Universität Wien FIND
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122047 PS Proseminar Linguistics 2 (2016W)

BA (612) 6.1 Competition in language change

5.00 ECTS (2.00 SWS), SPL 12 - Anglistik
Prüfungsimmanente Lehrveranstaltung

Details

max. 25 Teilnehmer*innen
Sprache: Englisch

Lehrende

Termine (iCal) - nächster Termin ist mit N markiert

Mittwoch 05.10. 08:00 - 10:00 Seminarraum 6 Anglistik UniCampus Hof 8 3E-O1-22.A
Mittwoch 12.10. 08:00 - 10:00 Seminarraum 6 Anglistik UniCampus Hof 8 3E-O1-22.A
Mittwoch 19.10. 08:00 - 10:00 Seminarraum 6 Anglistik UniCampus Hof 8 3E-O1-22.A
Mittwoch 09.11. 08:00 - 10:00 Seminarraum 6 Anglistik UniCampus Hof 8 3E-O1-22.A
Mittwoch 16.11. 08:00 - 10:00 Seminarraum 6 Anglistik UniCampus Hof 8 3E-O1-22.A
Mittwoch 23.11. 08:00 - 10:00 Seminarraum 6 Anglistik UniCampus Hof 8 3E-O1-22.A
Mittwoch 30.11. 08:00 - 10:00 Seminarraum 6 Anglistik UniCampus Hof 8 3E-O1-22.A
Mittwoch 07.12. 08:00 - 10:00 Seminarraum 6 Anglistik UniCampus Hof 8 3E-O1-22.A
Mittwoch 14.12. 08:00 - 10:00 Seminarraum 6 Anglistik UniCampus Hof 8 3E-O1-22.A
Mittwoch 11.01. 08:00 - 10:00 Seminarraum 6 Anglistik UniCampus Hof 8 3E-O1-22.A
Mittwoch 18.01. 08:00 - 10:00 Seminarraum 6 Anglistik UniCampus Hof 8 3E-O1-22.A
Mittwoch 25.01. 08:00 - 10:00 Seminarraum 6 Anglistik UniCampus Hof 8 3E-O1-22.A

Information

Ziele, Inhalte und Methode der Lehrveranstaltung

This course will introduce students to the field of historical linguistics and language variation and change. More specifically, this course aims to explore the concepts of competition and competition resolution in language change, meaning that the main focus of the course will be to identify instances of competing linguistic variants, and to investigate how this competition has been resolved (or is being resolved still). For example, the 2nd ps. pronoun ‘you’ has clearly successfully ousted its competitor ‘thou’ in the history of English, indicating that one way to resolve competition is simply for one variant to win out, and for the other to be lost entirely. However, another possibility is for two variants to co-exist and possibly cooperate. Such a scenario can be seen in e.g. the history of expressions for future reference: both the be going to-future and the will-future are still used today, but have come to be used in slightly different contexts (will: predictions, going to: plans, etc.).

In order to address and explore these issues, the course will first introduce basic concepts of language variation and change, and will give a brief overview of different types of changes, i.e. phonological, morphological, and semantic change. The main focus will here be on (morpho-)syntactic variation and change, since instances of such changes are most easily identifiable in historical corpora. The students will furthermore be introduced in more detail to the concepts of competition and competition resolution, and (very briefly) the theoretical framework in which this approach is grounded, namely Evolutionary linguistics.

Students will then investigate if and how English grammar has changed since the early 19th century (and/or if and how English is currently changing) in regard to instances of competing linguistic variants. This will be done on the basis of empirical analyses of corpus data drawn from various historical and contemporary corpora. Beforehand, students will be introduced to the corpora in question, and to corpus work in general, including issues such as normalisation and (briefly) statistical testing.

After having completed the course, students should:
be familiar with
- relevant theoretical approaches and main concepts in historical linguistics and language change

and should be able to:
- identify basic literature
- critically analyse scientific papers in the field
- find relevant literature on a specific research topic/question
- formulate an appropriate and concise research question
- conduct an empirical analysis of a specific phenomenon (on the basis of historical corpus data)
- give a successful presentation on a chosen topic
- write a term paper

Art der Leistungskontrolle und erlaubte Hilfsmittel

Each student will choose one (morpho-syntactic) phenomenon of linguistic competition, i.e. two or more linguistic variants which fulfill the same/a similar function, and investigate whether and how this competition has been resolved over the last decades and centuries. This may, on the one hand, involve the ousting of one variant by the other, meaning the increase of one variant on the expense of the other (cf. e.g. -er comparative vs. phrasal more-comparative [greater vs. more great], decrease of present perfect in favour of past tense, increase of progressive at the expense of simple tense [I'm loving it], dropping of 3rd ps. -s, regularisation of irregular past/plural forms [snuck vs. sneaked], thou vs. you, uninflected adverbial forms [come quick vs. come quickly], etc). On the other hand, two forms may come to co-exist, and form their own (formal, functional, social,..) niches, cf. e.g. the 's- vs. the of-genitive (my father's car vs. the car of my father), the members of the dative alternation (John gave Mary a book vs. John gave a book to Mary), variation in particle placement (pick the book up vs. pick up the book), etc.
By using the Corpus of Historical American English (COHA), as well as possibly the Corpus of Contemporary American English (COCA) and the British National Corpus (BNC), empirical data on these phenomena will be elicited and analysed. The results of this data analysis will be presented in an individual 20 min. presentation (.ppt) and in a written proseminar paper.

Mindestanforderungen und Beurteilungsmaßstab

Course evaluation is based on:
* attendance and class participation (readings, smaller assignments, contributions in class) (10 %)
* paper proposal (25 %)
* individual presentation (20 %)
* term paper (45 %)

The minimum requirements for passing the course are:
(a) regular class attendance (max. 2 absences)
(b) handing in all assignments (on time)
(c) giving the oral presentation (on set date)
(d) handing in the term paper (on time)
(e) attaining 60 of the maximum of 100 points.

Final grades and points achieved:
Sehr gut: 90-100; Gut: 80-89; Befriedigend: 70-79; Genügend: 60-69; Nicht Genügend: 0-59

Prüfungsstoff

Literatur

Materials will be provided in class. Note that there will also be a moodle platform for this course.

Zuordnung im Vorlesungsverzeichnis

Studium: BA 612;
Code/Modul: BA06.1;
Lehrinhalt: 12-2044

Letzte Änderung: Fr 31.08.2018 08:50