Language Change



Zeit/Ort n.V.:

  • Mo 12:15-13:45, Raum C 601


Mo 12:15 13:45 C bzw. etwas in der Bismarckstr. 1 Hauptseminar Language Change Judith Huber "Why do languages change all the time? Are there any principles along which language change proceeds? How come that grammatical structures can be so elaborate, given that no one ever consciously invented them? Are there any clues on how language structure arose in the first place, how language may have developed from something like a "me, Tarzan” stage to displaying highly complex grammatical structures? Aren't languages becoming simpler all the time? With examples from a wide range of languages, these questions are addressed in Guy Deutscher’s |The Unfolding of Language| (2005) in a highly readable, general-audience style yet scholarly up-to-date way. On the basis of this book and additional literature (Bybee 2015 and others), this seminar is an introduction to the topic of language change but also language evolution.

You’ll be reading a section of Deutscher 2005 and other texts for each session (accompanied by a list of reading questions), which we will discuss in class and apply to further aspects from the history of English not touched upon in the book. The issues treated in Deutscher will be intensified by drawing on linguistic case studies and by hands-on exercises (particularly in the |Begleitübung|).

Empfohlene Literatur

"Brinton, Laurel J. & Leslie K. Arnovick. 2016. |The English Language. A Linguistic History|. 3rd edition. Oxford: Oxford University Press. Bybee, Joan. 2015. |Language Change|. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Deutscher, Guy. 2005. |The Unfolding of Language. An Evolutionary Tour of Mankind’s Greatest Invention|. London: Arrow. " Englisch Mein Campus nein