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DRPS : Course Catalogue : School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences : Language Sciences

Postgraduate Course: History of the English Language (LASC11121)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences CollegeCollege of Humanities and Social Science
Course typeStandard AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) Credits10
Home subject areaLanguage Sciences Other subject areaNone
Course website Please use Learn Taught in Gaelic?No
Course descriptionThis course will provide students with an accelerated introduction to the development of the English Language, both within the United Kingdom and overseas. Following a brief introduction to key aspects of the external history of the language, students will learn about the linguistic characteristics of English from the earliest historical records through to the present day. They will learn how to discuss and evaluate different kinds of evidence used in historical linguistic research. Attention will be given to the development of both standard and non-standard varieties of English, and to general principles of historical linguistics as they apply to change in English phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics.

Feedback Events:
A question in the style of the exam will be prepared and given to students to work on. As this is not a formal assessment, it will not be anonymous and collected in hard copy in class. Students will receive comments on their work in good time to prepare for the April/May exam.
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Additional Costs None
Course Delivery Information
Delivery period: 2013/14 Semester 2, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Learn enabled:  Yes Quota:  None
Web Timetable Web Timetable
Course Start Date 13/01/2014
Breakdown of Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 98 )
Additional Notes
Breakdown of Assessment Methods (Further Info) Written Exam 100 %, Coursework 0 %, Practical Exam 0 %
No Exam Information
Summary of Intended Learning Outcomes
At the end of this course, students will:
- be familiar with the linguistic characteristics of earlier varieties of English
- be able to apply knowledge of general principles of historical linguistics to changes in the structure of English
- understand the ways in which standard and non-standard varieties of English came into being and developed, both within the United Kingdom and across the world
- be able to evaluate critically different kinds of textual evidence used in research in English historical linguistics
Assessment Information
100% Exam

Exam to be Scheduled:
Exam Return Date: tbc, approximately 3 weeks after the exam takes place
Special Arrangements
Additional Information
Academic description Not entered
Syllabus The week-by-week syllabus is as follows:
- Week 1: The history of English in 100 minutes (= an overview of the periods, from pre-OE to global English, with a focus on different kinds of textual evidence)
- Week 2: External factors (= a discussion of the main historical events that affected the development of the language)
- Week 3: The history of English words (= an introduction to semantic and morphological change)
- Week 4: Early English in Britain (= an introduction to OE and ME)
- Week 5: British English in modern times (= an introduction to eModE and lModE)
- Week 0: [Innovative Learning Week]
- Week 6: Phonological change in English (= principles of historical phonology, applied to and illustrated by English data)
- Week 7: Morphosyntactic change in English (= principles of historical morphosyntax, applied to and illustrated by English data)
- Week 8: Dialects in England (= an introduction to the history of English dialects, including new dialect formation in England)
- Week 9: English in Scotland (= an introduction to Scots and Scottish English)
- Week 10: Global English (= an introduction to the spread of English beyond Britain)
Transferable skills On completion of this course, students will have developed the following transferable skills:
- critical evaluation of different kinds of evidence
- close analysis of data of different kinds
- problem solving
Reading list The textbook for the course is Hogg, Richard and David Denison (eds.). 2006. A History of the English Language. Cambridge: CUP. Additional reading will be provided for each lecture.
Study Abroad Not entered
Study Pattern Not entered
KeywordsNot entered
Course organiserDr Graeme Trousdale
Tel: (0131 6)50 3599
Course secretaryMiss Toni Noble
Tel: (0131 6)51 3188
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