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Innovation in Education Project: English Studies
Lecturer: Barry Pennock Speck



Name of subject: Introducción a la Historia de la Lengua

Type: Optativa
Degree: Filología Inglesa
Cycle: Primer Ciclo
Departament: Filología Inglesa y Alemana
Lecturers: Barry Pennock Speck


Introduction to the History of the English Language is a course which is designed to

complement the subject History of the English Language and provide students with an
overview of the history of the English language and diachronic studies.


Attendance at theory classes (12 x 1 hour) 12 hours

Attendance at practical classes (lecture room, computer 21 hours
room, visits to library (12 x 2 hours – tests and
Attendance at tutorials 1 hour
Sitting Examinations 2 hours
Presenting papers 1 hour
Total contact hours 37 hours
Study related to theory classes 12 hours
Study related to practical classes 12 hours
Preparation for work in theory classes 16 hours
Preparation for work in practical classes 16 hours
Group work 14 hours
Preparation for exams 14 hours
Auxiliary activities, typing up notes, visiting library, 6 hours
photocopying, etc.
Total non-contact hours 90 hours


In this subject we will look at the historical, political, social and economic events that
made the English language what it is today. This subject can be viewed independently
or as an introduction to History of the English Language which centres on the internal
evolution of the language.


Unit 1. From the beginning

1.1. Indo-Europeans
1.2. The Celtic substratum.
1.3. The Romanization of England: Caesar and Claudius. Early Latin
1.4. The Germanic Tribes and the decadence of the Roman Empire. The
Germanic Invasions of the British Isles: Angles, Saxons and Jutes.
1.5. The Christianization of England: The Roman and Celtic branches of
Christianity, the Synod of Whitby.
1.6. The Viking invasions. Settlements in England. Power struggles
between the Saxons and the Vikings. The Danelaw.
1.7. The creation of the alphabet (Latin, German and Celtic influences).
1.8. The search for a standard: Alfred and Ælfric).
1.9. The Norman Conquest: social and linguistic repercussions.
1.10. The loss of the dominions in France.

Unit 2. Towards the formation of a standard

II.1. Middle English dialects.
II.2. English as a national language: political, social and economic causes.
II.3. Caxton and the invention of the printing press.
II.4. The influence of Chaucer.
II.5. The birth of a literary standard.
II.6. Chancery English

Unit 3 The vocabulary explosion

III.1. Humanism and Renaissance: new attitudes towards English.
III.2. The influence of Shakespeare.
III.3. The Bible.
III.4. The inkhorn controversy
III.5. Dryden and the beginnings of modern prose: Dryden.

Unit 4. Prescriptivism and attempts at the codifying the language

IV.1. Orthographic Reform: Hart , Bullokar.
IV.2. Steele and Addison and the birth of journalism
IV.3. Swift and an Academy of the Language.
IV.4. Grammars: Lowth (1762), Murray (1794) Walker (1774).
IV.5. Lexicography: Johnson’s Dictionary.
IV.6. Noah Webster’s Dictionary (1822).
IV.7. The O.E.D. project (1879)
Unit 5. Expansion and Hegemony of English
VI.1. Colonial expansion and the spread of English: Ireland, USA, Canada,
Australia, New Zealand, Africa, The Caribbean, the Indian sub-
VI.2. Exoglosic varieties of English: pidgins y creoles.


In this course we aim to:

o heighten students’ awareness of what forces have moulded English into
the language it is today in all its diversity.
o make students aware of the analytical tools used in diachronic studies.
o improve his/her understanding of how English has evolved.
o Enlighten students on aspects of their own speech patterns as speakers of
a second or third language.
o Demonstrate that knowledge of the history of the English language will
help him/her to analyze diverse texts and discourses of both a non-
literary and literary style.
o develop students’ powers of critical reasoning, especially with regard to
the ideas they might have on language, dialect and norms.
o improve students’ communicative fluency when discussing complex
o help students to reach a higher level of competence in writing academic
o help students to be more aware of language differences in diverse social
contexts and how this affects discursive practices.


In this course we aim to help students to learn:

o take the initiative
o learn to work in groups
o to speak in public
o communicate with non-experts on the subject
o realize the importance of improving the quality of their work
o improve their capacity for analysis and synthesis
o management of information


Weekly Planning.
WEEK 1 Unit 1.
WEEK 2 Unit 1.
WEEK 3 Unit 2.
WEEK 4 Unit 2.
WEEK 5 Unit 3
WEEK 6 Unit 3. Test 1.
WEEK 7 Unit4.
WEEK 8 Unit 4.
WEEK 9 Unit 5
WEEK 10 Unit 5. Test 2.

WEEK 11 Oral exams.

WEEK 12 Oral exams.


Algeo, J. (1994) Problems in the Origins and Development of the English Language.
Fort Worth, Texas: Harcourt Brace & Jovanovich.
Bailey, R.W. et al. (1973) Varieties of Present Day English. New York. McMillan.
Baugh, A. & Cable, T. (2002) [5th ed.] A History of the English Language. Englewood
Cliffs (NJ):: Prentice Hall.
Bakhtin, M. M. (1996) The Dialogic Imagination: Four Essays. Ed. Michael Holquist.
Trans. Caryl Emerson and Michael Holquist. Austin: University of Texas Press.
Ballerster, X. (2002) Las primeras palabras de la humanidad. Valencia: Ediciones
Bex, T. (1996) Variety in Written English. Texts in Society: Societies in Text. London &
New York: Routledge
Brook, G.L. (1958) A History of the English Language. London. André Deutsch.
Burchfield, R. (1985) The English Language. Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Burnley, D. (1992) The History of the English Language: A Source Book. London:
Calvo García de Leonardo, J. J. (1983). La traducción literaria diacrónica: una propuesta
procesual de cotejo interlingüístico. Cuadernos de Filología 1, 213-236.
Chadwick, N. (1970) The Celts. Harmondsworth. Penguin.
Cheshire, J. (ed) (1991) English around the World. Cambridge: Cambridge University
Crowley, T. (1991) Proper English? Readings in Language, History and Cultural
Identity. London: Routledge.
Crystal, D. (1995) The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language. Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press, 54-92.
Eber, J. & R. Licciardolo (1988a) Activitybook for the Story of English. Glenview,
Illinois: Scott, Foresman & Company.
Eber, J. & R. Licciardolo (1988b) Answerbook to Accompany “Activitybook for the
Story of English”. Glenview, Illinois: Scott, Foresman & Company.
Fairclough, N. (1989) Language and Power. Harlow: Longman.
Freeborn, D. (1992) From Old English to Standard English: A Coursebook in Language
Variation Across Time. London:. Macmillan.
Fuster, M. (1988) William Caxton y la Traducción Inglesa del Recoeil des Histoires de
Troie de Raoul Lefevre. Universidad de Valencia: Servicio de Publicaciones.
Freeborn, D. (1993) Varieties of English: An Introduction to the Study of Language. [2nd
Basingstoke: Macmillan.
Graddol, D., D. Leith & J. Swann (eds.) (1996) English: History, Diversity and Change.
London: Routledge.
Greenbaum, S. (ed) (1985) The English Language Today. Oxford: Pergamon Press.
Hogg, R.M. et al (eds.) (1992-) The Cambridge History of the English Language.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Hughes, G. (1988) Words in Time: A Social History of English Vocabulary. Oxford &
New York: Basil Blackwell.
Jones, R.F. (1953) The Triumph of the English Language. Stanford: Stanford University
Kachru, Braj B. (1983) The Indianization of English: The English Language in India.
Oxford: Oxford University Press.
Lass, R. (1987) The Shape of English. Structure and History. London and Melbourne:
J.M. Dent & Sons Ltd.
Leith, D. (1983) A Social History of English. London: Routledge and Kegan Paul.
McCrum, R., Cran, W. & McNeil, R. (1986) The Story of English. London: Faber &
Faber & BBC Publications.
Millward, C.M. (1989) A Biography of the English Language. New York: Holt,
Mitchell, B. (1997) [1995] Old English and Anglo-Saxon England. (3rd reprint). Oxford:
Blackwell Publishers, Ltd.
Price, G. (1984) The Languages of Britain. London: Edward Arnold.
Pyles, T. & Algeo, J. (1993) The Origins and Development of the English Language.
[4th ed] New York: Harcourt, Brace, Jovanovich, Inc.
Samuels, M.L. (1972) Linguistic Evolution: with Special Reference to English.
Cambridge: Cambridge University Press (Studies in Linguistics, 5).
Strang, B.M.H. (1970) A History of English. London: Methuen.
Wyld, H.C. (1963) A History of Modern Colloquial English. (revised edition) Oxford:
Basil Blackwell.


The students should be well versed in the grammar, lexis and phonology of English.
They should also have knowledge of phonological and phonetic transcription. It is also
very important that students should have an adequate level of English. One of the
objectives of the course will be to improve the students’ English through content-based

The lecturer will meet the students twice a week except during “reading weeks” in
which the student will carry out autonomous learning.

The students will be required to come to tutorial sessions when required.

During reading weeks students will be required to read set texts, prepare examinations
and their final paper.


Students can choose two options A or B. If they choose to do option A and fail, they
will not be able to the final examination June but must wait till September.

All of those who have not reached the required level will have to take a final
examination in September which will be the same as the one described in option B.

A) Three tests. The first two tests are worth 30 percent and tests two and the last test,
which will be an oral test, will be worth 40%. The students’ English will be taken into
account when calculating the mark. Instructions on the oral test will be given in class.

B) If a student wishes to choose this option he/she will sit a final examination on the
official date which is published by the Facultat. The examination will consist of

o A written examination on the contents of the course.

o An oral examination on any of the subjects in section V above.

If you do option A., you will have to visit the Aula Virtual web site on a regular basis to
pick up materials, do exercises and liaise with your lecturer. You will have till the
second week to upload your photograph to the Aula Virtual site
( If you do not, you will be penalized by 10% in the final mark.
If you have any problems, get in touch with me ( Take into account
that I will only answer emails from your university email account. Always remember to
include your name as it is impossible to know who you are from your university email