LIN 103B: Linguistic Analysis II

Instructor Lecture Day/Time Lecture Hall Email Office Hours Office
Masoud Jasbi Tue + Thu 3:10 - 4:30 PM Wellman Hall 6 Fri 12:00 - 1:00 Kerr Hall 279
Teaching Assistant Discussion Section Day/Time Classroom Email Office Hours Office
Melissa Gomes Wed 10:00 - 10:50 Wellman Hall 201 Wed, 12:00-1:00 Kerr Hall 269
Wed 11:00 - 11:50 Wellman Hall 201
Fatemeh Samavati Tue 5:10 - 6:00 Wellman Hall 7 Thu, 2:00-3:00 Kerr Hall 254


Week Month Date Topic Content Videos Readings Assignments
1 September 28 Syntax as a Science
(Click for Slides)
the scientific method(s), grammar vs. syntax, formal language theory, syntactic categories Wintner (2001) Ch.1
2 October 3 Linguistic Data vs. Theory acceptability, grammaticality, competence, performance Chomsky (1957) Ch.1,2,6
Chomsky (1965) Ch.1
Quiz 1
3 10 Regular Languages properties of regular languages, finite-state automata, weak and strong generative capacity, Is natural language regular? Informal Intro to Finite State Automota
Formal Intro to Finite State Automota
Wintner (2001) Ch.2
Chomsky (1957) Ch. 3
Quiz 2
12 Intro to Regular Expressions
4 17 Context Free Languages derivation, derivation tree, properties of context-free languages, applications to natural language Intro to Context Free Grammars Wintner (2001) Ch.3

Chomsky (1957) Ch. 4,5
Quiz 3 + Argument Map 1
19 Intro to Push-Down Automata
5 24 Beyond Context Free Grammars The Chomsky Hierarchy, Weak and Strong Generative Capacity of CFGs, Transformational Grammars, Mildly Context Sensitive Grammars and Languages Wintner (2001) Ch.4
Chomsky (1956)
Quiz 4
6 31 A Context Free Grammar with X-bar Schema A working context free grammar for basic English sentences, Capturing Word Order in Languages of the World, The X-bar Schema Quiz 5 (Midterm)
November 2
7 7 Subcategories vs. Feature Structures Argument Structure, Thematic Roles, Agreement, Selection Quiz 6
8 14 Case Marking and Alignment Quiz 7
9 21 Quiz 8
23 Thanksgiving
10 28 Questions Polar Questions and Wh-Questions Quiz 9 + Argument Map 2
11 December 5 Ellipsis Quiz 10

Course Objectives

Objective Course Component
1 Introduce the basic concepts in the analysis of language structure Readings, Lectures
4 Practice syntactic analysis and formal modeling Assignments, Midterm, Final Exam, Discussion Sections
3 Practice critical and scientific thinking Argument Maps, Reading Reactions


Participation 10 Points Discussion Forum 10 Points Each week, post a question, a comment, or a response to someone else's question/comment on the week's readings and videos in Canvas Discussions section. 10 discussions (1 per week) each worth 1%. No strict deadlines; you can submit all until the exam week starts.
Critical Thinking 20 Points Argument Map 20 Points 2 argument maps on the following two papers (each worth 10 points): 1. Saffran, Aslin, Newport (1996) 2. Tanenhaus, Spivey-Knowiton, Eberhard, Sedivy (1995). Take a look at this introduction to argument maps and how we use them in this class . There are strict deadlines for Argument Maps listed on Canvas.
Analytic Skills 70 Points
Weekly Quizzes 40 Points 8 weekly quizzes on Canvas, 5 points each. Questions come from the readings of the week and lecture materials. Each quiz has several question-types (covering a specific sub-topic of the week) and the exact questions in that question-type are randomly selected from a bank of questions. You can re-take quizzes multiple times. Your highest grade will be recorded. Quizzes are available until exam week.
Midterm Quiz 10 Points Similar to weekly quizzes, except that questions are on the materials of weeks 1-5. Available until exam week.
Final Quiz 20 Points Similar to weekly quizzes and the midterm except that the questions are on all of the course content. The final quiz will be released during the exam week and you'll have 1 day to submit it. Multiple attempts are allowed.
OR, alternatively, write a research paper (6-10 pages). Students who choose this option should meet with Masoud to discuss their research topic and propose a timeline.
Deadlines There are no deadlines for quizzes and discussion posts. They must be submitted during the quarter before the the exam week. The final quiz will be released during the exam week and you will have a full day to complete it. Argument Maps will have strict deadlines. 1 point will be deducted for each day of late submission.
Submission Format Submit your assignments using Canvas. Quizzes can be found in the Quizzes section and Argument Maps can be uploaded and submitted in the Assignments section. If an answer is handwritten and cannot be determined due to illegibility, no points are assigned to that answer. Do not include your name or any identifying information in the assignments. In order to avoid grading biases, all grading is done either automatically or anonymously.
Grading The points you earn during the course will turn into your letter grade according to the following scale:
A+ = 100-97 A = 97-93, A- = 93-90, B+ = 90-87, B = 87-83, B- = 83-80, C+ = 80-77, C = 77-73, C- = 73-70, D+ = 70-67, D = 67-63, D- = 63-60, F = 60-0.
For any submission, if you believe there have been grading mistakes, you can ask for re-grading. The assignment will be graded by a new grader and the second grade will be recorded.
Integrity We follow the UC Davis code of academic conduct. You are permitted to work together on the argument maps but you must write up and submit your own maps. You are expected to do the quizzes individually.
Accessibility Students who may need an academic accommodation based on the impact of a disability must initiate the request with the UC Davis Student Disability Center. Professional staff will evaluate the request, recommend reasonable accommodations, and prepare a letter of accommodation for the faculty. Students should contact the SDC as soon as possible since timely notice is needed to coordinate accommodations.
Addressing the Instructor I prefer Masoud. No titles or last name needed. All pronouns are fine.
Assessment and Grading Our assignments and grading are designed to emphasize "error-driven learning". We want you to make errors, try to figure out what went wrong, correct the errors, and learn that way. This is why you have multiple attempts on quizzes. We also understand that different people learn with different speed. This is why we don't have strict deadlines. In this approach you are in the driver's seat and in charge of your own learning. You decide how much you like to learn and what grade is satisfying to you.
Participation We believe that our class benefits enormously from you sharing your thoughts and questions. Your background, life experiences, knowledge, thoughts, and ideas make you unique, and our classroom diverse. This diversity of perspectives is the foundation of learning in a classroom. At a larger scale and within a scientific community, it is also a major contributor to scientific progress. Therefore, sharing your thoughts and questions can help us learn and build a wider, stronger community of scholars.

Some of you may worry that your classmate's asking questions and sharing ideas may disrupt the class progress. Judging when to ask a question or share an idea is tricky but also part of education. Instead of discouraging it, we would like to practice it together. Here is a flowchart that you might find useful. Ultimately, we trust your judgments.