Monday, January 19, 2009

Syllabus READ 5190 - ETSU

Department of Curriculum and Instruction
Linguistics Rdng - 13514 - READ 5190 - 001
Linguistics of Reading/Storytelling: 3 credit hours
Course Syllabus
Instructor: David Novak
Phone: 828-280-2718
Office hours: TBD
Course Schedule: Jan 20 – Apil 28, T, 10:45am-1:30pm
Room: Warf-Pickel 405
Crystal, David. Cambridge Encyclopedia of Language. NY: Cambridge University Press, 1997.
Tannen, Deborah. Talking Voices: Repetition, dialogue, and imagery in conversational discourse. NY: Cambridge University Press, 1989.
Bauman, Richard. Story, Performance, Event. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press, 1986.
Coursepack (see Additional Bibliography).
CATALOG DESCRIPTION: Relationships of local dialects to reading; alphabets; phonology; morphology; syntax, and semantics as related to reading; aspects of psycholinguistics which are primarily linguistic.
This section of Linguistics of Reading/Storytelling will be especially geared to the needs and interests of storytellers, focusing intensively on the psycholinguistics and sociolinguistics of narrative. Reading students should consult the Instructor for further information.
Relationship of Course to College Philosophy and Goals:
COE Conceptual Framework Standards:
This course gives students an opportunity to assimilate five dimensions of leadership: concern for diversity, reflective practice, lifelong learning, caring, and critical thinking. General knowledge, content knowledge, and professional knowledge requirements are also met.
1. To explore in depth the linguistics of storytelling, in its conversational, performance, and literary contexts.
2. To understand the linguistic and rhetorical strategies which signal the emergence of narrative from the matrix of everyday conversational and informational speech and writing.
3. To inventory the specific linguistic techniques that foster teller-listener involvement in storytelling performance.
4. To help storytelling and reading majors to understand how to better use these techniques to raise the level of their own performance, teaching, and communication.
1. Basic tools of linguistic analysis: linguistic levels; analysis at the levels of morphology, phonetics, phonology, grammar/syntax, semantics, stylistics, and higher levels of structure, especially including narrative.
2. Discourse analysis: the methods which sociolinguists, anthropologists, and folklorists have devised to represent spoken language and oral narrative in print, and how these methods reflect on and refract the oral language process.
3. Dialect, and its roles in storytelling and literature.
4. Linguistic and paralinguistic involvement strategies.
5. Defining and exploring narrative and the linguistics of story and storytelling: the dynamic representation of events in passing time; levels of narrative density; general and specific verb tenses, demarcative transitions, construction of action and dialogue, creation of anticipation, qualities of style and “voice” in storytelling and literature.
Writing assignments:
1. Record and transcribe a story told in a conversational setting. Notate all conversational turns, interactive responses, and as many of the paralinguistic elements such as pauses, expression, inflection, dynamics, laughter, etc. as can be reconstructed. Write a socio-linguistic analysis of the context, stylistics, and interactional dynamics as revealed in the language of the performance. 10-20 pp. double-spaced total.
2. A. (for Storytelling majors) Record and transcribe a storytelling performance in a more formal solo performance setting. This can be from one of the class members, a member of another storytelling class on campus, one of the storytelling professors, or any other professional or avocational storytelling performer on campus or elsewhere (it is fine to record the performance in the student’s home region before the beginning of the course). It is acceptable to use a recording of one of your own performances, but it will need to be in a live setting, and will also need to be recorded within one month of the beginning of class. Write a sociolinguistic analysis of this performance. Compare and contrast the linguistic strategies, paralinguistic aspects, and interactional elements of this performance with the conversational performance analyzed earlier. Analyze the narrative structure according to the models covered in readings and in class (Propp, Sutton-Smith, etc.) 10-20 pp. double-spaced total.
2.B. (for Reading majors) Choose a children’s book, short story, or novella (no more than 50 pp. in length) and do a close analysis of the linguistic and narrative strategies therein. Compare and contrast the language of the literary work with the language of the conversational story that you have analyzed above, on the levels of structure, style, vocabulary, syntax, and the presence or absence of involvement or interactional markers.
3. Language Journal (100 pts.): Students will keep a language journal during the
course, consisting of word etymologies, neologisms, and particularly interesting, thought provoking, odd, funny, revealing, eccentric, creative, or dumbfounding examples of language collected in the field. The word etymologies should be selected for their relevance to the art of storytelling. Neologisms are to be of newly coined words currently in use. The language samples can come from encounters with spoken, written, or electronically transmitted language—from conversation, overheard or reported speech, published or unpublished writing, or from language on radio, television, film, or the internet. Each sample should be at least the length of a complete utterance (depending on the context an utterance may or may not conform to the grammatical confinements of a complete sentence—i.e., a proverb (“Waste not, want not”), and exclamation (“Phat!”), or an advertising slogan), but no longer than a paragraph or a conversational turn or two. You will document the context in which you encountered the sample, the date, time, place, speakers, and media involved.You will then write a paragraph analyzing and commenting on precisely what is revealing and distinctive about it. Examples recorded without commentary or analysis will not be credited. Nor will more than three examples from any single source, unless you apply for and receive a special exemption. The purpose of this exercise is to hone your sensitivity to the subtleties and creative uses of language in many different forms and contexts. The complete language journal should contain at least twenty five word etymologies; twenty five neologisms, and fifty entries of examples of language collected in the field. Journal entries are to be posted to the class blog over the course of the semester and are to be completed by April 28.
Midterm Quiz (100 pts.): Short essays on themes drawn from the topics of the course and may be freely answered with examples, stories, and reflections from your own experience. Open-book and open-notes.
Other assignments and exercises TBA
Paper #1 300 pts.
Paper #2 300 pts.
Language Journal 100 pts.
Quiz: 100 pts.
Attendance and Participation: 200 pts.
Total Points: 1000
Students are required to be in class on time for each meeting. Three late arrivals or early departures will be counted equivalent to one absence on your record. A second absence will result in a drop of 50 points. Each subsequent absence will result in a drop of 100 points. Arriving more than 30 minutes late or leaving more than 30 minutes early will count as an absence
A: 926-1000
A-: 900-925
B+: 875-899
B: 825-874
B-: 800-824
C+: 775-799
C: 700-774
Grades lower than a C in a graduate class are considered failing.
Because of the concentrated time span within which the course will be meeting, students would be wise to get hold of the required texts in advance, and to familiarize themselves with their main outlines.
They should also be thinking about and making notes on the two major writing assignments. They are encouraged, though not required, to record and transcribe their conversational and performance stories at home before their arrival.
Key readings for the two papers are:
1. Conversational narrative—Talking Voices pp. 1-165; Story, Performance, Event, pp. 1-77
2. Storytelling performance—Story, Performance, Event, pp. 78-115; “Jack in the Raw: Ray Hicks,” and “Hardy Hard-Ass, as told by Ray Hicks,” pp. 3-26 of Jack in Two Worlds , William B. McCarthy, Ed. (Coursepack); Sobol, Joseph D. “Innervison and Innertext: Oral Traditional and Oral Interpretive Modes of Storytelling Performance,” in Carol Birch and Melissa Heckler, Who Says: Essays on Contemporary Storytelling; Propp,Vladimir. Morphology of the Folktale, Austin, TX: U of Texas Press,1968.
2b. (for Reading majors)—from Spoken and Written Language, Deborah Tannen, ed. NJ: Ablex, 1982: Heath, Shirley Brice. “Protean Shapes in Literacy Events: Ever-shifting Oral and Literate Traditions.” 91-117; Lakoff, Robin Tolmach. “Some of my Favorite Writers are Literate: the Mingling of Oral and Literate Strategies in Written Communication,” 239-260; Rader, Margaret. “Context in Written Language: the Case of Imaginative Fiction,” 185-198.
For more information on courses and the masters program, go to
ADDITIONAL RECOMMENDED BIBLIOGRAPHY (much of the following will be included in a Course reading pack, to be available at the start of class):
1. Bryson, Bill. “Becoming Americans” from Made In America, pp. 13-29.Perennial, 1995.
2. Chafe, Wallace. “The Deployment of Consciousness in the Production of a Narrative.” 9-50, from The Pear Stories, Wallace Chafe, ed. NJ: Ablex, 1980.
3. ---. “Integration and Involvement in Speaking, Writing, and Oral Literature,” Spoken and Written Language, Deborah Tannen, ed. NJ: Ablex, 1982, 35-53.
4. Darnell, Regina. “Correlates of Cree Narrative Performance.” In Explorations in the Ethnography of Speaking, pp. 315-336. NY: Cambridge University Press, 1974.
5. Fine, Elizabeth. “An Illustration of a Performance-Centered Text.” From The Folklore Text. Bloomington: Indiana UP, 1994.
6. Hymes, Dell. “The Lost Boy.” From “In Vain I Tried to Tell You”: Essays in Native American Ethnopoetics, pp. 143-183. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1981
7. Locke, John L. “Social Work” from Why we Don't Talk To each other Anymore, pp. 67-102. Simon & Schuster, 1998.
8. Propp, Vladimir. Morphology of the Folktale.
9. Rader, Margaret. “Context in Written Language: the Case of Imaginative Fiction.” Spoken and Written Language, Deborah Tannen, ed. NJ: Ablex, 1982, 185-198.
10. Schiffrin, Deborah. “Tense Variation in Narrative.”
11. Sobol, Joseph D. “Jack in the Raw: Ray Hicks,” and “Hardy Hard-Ass, as told by Ray Hicks,” pp. 3-26 of Jack in Two Worlds , William B. McCarthy, Ed.
12. Sobol, Joseph D. “Innervison and Innertext: Oral Traditional and Oral Interpretive Modes of Storytelling Performance,” in Carol Birch and Melissa Heckler, Who Says: Essays on Contemporary Storytelling.
13. Sutton-Smith, Brian. The Folkstories of Children, pp. 1-43. Philadelphia: University of Pennsylvania Press, 1981.
14. Tannen, Deborah. “The Oral/Literate Continuum in Discourse.” Spoken and Written Language. NJ: Ablex, 1982, 1-16.

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