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Georgetown University


Detailed Course Information


Fall 2017
Jan 18, 2018
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LING 449 - Historical Linguistics
This course focuses on how and why languages change over time, and on how we can study the linguistic history of individual languages and language families. In the first part of the course, we’ll discuss the basic nature of linguistic change, and how diachronic change is reflected within the synchronic grammars of speakers. We’ll also discuss common changes in phonetics, phonological organization, syntax, and semantics. In the second part, we’ll study how internal reconstruction and the Comparative Method can be used to develop hypotheses about the development of related languages, with and without a documented history of written records. Here, we’ll focus especially (though not exclusively) on the reconstruction of Proto-Indo-European and Proto-Bantu. Finally, we’ll consider the close relationship between diachronic change and synchronic variation in exploring the factors that drive linguistic change over time.

3.000 Credit hours
3.000 Lecture hours
0.000 Lab hours

Levels: MN or MC Graduate, Undergraduate
Schedule Types: Lecture

Linguistics Department

Course Attributes:
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