Introduction to Linguistics

I.     Course Prefix/Number: EGL 260

       Course Name: Introduction to Linguistics

       Credits: 3 (3 lecture; 0 lab)

II.    Prerequisite

EGL 101 as well as placement of EGL 110 or higher, or consent of instructor.

III.   Course (Catalog) Description

Course introduces the study of language. Content includes fundamental concepts of phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics, historical linguistics, and neurolinguistics.

IV.   Learning Objectives

The student will be able to:

  • demonstrate understanding of the basic concepts of linguistics.
  • use the terminology of linguistics appropriately in written expression.
  • analyze languages using modern linguistic methods.

V.    Academic Integrity and Student Conduct

Students and employees at Oakton Community College are required to demonstrate academic integrity and follow Oakton's Code of Academic Conduct. This code prohibits:

• cheating,
• plagiarism (turning in work not written by you, or lacking proper citation),
• falsification and fabrication (lying or distorting the truth),
• helping others to cheat,
• unauthorized changes on official documents,
• pretending to be someone else or having someone else pretend to be you,
• making or accepting bribes, special favors, or threats, and
• any other behavior that violates academic integrity.

There are serious consequences to violations of the academic integrity policy. Oakton's policies and procedures provide students a fair hearing if a complaint is made against you. If you are found to have violated the policy, the minimum penalty is failure on the assignment and, a disciplinary record will be established and kept on file in the office of the Vice President for Student Affairs for a period of 3 years.

Please review the Code of Academic Conduct and the Code of Student Conduct, both located online at

VI.   Sequence of Topics

  1. What is language?
  2. Phonetics: The sounds of language
  3. Phonology:  The function and patterning of sounds
  4. Morphology:  The study of word structure
  5. Syntax:  The study of sentence structure
  6. Semantics:  The study of meaning
  7. Historical Linguistics:  Language change
  8. The Classification of languages
  9. The Brain and language
  10. Language acquisition
  11. Second language acquisition
  12. Language in social contexts

VII.  Methods of Instruction

Lecture, discussion, small group work.
Course may be taught as face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

VIII. Course Practices Required

Course may be taught as a face-to-face, hybrid or online course.

Reading, in-class exercises, homework, quizzes, midterm exam, final exam, one presentation, one 450 word essay.

IX.   Instructional Materials

Note: Current textbook information for each course and section is available on Oakton's Schedule of Classes.

Suggested Text:
Contemporary Linguistics:  An Introduction, William O’Grady, Michael Dobrovolsky, and Mark Aronoff, New York: St. Martin’s Press, 1989.
See the Coordinator for other suggested texts.

X.    Methods of Evaluating Student Progress

One writing assignment of 450 words, homework, quizzes, midterm exam, final exam, one presentation, attendance and participation.

XI.   Other Course Information

  1. Attendance policy
  2. For whatever information/procedures the instructor holds the student accountable.

If you have a documented learning, psychological, or physical disability you may be entitled to reasonable academic accommodations or services. To request accommodations or services, contact the Access and Disability Resource Center at the Des Plaines or Skokie campus. All students are expected to fulfill essential course requirements. The College will not waive any essential skill or requirement of a course or degree program.

Oakton Community College is committed to maintaining a campus environment emphasizing the dignity and worth of all members of the community, and complies with all federal and state Title IX requirements.

Resources and support for
  • pregnancy-related and parenting accommodations; and
  • victims of sexual misconduct
can be found at

Resources and support for LGBTQ+ students can be found at