Syntax I

Martin Walkow

Syntax I

Linguistics department

Martin Walkow

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from 6 users

Ratings

Bad
Overall 3.8
Good
Hard
Easiness of class 3.4
Easy
Heavy
Workload 3.6
Light
Not Clear
Clarity of professor 4.0
Clear
Not Helpful
Helpfulness of professor 3.0
Helpful
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Grades

Winter 2014
15.5%
12.9%
10.3%
7.7%
5.2%
2.6%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

Winter 2013
14.8%
12.3%
9.8%
7.4%
4.9%
2.5%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

Spring 2013
16.7%
13.9%
11.1%
8.3%
5.6%
2.8%
0.0%
A+
A
A-
B+
B
B-
C+
C
C-
D+
D
D-
F

Grade distributions are collected using data from the UCLA Registrar’s Office.

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1 of 1

Reviews

Quarter Taken: N/A Submitted Feb. 28, 2014 Grade Received: N/A

I took Walkow for Linguistics 20 (which is the intro class for Ling majors) and hated him with every fiber of my being--as a teacher. The homework was insanely difficult, there was no extra material outside of lectures to aid understanding, and the structure of the class was fast-paced. In hindsight, the class was designed to weed people out of a small, competitive major, a fault which didn't lie with Walkow himself. Still, I hated that class even though I knew I loved and enjoyed learning about linguistics.

This quarter, I'm taking Linguistics 120B (Syntax I) with Walkow, and my entire opinion of him and his class has changed. He was fair in Ling20, but he is clearly a syntactician with a passion for language and, as a result, is considerably more open a lenient with the class and his assignments. Certainly, the assignments are still rather difficult, but if you read the chapters for the week BEFORE the lectures and you do the problem sets in the chapters' ends (the workbook was immensely helpful here too!) you can stay on top of the course content with little trouble.

I've realized over the course of this quarter that Martin Walkow doesn't want you to memorize notational conventions and PSRs to apply them to Language, but to actually tease out the peculiarities and flaws in the theory describing how Language works. In short, he is teaching you how to think like a linguist through the material, instead of simply teaching you formulaic theories to apply to data via rote memorization. Walkow's class is hard, there's no denying that (and many people think Syntax is boring), but he is fair with grades--including admitting his own mistakes in writing or grading the hw/exams--and is absolutely willing to help you fill in things you don't understand, provided you have done your best to do so on your own.

If you want to learn about syntax and linguistics, and how to process data like a linguist, take your classes with him and Joe Buffington (the coolest and most helpful TA ever, who comes with the Walkow-class package). I thought for sure I'd hate this class and his teaching given the hell we all went through in Ling20, but he's a great guy, a good teacher overall, and a brilliant syntactician.

I'd recommend him to anyone truly interested in learning linguistics---but he's definitely not for the faint of heart (and/or those who seek to "skate" through classes).

1 of 1

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