Linguistic analysis of literature paper/website | ENG463

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In this assignment, you will write a paper with content that I, (Hwitham33) will turn into a website examining the universal elements of language in relation to a literary text. This paper will be divided into four parts: phonetics, morphology or syntax, semantics, and a conclusion. Your text will guide your approach to the paper, and should also be guided by your interests and projected profession.

The literary text you will be examining is: Where The Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak

Phonetics


For the first part, choose 25 words from the text, preferably those that are non-standard and/or in a dialect. Next, List these words to form your database and transcribe the words using IPA or (international Phonetic Alphabet). Finally, add a paragraph or two of reflection about the linguistic use of sound in this book.  Focus on how sound is being taught, any difficult sounds to pronounce, or the intended audience based on phonetics (SMRs: 2.1.d/2.3.b/3.4.a, K-12  Standards: Reading 1.1; Reading 2.3 Written & Oral 1.3 )

Morphology or Syntax

For the second part, you will choose to focus on either morphology or syntax, depending on which is the most linguistically interesting in your chosen text. 

All dialects of language incorporate morphological rules to build vocabulary. In the case of non-standard dialects, morphological units may be altered or omitted, or the rules for forming the lexical unit may differ in some way from standard dialects. For the second section of your content, you will write a morphological analysis of a selection of words from your text. While books for early readers tend to rely on free morphemes or simple words made up of a single free morpheme and an inflection, books for more sophisticated readers begin to incorporate words made up of free morphemes and various bound morphemes.

If you choose to analyze morphology: identify a minimum of about 10 words from the text. Try to choose words that contain a variety of morphological elements. List the morphological elements of each word (number of morphemes, whether they are free or bound, what is the root, and any other relevant information). Finally, as in all pages, end with a paragraph or two of reflection about the morphological elements of this text: for a children’s book, how advanced is the use of word structure? You might suggest some steps that might need to be taken in order to prepare the reader to comprehend the morphological elements in this text and draw conclusions about the age at which such linguistic development might occur (K-12 Standards: Reading 1.1; Reading 2.3 Written & Oral 1.3). 

If you choose to focus on syntax for this second page, you will instead choose 5 sentences to analyze from this literary text. You will then copy down each sentence as it appears in the work of literature and diagram it using a syntactical tree. Finsh this page with a reflection like the one described for morphology but in relation to syntax.

A Student Sample is included.
 

Semantics

For this page you will be focusing on the semantics of the text: its communication of meaning through language. The broad nature of semantics means that there are a variety of ways to create this page, so you are free to explore creative options. At very least, though, you’ll want to choose five words or sentences that are particularly interesting in terms of their connotative, contextual meanings (pragmatics can also be employed here) and analyze them in writing. This is an opportunity to discuss literary themes with an approach grounded in linguistics.
 

Synthesis and Conclusions
 

The final page of your paper/website is your opportunity to bring all of your data together and draw more comprehensive conclusions about the use of language in this text. Its content will depend on your focus, text, and approach, but it should be at least 300 words in length. Here are some options for your conclusions: you might comment on the idiosyncratic use and structure of language in the text. Or, considering the data collected in the previous sections of your website, comment on where you found the most striking differences between your text and standard English. What are effects of the use of dialect in this book to its narrative, tone, cultural significance, and other factors? What are some of the distinctions between speakers’ use of language, in terms of phonetics, morphology, syntax, semantics? Alternately, you might comment on the appropriateness of the text for the targeted age group or suggest a more appropriate age group for the text and include your rationale. In other words, if the text is labeled as an “I can read” book is it truly accessible for children who are just beginning to read on their own or are there elements with which they are likely to struggle and need assistance? Conversely, does a book targeted at more sophisticated readers contain overly simplistic sentence structure and monosyllabic vocabulary that are unlikely to challenge older readers? Finally, discuss ways in which you would help readers who might face challenges with this text approach it by discussing ways in which you incorporate your findings into the teaching of a portion of the text to a class of students at a grade level and of demographic characteristics which you define. SMRs: 2.1.d/2.3.b/3.4.a (Consider selected Resources Subject Matter Requirements, K-12 Standards:Reading 1.1; Reading 2.3 Written & Oral 1.3).

Creativity will be appreciated and rewarded, and including relevant images, videos, and/or links is a good idea. In the end, your website (paper), created through a free platform like weebly.com or wix.com, should be an aesthetically pleasing, navigable, and informative analysis of the linguistic features of your literary text.

*IPA chart attached below for reference*

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