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120226 SE MA Seminar - Focus: Functional and Cognitive Linguistics / Linguistics Seminar (2020W)

English Idioms

10.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 12 - Anglistik
Continuous assessment of course work


Note: The time of your registration within the registration period has no effect on the allocation of places (no first come, first served).


max. 18 participants
Language: English


Classes (iCal) - next class is marked with N

This course will be taught exclusively ON-LINE (using BBB in Moodle). On-line meetings will, in principle, take place every week in the allocated time slot.

Tuesday 06.10. 10:15 - 11:45 Digital
Tuesday 13.10. 10:15 - 11:45 Digital
Tuesday 20.10. 10:15 - 11:45 Digital
Tuesday 27.10. 10:15 - 11:45 Digital
Tuesday 03.11. 10:15 - 11:45 Digital
Tuesday 10.11. 10:15 - 11:45 Digital
Tuesday 17.11. 10:15 - 11:45 Digital
Tuesday 24.11. 10:15 - 11:45 Digital
Tuesday 01.12. 10:15 - 11:45 Digital
Tuesday 15.12. 10:15 - 11:45 Digital
Tuesday 12.01. 10:15 - 11:45 Digital
Tuesday 19.01. 10:15 - 11:45 Digital
Tuesday 26.01. 10:15 - 11:45 Digital


Aims, contents and method of the course

Course content:
Idioms form an essential part of the English language. Typically defined as constructions that are semantically non-transparent and non-compositional (i.e. the meaning of the idiom as a whole cannot be derived from or predicted on the basis of the meaning of the component parts), they are often regarded as fixed multi-word expressions that simply need to be learned. Closer examination, however, shows that there is huge amount of variation within the class of idioms, in terms of degree of transparency, compositionality, conventionality, collocability and (morpho)syntactic flexibility. In order to come to a better understanding of the use, internal structure, formal behaviour of English idioms, this course will address such questions as how they can be defined and classified, how they can be analysed (semantically and syntactically), how they are used (creatively), and how they are processed and acquired.

Course aims:
By focusing on a single, but very versatile, type of construction, students will learn:
- to recognize the complexity of the linguistic system as manifested in English idioms
- to approach what often looks like a straightforward, unitary phenomenon from different angles, considering different aspects of their function and form
- to understand how these different aspects are interconnected and mutually dependent
- to decide which research questions and methodology are appropriate in studying the different aspects of idioms
- to tackle some of the issues involved individually and/or in small groups.

Course methods:
Readings, classroom discussions, assignment, (group) presentation, individual research project.

Assessment and permitted materials

Course assessment:
Students will be assessed on the basis of a mid-term assignment (individual), a (group) presentation and a final seminar paper (individual). Active participation is required.

Minimum requirements and assessment criteria

Course evaluation is based on:
(a) regular (online) class attendance (max. 2 absences)
(b) handing in the midterm assignment (on time; 20%)
(c) giving the oral presentation (on set date; 20%)
(d) handing in the seminar paper (on time; 60%)

Students must attain 60 of the maximum of 100 points.

Examination topics

Readings, exercises, midterm assignment, classroom discussions, individual research project

Reading list

All the required reading will be made available on Moodle.

Association in the course directory

Studium: MA 812 [2]; UF 344
Code/Modul: MA 4, MA 5; UF 4.2.3-222
Lehrinhalt: 12-0496

Last modified: Mo 05.10.2020 10:09