Su Luopei (Robert Spence) Exploring English Grammar — the world of clauses, WS 2019/2020

Last update: 2019-11-24 18:17 UTC+01:00

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Exploring English Grammar --- the world of clauses, WS 2019/2020

General Information concerning this course

This course is specifically designed to be useful to students of translation and interpreting.

This course provides an overview of English grammar from a SYSTEMIC FUNCTIONAL perspective, and is designed to help students develop their own repertoire of strategies for answering the following questions:

The course is designed for native or near-native speakers of one of the Romance languages French, Spanish, or Italian, and is intended specifically for Erasmus students. Other students are welcome to attend the course provided they have a reasonably sound knowledge of English. It is also assumed that students taking the course have some knowledge of German.

The main language of instruction is English, but sometimes German will be used, depending on the nature of the particular problem under discussion.

The course devotes special attention to the things that can go wrong when it is the grammar of a Romance language that is interfering with the grammar of English, but we will also look at some of the things that can go wrong when the source of the interference is the grammar of German.

The course runs for one 15-week semester (1 x 2 SWS = 2 SWS) and is held each Tuesday from 10:15 to 11:45. In summer semester, a companion course (Exploring English Grammar — the world of groups and phrases) is offered, which covers all the material that could not be covered in winter semester. Most of the material covered in summer is based around nominal or verbal groups, including a great deal of work on tense.

The course held in winter covers the structures that clauses have due to their function in construing experience, enacting interpersonal relationships, and enabling coherent text. It also covers the logical relations involved in putting clauses together to produce clause complexes (i.e. sentences consisting of more than one single clause).

In more detail:

In winter semester, we begin by taking a brief look at the grammatical units of English and the functions they serve. We then study three different dimensions of English clauses: how they are structured as (i) messages (this affects the order in which the parts of the clause occur); (ii) interpersonal exchanges (here we examine the systems of grammatical mood, including modal verbs and question tags); and (iii) representations of types of processes, participants, and circumstances (time, place, manner, and the like). The winter semester concludes with an overview of what is involved in putting clauses together to form larger complexes (apposition, coordination, subordination, quoting, reporting, and the like). There is also an optional unit on the various forms that nouns, verbs, adjectives, and adverbs can have (morphology).

(The course held in summer covers the structure and functions of nominal groups, including demonstratives, the order of adjectives, defining (restrictive) relative clauses, etc.; the functions of prepositions in prepositional phrases; and the systems such as aspect and tense that are encoded in verbal groups. Several weeks are devoted to contrastive exercises in which the English tense system is examined from the perspective of tense in French, Italian, Spanish, and German. After this, we revisit reported speech and reported thought, and look at chained structures like "she happens to appear to have been trying to want to start looking for a job”. If time permits in summer semester, we will also look at aspects of English grammar that extend “beyond” the clause and also some of the grammatical functions of English prosody.)

After each class (15 x 2 hours) there is a small amount of homework, consisting of exercises designed to review what has just been learnt and prepare the ground for what is to come. The total extent of the course is thus 30 (15 x 2) contact hours, plus an additional 45 to 60 hours devoted to homework, making a total of 75 to 90 hours for 3 credit points. (An equivalent amount of work is involved in the summer semester course, which is also worth 3 credit points.)

All students taking the course should make sure that their correct email address is on the course mailing list. (Online registration is available via LSF, but please try to get to the first lesson so that I can meet you in person!) When sending an email to the course leader, please make sure that the piece of text
[grammar]
(including the square brackets!) is included in the subject line. (This will happen automagically if you are reading any email I have already sent you concerning this course and you simply hit the “Reply” button.)

Students are expected to attend regularly. If you are unable to attend one of the lessons, it is vital that you contact me beforehand to let me know. Missing more than two lessons altogether would seriously compromise your chances of successfully completing the course.

Each lesson is accompanied by a worksheet of questions which students are expected to answer. These questions will be discussed in class, but in general the worksheet does not need to be handed in.

Assessment for the course will be on the basis of a final examination (to be held during the normal class time in the last week of lectures) plus a small number of hand-in exercises (including one mini-assignment) spread throughout the semester. The examination itself will be based entirely on the questions contained in the weekly worksheets.

Most of the course materials, including the weekly worksheets, will be included in the course notes and placed on the website; certain additional materials will be distributed in the lessons; and other materials can be accessed by following the links on the course website.

The website will be updated frequently, so please check back regularly.

1 Links

1.1 Course Notes 2019/2020

http://www.spence.saar.de/courses/grammar/coursenotes201902/index.pdf

(The course notes are not yet finished.)

1.2 Week 01: Class of 2019-10-15 (Unit 00)

Here you can find the slides from 15.10.2019:

http://www.spence.saar.de/courses/grammar/gram1902topic00/grammar20191015-beamer.pdf

and here are the contents of the slides in a format more suitable for printing:

http://www.spence.saar.de/courses/grammar/gram1902topic00/grammar20191015-print.pdf

Here is the link to the initial survey:

http://www.spence.saar.de/courses/grammar/initialsurvey/index.pdf

1.3 Week 02: Class of 2019-10-22 (Unit 01)

Here you can find the slides from 22.10.2019:

http://www.spence.saar.de/courses/grammar/gram1902topic01/grammar20191022-beamer.pdf

and here are the contents of the slides in a format more suitable for printing:

http://www.spence.saar.de/courses/grammar/gram1902topic01/grammar20191022-print.pdf

plus the extra page:

http://www.spence.saar.de/courses/grammar/unit01/GRAMMARUNIT01EXTRASLIDE.png

Here is the worksheet that is to be completed before week 03:

http://www.spence.saar.de/courses/grammar/questions01/index.pdf

1.4 Week 03: Class of 2019-10-29 (Unit 02)

http://www.spence.saar.de/courses/grammar/gram1902topic02/grammar20191029-beamer.pdf

and here are the contents of the slides in a format more suitable for printing:

http://www.spence.saar.de/courses/grammar/gram1902topic02/grammar20191029-print.pdf

Here is the worksheet that is to be completed before week 04:

http://www.spence.saar.de/courses/grammar/questions02/index.pdf

1.5 Week 04: Class of 2019-11-05 (Unit 03)

http://www.spence.saar.de/courses/grammar/gram1902topic03/grammar20191105-beamer.pdf

and here are the contents of the slides in a format more suitable for printing:

http://www.spence.saar.de/courses/grammar/gram1902topic03/grammar20191105-print.pdf

Additional materials relating to Unit 03 referred to in class are here:

http://www.spence.saar.de/courses/grammar/unit03/

Here is the worksheet that is to be completed before week 05:

http://www.spence.saar.de/courses/grammar/questions03/index.pdf

ATTENTION!
In Week 5 we made a last-minute change of plan, and spent the entire class discussing MOOD TAGS.
As a result, all classes up until the Christmas break will be ONE WEEK BEHIND SCHEDULE.
What follows from this point is the original schedule – please adjust by one week:

1.6 Week 05: Class of 2019-11-12 (Unit 04a)

http://www.spence.saar.de/courses/grammar/gram1902topic04a/grammar20191112-beamer.pdf

and here are the contents of the slides in a format more suitable for printing:

http://www.spence.saar.de/courses/grammar/gram1902topic04a/grammar20191112-print.pdf

Here is the paradigms worksheet used in class:

http://www.spence.saar.de/courses/grammar/unit04a/paradigms.pdf

Here are the slides on Mood Tags referred to in class:

http://www.spence.saar.de/courses/grammar/unit04a/moodtags.pdf

and again, in a form more suitable for printing:

http://www.spence.saar.de/courses/grammar/unit04a/moodtags-print.pdf

Here is the worksheet that is to be completed before week 06:

http://www.spence.saar.de/courses/grammar/questions04a/index.pdf

1.7 Week 06: Class of 2019-11-19 (Unit 04b)

http://www.spence.saar.de/courses/grammar/gram1902topic04b/grammar20191119-beamer.pdf

and here are the contents of the slides in a format more suitable for printing:

http://www.spence.saar.de/courses/grammar/gram1902topic04b/grammar20191119-print.pdf

Here is the worksheet that is to be completed after week 06:

http://www.spence.saar.de/courses/grammar/questions04b/index.pdf

Additional materials relating to Unit 04b are here: http://www.spence.saar.de/courses/grammar/unit04b/

1.8 Week 07: Class of 2019-11-26 (Unit 05a)

http://www.spence.saar.de/courses/grammar/gram1902topic05a/grammar20191126-beamer.pdf

and here are the contents of the slides in a format more suitable for printing:

http://www.spence.saar.de/courses/grammar/gram1902topic05a/grammar20191126-print.pdf

The three-page handout with diagrams used in class can be found here:

http://www.spence.saar.de/courses/grammar/unit05a/

Here is the worksheet that is to be completed in conjunction with the class in week 07:

http://www.spence.saar.de/courses/grammar/questions05a/index.pdf

1.9 Week 08: Class of 2019-12-03 (Unit 05b)

Slides and printout: still to come.

The six-page handout with diagrams used in class can be found here:

http://www.spence.saar.de/courses/grammar/unit05b/

Here is the three-page worksheet with exercises on relational processes:

http://www.spence.saar.de/courses/grammar/questions05b/index.pdf

1.10 Week 09: Class of 2019-12-10 (Unit 05c)

Slides and printout: still to come.

Handout: still to come

Worksheet: still to come

1.11 Week 10: Class of 2019-12-17

No formal class this week, as students may already be on their way home. Available for consultations.

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