Historical Dimensions of the English Language
- no current announcements
|154141||Historical Dimensions of the English Language, Group A||2 S||Mi 16:15 – 17:45||R. 3.306||Ronan|
|154142||Historical Dimensions of the English Language, Group B||2 S||Mo 08:30 – 10:00||R. 3.208||D. Hamblock|
The earliest English texts date back to around 700 - and their language is extremely different from the English language as we know it. And even if we consider a text from the end of the 14th century, we will find it more recognizable, but still far from easily readable. Shakespeare's works seem to offer a safe footing - but why are the sisters in Macbeth weird, and why couldn't Shakespeare find correct rhymes, at least some of the time? Then again, Shakespeare's language is markedly different from 14th century English, and even more so from the earliest texts. The explanation to all this lies in the fact that English is a language, and languages are forever subject to change, be it in pronunciation, vocabulary, or syntax. We will outline some of the major changes which have affected the English language over its long history, and which have contributed to its present shape. In the process, we will consider some basics about historical linguistics, i.e. the description and explanation of language change. This will involve the search for causes of linguistic change, which may be found inside language itself, but also in the cultural circumstances in which languages are embedded.
Credits will be given for regular attendance, active participation, and passing two class tests.
|Angewandte Sprachwissenschaften/Angewandte Literatur-/Kulturwissenschaften:|
|PO vor WS 16/17:||
|PO ab WS 16/17:||