Skip to main content

Unit information: Advances in Historical Linguistics in 2015/16

Please note: you are viewing unit and programme information for a past academic year. Please see the current academic year for up to date information.

Unit name Advances in Historical Linguistics
Unit code GERM32052
Credit points 20
Level of study H/6
Teaching block(s) Teaching Block 1 (weeks 1 - 12)
Unit director Professor. Langer
Open unit status Not open




School/department Department of German
Faculty Faculty of Arts

Description including Unit Aims

This unit will focus on recent development in historical linguistics research. Precise topics will change from year to year but a detailed outline will be advertised in the spring before the unit is run. Particular attention will be paid to the field of historical sociolinguistics and its application to the history of German.

In this course we will focus on a particular area of German linguistics, e.g. multilingualism in certain regions, language standardisation, historical orality, text-type dependent variation, linguistic purism, and language historiography. Primarily focussing on sociolinguistic developments, students will gain a detailed understanding of the processes of speaker- and society-induced language change, the role of language in shaping societies, and the mechanism of linguistics.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Successful students will:

  • be knowledgable about a significant cultural, historical or linguistic subject related to the language they are studying;
  • will have advanced skills in the selection and synthesis of relevant material;
  • be able to evaluate and analyse relevant material from a significant body of source materials, usually in a foreign language, at an advanced level;
  • be able to respond to questions or problems by presenting their independent judgements in an appropriate style and at an advanced level of complexity;
  • be able to transfer these skills to other working environments, including postgraduate study.

Teaching Information

Two seminar hours per week across one teaching block (22 contact hours).

Assessment Information

2 essays 3000 words each 50%/50%

Reading and References

Students are advised to have constant access to a good Sprachgeschichte des Deutschen, e.g.

Ernst, Peter. 2005. Deutsche Sprachgeschichte. UTB.

Horan, Geraldine et al. (eds.). 2009. Landmarks in the History of German. Oxford: Peter Lang.