Undergraduate Course: Linguistic Reconstruction and Language Classification (LASC10052)
|School||School of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences
||College||College of Humanities and Social Science
|Credit level (Normal year taken)||SCQF Level 10 (Year 3 Undergraduate)
||Availability||Available to all students
|Summary||Courses on language change tend to focus on developments from earlier stages of a language to more recent ones; theoretical approaches to such changes; and possible explanations of them. This module is involved with a different perspective on historical linguistics, and concentrates on comparing modern or earlier attested languages to assess whether they belong to the same family, and on the possibilities for reconstructing aspects of their unattested, ancestral proto-languages. This is a particularly lively and controversial area of linguistics at present: methodologies and key theoretical assumptions are under revision, and the implications of historical linguistic work for other disciplines are being debated widely in the scientific press. Although we shall concentrate principally on Indo-European linguistic reconstruction, we shall also consider problems of the comparative method in connection with Australian aboriginal languages; the Greenberg-Ruhlen groupings in the Americas determined by the method of mass comparison; and the application of novel quantitative methods of comparison to the languages of the Andes. There will also be scope for investigating the relationship of historical linguistic methods and evidence with those from other historical disciplines, including archaeology and population biology.
Information for Visiting Students
|Pre-requisites||Visiting students should have at least 3 Linguistics/Language Sciences courses at grade B or above (or be predicted to obtain this). We will only consider University/College level courses.
Course Delivery Information
|Not being delivered|
| On successful completion of this module, students should have:
- A firm foundation in the methodology and argumentation associated with the study of comparative linguistics and language classification
- The ability to analyse historical linguistic data from the perspective of language family affiliation
- A clear knowledge of methods, data and current controversies in current research
- An understanding of the prospects for and limitations on interdisciplinary research involving comparative linguistics.
|Graduate Attributes and Skills
|Additional Class Delivery Information
Wednesdays - Faculty Room South, David Hume Tower
Fridays - Lecture Theatre 3, 7 Bristo Square
17th January - Lecture Theatre 1, 7 Bristo Square
24th, 31st January. 7th, 14th, 28th February. 7th, 14th March - F21, 7 George Square
21st, 28th March - Sydney Smith Lecture Theatre*
4th April - F21, 7 George Square.
*The Sydney Smith Lecture Theatre is located on the second floor of the Medical School in Teviot Place - enter by doorway 1 from the Quadrangle
|Course organiser||Prof Ronnie Cann
Tel: (0131 6)51 1839
|Course secretary||Ms Stephanie Fong
Tel: (0131 6)50 3961