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LINGUIST 1A03 Introduction to Linguistics I (C01)

Academic Year: Spring/Summer 2018

Term: Spring

Day/Evening: D

Instructor: Dr. Catherine Anderson


Office: Togo Salmon Hall 503

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 26241


Office Hours: Tuesdays & Thursdays after class

Course Objectives:

This course involves blended learning, which means that some of the course activities take place on-line within Avenue. In addition to the two weekly scheduled class periods, students should plan to spend about three to four additional hours each week completing activities on-line.

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

  • begin to understand the fundamental ways of thinking in Linguistics

  • explain how humans produce speech sounds

  • transcribe the sounds of Canadian English and other languages using the International Phonetic Alphabet

  • use data from a variety of languages to analyze how speech sounds are organized

  • analyze how words are formed in English and other languages

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

Textbook: Essentials of Linguistics, available for $0 at

Optional: iClicker response device

Method of Assessment:


Five weekly quizzes, completed on Avenue by 11:00 a.m. each Tuesday morning.

Each quiz is worth 5%. Your grade is calculated from your best four of five quizzes.

12% Two written assignments, submitted to Avenue as pdf files on Friday May 11 and Friday June 1.

One midterm test, written in class on Thursday May 17.

The midterm test includes mutiple-choice and written-answer questions.


One two-hour final exam, written in class on Tuesday, June 12. 

The final exam includes material from the entire semester, in both multiple-choice and written-answer questions. The weight of the final exam can be reduced by earning bonus points; consult Avenue for details.


Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

Assignments: If you miss the Friday deadline for a written assignment, you may submit it to Avenue by 4:00 p.m. on the following Monday for 50% of the value of the assignment. If you submit an MSAF or other medical document (via your Faculty's Academic Advisors) for a written assignment, contact Dr. Anderson to arrange an alternate due date.

Quizzes: You may complete your quiz at any time during the 28-hour quiz period but not once the quiz period ends. Because the quiz portion of your grade is calculated on the best four of five quizzes, there is no penalty for missing one quiz. MSAFs are not accepted for quizzes.

Midterm Test: If you submit an MSAF or other medical document (via your Faculty's Academic Advisors), you will have the option of writing an alternate test scheduled by the instructor, or of adding the 20% value of the test to the weight of the final exam. 

Final Exam: If you are unable to write the final exam for any reason, contact the Academic Advisor in your Faculty to request a deferred exam.

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:

Weeks 1-3

Introducing Linguistics:  The Science of Language (Chapter 1)

Phonetics: The Sounds of Language (Chapters 2 & 3)

Weeks 4-5 Phonology: The Organization of Sounds (Chapters 4 & 5)
Week 6 Morphology: The Structure of Words (Chapter 6)
Week 7 Final Exam


Other Course Information:

In this course we will be using Avenue2Learn. Students should be aware that, when they access the electronic components of this course, private information such as first and last names, user names for the McMaster e-mail accounts, and program affiliation may become apparent to all other students in the same course. The available information is dependent on the technology used. Continuation in this course will be deemed consent to this disclosure. If you have any questions or concerns about such disclosure please discuss this with the course instructor.