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Academic Year: Fall/Winter 2013/2014

Term: 2

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Dr. Catherine Anderson


Office: Togo Salmon Hall 503

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 26241


Office Hours: Monday 2:30-4:00; Friday 9:30-11:00

Course Objectives:

By the end of this course, students will be able to:

  • analyze the word and sentence structures of English and of other languages
  • evaluate evidence for various structural analyses of sentences
  • understand the systematic ways in which languages assign meaning to words and sentences
  • recognize the primary social factors that contribute to language variation

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

O'Grady, W. and J. Archibald. Contemporary Linguistic Analysis: An Introduction. Toronto: Pearson, 2012 (7th edition).

Merrells, T. and A. Moro. Study Guide to accompany Contemporary Linguistic Analysis. Toronto: Pearson, 2012 (7th edition).

iClicker response device (optional) 

Method of Assessment:

This course offers two streams: the Supported Learning Stream and the Independent Learning Stream. All students may participate in tutorials, weekly assignments, and clicker questions, but these elements are counted for points only in the Supported Learning Stream. At the end of the semester, your grade will be calculated using both formulae, and you will receive the higher of the two. 


  Supported Learning Independent Learning  
Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Supported Learning Points 25% 0% See details below
Quizzes 15% 15% Three short quizzes to be written in the student's assigned tutorial during Weeks 4, 8 and 11. Quiz points may be supplemented by participation in the Linguistics Department Participant Pool at the rate of 2% for one hour or 4% for two hours. Consult Avenue for information about how to participate in experiments.
Midterm Test 20% 25% a 45-minute test written at 10:30 a.m., Tuesday, February 11, location to be announced
Final Exam 40% 60% Scheduled by the Registrar during the Final Exam Period. The final exam includes material from the entire semester.


Details about the Choose-Your-Own-Adventure Points

There are three ways to earn points through Supported Learning. You can earn points in any of these ways and add them all together for a maximum total of 25 points:

  • Clicker Points: bring your clicker to lectures and answer the clicker questions (there will probably be between 100 and 120 clicker questions through the semester). Click a response to at least 80% of clicker questions throughout the semester to earna maximum of 8 points. If you click on less than 80% of questions your clicker points will be pro-rated. Clicker Points are updated on Avenue at the end of each month.
  • Homework Points: Weekly homework assignments are graded and each score is then calculated out of 2. Earn up to a maximum of 14 points by submitting homework assignments. Homework Points are posted on Avenue every week.
  • Tutorial Activity Points: earn up to a maximum of 8 points for active participation in your tutorials. Active participation means not just regular attendance but also answering and asking questions, engaging in classroom activities and discussions, and preparing the assigned exercises before the tutorial. Tutorial Points are updated on Avenue at the end of each month.

Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

Weekly Homework Assignments must be submitted on paper to the student's TA in the student's scheduled tutorial.  Homework assignments are not accepted after the student's scheduled tutorial for that week.  MSAFs are not accepted for homework assignments.

If you submit an MSAF for a quiz, you are excused from the quiz and your quiz points are redistributed across the remaining quizzes.  If you submit an MSAF for the midterm test, you are excused from the test and the value of the test is added to the value of the final exam.  

McMaster Student Absence Form (MSAF)

This is a self-reporting tool for undergraduate students to report absences DUE TO MINOR MEDICAL SITUATIONS that last up to 5 days and provides the ability to request accommodation for any missed academic work. Please note, this tool cannot be used during any final examination period. You may submit a maximum of 1 Academic Work Missed request per term. It is YOUR responsibility to follow up with your Instructor immediately (NORMALLY WITHIN TWO WORKING DAYS) regarding the nature of the accommodation. If you are absent for reasons other than medical reasons, for more than 5 days, or exceed 1 request per term, you MUST visit your Associate Dean's Office/Faculty Office). You may be required to provide supporting documentation. This form should be filled out immediately when you are about to return to class after your absence.

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.

Topics and Readings:

This schedule is an estimate and might shift by a week or so depending on how much we get through each week.  Pay attention to the updates in class!

All scheduled readings are from O'Grady & Archibald (2011) Contemporary Linguistic Analysis, 7th edition.  Section numbers might be different if you are using an earlier edition. Use the topic headings as a guideline for what you should be reading.


Week & Date



Week 1 (6 Jan)

Introduction, Lexical Categories

Chapter 5, §5.1

Week 2 (13 Jan)

Constituents, Phrases

Chapter 5, §5.1.2 - 5.1.4

Week 3 (20 Jan)

Sentences, Subcategorization

Chapter 5, §5.2

Week 4 (27 Jan)

Questions & Movement

Chapter 5, §5.3

Week 5 (3 Feb)

Parametric Variation

 Chapter 5, §5.4

Week 6 (10 Feb)

Catch up & Midterm Review


Week 7 (24 Feb)

Sentences & Psycholinguistics


Week 8 (3 March)

Grammatical Roles, Thematic Roles & Passives

Chapter 5, §5.5.3

Chapter 6, §6.3.3

Week 9 (10 March)

Other topics & Semantics

Chapter 6:


§6.2.1 (but not 6.2.2 or 6.2.3)

§6.3 (but not 6.3.1 or 6.3.4)


Week 10 (17 March)

Word Meanings

see above

Week 11 (24 March)


Chapter 14, (but not §14.5, 14.7, 14.8)

Week 12 (31 March)



Week 13 (7 April)