Semester IX


The History of English
MA in Linguistics (obligatory):
Lectures and seminars: Thursday 14-16, room 235
Thursday 16-17, room 235

Other (elective):
Lectures and seminars: Thursday 14-16, room 235

Office hours: Monday 12-14, Wednesday 10-12; room 207
Course description: This course is designed to introduce students to the history of English and basic concepts
of historical linguistics. The course begins with an introduction into the subject matter of historical linguistics,
which is followed by a brief discussion of the Indo-European family of languages and its Germanic branch. The
historical development of English is traced from the time of the settlement of Germanic tribes in Britain by
examining changes in phonology, morphology and syntax, as well as semantic and lexical changes.
Student responsibilities: Full-time students are required to attend the lectures and seminars regularly. Part time
students are required to attend monthly consultation sessions which they should use to clarify any questions they
might have about the subject matter of the course, the course material or the course in general.
Assessment: Full time students: two one-hour written tests (mid-term and end-of-term).
Part time students: the same as full time students or a two-hour cumulative test at the end of the semester.
Barber, Charles. 1993. The English Language: A Historical Introduction. Cambridge: Cambridge University press.
Baugh, Albert C. & Thomas Cable. 1993. A History of the English Language. London: Routledge.
Freeborn, Dennis. 1998. From Old English to Standard English. 2nd edition. London: Macmillan.
Pyles, Thomas and John Algeo. 1993. The Origins and Development of the English Language. New York:
Harcourt Brace Jovanovich.
Campbell, Lyle. 2004. Historical Linguistics: An Introduction. 2nd edition. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.
Crystal, David (ed.). 1995. The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language. Cambridge: CUP.
Teaching will occasionally be supplemented with tailor-made handouts.
The subject matter of historical linguistics. The Indo-European family of languages.
The genealogical classification of languages 
The Germanic branch. The typological classification of languages 
The periods in the history of English: an overview 
Old English: introduction. Old English phonology 
Old English: morphology 
Old English: syntax. Scandinavian influence 
Middle English: introduction. Middle English phonology
Mid-term 28.11.2013 ? 
Middle English: morphology and syntax 
Early Modern English: introduction. Early Modern English phonology 
Early Modern English: morphology and syntax 
Prescriptive grammar in the history of English. English ortography 
English vocabulary. English lexicography 
Semantic change. Language change and its causes.
Any additional information, especially regarding the test dates will be posted well in advance on the Department
notice board.