The course focusses on selected areas in historical syntax, semantics, pragmatics, morphology and phonology. We mainly focus on aspects of the history of English and its ancestors, but we will sometimes examine material from other languages and insights that researchers have gained in working towards a better theory of how and why languages change. Examples of subjects covered include grammaticalization (the development of lexical elements into grammatical elements), word order change, passivization, negation, information structure, the semantics and syntax of auxiliaries, general principles of semantic change, the origins of affixes and the reasons for sound change. The topics discussed are selected because of what they reveal about the general nature of language change and/or the English language. Students can attend this course without having attended the accompanying seminar, but should have a rough understanding of the history of English and its earlier ancestor languages, as could be obtained from an encyclopedia article on the subject. It would be useful if attendees have some understanding of basic notions from syntax, morphology and phonology/phonetics, like those taught in introductory courses in our institute.
Die Veranstaltung wurde 2 mal im Vorlesungsverzeichnis SoSe 2020 gefunden: