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English Historical Linguistics

THIRD YEAR
FIRST SEMESTER    
15 LECTURES + 15 SEMINARS  
(LECTURES AND SEMINARS HELD EVERY OTHER WEEK)

Prof Mira Kovatcheva
Dr Bozhil Hristov
Mitko Sabev

Course outline
In this course we shall study the ways in which language changes over time and the major causes for change. We shall consider language change at all structural levels: phonology, morphology, syntax and vocabulary, with a special focus on processes observed in the history of English.

Lecture topics
1.    The inevitability of change – factors.  Lexical and semantic change
2.    Phonetic and phonological change
3.    Analogy, reanalysis and grammaticalization
4.    Syntactic change. Typological change
5.    Contact-­‐induced  language  change
6.    How an innovation becomes change

Seminar topics and assignments

TOPIC: READING ASSIGNMENT (Trask & Millar 2007)
1. Linguistic innovation, variation and change ——
2. Lexical and semantic change: Chapter 2 (pp. 21–59) & exercises 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.5, 2.6
3.Sound change I: change in pronunciation: Chapter 3 (pp. 65–89) & exercises 3.1, 3.2, 3.3, 3.5
4. Sound change II: change in phonological systems: Chapter 4 (pp. 97–123) & exercises 4.2, 4.5
5. Morphological change: Chapter 5 (pp. 131–166) & exercises 5.1, 5.2, 5.3, 5.4
6. Syntactic change: Chapter 6 (pp. 171–201) & exercises 6.1, 6.2
7. Language contact: Chapter 11 (pp. 387–440) & exercises 11.1, 11.2, 11.4, 11.7, 11.8

Requirements and marking
Final mark break-­‐down:    
•    written exam    50%    February,  September
•    continuous  assessment    40%    in class only
•    participation in class discussions    10%    in class only

Continuous assessment is based on a series of brief written quizzes on each reading assignment.
A missed quiz cannot be done on a later date.

For both the quizzes and the final exam, you may use any non-­‐electronic reference materials you have brought with you. However, you may not exchange or share anything.

Seminar attendance is required. If your attendance falls below 60%, you will not be marked and will have to take the course again. You will not be admitted to the September resit exam, either.

Reading list

(A) REQUIRED
1. Trask, R. L. & R. M. Millar (2007) Historical Linguistics. London: Hodder Arnold
2. Kovatcheva, M. (2002) The History of English in Texts and Tables. Sofia: St Kliment Ohridski University Press

(B) FURTHER READING
3. Aitchison, J. (2004) Language Change: Progress or Decay. 3rd edition. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
4. Bynon, T. (1977) Historical Linguistics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
5. Chambers, J. K. et al (eds.) (2004) The Handbook of Language Variation and Change. Oxford: Blackwell
6. Crowley, T. (1992) An Introduction to Historical Linguistics. Oxford: Oxford University Press
7. Joseph, B. D. & R. D. Janda (eds.) (2005) The Handbook of Historical Linguistics. Oxford: Blackwell
8. Lass, R. (1980) On Explaining Language Change. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press
9.    Milroy, J. (1992) Linguistic variation and change. Oxford: Blackwell

 
 
 
 
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