M.Litt. in English Language and Linguistics

Historical Linguistics
and the History of English

This module offers an introduction to historical linguistic analysis, and to the key models and frameworks that have been developed to account for changes in linguistic form and function over time.  Students will be invited to test and interrogate the latter as far as possible, using relevant linguistic data. 

We will also consider questions of language genesis (in relation to natural languages, contact varieties and artificial languages), linguistic evolution and language death, as well as methods of linguistic reconstruction.  Though the focus of the course will be upon English, other languages will be considered where relevant (though no prior knowledge of these languages will be assumed or required).  The course will be free-standing, but will build upon material studied in the core Linguistic Structures and Linguistic Contexts modules, and will complement optional modules in related areas, in particular Old and Middle English and Evolutionary Linguistics.

Available as an option module in Autumn 2015. Module convenor: Stephen Penn.