HW 1: a mini-report using a reference grammar of a language compared with Japanese)

Paper 1 Language Myths and Linguistic Equality (Argument Essay)

Demonstrate your understanding of descriptive grammar and linguistic equality (as discussed during Week 1), incorporating some of the information you collected for HW #1. Imagine your readers, who are curious about language studies but are not necessarily familiar with linguistics. (Full Guidelines — accessed via Midd account)

HW2: collecting examples of two synonymous words with indexical meaning

Paper 2 Social Meanings and Indexicality (“Data-driven” research)

You will be writing a paper that addresses the indexicality of language—how linguistic forms “point to” social meanings, e.g., speaker’s identity, power relations, prestige, etc.

Think of this paper as an extension of Homework #2 (data collection), but this time, you must:

1) ask a specific research question

2) use secondary sources (research articles and book chapters) that contextualize your question

3) present linguistic “data” (sample texts, informants’ responses, etc.) (You may use samples you collected for Homework #2 (data collection), and discuss your data in response to the question

>> HW3

Paper 3 “Portfolio

Revision of Paper 2 with a full discussion section.


This paper must address an issue pertaining to language change or emerging change. It must have a clear theme, main point (“message”) and examples to support your claim. [3-4 pages + references.]

If you write an independent paper, your paper must:

  • address an issue in linguistics directly concerning language change, or a present-day phenomenon supported by a historical approach/evidence.
  • have a well-supported argument (main point), for example, by establishing opposing and similar views using sources.
  • incorporate two or more scholarly articles in linguistics (such as journal articles and edited book chapters, as opposed to textbooks) (You can use any of the articles and book chapters we read for this class. I have also uploaded two additional chapters from Language Myths. Go to Canvas >> Homepage/Module >> Paper 3.)
  • be either about Japanese, or if not, uses a main idea from at least one scholarly source on Japanese including linguistic examples (e.g., orthographic and sound systems, morphology, syntax, semantics, lexical, etc.) (They do not have to come from primary sources.)