Modern English Grammar

“Grammar” is the attempt to describe how language
works. The way you have been taught to do so in the past might well have seemed
fairly arbitrary to you: you were probably expected to learn some terms for
things like parts of speech, but then you might not have had much luck when you
tried to apply these terms to real sentences. In this course we will certainly
be learning some more terms, but the emphasis will be on discovery rather than
memorization. At each point we will be asking ourselves why and what we are
supposed to be learning. When we look at the parts of speech, we will ask why
we are distinguishing one part of speech from another and what criteria we
should use to distinguish them before coming up with our definitions. We will
try to look at larger language structures in the same way: we will ask what we
are trying to figure out and which of several possible different ways of
describing something really does most to help us understand how language
operates and how sentences convey meaning.  For that is the goal: not just to memorize terms, but to
gain as much understanding as we can of one of the most commonplace but also
most complex of human phenomena.

Required Text:  Richard Veit, DISCOVERING ENGLISH
GRAMMER, 2ND ED.  Grade based on short written exercises, quizzes, and exams.