G-LSUD3 ThLing370 History of the English Language

Course type



The course connects Modern English with Indo-European through a general examination of linguistic change and accompanying phenomena. Causes of change, their correlations with the observable data and the implications for an explanatory model are examined through English texts from Old English to Modern English. The data are examined separately for phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics.
(i) Overview of the History;
(ii) Pre-Old English;
(iii) Old English;
(iv) Language Contact: Viking Invasions - the Scandinavian Influence;
(v) Language Contact: Norman Conquest;
(vi) Middle English;
(vii) Early Modern English;
(viii) Late Modern English;
(ix) Development of Standard English;
(x) Nineteenth Century;
(xi) Spread of English;
(xii) Recent Developments.
Learning outcomes and competences:
•an ability to analyse spelling, vocabulary, and structures from different centuries in order to identify and describe linguistic properties and developments in different stages of the English language;
•an ability to examine and analyse original passages in Old, Middle, and Early Modern English and to analyse texts as evidence for historical change and contemporary variation;
•an appreciation of the changing dynamic and the role of English as an international language; an understanding of the connection between contemporary language variation and historical linguistic change in English.
Assessment methods: final written exam and optional assignments.


Teaching hours: 3 | Credits: 3 | ECTS: 6

The course is not currently offerred.