written homework assignments               15%

Two projects (Feb 5 & Mar 11)                       30%

Mid-term exam (Feb 26)                                 25%

Final Exam                                                      30%

Total                                                              100%

Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

Penalty for late projects will be 10% of the total mark within the first 4 days after the deadline. Students who file the MSAF have to submit the work within 4 days after the project deadline with no penalty.

Biweekly assignments have to be submitted to the Dropbox on Avenue by the Friday midnight deadline. The lowest of the six assignment marks will be dropped. No late assignments will be accepted.

Please Note the Following Policies and Statements:

Academic Dishonesty

You are expected to exhibit honesty and use ethical behaviour in all aspects of the learning process. Academic credentials you earn are rooted in principles of honesty and academic integrity.

Academic dishonesty is to knowingly act or fail to act in a way that results or could result in unearned academic credit or advantage. This behaviour can result in serious consequences, e.g. the grade of zero on an assignment, loss of credit with a notation on the transcript (notation reads: "Grade of F assigned for academic dishonesty"), and/or suspension or expulsion from the university.

It is your responsibility to understand what constitutes academic dishonesty. For information on the various types of academic dishonesty please refer to the Academic Integrity Policy, located at

The following illustrates only three forms of academic dishonesty:

  1. Plagiarism, e.g. the submission of work that is not one’s own or for which other credit has been obtained.
  2. Improper collaboration in group work.
  3. Copying or using unauthorized aids in tests and examinations.

Email correspondence policy

It is the policy of the Faculty of Humanities that all email communication sent from students to instructors (including TAs), and from students to staff, must originate from each student’s own McMaster University email account. This policy protects confidentiality and confirms the identity of the student.  Instructors will delete emails that do not originate from a McMaster email account.

Modification of course outlines

The University reserves the right to change dates and/or deadlines etc. for any or all courses in the case of an emergency situation or labour disruption or civil unrest/disobedience, etc. If a modification becomes necessary, reasonable notice and communication with the students will be given with an explanation and the opportunity to comment on changes. Any significant changes should be made in consultation with the Department Chair.

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

In the event of an absence for medical or other reasons, students should review and follow the Academic Regulation in the Undergraduate Calendar Requests for Relief for Missed Academic Term Work. Please note these regulations have changed beginning Fall 2015. You can find information at If you have any questions about the MSAF, please contact your Associate Dean's office.

Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities

Students who require academic accommodation must contact Student Accessibility Services (SAS) to make arrangements with a Program Coordinator. Academic accommodations must be arranged for each term of study. Student Accessibility Services can be contacted by phone 905-525-9140 ext. 28652 or e-mail For further information, consult McMaster University's Policy for Academic Accommodation of Students with Disabilities.

Academic Accommodation for Religious, Indigenous and Spiritual Observances

Students requiring academic accommodation based on religion and spiritual observances should follow the procedures set out in the Course Calendar or by their respective Faculty. In most cases, the student should contact his or her professor or academic advisor as soon as possible to arrange accommodations for classes, assignments, tests and examinations that might be affected by a religious holiday or spiritual observance.

Other Course Information:

Students may receive a 2% bonus for 2 hours of participation in linguistic experiments through SONA.