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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 Arts, Humanities and Social Sciences
Credit level (Normal year taken)SCQF Level 11 (Postgraduate) AvailabilityNot available to visiting students
SCQF Credits10 ECTS Credits5
SummaryThis course will provide students with an accelerated introduction to the development of the English Language, both within the United Kingdom and overseas.
Course description 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.

The week-by-week syllabus is as follows:
Week 1: External factors in the development of English
Week 2: The earliest English
Week 3: From Old English to Middle English
Week 4: British English in early modern times
Week 5: Late Modern English: the British Isles
Week 6: Late Modern English: beyond the British Isles
Week 7: The history of English words: an introduction to semantic and morphological change
Week 8: Phonological change in English
Week 9: Morphosyntactic change in English
Entry Requirements (not applicable to Visiting Students)
Pre-requisites Co-requisites
Prohibited Combinations Other requirements None
Course Delivery Information
Academic year 2019/20, Not available to visiting students (SS1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 100 ( Lecture Hours 18, Feedback/Feedforward Hours 1, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 2, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 79 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 100 %, Coursework 0 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) 100% examination
Feedback There will be interactive exercises and short assignments on Learn as a preparation for the exam.
Exam Information
Exam Diet Paper Name Hours & Minutes
Main Exam Diet S2 (April/May)History of the English Language2:00
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. recognise characteristic properties of earlier varieties of English
  2. apply knowledge of general principles of historical linguistics to changes in the structure of English
  3. understand the ways in which standard and non-standard varieties of English came into being and developed, both within the British Isles and across the world
Reading List
Hogg, Richard and David Denison (eds.). 2006. A History of the English Language. Cambridge: CUP.
Additional Information
Graduate Attributes and 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
Additional Class Delivery Information Attend all lectures as scheduled
Keywordshistory of English,historical linguistics,language change
Course organiserDr Graeme Trousdale
Tel: (0131 6)50 3599
Course secretaryMiss Toni Noble
Tel: (0131 6)51 3188
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