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

Postgraduate Course: Diachronic Linguistics (LASC11010)

Course Outline
SchoolSchool of Philosophy, Psychology and Language Sciences CollegeCollege of Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityAvailable to all students
SCQF Credits20 ECTS Credits10
SummaryDetailed introduction to descriptive and theoretical aspects of historical linguistics, covering phonetic, phonological, morphological and syntactic change from a crosslinguistic perspective.
Course description Course Outline:
1 Lexical and Semantic Change
2 Sound change
3 Morphological change
4 Grammaticalization
5 Word Order Change
7 Language Contact and convergence
8 Language Birth
8 Language shift and death
9 Language variation and change
Discussion of topics for essays
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Information for Visiting Students
High Demand Course? Yes
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2019/20, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 18, Seminar/Tutorial Hours 9, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 1, Summative Assessment Hours 2, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 166 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 50 %, Coursework 50 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) One take-home written exercise (50%)
Two hour written examination (50%)
Feedback Class discussion of topics; optional one-to-one feedback on pre-final version of essay
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)Diachronic Linguistics (LASC11010)2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. demonstrate core skills in linguistics, including the ability to interpret linguistic data at the various levels of linguistic description
  2. understand and articulate key concepts and debates in historical linguistics
  3. evaluate critically arguments and positions in ongoing debates in the literature
  4. write a clear, reader-friendly, well-structured essay, taking up and arguing a position based on argumentation in the literature on a central topic in historical linguistics
  5. provide a clear logical argument
Reading List
Bynon, Th. 1977. Historical Linguistics (Cambridge textbooks in Linguistics). Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Campbell, L. 2004, 2013. Historical Linguistics: An Introduction. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. 2nd or 3rd edition.

Kroch, A.S. 1989. Reflexes of grammar in patterns of language change. Language Variation and Change 1, 199-244.

McMahon, A. 1994. Understanding Language Change. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Thomason, S. G. 2001. Language Contact: An Introduction. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and Skills Ability to analyse linguistic data, evaluate claims, and provide logical argumentation

Ability to write well-structured, reader-friendly texts

Ability to articulate and defend positions in a linguistic debate
Additional Class Delivery Information Attend all lectures as scheduled
Keywordslanguage change,historical linguistics
Course organiserProf Bettelou Los
Tel: (0131 6)51 1842
Course secretaryMiss Toni Noble
Tel: (0131 6)51 3188
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