Friday, February 6, 2015

Thesis teaser

The reason I focus on vocabulary to the exclusion of morphology and syntax is two-fold. The first is that in a language textbook, particularly in classical language textbooks, the language accessible to students is constantly moving from simple to more native-like both in the student’s capacity to understand and in what language the book is presenting. So investigating the match of case usage, for example, in one book with case usage in Ancient Greek literature is a fool’s errand. Early in the book all of the cases have yet to be taught and therefore cannot accurately reflect the language in any meaningful way. The second half of my focus on vocabulary is that to some degree vocabulary can serve as a proxy for knowledge of morphology and syntax. For example, the particle an cannot be taught to students before the optative or subjunctive mood is taught. Likewise, the appearance of the verb lanthano is a pretty reliable stand-in for knowledge of accusative case and the present participle.