Learning outcomes and competences:
• an ability to analyse spelling, vocabulary, and structures from different centuries in order to identify and describe linguistic properties and developments in different stages of the English language;
• an ability to examine and analyse original passages in Old, Middle, and Early Modern English and to analyse texts as evidence for historical change and contemporary variation;
• an appreciation of the changing dynamic and the role of English as an international language; an understanding of the connection between contemporary language variation and historical linguistic change in English.
Course Content (Syllabus)
The course connects Modern English with Indo-European through a general examination of linguistic change and accompanying phenomena. Causes of change, their correlations with the observable data and the implications for an explanatory model are examined through English texts from Old English to Modern English. The data are examined separately for phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics.
(i) Overview of the History;
(ii) Pre-Old English;
(iii) Old English;
(iv) Language Contact: Viking Invasions - the Scandinavian Influence;
(v) Language Contact: Norman Conquest;
(vi) Middle English;
(vii) Early Modern English;
(viii) Late Modern English;
(ix) Development of Standard English;
(x) Nineteenth Century;
(xi) Spread of English;
(xii) Recent Developments.
linguistic change, Old English, Middle English, Early Modern English, Language Contact
Additional bibliography for study
Algeo, J. & Pyles, T. 2005. The Origins and Development of the English Language. Thomson/Wadsworth.
Baugh, A. C. & Cable, T. 1978. A History of the English Language. Routledge & Kegan Paul.
Brook, G. L. 1978. A History of the English Language. Andre Deutsch.
Burnley, J. D. 1992. The History of the English Language: a Source Book. Longman.
Crystal, D. 2019. The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language. Cambridge University Press.
Graddol, D., Leith, D. & Swann, J. 2002. English: History, Diversity and Change. London: Routledge.
Hogg, R. M. & Denison, D. 2006. A History of the English Language. Cambridge University Press.
Hogg, R. M., Blake, N. F. & Burchfield, R. W. 1992. The Cambridge History of the English Language. Cambridge University Press.
Scott, C. T. & Erickson, J. L. 1968. Readings for the History of the English Language. Allyn and Bacon.
van Gelderen, E. 2014. A History of the English Language [Revised edition]. Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing Company.