ENG 399: Cognitive Foundations of Grammar

Kent Lee
Center for Teaching & Learning
Korea University



Note: This site has moved to a new wiki site. This page is no longer maintained.

Tue./Thu. 5-6:15pm (3 hours/week)
Locaton: 317 Seogwan [Liberal Arts Bldg.] (tentatively)
Note: ENGL 413 (Theories & strategies of language teaching) has been cancelled due to curriculum changes in the English Dept. In Fall 2014 I will move to the Institute of Foreign Language Studies (IFLS), but I will still teach ENGL 434 (advanced composition) in the Fall.

Course description

This course examines the basis for grammar and grammar forms in human cognition. This leads to models of language that can be rather different from generative grammar. We will consider the following approaches that come from psychology research, or attempts to build psychologically grounded theories of language. We will also consider pedagogical applications for teaching English.


Handouts and materials will be provided on this website. There is no textbook for this course, but we will sometimes refer to the course packet. Because the course packet will be revised from time to time, you might not want to print it out (you can print out relevant sections as they are assigned). This packet in its current form is a work-in-progress and somewhat rough or incomplete.


[CP] = course packet; [GF] = Google Form assignment; [HW] = homework assignment; [extra/optional] = not required

Week 1: Course intro; basic terms

Week 2: Schema theory

Week 3: Schemas and metaphors

Week 4: Metaphor, polysemy, grammaticalization

Week 5: Grammatical categories

Week 6: Korean and English verbs

Week 7: Korean and English verbs

Week 8: Midterm project

Week 9: Argument structure, miscellaneous verb features (incl. Korean)

Week 10: Miscellaneous adj. & verb features (incl. Korean)

Week 11: Definite & indefinite articles

Week 12: Sentence and discourse processing, reading psychology

Week 13: Reading psychology and learning

Weeks 14-15: Language and brain

Week 16: Final project

Note: I'll be in my office Tuesday/Thursday of finals week, 5-5:30pm, if you need to see me; or by appointment.