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DEPARTMENT OF LANGUAGES, LINGUISTICS,

AND COMPARATIVE LITERATURE


MA IN LLCL: LINGUISTICS

READING LIST


For students beginning Fall 2019 or later


Note to the student: You should begin to learn the terms/concepts on this reading list as soon as you begin your graduate career. It is recommended that MA students take a variety of courses that cover different areas. Nevertheless, it is your sole responsibility to prepare the terms/concepts on this list and understand their importance. The comprehensive exams are based on this list.


Non-Thesis Option:

All MA students begin in the Non-Thesis option. For MA students who continue in the Non-Thesis option, the written comprehensive exams are divided into 2 sections taken over 2 days (normally the Mondays of the 6th and 7th weeks of the last semester).


Section I (4 hours) covers terms/concepts from theoretical linguistics.

Section II (4 hours) covers terms/concepts from historical and applied linguistics. For both Sections, the student is presented with a list of 20 terms/concepts and the

following instructions:


Select 12 of the following 20 terms/concepts. A complete answer will be in essay format and should include:

  1. a clear definition of the term/concept,

  2. relevant detailed example(s),

  3. an explanation of how the example(s) illustrates the concept (if examples are from a language other than English, please provide glosses), and

  4. relevant and related explication (e.g., mention pertinent research, important theorists, and seminal publications) in order to articulate your knowledge of current issues and approaches, key insights in linguistics and related fields, and the relevance of the concept to your own interests in linguistics or a particular research agenda that you may be familiar with.


See the Appendix for a sample response.


The student must respond to all of the questions in English and must not select more than 12 terms/concepts. The set of 20 terms/concepts is selected by the faculty in a pseudo-random manner from the following pools:

Section I (Theoretical linguistics):

  1. Agreement

  2. Ambiguity

  3. Analogy

  4. Arbitrariness

  5. Argument vs. adjunct

  6. Assimilation and dissimilation

  7. Behaviorism

  8. Cooperative Principle and Grice’s Maxims

  9. Conceptual metaphor

  10. Connotation and denotation

  11. Consonantal place and manner of articulation

  12. Conversational implicature

  13. Critical Period Hypothesis

  14. Derivational and inflectional morphology

  15. Distinctive features (phonology)

  16. Distribution of sounds (complementary, contrastive, and free variation)

  17. Endocentric and exocentric compounding

  18. Epenthesis and elision

  19. Etymology

  20. Felicity conditions

  21. Formant structure

  22. Fortition and lenition

  23. Frame (Fillmore)

  24. Grammaticalization

  25. Hierarchical syntactic structure

  26. Homonymy and polysemy

  27. Hyponym and hypernym

  28. Innateness and UG

  29. Language (E-language and I-language)

  30. Lemma and lexeme (Bilingualism)

  31. Lexicon

  32. Markedness

  33. Metathesis and coalescence

  34. Morpheme and allomorph

  35. Morphological language types (agglutinative, etc.)

  36. Optimality Theory

  37. Phoneme and allophone

  38. Phonetics and phonology

  39. Phonotactic constraints and sonority

  40. Phrases and constituency (syntax)

  41. Prescriptive and descriptive approaches

  42. Presupposition and entailment

  43. Prototype theory

  44. Sapir-Whorf hypothesis

  45. Semantic roles

  46. Semantics and pragmatics

  47. Signified and signifier

  48. Speech acts

  49. Stress, syllable weight, and feet

  50. Structuralism

  51. Synonymy and antonymy

  52. Syntactic movement

  53. Tense and aspect

  54. Tone, pitch accent, and intonation

  55. Transitivity and intransitivity (syntax)

  56. Typology and linguistic universals

  57. Value and opposition (de Saussure)

  58. Voicing and VOT

  59. Vowel features (height, blackness, and rounding)

  60. Vocal tract (major parts)


Section II (Historical and Applied Linguistics):

  1. AAVE

  2. Access and transfer in SLA

  3. Anatolian Hypothesis (Renfrew)

  4. Audio-lingual method

  5. Bilingual education

  6. Bilingualism and multilingualism

  7. Bottom-up and top-down processing

  8. Brain and language

  9. Code-switching

  10. Cognate

  11. Communicative language teaching

  12. Comparative method

  13. Competence and performance

  14. Corpus linguistics

  15. Correlation and regression

  16. Diachronic and synchronic approaches

  17. Dialectal variation (standard, non-standard, and idiolect)

  18. Diglossia

  19. ERP and major ERP components (N100, N400, etc.)

  20. ESL vs. EFL

  21. Factorial design

  22. Fluency vs. accuracy

  23. Frequency and neighborhood density

  24. Garden path sentence

  25. Grammar translation approach

  26. Great Vowel Shift

  27. Grimm’s law

  28. Holophrastic stage of L1 acquisition

  29. Hypo- and hypercorrection

  30. Independent and dependent variables

  31. Influential factors in language acquisition

  32. Input and intake

  33. IRB and informed consent

  34. L1 and L2 acquisition and interference

  35. Labov's variationist approach

  36. Language attitudes and prestige

  37. Language attrition

  38. Language change

  39. Language contact

  40. Language course delivery method (online, hybrid, etc.)

  41. Language disorders (aphasia, etc.)

  42. Language endangerment and revitalization

  43. Language family tree model and language isolate

  44. Levelling and reanalysis

  45. Lexical borrowing and calque/loan translation

  46. Linguistic politeness

  47. Longitudinal and cross-sectional research

  48. Online and offline research methods

  49. Orthography and orthographic systems

  50. P-value, T-test, and ANOVA

  51. Pidgin and creole

  52. Plasticity vs. specificity

  53. Proto-language and reconstruction

  54. Psycholinguistics and neurolinguistics

  55. Qualitative and quantitative approaches to language

  56. Speech communities

  57. Style and register

  58. Swadesh list

  59. Types of feedback (recall, recast, etc.)

  60. Wave theory


Scoring procedure

Answers for each of the 12 terms/concepts are graded individually by the members of the comprehensive examination committee using the following rubric:


  1. Level 1 (no attempt; 0 points)

    No answer or incorrect answer provided. Writing is disorganized, incoherent, vague, or inappropriate.


  2. Level 2 (limited attempt; 1 point)

    Demonstrates limited and simplified knowledge and vocabulary, or vocabulary is used inappropriately. Writing is generally disorganized, incoherent, vague, or inappropriate.

  3. Level 3 (developing; 2 points)

Demonstrates working knowledge and vocabulary of the discipline but they are not complex or nuanced. Writing is generally focused, organized, and clear.


4) Level 4 (proficient; 3 points)

Demonstrates complex and nuanced knowledge and vocabulary. Writing is focused, organized, and clear.


An average score of 2.50 (aggregated across the 12 terms/concepts) is required to pass the comprehensive exam. If a student does not obtain this average, s/he retakes the exam section(s). If a student fails the written examination, it may be repeated once. The future retake date will be set upon the advice of the faculty, but within a maximum of one year from the date of the first written examination attempt. If a student fails to pass the retake of the written examination, s/he is dismissed from the Master’s program, with no appeal.


Note: All students must take the written comprehensive exams on a designated computer (with disabled internet access). With previous approval, students may hand write questions if they need unusual characters, trees, diagrams, phonetic transcriptions, etc. If a student needs special accommodations, s/he must register with the Student Access Services prior to the semester in which s/he plans to take the exam.


Thesis Option:

If an MA student is interested in writing a thesis, s/he must submit an “Application for the Thesis Option” prior to the end of the second semester of full-time study. If the

application is approved, the student is admitted into the Thesis Option. For MA students writing a thesis, the comprehensive oral exam is normally taken in the seventh week of the third semester. The student will respond to all of the questions in English.

The oral exam examines the student’s knowledge of the foundational terms and concepts. Typically, the student is examined by the thesis committee. The oral exam will last approximately one hour and a half.


If the student does not pass the oral exam, s/he will have one opportunity to retake it within one year of the date of the original exam. The thesis director will set the date for the retake in consultation with the student and the committee members. The student will not be permitted to schedule the Thesis Prospectus Defense until s/he passes the oral examination. If a student does not pass the retake of the oral examination, s/he will not be permitted to continue in the thesis option, and will take the written comprehensive examination during the fourth semester.


Typically, the thesis prospectus defense is scheduled for two weeks after the oral exam is passed. If they wish, students may use an overhead projector, blackboard, etc. and should request the desired audiovisual equipment when the date for the prospectus defense is scheduled.

Thesis Prospectus Defense:

The thesis prospectus defense typically is held in the ninth week of the third semester of full-time study, and lasts approximately one hour. Two weeks prior to the thesis prospectus defense, but no later than the date of the oral comprehensive examination, the student will distribute a copy of the thesis prospectus to all committee

members. The student should consult a sample prospectus to ensure that s/he uses the appropriate format. The thesis prospectus defense is comprised of two main sections:


  1. a presentation of about 30-40 minutes by the student about the genesis of the topic, how s/he delimited the focus, what thesis s/he plans to affirm, the critical framework s/he will use, etc.;


  2. the committee asks questions about the prospectus, what the candidate said, and may offer suggestions on ways to improve the focus, etc. The committee goes through the Bibliography, and may recommend additional books/articles that may be of use to the candidate.


The thesis prospectus defense ensures that all of the committee members have a chance to ask questions about the proposed thesis, to confirm the focus and parameters of the thesis, and to affirm that the entire committee is in agreement. If the committee does not approve the thesis prospectus, the student will reformulate the prospectus according to the stipulations of the committee, and will submit the revised prospectus. The thesis director, in consultation with the committee and the student, will schedule a new thesis prospectus defense date. If the committee approves the thesis prospectus, the student may then proceed to write the thesis on the topic, within the focus and parameters approved during the thesis prospectus defense.


Thesis Defense:

The thesis defense is usually scheduled no later than the eleventh week of the last semester of a student’s program, and typically lasts 1.5 hours. The student should verify the specific department, college, and university deadlines for the semester when s/he plans to graduate. The thesis director, in consultation with the student and the committee members, will set the date for the thesis defense. At least two weeks prior to the defense, the student will give copies of the completed thesis to all of the committee members. The thesis defense is comprised of three main sections:


  1. a presentation of about 10 minutes on the genesis of the topic, the focus of the thesis, and the critical framework used;


  2. a presentation of about 30 minutes on the thesis that the student affirmed, the chapter-by-chapter overview of how the thesis was supported by the research; and the conclusions that were reached;


  3. the committee members ask detailed questions about the thesis, any sections that may need clarification, any issues that may need to be addressed, etc., to which the student responds.

On the date of the defense, the student will bring copies of the signature pages on the required stock paper and the correct pen with the correct color ink as stipulated in the Graduate College’s guidelines. If the thesis is not approved, the candidate will make the major revisions stipulated during the defense, and resubmit the revised thesis to the committee. The thesis director, in consultation with the committee members and the student, will set a new date for the thesis defense. If the thesis is approved, the committee members will sign the initial pages right then. Each member of the committee will give the candidate his/her copy of the thesis with all of the errata and corrections clearly marked, so that the candidate can make the necessary

changes. Typically, after all of the corrections are made, the candidate reviews the final manuscript with the thesis director prior to submitting it.


“In compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAAA), students who require reasonable accommodations due to a disability to properly execute coursework must register with Student Accessibility Services (SAS)—in Boca Raton, SU 133 (561-297-3880) — and follow all SAS procedures.”


Recommended sources:


The following sources are recommended for preparation for the written comprehensive examinations (please make sure to use the most recent edition, if applicable):


  1. Campbell, Lyle. 2013. Historical Linguistics: An Introduction. Cambridge, MA: MIT Press.

  2. Carnie, Andrew. 2012. Syntax: A generative introduction. 3rd edition. Wiley-Blackwell.

  3. Cruse, Alan. 2011. Meaning in Language. 3rd Edition. Oxford: Oxford University

    Press.

  4. Crystal, David. 2008. A Dictionary of Linguistics and Phonetics. 6th Edition. Malden, MA: Wiley-Blackwell.

  5. Gass, Susan, Jennifer Behney, and Luke Plonsky. 2013. Second Language

    Acquisition: An Introductory Course. 4th Edition. New York: Routledge.

  6. Hopper, Paul J. and Elizabeth C. Traugott. 2003. Grammaticalization. 2nd Edition.

Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

7 Joseph, John, Nigel Love, and Talbot Taylor, eds. 2001. Landmarks in Linguistic Thought Volume II: The Western Tradition in the Twentieth Century. New York:

Routledge.

  1. Matthews, Peter. 2014. The Concise Oxford Dictionary of Linguistics. 3rd Edition.

    Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  2. O’Grady, Gerard. 2013. Key concepts in Phonetics and Phonology. London:

    Palgrave.

  3. O'Grady, William, John Archibald, Mark Aronoff, and Janie Rees-Miller. 2010.

    Contemporary Linguistics. 6th Edition. New York: Bedford.

  4. Podesva, Robert J. and Devyani Sharma, eds. 2013. Research Methods in Linguistics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Appendix: Sample answer


Term: Morphology


Morphology is one of the six branches of theoretical linguistics (in addition to phonetics, phonology, syntax, semantics and pragmatics) which focuses on the study of how words are constructed out of morphemes. For example, the English word workers is a complex noun. It is composed of 3 morphemes: (i) the verb root work, (ii) the derivational suffix -er which affixes to a verb and changes it into a noun (with the meaning ‘one who does…’), and (iii) the inflectional plural suffix -s. There are several competing theories of morphology. One theory, i.e., Item & Arrangement theory (IA), proposes that roots, derivational affixes, and inflectional affixes are all stored separately in the mental lexicon as morphemes, and complex words (such as workers), are constructed in the syntactic component. An extreme version is called Distributed Morphology (DM: Halle & Marantz, 1993) and does not consider there to be a single morphological component in the grammar, but rather distributes its functions in several other areas of the grammar, i.e., (i) lexical entries in the lexicon, (ii) concatenative functions (e.g., combining morphemes) in the syntactic component, (iii) vocabulary insertion and morphological transformations in the phonological component, and (iv) non-concatenative functions (e.g., idioms) in the semantic component. An alternate theory, i.e., Item & Process (IP), proposes that words are stored and composed in a single location: the Lexicon.


Breakdown:

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See the table below for a detailed annotation of the sample answer above (on your exam please answer in the paragraph format above and not in the table format below):


Definition:

(clear & concise)


Example: (use of italics for language data) Link between example & definition: (clearly stated) Explication: (relevance of concept in relation to linguistic theory; here a discussion of differing theories of morphology)

Morphology is one of the six branches of theoretical linguistics (in addition to phonetics, phonology, syntax, semantics and pragmatics) which focuses on the study of how words are constructed out of morphemes.

For example, the English word workers is a complex noun.


It is composed of 3 morphemes: (i) the verb root work, (ii) the derivational suffix -er which affixes to a verb and changes it into a noun (with the meaning ‘one who does…’), and (iii) the inflectional plural suffix -s.


There are several competing theories of morphology. One theory, i.e., Item & Arrangement theory (IA), proposes that roots, derivational affixes, and inflectional affixes are all stored separately in the mental lexicon as morphemes, and complex words (such as workers), are constructed in the syntactic component. An extreme version is called Distributed Morphology (DM: Halle & Marantz, 1993) and does not consider there to be a single morphological component in the grammar, but rather distributes its functions in several other areas of the grammar, i.e., (i) lexical entries in the lexicon, (ii) concatenative functions (e.g., combining morphemes) in the syntactic component, (iii) vocabulary insertion and morphological transformations in the phonological component, and (iv) non-concatenative functions (e.g., idioms) in the semantic component. An alternate theory, i.e., Item & Process (IP), proposes that words are stored and composed in a single location: the Lexicon.

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