Historical Linguistics

English 4660
Section 1
Rebecca Grollemund

This course cross-listed with Anthropology 4420/01 and Linguistics 4420/01

This course is an introduction to Historical Linguistics, the study of language change over time. We will explore the basic concepts of historical and comparative linguistics. We will also study the different aspects of language change (phonological, morphological, syntactical and semantic) with a particular emphasis on sound changes in a wide variety of languages. Finally, the course will consider the different methods used in historical linguistics in order to classify languages: glottochronology, lexicostatistics and the comparative method (also used to reconstruct ancestral states of languages). We will also explore new methods borrowed from the field of entitled “phylogenetic methods” used to investigate the evolution of the languages.