Office Hours: Tues 5-6 , Thurs 10-11, &
Office: 4109 Susquehanna
Class time: 11-12:15 TTh
Classroom: 1117 Susquehann
This course examines the history of English from its origins in the Germanic
branch of the Indo-European language family (which also includes Greek,
Russian, Latin, Persian and Hindi, among others), through its modern position
as the most widely spoken language on the planet. We will be interested
in both "internal" developments, such as changes in the sounds of the language
and the ways sentences are structured, and "external" factors, such as
the social and political forces that carried English around the world.
As part of our study of transformations the language has undergone in the
last several centuries, we look at some features of Englishes spoken outside
Europe and North America. The course will also include considerations of
how and why languages change, including the ways that social context and
the cognitive organization of language make certain kinds of change more
natural than others.
Students are expected to complete all assignments and readings, and to
arrive in class prepared to discuss them. Class participation, including
both regular attendance and involvement in discussions, will count for
15% of your final grade. Other course work will include occasional exercise
sets and short written assignments (20%), a mid-term (25%), an in-class
presentation (10%) and a final exam (30%). All course work should be either
typed or computer-printed.
Texts & Materials
Millward, Celia M. 1996.A Biography of the
English Language Harcourt College Publishers.
Crystal, David.1995 The Cambridge Encyclopedia
of English Language Cambridge University Press.
(including citation and formatting guides for research papers)