English 4901 History of English Language
Section 001 CRN 97161
History of English Language 1100-1150 MWF
This course is the third in a series of courses the English Department offers in grammar and language theory. Each of the three language theory courses offers something a little different.
In this course, the emphasis is on language change, specifically exploring how and why languages change over time. We will be focusing on the historical roots of English, looking at the sounds and word formations and grammar of English and examining how historical and cultural events that happened in England and America actually altered the way English was spoken and written over time. We will listen to tapes and read sample texts in Old English. Then we will examine Middle English, the language of Chaucer, and proceed to Renaissance English, the language of Shakespeare. We will also study different dialects of American English to show how our language is evolving even today. Our aim will be to describe, using theoretical linguistic tools, these different language forms that mark specific periods of the history of our language, so that you will be better able to read, interpret and research historical texts.
This course is highly recommended for English and English Education majors, foreign language majors, and history majors. But everyone who has an interest in understanding language change is welcome. (Group 1)