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Tutorial Notes
looks at the history of the English
language and its position in the
world today. You will see how
English has evolved in the British
Isles and how it has changed as it
has spread around the world.

The following are few of the general points

questions that we will investigate in this course
which looks at the history, diversity (variety), and
use of English around the world. Using a
combination of printed materials and computerbased resources you will be introduced to the
major debates in the field, and to some of the
ways language is described and analysed:
What are the origins of the English
How has it spread internationally?
Is the worldwide influence of English a cause
for celebration or concern (worry)?
How is it changing in response to social,
cultural, and technological developments?

A major aim of the course is to enable

you to observe and account for how language
varies between individuals and also in different
institutional, cultural and national settings.
You will examine examples of speech and
writing from a variety of global contexts and
genres (types), including literature, poetry,
song, film, political speeches and advertising.
The choice of English in multilingual contexts
from education and business, to films and
popular music will exemplify the significance
and power of the language in social, cultural,
and economic life.

You will watch and listen to specially

recorded material from countries
where English is the majority
language such as the UK,

where it exists
alongside one or more other
languages, such as Canada, India
and South Africa. The significance of
English in global contexts and its
power to simultaneously open up
social and economic opportunities for

The course also aims to:

provide you with an understanding of the history
of English, how the language continues to
develop and change, and how it is used in a
variety of contexts and for a variety of purposes;
provide you with an introduction to the study of
English how the language may be researched,
described and analysed;
Enable you to relate evidence from research and
other sources to your own experiences of
provide opportunities for you to carry out
analyses of spoken and written English.

You will be using a combination of

three books, three study guides,
DVDs, in addition to a specially
written language description book will
introduce you to the basics of
language analysis.

These materials illustrate the

practices across the globe and are
designed to develop your knowledge
and understanding of key terms and
concepts in English language studies,

Frameworks for the study of linguistic

an understanding of the history and
development of English, and a critical
approach to its current global status
an understanding of the pivotal role
of language in, for example, social
organisation and relations, and the
transmission of social and cultural
contemporary uses of English in a
range of social contexts

conceptual frameworks for the

study of linguistic phenomena in
a range of social contexts
opportunities to analyse spoken
and written English
a perspective on your own
English language experiences,
including developing aspects of
your own communication skills.

The visual materials, on the other

language use where it is particularly
helpful to see contextual information
or nonverbal features. Topics include:
how speech varies in different
how English is used in different
contexts: English in work, public
speaking, and storytelling
the expansion of English.

Some questions that are

answered in the Course
Most people would find Old English
incomprehensible and Middle English
hard to read. Why has the language
changed so much?
Many people have strong ideas about
standard and non-standard English.
What is Standard English and what is
non-standard English? What is the
differentiation based upon and how
valid is it?

The spread of English to territories outside

England led to the creation of new forms of
English. How and why did this happen? Did
these new forms of English play any role in the
development of national identity?
English is nowadays the most commonly used
language all over the world. Is there something
special about English that makes it a lingua
franca (i.e. it is a common language used by
people of diverse backgrounds to communicate
with one another, often a basic form of speech
with simplified grammar), or is its dominant
position related to cultural, economic, and
political authority and imperialism?

How is English used in different

registers? How is it used creatively in
poetry, drama, and the theatre?
What is the appropriate English to
use for literature? Is it Standard
English, non-standard English or a
hybrid (mixed) non-standard
standard English?

Course Learning Outcomes

(A) Knowledge and understanding
To be successful in your study of this course,
you are expected to demonstrate knowledge
and understanding of:
the history of English from the Old English
period to the present day, recognizing the
relationship of linguistic history to social and
political processes
variation and change in contemporary English
in different parts of the world
how spoken and written English may be used
to differing effects in a range of social and
cultural contexts

stylistic, social and political issues surrounding

the creative and literary use of English
how English works, and how it may be
described and analysed
the nature of linguistic evidence, and different
methods used in the collection and analysis of
language data
how your learning in different parts of the
course may be integrated according to the
course themes: varieties of English, changing
English, English in context, status and
meaning of English, English and identity,
achieving things in English, regulating English,
discourses about English.

Each part of the course; U214A and U214B,
ONE tutor-marked assignment (TMA). TMA
represents 20% of the overall continuous
assessment score (OCAS)
In addition to the TMA, there will be:
One Mid-Term Assessment (MTA), representing
30% of the overall continuous assessment score
One 3-hour FINAL EXAM, at the end of the
course, representing 50% of overall assessment
In order to get full marks in TMA you should
totally avoid plagiarism

What is plagiarism?
Plagiarism is the theft of other people's words
and ideas. Plagiarism happens when you claim
(or appear to claim) that an idea, or the
expression of it, is your own when in fact it is
someone else's.
Deliberate plagiarism usually takes the form
of either getting someone else to write your
essay for you and then saying it is yours, or
copying chunks of text out of a book with the
deliberate intent of deceiving the reader into
thinking they are in your own words.

Accidental plagiarism is achieved by

oversight and/or lack of skill in manipulating

Here are some examples of how it can

You make notes from a book, copying out lots of
relevant passages and then, when you come to
write the essay, you copy your notes into it,
forgetting that they were copied in the first place.
You use a book which covers exactly the area you
are dealing with; you are aware that you mustn't
copy it out, so you skillfully rephrase little bits, by
replacing 'small' with 'little', 'major differences' by
'main differences' and by swapping over the
order of two halves of a sentence. You think that
this is now legitimate, but your evaluators do not.

You use entirely your own words, but you

don't acknowledge the source of your
You draw from notes you made or were
given for some previous course of study,
without realizing that these were copied
or adapted from some other source.
A reader will assume that any idea
not referenced is your own, and that
any passage not in quotation marks
is in your own words. This is a
contract of trust which you must

How to avoid accidental

plagiarism: some strategies
Expect to acknowledge everything
you've got from a source other than
your own head.
The things that don't need referencing
are your own ideas and common or
uncontroversial knowledge (English is a
Germanic Language, for example).

Note, however, that it is not sufficient to give

one vague reference to your source
somewhere, and then draw directly from it
for page after page.
Rather than just summarizing what you are
reading for the sake of it, make notes relevant to
the task in hand and identify the major points that
relate to your purpose.
When making notes, use your own words
wherever possible. Never copy anything out
without putting it in inverted commas and putting
a page reference next to it.
Always keep the full reference details for any
source you draw on, as you will need them later.

Listing your sources in a


At the end of your assignment, you
should list the sources to which you
have referred. The course books
illustrate the conventional layout for
different types of reference. When
referring to course materials, you do
not need to give such full sources.

Reference list styles

Note: it is usual to italicize book
titles; however, if you are not able to
do this, you should underline them

(A) Book
TRUDGILL, P. and HANNAH, J. (1994,
3rd eds) International English,
London, Edward Arnold.

(B) Chapter / extract from an edited

HARRIS, J. (1993) 'The grammar of Irish
English' in MILROY, J. and MILROY, L. (eds.)
Real English: the grammar of English
dialects in the British Isles, London,

(C) Paper in a journal or magazine
WALES, L. (1994) 'Royalese: the rise and
fall of "the Queen's English" ', English
Today, vol. 10, no. 3, pp. 3-10.

Book 1
English: A
Linguistic Toolkit
(components or tools)

By Sara North

Chapter 1: How to
design a language
This book sets out to provide a short
introduction to the study of language. The idea
is to give you a broad understanding of
approaches taken in describing language and
developing theories about it. This is what is
meant by linguistics. It can be applied to all
languages, and although English is the main
focus of this book, examples are also taken from
other languages for the sake of comparison.

In order to design a language, for example the

imaginary alien languages like the Navi which was
designed by a linguistics consultant for the
science fiction film Avatar, they found that;
1. Almost all human languages use vocal signals
(the exceptions are sign languages that use
gestures instead of sounds). Also these
languages (even the Navi) include sequences
of vowels and consonants.
2. Another key feature of human language is that
sounds that are meaningless in themselves are
combined to create words that have meaning.
For examples, the sounds f, p, o, m combine to
make the Navi word fpom, meaning peace.

An example from English is the combination

of the sounds f, igh, t, to make the word
fight. Take the sounds on their own and they
have no meaning; put them together they
signify battle. Notice that although the word
fight is written with five letters, it involves
only three speech sounds, since the letters
igh- represent just one sound.
At this point you might argue that the sound
represented by igh- is not meaningless. The
word eye is pronounced using this sound on
its own, yet it does have meaning. To resolve
the contradiction, we need to recognise two
levels of structure: sounds and words.


it is the word eye that has

meaning, not the sound. If the sound
meant eye, then words which include
the same sound, like pie and sky and
why and fight would also mean
something to do with eyes.
The fact that language involves
meaningless sounds which
combine to make meaningful
words is now rather obvious.

This dual structure seems to be

unique to human language, and is not
found in communication in other
species. This dual structure is also
significant because it explains how
humans are able to exchange millions
of different messages using only
limited recourses. We have only fortyfive meaningless sounds, however,
can be combined in many different
ways to produce an almost infinite
number of meaningful words.

Dual structure is also found in another

level of language: that is words can be
combined to make sentences. This is true
for all human languages and even the
imaginary alien languages too.
If we have some words and we want to
sentences, mathematically, there are over
three and a half million ways of arranging
them together, but if you want to create a
grammatically correct sentence, the
possibilities are very limited.

The meaning of a sentence is not just

the meaning of all the individual
words added together. Rather, a
between meanings, and in this way it
can convey a proposition(a message)
about the way things are (or were, or
might be). So we can make a
distinction between word meaning,
which can be found listed in a
dictionary, and sentence meaning,
which deals with propositions.

Besides, sentence meaning involves

not just the meanings of individual
words but also the relationships
between them, and it is through
grammar that these relationships
are conveyed. Although the rules of
grammar vary from language to
language, there is no human
language without grammar.
As a result, we can analyse language
at three levels sounds, words and
sentences and these levels are
referred to as phonology, lexis and

Chapter 2: Making sense
1. The words we use in language are not
usually icons (images), as they do not look or
sound like what they represent. Words are
symbols signs which have no natural
resemblance to the thing they represent. The
relationship between a word and its meaning
is determined only by convention; the word
egress, for example, means exit simply
because that is the way it is in English.

2. A simple view of meaning is that

words are names of things, so for
example the word pig names a
particular animal. But the word pig
stand for just the cartoon
picture that you can see in your book.
It can be used to talk about any pigs at
all, real or fictional, living or dead,
large or small, wherever they may be.
In other words, it symbolizes the
concept pig rather than any particular

3. Another view is that words cannot

be just names of things because in
the real world things may not all be
neatly organized ready for labelling.
Imagine for example you are learning a
foreign language, and your teacher
points to the following picture and says
this is called pemba.

How would you know whether pemba

meant bush or tree or pot plant or
fruit tree or whatever? There is
nothing obvious in the real world that
tells us how to distinguish one thing
from another. So, we use language to
help us divide up reality.
4. Also, it is language that creates the
categories, and different languages
may structure reality in different ways.
For example, in French, the window of
a house (fentre) is different from the
window of a shop (vitrine).

5. As observed by Ferdinand de
Saussure, one of the founders of
modern linguistics, language is a
together. For example, the meaning of
morning is affected by the meaning of
afternoon, and vice versa; if if
afternoon begins at lunchtime, then
that is when morning must end. The
meaning of morning and afternoon are
also linked to the meanings of other
words, such as night and day, early
and late etc.

6. The meaning that a word has within the

language system is known as its sense, and this
is the meaning that you find when you look in a
dictionary. Sense can be distinguished from
reference , which is the meaning a word has
when it is used on a particular occasion to pick
out something in the real world. Sense relates to
the language system, while reference relates to
actual use of a word on a particular occasion. For
example one of the senses of the word egg is
the female reproductive body of various
animals. But if I tap my breakfast egg and say
Is this egg hard-boiled? the word egg has
specific reference to the while oval object that
Im tapping.

7. We say that words are synonymous when

they have the same sense. So faucet and tap
are synonyms because they both signify a
device for controlling the flow of water. Strictly
speaking, it is the senses that are identical,
rather than the words.
8. Another sense relation between words is
Hyponymy which means grouping words
together e.g. house is a hyponym of building,
and building is the superordinate because
house entails building but the converse is not
true. Another example, run and move , if you
are running, you must be moving , but if you
are moving you are not necessarily running.

8. In addition to synonymy and hyponymy, another sense

relation is that of oppositeness, or
antonymy. For
example, dead and alive are binary (two or double)
antonyms. Binary antonyms means that if one of the
case applies then the other cannot. If an animal is dead it
is not alive. Tall and short are also antonyms, but they
are not binary opposites. If you are not tall, it doesnt
necessarily mean you are short; you might be of medium
height. Tallness is a gradable quality this means you
can talk of someone being very tall , quite tall, less tall
but, on the other hand, you can not be very dead.
We have also relational antonymy that occurs when two
words describes the same relationship from different
angles e.g. husband/wife, after/before, buy, sell.
The area of linguistics that studies sense and
sense relations is known as Semantics.

Chapter 3
Word Classes
This chapter explores how word classes parts of
speech function in modern English.
Traditionally, parts of speech were defined in terms
of their meaning. For example, a noun was said to
be the name of a person or thing, a verb was called
an action word, and adjectives were associated
with qualities or characteristics. However, there are
problems in trying to categorise words in this way
because sometimes nouns can be used as verbs or
verbs can be used as nouns, also words may vary
expressing actions, quality or things.

Linguists find out that we can group

words together according to the way
they behave in sentences. Words that
share the same grammatical features
behaves in the same way, and belong
to the same word class.
Nouns, verbs, adjectives and adverbs
are open word classes. This means
they each have a huge number of
members, and in addition can easily
take in new members. For example,
new nouns that have recently

On the other hand, pronouns, prepositions

and determiners are closed word classes:
they have a limited number of members, and
it is very unusual for any new members to
enter. This is vividly illustrated by the
attempts to bring in a gender-neutral pronoun
in English. Although s/he is used to certain
extent in writing it never occurs in speech.
Anyway, the discussion so far has treated
words as belonging to just one word class ,
but in reality, many words belong to two or
more classes, examples:
- we could go to the aquarium (verb)
- Is it my go next? (noun)

To conclude, we have seen that word

class is fairly flexible. Closed word
classes (like prepositions, pronouns
and determiners) tend to be relatively
fixed, but with open word classes it is
common to find new words joining the
word class, and existing words that
have multiple membership or are
shifting their class membership. So
linguists use the term word class to
account for the way words function in
sentences. So we can identify word
class only by examining how a word