ENGL6010: American English (45791)

Kretzschmar, William

TR 11:10 AM

Park Hall 269

ENGL/LING 4010/6010     Fall 2021    Kretzschmar    TTH 11:10-12:25, Park 269


American English


Office: 317 Park.  Email: kretzsch@uga.edu. Office Hours: TTH 8:30-9:30 via Skype (bill.kretzschmar), and by appointment (email me to set one up). In-person office hours will be held in Park 317.


Catalog:  The history, present status, and future prospects of American English, including standards and internal variation.


Texts: Draft textbook on eLC.


Course Conduct: Lecture/discussion, on Zoom or in person depending on conditions at UGA. There will be five in-class tests and no final exam ("continuous assessment").  Computer exercises are due by email before the class period discussed. There will be one short paper (5 pp) and a major paper due at the end of the term (c. 15 pp undergrad, c. 20 pp. grad). Papers will be prepared according to standard practices for academic papers, and include appropriate use of the scholarly literature. There will be a proposal (2-3 pp) for the final paper due in late October. Grades will be based on class attendance (or Zoom presence, 90 pts), computer exercises (60 pts), the five in-class exams (250 pts), the short paper (100 pts), and the final paper (50 pts proposal, 150 pts final paper). 700 total points. Course info will be on the Web at the UGA eLC  (elc.uga.edu).


Goals and Topics:  This course is about the facts of American English, both historical and current.  Students will learn about the circumstances of colonial settlement as they relate to the English language, in other words how the languages of different ethnic groups came together with different dialects of British settlers to form a peculiarly American variety of English.  Students will learn, through treatment of further settlement and changing social conditions, how American English has become and remained a regionally and socially pluralistic variety of English.  Finally, students will develop perspective about American English as it exists today:  is American English still changing?  how is American English related to other varieties of English?  what are the cultural and social implications of our standards and varieties?


Schedule: (CE = computer exercise)

Aug 19            Th:  Course intro.       

Aug 26, 28      T: Ch 1                                                Th: App 1: words, sounds

Aug 31, Sep 2 T: App 1: sounds                                Th: App 3 LAP, computer

Sep 7, 9           T: App 2: syntax, discourse                Th: App 3: computer, EX 1

Sep 14, 16       T: Ch 1: CE 1, Ch 2: CS                     Th: Ch 2: evidence, Ch2 CE 2

Sep 21, 23       T: Ch 3: ancient, origins English        Th: Ch3: origins audio, Ch3 CE 3     

Sep 28, 30       T: Ch 4: settlement, Crevecoeur         Th: Ch 4: AmE audio, EX 2

Oct 5, 7           T: Ch. 4: CE 4, Ch 5, settlement        Th: Ch 5: lg expt, immigration

Oct 12, 14       T: Ch 5: Webster, CE 5, short paper due  Th: Ch 6: barons, demographics, text

Oct 19, 21       T: Ch 6: Mencken, CE6                      Th: Ch 6: audio, EX 3

Oct 26, 28       T:, Ch 7: postwar/IT, demographics   Th: Ch 7: lg in use, proposal due

Nov 2, 4          T: Ch 7: CE 7, Ch 8: early maps         Th: Ch 8: perception, audio   

Nov 9, 11        T: Ch 8: CE 8, Ch 9: demographics    Th: Ch 9: audio, EX 4

Nov 16, 18      T: Ch 9: CE 9/9A, Ch 10: class          Th: Ch 10: sociolx, multidimensonal

Nov 23            T: Ch 10: CE 10, Ch 11                      Th: Thanksgiving, no class

Nov 30, Dec 2 T: Ch 11: CE 11, Ch 12: mavens        Th: Ch 12: law, EX 5

Dec. 7              No class; Paper due by email.



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The course syllabus is a general plan for the course; deviations announced to the class by the instructor may be necessary.

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