Participants will be assessed on the basis of a written final test (duration 80 minutes, 60% required to pass), online assignments and quizzes.
The objective of this course is (a) to raise our awareness that English, like any natural language, is a historical system that develops, changes, and maintains its properties as it is passed on among generations of speakers, (b) to learn how to approach and deal with early unfamiliar forms of English, and (c) to practice logical reasoning in linguistic reconstruction and the explanation of language change.
The course will combine the classical lecture format with a strong E-Learning component, and independent reading tasks. Reading material will be specified for each subtopic, and handouts, quizzes as well as exercises will be provided online so that students can monitor their own progress in the course of the term.
Singh, Ishtla. 2005. The history of English. A student's guide. London: Hodder and Arnold.
Schendl, Herbert. 2001. Historical linguistics. Oxford: University Press.
Additional material will be provided at the beginning of the course.