LING001: Intro to Linguistics

Spring 2020 Updated Online Syllabus

Mondays & Wednesdays Online

**Thanks for a great semester everyone!**

After the extended Spring Break, Ling001 will be moving fully online.

What will stay the same?

You’ll access course materials in exactly the same way you did before. Lectures will be live-streamed and posted here at our usual class time for you to watch and links to all class materials (readings, study guides, and practice problems/solutions) will be right here on the website, as before.

What will change?

The remaining two exams will now be take-home (see schedule). Recitations and office hours will become a live video chat via Zoom (so those in other time zones can catch up with what they missed later). Finally, your instructors will be available via video chat for individual appointments. Specific changes are indicated on the syllabus below.

What new tools will I need?

(1) Lectures will be posted on Panopto as usual, but I’ll also send a link just before class to the live stream so you can watch (and comment) live if you want to. (2) Discussion will take place on Piazza and office hours and recitation on Zoom!

Stay safe, everyone!

Dr. Kathryn Schuler
remote from Philadelphia, PA (Neighborhood: Mt. Airy)
Office Hours: Wednesdays 1-3pm


Yiran Chen - Office Hours Tuesdays & Thursdays 2-3pm
Ollie Sayeed - Office Hours Fridays 3-5pm
Nari Rhee - Office Hours Wednesdays 10am-12pm
Milena Šereikaitė - Office Hours Mondays 3-5pm

When we can help



A general introduction to the nature, history and use of human language, speech and writing. Topics include the biological basis of human language, and analogous systems in other creatures; relations to cognition, communication, and social organization; sounds, forms and meanings in the world’s languages; the reconstruction of linguistic history and the family tree of languages; dialect variation and language standardization; language and gender; language learning by children and adults; the neurology of language and language disorders; the nature and history of writing systems. Intended for any undergraduate interested in language or its use, this course is also recommended as an introduction for students who plan to major in linguistics.


TAs will be on Piazza for live discussion during your regularly scheduled recitation section.

Section Time Location TA
201 Thursdays 9:30-10:30am on Zoom Ollie
202 Thursdays 10:30-11:30am on Zoom Ollie
203 Thursdays 9:30-10:30am on Zoom Yiran
204 Thursdays 10:30-11:30am on Zoom Yiran
205 Thursdays 9:30-10:30am on Zoom Milena
206 Thursdays 10:30-11:30am on Zoom Milena
207 Fridays 11-12pm on Zoom Nari
208 Fridays 12-1pm on Zoom Nari



Extra Credit


Schedule is subject to change. All lectures will be recorded and posted here a few minutes after each class.

Wk Lecture Readings Resources
1 Jan 15: Introduction & Overview   Study Guide 1
No practice problems
2 Jan 20: No Class MLK Day
Jan 22: Language as an Instinct
Ch 1 Study Guide 2
Practice Problems 2
Solutions 2
3 Jan 27: Language Acquisition
Jan 29: General Features of Language
Ch 8 Study Guide 3
Practice Problems 3
Solutions 3
4 Feb 3: Animal Communication I
Feb 5: Animal Communication II
Ch 14 Study Guide 4
Practice Problems 4
Solutions 4
5 Feb 10: Exam 1
Feb 12: Phonetics I: Consonants
2.1-2.2 Study Guide 5
Practice Problems 5
Solutions 5
6 Feb 17: Phonetics II: Vowels with Ollie & Nari
Feb 19: Phonetics III: Suprasegmental
2.3-2.7 Study Guide 6
Practice Problems 6
Solutions 6
7 Feb 24: Phonology
Feb 26: Exam 2 Review!
Ch 3 Study Guide 7
Practice Problems 7
Solutions 7
8 Mar 2: Exam 2
Mar 4: ASL with Dr. Fisher & Dr. Santorini
9 No Class Spring Break    
10 No Class Extended Spring Break    
11 Mar 23: Morphology I
Mar 25: Morphology II
Ch 4 Study Guide 11
Practice Problems 11
Solutions 11
12 Mar 30: Syntax I
Apr 1: Syntax II
Apr 3: Exam 3 released
Ch 5 Study Guide 12
Practice Problems 12
Solutions 12
13 Work on Exam 3   Exam 3
14 Apr 13: Exam 3 due
Apr 13: Variation
Apr 15: Historical
Ch 10 & 13 Language journal (due April 13)
Practice Problems 13
Solutions 13
15 Apr 20: Semantics and Pragmatics I with Yiran & Milena
Apr 22: Semantics & Pragmatics II
Exam 4 released
Ch 6 & 7 Practice Problems 15
Solutions 15
16 Work on Exam 4
Apr 29 to May 12: Exam 4 due
  Exam 4 [pdf][google doc]

How to do well in LING 1


Grading scale

Minimum score before rounding.

A+ 97% A 93% A- 90% B+ 87% B 84% B- 80%
C+ 77% C 74% C- 70% D+ 67% D 64% D- 61%


Updated March 19, 2020 to reflect the new online version of the course

Can I skip the fourth exam if I am happy with my grade on the first three?

Yes! You can skip the fourth exam and it will be dropped. Your grade will be based on the first three exams.

If I miss recitation can I come to another recitation section that week?

Yes, you can join any live recitation discussion on Piazza that works for your schedule.but the rooms are small so it’s best to email the section TA to let them know.

I noticed a mistake in the grading of my exam. How do I get this fixed?

We will look at your exam again if you make a formal re-grade request via Canvas within one week of getting your exam back.

I missed or failed an exam. What can I do to make it up?

Nothing. We don’t allow make-up exams or retakes. However, we drop your lowest exam score, so you can still do well in the class. Just make sure it doesn’t happen more than once!

Can I turn in my language journal late?

Language journals will be accepted without penalty through the end of the semester (April 29th). Yes, but there is a 2% point per day late penalty.

I participated in an experiment (or attended a talk). When will I get my bonus points?

To receive bonus points, you must (1) make a bonus points declaration on Canvas and (2) write about your research experience in your language journal. Your bonus points will be awarded as soon as you make your declaration, but we will check your journal (and SONA records, if you participated in an experiment) to confirm these points at the end of the semester.

What does it mean to be “engaged” on perusall?

Read more about how engagement is computed on perusall here and see a sample here.

How do I watch the lecture live?

I’ll send a link just before our usual class time (12pm M & W) via Piazza for those who want to watch the lecture live. You’ll click the link to watch and can login with your PennKey if you’d like to make live comments to me. I’ll pause periodically to answer questions I see.

I’m in a different time zone, will I miss anything?

No, definitely not! The lectures will be recorded so you can watch them any time you like. All discussions will take place on Piazza, so you read through the discussions any time, and also add your own comments and questions whenever you can.

I’m worried about how I will do this. I have like 9 people working from home in my house, plus 3 toddlers, 2 birds, and a dog. Help!

Don’t worry, we were thinking of you when we redesigned the course. We ramped things way down, extended the language journal deadline, and are giving you a full week to complete the (now take-home) exams. Each week, we will give you a specific goal so you know exactly what you need to do to be able to do the exams. We know this is not easy for you and we are here to help.