This course examines the history of English from its origins in the Germanic branch of the Indoeuropean language family, 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 favoured such changes.
The main aims of the course are:
-to give students an outline of the origins and history of the English language at all the levels of linguistic analysis
-to provide students with the basic tools for the linguistic analysis of Old, Middle and Early Modern English data and texts. For this purpose, students will be trained in the use of all the material available for the study of the history of the language: paper, CD and web resources (audio and video material, dictionaries, concordances, corpora, on-line texts