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

Postgraduate Course: Historical Linguistics (LASC11160)

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 with in-depth consideration of data from English and a diverse range of other languages and language families.
Course description This course introduces the type of changes that a language may undergo, at all levels of linguistic structure, and the theoretical frameworks that are available to discuss them. The course also looks at sociolinguistic influences on language change and the consequences of language contact including language convergence, creolisation and language death.
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 2020/21, Available to all students (SV1) Quota:  None
Course Start Semester 2
Timetable Timetable
Learning and Teaching activities (Further Info) Total Hours: 200 ( Lecture Hours 27, Programme Level Learning and Teaching Hours 4, Directed Learning and Independent Learning Hours 169 )
Assessment (Further Info) Written Exam 0 %, Coursework 100 %, Practical Exam 0 %
Additional Information (Assessment) Assignment 1:30%
Assignment 2: 55%
Course exercises: 15%
Feedback Class discussion of topics; optional one-to-one feedback on pre-final version of essay
No Exam Information
Learning Outcomes
On completion of this course, the student will be able to:
  1. identify and analyse common types of linguistic change in different domains
  2. recognise and critically discuss key issues relating to current theories of language change
  3. accurately analyse and interpret primary diachronic data
  4. critically assess the relevance of primary data to key analytical issues, and apply current theoretical thinking in data analysis
  5. proceed to independent study and research in historical linguistics
Reading List
Campbell, L. (2004, 2013). Historical Linguistics: An Introduction. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press. 2nd or 3rd edition.

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

Ringe, D, & J. F. Eska (2013). Historical linguistics: Towards a twenty-first century reintegration. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.

Trask, R.L. (2009). Why Do Languages Change? Cambridge: Cambridge 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
Keywordslanguage change,historical linguistics
Course organiserProf John Joseph
Tel: (0131 6)50 3497
Course secretaryMiss Toni Noble
Tel: (0131 6)51 3188
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