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LINGUIST 1Z03 Structure of Modern English I (C01)

Academic Year: Fall 2018

Term: Fall

Day/Evening: E

Instructor: Dr. Nikolai Penner


Office: Togo Salmon Hall 507

Phone: 905-525-9140 x 24777

Office Hours: Tuesdays, 1:30-2:30

Course Objectives:

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

        - begin to understand how linguists observe and analyze language

        - explain how humans produce speech sounds

        - transcribe the sounds of Canadian English

        - understand how English words are structured, what they consist of and how new words are formed

Textbooks, Materials & Fees:

You will need a copy of the following textbook:

Curzan, Anne. (2012). How English works : a linguistic introduction. Boston :Pearson Longman

This course will cover Chapters 1 through 5. The other chapters will be covered in Ling 1ZZ3.

Method of Assessment:

Method of Assessment:

Mid-term test 25%

Online Quizzes or Assignments: 40% (4 assignments @ 10% each)

Final exam 35%

Total:                                             100%


The midterm in this course will take place on Monday, October 22 during class time and will cover chapters 1-3 of the book. Midterm location as well as specific details regarding the content will be announced in class.

Online Quizzes / Assignments:

There will be four online quizzes/assignments in this course. You will have one week to complete each quiz / assignment on Avenue. At the end of the term, the lowest of the four grades will be dropped and only your top three grades for quizzes / assignments will count toward your final grade.

Preliminary due dates for online quizzes are:

Friday, September 28 (Quiz/Assignment 1)

Friday, October 19 (Quiz/Assignment 2)

Friday, November 9 (Quiz/Assignment 3)

Friday, November 23 (Quiz/Assignment 4)

Please don’t forget to check Communication Policies at the end of this document about how to contact us regarding content / grades for course assessments.

Final Exam:

There will be a three-hour final exam during the December exam period. The exam will be cumulative and will cover chapters 1-5 of the textbook unless announced otherwise. Specific details, instructions, as well as sample tasks for the final exam will be covered during class time.

Please note that the final exam is not scheduled by us and we have no control over this date.

Policy on Missed Work, Extensions, and Late Penalties:

1. MSAFS for Online Quizzes / Assignments

Please note that MSAFS will not be accepted for online quizzes or assignments because you will have more than 5 days to complete them.


2. Late Submissions

There is a zero tolerance policy on late submissions in this course. This means that no works whatsoever will be accepted after the deadline and no extensions will be given under any circumstances.

Please do not send us your work by email if you miss a deadline. If you do so, your work will not be accepted and we will not answer your email.

3. Communication Policies

3.1. EMAIL ADDRESSES: All emails must originate from your McMaster email address. Otherwise McMaster spam filter might not let it through and we will not receive your email.

3.2. THE SUBJECT LINE: Please include the course code (LING 1Z03) in the Subject line of your email, otherwise we might not know which course you are in.


3.3. YOUR NAME(S): Please include your student number and ALL names you use. Remember that we cannot resolve an issue you might have if we can’t find your name on Avenue.

3.4. Questions about Course Content: If you have questions about course content, please post them on the discussion board instead of sending us an email and we will do our best to answer them asap.


4. Policies on Communication regarding Assessments


4.1. Starting and completing assessments are expected and the responsibility of the student. Communication with the instructing team will be carried out according to the following policy.

4.2. No emails 24 hours AFTER the assessment deadline. The instructor and the TA(s) will not respond to emails about an assessment sent within this 24-hour period. This period of time will allow all students to consider the assessment, the answer key, their answers, and whatever issues they have fully before contacting an instruction team member with an emotional reaction. All emails sent within this 24-hour period will be deleted without response. This period applies to quizzes and exams, math errors and correctness disputes.

5. Policies on Mark Changes

5.1. Reviewing and understanding the grades is the responsibility of the student. Changes to marks will be done according to the following policy.


5.2. If there is an error, please bring the error to the attention of the TA by email. You must provide your (1) name as it appears on Avenue to Learn AND (2) your name as registered by McMaster, (3) the assessment (e.g., Quiz 4) with the specific question/section with the error, as well as (4) the math as it is on the assessment and as it should be.


5.3. If there is a dispute about the correctness of an answer, please address this issue at office hours (TA or the instructor). You must provide the assessment, the specific question under review, and a written justification (1-5 sentences) explaining why you believe that your answer is correct or deserves more marks.

Please be specific. For example, we will not be able to answer an email such as:

My assignment 3 grade is wrong. Please correct it.”

On the other hand, we will respond asap to an email such as:

“ Hello,
I think was graded wrong on question 3 of assignment 1. According to the course materials (slide 3) /?/ and /?/ are both acceptable transcriptions of the second vowel in "lucid." I answered /?/ and was graded wrong.”

5.4. The period of assessment disputes is limited to 2 weeks. It is the responsibility of the student to review the feedback received on an assessment in a timely manner. The student will have 2 weeks (14 calendar days) after mark in question is returned to contact the instructor team about a mark dispute (i.e., a meeting or resolution may occur after this 2-week period). For example, we will not change marks for Quiz 1 a few days before the final exam. This period applies to quizzes and exams, math errors and correctness disputes.

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.