SPLH 466 Language Science

Fall 2011 Syllabus


Class Meetings: Monday & Wednesday 3:00-4:15; Haworth 2023

Class Instructor: Holly L. Storkel; hstorkel@ku.edu; 864-0497

Office Hours: Mondays & Wednesdays 4:15-5:00; Dole 3021

 Additional times available by appointment


GTA: MinKyung Han; minhan@ku.edu; 864-0640

Tuesdays & Thursdays 12:00-1:00; Dole 3046

Additional times available by appointment

Responsibilities: Article Report Grade Recording; Weekly Exercises; Article Structured Summaries





Course Description

This course is a survey of the research and theories related to the structure and function of human language. In terms of structure, topics will include phonology, morphology, semantics, syntax, and pragmatics. In terms of function, topics will include language production and comprehension in terms of single words, sentences, and conversation/discourse. Across these topics, spoken and written language by both normal and clinical populations will be considered. This course will provide a foundation for the future study of language, language acquisition, and language disorders. It is recommended that students complete this course prior to enrolling in SPLH 566 Language Development.


Course Objectives

This course is designed to meet the requirements of ASHA Knowledge Standards III-B Normal Processes, III-C Communication Disorders, and III-D Clinical Application in the area of Receptive/Expressive Language. During this course, students will learn:


1. Basic linguistic terminology & concepts related to phonology, morphology, the lexicon (word forms and semantics), and syntax;


 2. The evidence supporting the psychological reality of these concepts in terms of how different aspects of language are stored in the mind and accessed for production and comprehension by speakers with normal language and those with impaired language;


 3. The research methods used to investigate storage and access of language (e.g., elicited probes, priming, error analysis, lexical decision, AX task, sorting, triad, language games, mispronunciation detection, grammaticality judgment, gating, ERP, eye-tracking);


4. To critique language research in terms of stimulus and task selection as well as interpretation of results.


5. To read and understand a research article as well as apply the research findings to clinical practice.


 Course Materials

Recommended Readings:

1.     Menn, L. (2011). Psycholinguistics: Introduction and Applications. SanDiego: Plural Publishing.

On-line Resources:

1.     Blackboard course website at http://courseware.ku.edu

2.     Library at http://www.ku.edu/libraries/ for research articles



1. Recommended Readings

Recommended readings complement the lectures and will not be explicitly summarized in class. Recommended readings may be helpful for students who like to see material presented in more than one way. It is not assumed that students have completed the recommended readings.


2. Article Reports (30 points; ~5% of final grade)

Six in-class article reports are assigned throughout the semester (see Calendar on pages 7-9 of this syllabus). All articles are available electronically from the KU Library. The full reference for the article is listed on the Calendar. Students are expected to download a copy of the article and bring it to the assigned class meeting. Students are expected to have read the article and made a good faith effort at answering the 9 questions listed on page 10 of this syllabus. Answers to these 9 questions constitute the Article Report, which will be briefly and leniently graded at the beginning of class (see rubric on page 10 of this syllabus). The remainder of the class will focus on discussing the article. The GTA will enter Article Report grades on Blackboard. E-mail the GTA if you have any questions about your article report grade on Blackboard. There will be no opportunities to postpone article report deadlines for unexcused absences.


3. Article Structured Summaries (150; ~26% of final grade)

Three structured summaries are required. These summaries follow the same format as the Article Reports but are written in a more integrated style. That is, students will read the assigned article, answer the 10 questions listed on page 10 of this syllabus, and write those answers in a structured paragraph format. Structured Summaries will be graded much more stringently than Article Reports. There are 6 summaries assigned but students are only required to complete 3 summaries: Summary 1 or 2 (select 1) AND Summary 3 or 4 (select 1) AND Summary 5 or 6 (select 1). If you complete more than three summaries, then only your highest 3 summaries will be counted towards your final grade. These summaries will be due at the beginning of class on the dates listed on the Calendar (see pages 7-9 of this syllabus). All of the information needed to complete the summaries is provided in this syllabus. E-mail the GTA if you have any questions about your paper grade on Blackboard. There will be no opportunities to postpone summary deadlines for unexcused absences.


4. Exams (300 points; ~53% of final grade)

Three exams are scheduled (see Calendar on pages 7-9 of this syllabus). All exams will evaluate your understanding of key terms and concepts, lectures, and article reports. Each exam is worth 100 points and will consist of 50 objective questions. There will be no opportunities to make-up or postpone exams for unexcused absences.


In addition, there is an optional cumulative final exam scheduled for Tuesday, December 13, 1:30-4:00 pm. The cumulative final exam will be worth 100 points and will consist of objective exam questions. You may take this final exam to replace one of your other exam grades. Thus, if you earn a low score on Exam 1, 2, or 3, you may take the cumulative final exam and your score will replace your lowest previous exam score (provided that you earn a higher score on the cumulative final). Alternatively, if you miss Exam 1, 2, or 3, you may take the cumulative final exam to replace your score of 0 for the missed exam. If you are satisfied with your scores on Exams 1-3, you do NOT need to take the optional cumulative final exam.


All students will be afforded an equal opportunity to concentrate and to complete exams under optimal test-taking conditions. For this reason, the following procedures will be followed on exam days to minimize class disruptions. All books, backpacks, coats, etc. will be left at the front of the room. During exams, students will be allowed a pencil and eraser. Students should sit in every other seat so that they will not bother their neighbor while taking the exam. No one should sit in the front row of seats. This front row is reserved for students who need to ask questions. Students should complete the exam and mark any items they wish to ask questions about. Students should then move to the front row of seats where the instructor will be available to answer questions. Students will then complete their exam at a seat in the front row. You may leave the classroom when you have completed the exam. Please be courteous of your fellow classmates and leave the classroom as quietly as possible once you have handed in your exam.


5. Weekly Exercises (90 points; ~16% of final grade)

Weekly exercises will provide students with sample questions that may be asked on exams, help students identify key concepts covered in articles and lecture, and provide extra practice applying course concepts to language samples. Weekly exercises will be administered through Blackboard. Weekly exercises will be available by 10:00 am each Thursday and will be due by each Monday at 10:00 am. Students should attempt to answer each question without referring to class notes, then verify their answers before submitting the exercise. Ten exercises are scheduled, each worth 10 points. Only the best 9 of the 10 exercises will be counted towards the final grade (i.e., 1 exercise can be dropped). There will be no opportunities to make-up or postpone weekly exercises for unexcused absences. Exercises must represent a student's own independent work. E-mail the GTA if you have any difficulty completing your weekly exercise.



Students will be assigned seats in the classroom to help the instructor learn your name.


Audio or Video Taping Lecture

Course materials prepared by the instructor, together with the content of all lectures and review sessions presented by the instructor are the property of the instructor. Video and audio recording of lectures and review sessions without the consent of the instructor is prohibited. On request, the instructor will usually grant permission for students to audio tape lectures, on the condition that these audio tapes are only used as a study aid by the individual making the recording. Unless explicit permission is obtained from the instructor, recordings of lectures and review sessions may not be modified and must not be transferred or transmitted to any other person, whether or not that individual is enrolled in the course.



Significant learning may start in the classroom but it should continue to grow outside the classroom when students become actively engaged with the material. In this course, you will be actively engaged with the material outside of class through completion of readings, take-home exams, lab exercises, and quizzes. As stated in the Faculty Senate Rules and Regulations (5.1.1) "One semester hour means course work normally represented by an hour of class instruction and two hours of study a week for one semester, or an equivalent amount of work. The concept may vary according to the level at which instruction is offered."


Written Assignments

Papers will entail a written response to specific questions. If you need assistance communicating your interpretations in written form, you may wish to consult the KU Writing Center (4017 Wescoe). The following statement from the writing center details the type of assistance available to students. "Most colleges and universities have a writing center, a place for students to talk about their writing with trained peer consultants. At KU, we call our student writing centers Writer's Roosts. When you visit, bring your work in progress and an idea of what you would like to work on – organization, support, documentation, editing, etc. The Roosts are open in several different locations across campus; check the website at www.writing.ku.edu for current locations and hours. The Roosts welcome both drop-ins and appointments, and there is no charge for their services. For more information, please call 864-2399 or send an e-mail to writing@ku.edu."


Academic Misconduct

Students are expected to observe all University guidelines pertaining to academic misconduct. As stated in the University Senate Rules and Regulations (2.6.1): "Academic misconduct by a student shall include, but not be limited to, disruption of classes; threatening an instructor or fellow student in an academic setting; giving or receiving of unauthorized aid on examinations or in the preparation of notebooks, themes, reports or other assignments; knowingly misrepresenting the source of any academic work; unauthorized changing of grades; unauthorized use of University approvals or forging of signatures; falsification of research results; plagiarizing of another's work; violation of regulations or ethical codes for treatment of human and animal subjects; or otherwise acting dishonestly in research." Academic misconduct will not be tolerated and will be dealt with in accordance with all University rules and regulations.


Non-Academic Misconduct

The scope and content of the material included in this course are defined by the instructor in consultation with the responsible academic unit. While the orderly exchange of ideas, including questions and discussions prompted by lectures, discussion sessions and laboratories, is viewed as a normal part of the educational environment, the instructor has the right to limit the scope and duration of these interactions. Students who engage in disruptive behavior, including persistent refusal to observe boundaries defined by the instructor regarding inappropriate talking, discussions, and questions in the classroom or laboratory may be subject to discipline for non-academic misconduct for disruption of teaching or academic misconduct, as defined in the Code of Student Rights and Responsibilities (CSRR), Article 22, Section C, and the University Senate Rules and Regulations, Section 2.4.6. Article 22 of CSRR also defines potential sanctions for these types of infractions.



The staff of Services for Students with Disabilities (SSD), 135 Strong, 785-864-2620 (v/tty), coordinates accommodations and services for KU courses. If you have a disability for which you may request accommodation in KU classes and have not contacted them, please do so as soon as possible. Please also notify the instructor in writing (e-mail is acceptable) within one week of receiving this syllabus so that appropriate accommodations for this course can be discussed.


If a scheduled exam, paper, or quiz is in conflict with a mandated religious observance, you must notify the instructor in writing (e-mail is acceptable) within one week of receiving this syllabus so that an alternative arrangement can be made in advance of the scheduled requirement.


Pandemics (From the Provost's Office)

This may be an unusual year as we confront the H1N1 flu, which is expected to affect faculty, staff, and students this fall. Please familiarize yourself with information about the H1N1 flu, keep abreast of information about preventive measures and vaccines, and stay informed. KU will regularly update information about the H1N1 flu at http://www.alerts.ku.edu/. You can find additional information about the KU Pandemic Response Plan at http://www.pandemic.ku.edu/ and the "Personal Guide to Protect Against Flu" at http://www.pandemic.ku.edu/pdf/tipSheet.pdf. Please contact the instructor and GTA immediately via e-mail and/or phone prior to class/assignment deadlines if you are ill. Depending on the situation, you will be advised of appropriate procedures to follow regarding class attendance, assignments, or exams. Please be considerate and take precautions to avoid infecting others!



The University has prescribed definitions for grades. The University Senate Rules and Regulations define grades in the following way: The grade of A will be reported for achievement of outstanding quality The grade of B will be reported for achievement of high quality The grade of C will be reported for achievement of acceptable quality The grade of D will be reported for achievement that is minimally passing but at less than acceptable quality

Individual schools of the College may adopt the use of plus or minus to describe intermediate levels of performance between a maximum of A and a minimum of F. Intermediate grades represented by plus or minus shall be calculated as .3 units above or below the corresponding letter grade.


In this course, quality of achievement will be evaluated through points earned on exams, lab exercises, and on-line quizzes. Points assigned for each requirement will be in-line with the above described scale. This course will be using the newly available +/- grading system to indicate intermediate levels of performance. The relationship between total points accumulated and quality of achievement is as follows:



Total Course Points

Quality of Achievement

Final Letter Grade (GPA)



A (4.0)



A- (3.7)



B+ (3.3)



B (3.0)



B- (2.7)



C+ (2.3)



C (2.0)



C- (1.7)



D+ (1.3)



D (1.0)



D- (0.7)



F (0.0)





Article Summary Points

Quality of Achievement

Letter Grade








































Exam Points

Quality of Achievement

Letter Grade








































If your level of achievement during this course is falling short of your goal, you are strongly encouraged to consult with the instructor or GTA during office hours or by appointment to improve the quality of your learning of course material.

SPLH 466: Language Science

Fall 2011 Calendar


Unit 1: Words


August 22 Introduction & Syllabus; Locating Articles for Reports & Papers (see hand-out)

August 24 Psycholinguistics: How the brain processes information, Read Menn book, Chapter 2


August 29 Linguistics: Semantic Relationships; Basics: How to Read a Research Article

August 31 Psycholinguistics: Mental Representation of Semantics

Sept 1-Sept 7 (10 am) Weekly Exercise 1


September 5 NO CLASS – LABOR DAY

September 7 Psycholinguistics: Lemma Access, Read Menn book, Chapter 3

Sept 8-Sept 12 (10 am) Weekly Exercise 2


September 12 Application to Communication Disorders: Article Report 1 – McGregor, K. K., Newman, R. M., Reilly, R. M., & Capone, N. C. (2002). Semantic representation and naming in children with specific language impairment. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 45, 998-1014. [Ignore (1) Post Hoc Measures of Visual Complexity; (2) Post Hoc Analysis of Definition and Naming Mismatch; (3) Post Hoc Analysis of Definition & Drawing Concordance]

September 14 Linguistics: Phonology

Sept 15-Sept 19 (10 am) Weekly Exercise 3


September 19 Linguistics: Word-Forms

September 19 Summary 1 Due (Must do Summary 1 OR Summary 2) – Kiran, S., & Thompson, C. K. (2003). The role of semantic complexity in treatment of naming deficits: Training semantic categories in fluent aphasia by controlling exemplar typicality. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 46, 608-622.

September 21 Psycholinguistics: Lexical Access, Read Menn book, Chapter 4

Sept 22-Sept 26 (10 am) Weekly Exercise 4


September 26 Application to Communication Disorders: Article Report 2 -- German, D. J., & Newman, R. S. (2004). The impact of lexical factors on children's word-finding errors. Journal of Speech, Language, and Hearing Research, 47, 624-646. [Ignore Analysis 3]

September 28 Exam 1: Words


Unit 2: Morphology


October 3 Linguistics: Grammatical Morphology

October 5 Psycholinguistics: Morpheme Stripping, Read Menn book, Chapter 5

October 5 Summary 2 Due (Must do Summary 1 OR Summary 2) – Gordon, J. K. (2002). Phonological neighborhood effects in aphasic speech errors: Spontaneous and structured contexts. Brain and Language, 82, 113-145. [Ignore 3.2 Error Outcome Analyses]

Oct 6-Oct 12 (10 am) Weekly Exercise 5



October 12 Application to Communication Disorders: Article Report 3 -- Larsen, J. A., & Nippold, M. A. (2007). Morphological analysis in school-age children: Dynamic assessment of a word learning strategy. Language, Speech, and Hearing Services in Schools, 38, 201-212.

Oct 13-Oct 17 (10 am) Weekly Exercise 6


October 17 Linguistics: Grammatical Morphology

October 17 Summary 3 Due (Must do Summary 3 OR Summary 4) – Luzzatti, C., Mondini, S., & Semenza, C. (2001). Lexical representation and processing of morphologically complex words: Evidence from the reading performance of an Italian agrammatic patient. Brain and Language, 79, 345-359. [Focus primarily on Reading Simple, Inflected, and Derived Words; Evaluative Suffixes]

October 19 Psycholinguistics: Production & Judgment, Read Menn book, Chapter 7

Oct 20-Oct 24 (10 am) Weekly Exercise 7


October 24 Application to Communication Disorders: Article Report 4 Rice, M. L., & Wexler, K. (1996). Toward tense as a clinical marker of specific language impairment in English-speaking children. Journal of Speech and Hearing Research, 39, 1239-1257.

October 26 Exam 2: Morphology


Unit 3: Sentences


October 31 Linguistics: Grammatical Categories

November 2 Linguistics: Basic Phrase Structure

November 2 Summary 4 Due (Must do Summary 3 OR Summary 4) – Faroqi-Shah, Y., & Dickey, M. W. (2009). On-line processing of tense and temporality in agrammatic aphasia. Brain and Language, 108, 97-111. [Focus on Study 1 and Study 2; Ignore Study 3]

Nov 3-Nov 7 (10 am) Weekly Exercise 8


November 7 Psycholinguistics: Sentence Processing

November 9 Application to Communication Disorders: Article Report 5 Montgomery, J. W., (2006). Real-time language processing in school-age children with specific language impairment. International Journal of Language and Communication Disorders, 41, 275-291.

Nov 10-Nov 14 (10 am) Weekly Exercise 9


November 14 Reading: Word Reading, Read Menn book, Chapter 9


November 16 Summary 5 Due (Must do Summary 5 OR 6) – GTA Mailbox by 5:00 pm Poirier, J., Shapiro, L. P., Love, T., & Grodzinsky, Y. (2009). The on-line processing of verb-phrase ellipsis in aphasia. Journal of Psycholinguistic Research, 38, 237-253.

Nov 17-Nov 21 (10 am) Weekly Exercise 10


November 21 Reading: Comprehension, Read Menn book, Chapter 9



November 28 Application to Communication Disorders: Article Report 6 -- Hogan, T. P. (2010). A short report: Word-level phonological and lexical characteristics interact to influence phoneme awareness. Journal of Learning Disabilities, 43, 346-356.

November 30 Exam 3: Sentences


December 5 Putting it All Together

December 7 Review for Cumulative Final

December 7 Summary 6 Due (Must do Summary 5 OR Summary 6) – Rapcsak, S. Z., Henry, M. L., Teague, S. L., Carnahan, S. D., & Beeson, P. M. (2007). Do dual-route models accurately predict reading and spelling performance in individuals with acquired alexia and agraphia? Neuropsychologia, 45, 2519-2524.


December 13 Tuesday, 1:30-4:00 pm Cumulative Final Exam Replaces Lowest Exam Grade


***Best 9 of 10 weekly exercises will be counted towards the final grade.***


***Only 1 of Summaries 1-2 and 1 of Summaries 3-4 and 1 of Summaries 5-6 need to be completed. If moresummaries are completed, the highest three grades will be counted toward the final grade.***