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4120 Structure of English



Course Description: In this course we will look closely at (and be wowed by) the structure of the sounds, words, and sentences of American English. We will apply our analytical skills to develop a working model for representing the knowledge we each have as speakers of English—this will also require a certain amount of memorization of the terms needed to describe language structure. We will consider how some of the conventions of standard edited English are or are not motivated by our model as we work to establish a basis for making informed decisions about style, usage, and grammar pedagogy. Upon completion of this course you will be able to:

  1. Analyze the structure of sounds, words, and sentences in English by describing the relationships between the units that compose them.
  2. Critique prescriptive/evaluative statements about style, usage, and grammar pedagogy.


1. Curzan and Adams. 2012. How English Works: a Linguistic Introduction (3rd ed.).

2. Nunberg, Geoffrey. 2001. The way we talk now. (2 hr reserve).





4170 Studies in Language



Thematic Subtitle: Language in the City.


Course Description: Language is a key component of the social geography of the Milwaukee area from before the arrival of Europeans to the present. We will consider the history and current status of


Upon completion of this course you will be able to:

1. Describe language use and attitudes toward language in Milwaukee past and present, considering in particular the voices of linguistic minorities in the city.

2. Describe language use and attitudes toward language in a particular “community of practice” in Milwaukee, considering also such social parameters as socioeconomic status, ethnicity, race, and gender.

3. Evaluate the role of language differences in the creation of social stereotypes, and their implications for social advantage or disadvantage.

4. Critically analyze the need for and cultural consequences of legislated language use (language planning).



1. Lippi-Green 2012. English with an Accent: Language, Ideology and Discrimination in the United States, 2nd Edition

2. Rickford and Rickford 2000. Spoken Soul: The Story of Black English.







English Department

Marquette University, Marquette Hall 115 (campus map)
P.O. Box 1881
Milwaukee, WI 53201-1881
(414) 288-7179
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