ENG 380 Week 1 Language and Linguistics Worksheet

ENG 380 Week 1 Language and Linguistics Worksheet

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 ENG 380 Week 1 Language and Linguistics Worksheet

In a linguists world, understanding language and language change tells a lot about where we are today in terms of linguistics as a whole. How we communicate and understand language changes over time.

Complete the Language and Linguistics Worksheet.

Submit your assignment as a single file to the Assignment Files tab.

Language and Linguistics Worksheet

Using the text for this course, the University Library, the Internet, and/or other resources complete the following three-part assignment.



Part A


Select two terms total from the following lists. One term is an example of how language changes over time. Select a different term that is an example of how English has spread as an international language.


(Note: We are looking at the etymology of the terms, not the technology they represent.  For instance, apple used to mean a fruit, but now it also is the name of a major computer/smart phone company.  You would not get credit for saying that Apple’s products allow people to communicate in English.)









































































































Blue jeans
Reality TV
You Tube
Streaming video
Web cast
Global warming
Rock ‘n Roll
Space station



Write a 350-word paper in which you discuss why one of the terms you selected exemplifies the evolution of language and why one of the terms you selected exemplifies the spread of English.

Explain why English is used so widely.

Format references and citations consistent with APA guidelines.




Part B


Select Scenario A or Scenario B:


Scenario A: Jason is blind and has epilepsy. He has a guide dog named Bo who assists him. Bo usually responds to commands from Jason. At times, Jason gives Bo the command to cross the street, but Bo disobeys if Jason has misjudged the traffic and it is not safe to cross.


Bo can also sense when Jason is about to have an epileptic seizure. The dog becomes agitated and begins to whine; although this is something he has not been trained to do. At times, he has left Jason and alerted others that his human companion needs help.


Scenario B: While caring for her infant daughter at home, Sara talks to another child:


“Ba, bab, ba, babab, ba, bab, baba, ba”

“Yes, Julie, that’s a baby! See the baby? Pretty baby!”

“Ba, ba, bab, bab, bab”


Write a 350-word paper in which you define communication, define language, and explain how they differ.  Be sure to use linguistic definitions from the textbook.  Do not summarize the scenario; I’ll know which one you’re talking about.

Explain whether the scenario you selected is an example of communication or language, based on your definitions.

Provide at least one reference to support your conclusion.

Format references and citations consistent with APA guidelines.



Part C

In the chart, decide whether the following situations are examples of errors in competenceor performance.  That is, does the person not really understand what he or she is trying to do (an error in competence), or does the person understand the concept but just have trouble producing it (an error in performance)?  Each situation must be one or the other; you cannot choose both. In the appropriate column, explain why you think the situation shows an error in competence or performance.






































































1. A five-year-old child hears conversations among adults and understands words like debatable and discussion.  But, she cannot pronounce the words correctly. 

2. An English teacher visits her elderly grandfather. In conversations with him, she uses words like ain’t and phrases like fixin’ to. 

3. A 14-year-old always writes and says the word specific as “pacific” and does not differentiate between the two when read/heard. 

4. In talking about his dad, a 15-year-old boy calls his father a “smuck in the tid” when he meant to say “stick in the mud.” 

5. A high school student can recite the definition of a comma splice, but she still always writes sentences that contain comma splices and cannot identify examples in other people’s writing.

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