Academic year 2019/2020 Syllabus of previous years
Official course title HISTORICAL LINGUISTICS MOD. 1
Course code LMJ120 (AF:309881 AR:167833)
Modality On campus classes
ECTS credits 6 out of 12 of HISTORICAL LINGUISTICS
Degree level Master's Degree Programme (DM270)
Educational sector code L-FIL-LET/15
Period 2nd Semester
Course year 1
Moodle Go to Moodle page
Contribution of the course to the overall degree programme goals
Germanic Philology 1 is one of the main courses of the degree in Language Sciences which contribute towards the development of knowledge and understanding of the basic principles and concepts in the field of Germanic Philology and Historical Linguistics. The general objective of Module 1 is to provide the basic notions to understand and account for language development for language development and change over time, especially within the Germanic language family. The Module is entirely taught in English.
Expected learning outcomes
Student Learning Objectives (SLO):
- to acquire knowledge and understanding in the main topics of historical linguistics, as well as cultural and literary studies by being exposed to both the current theoretical debate and its applications in the field of Germanic Philology. This knowledge and understanding will be founded upon and will extend that typically associated with the first cycle; it will also provide a basis for originality in developing and/or applying ideas, often within a research context;
- to apply their knowledge and understanding, and problem solving abilities in new or unfamiliar environments within broader contexts related to Germanic Comparative Linguistics, as well as Germanic Philology (e.g. textual criticism and literary reading skills applied to Germanic medieval texts);
- to have the ability to integrate knowledge and handle complexity, and formulate judgments with incomplete or limited information about their object of study (this is a typical situation in the philological field). The ability to formulate judgements will include reflecting on social and ethical responsibilities linked to the application of their knowledge (e.g. the educational and social impact of philological studies);
- to be able to communicate their conclusions, and the knowledge and rationale underpinning these, to specialist and non-specialist audiences clearly and unambiguously, using the appropriate language register;
- to acquire the learning skills that should allow them to continue to study in a manner that may be largely self-directed or autonomous (e.g. through individual independent reading on philological issues, as well as practice exercises on linguistic theories, models and forms).
No specific prerequisites are required, even though it is advisable to have some basic knowledge of Germanic Philology (BA level). The theoretical notions necessary to tackle the main topics listed in the content section (see below) will be provided by the teacher at the beginning of the course.
The module consists of a series of lectures on basic topics in historical linguistics (specifically applied to the Germanic languages and literatures - English in particular):
- Language change, dialectal differentiations, sound laws and genetic models;
- The Indo-European group;
- The Germanic family within the IE group;
- High vs. Low German(ic);
- Readings from OHG texts;
- Manuscript culture and medieval scripts;
- Old English;
- Readings from OE texts;
- Middle English;
- Readings from ME texts.
Referral texts
- van Gelderen, Elly. 2014. A History of the English Language. Revised edition. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: Benjamins (in particular: Chapters 1-6).
- Materials uploaded in the Moodle platform.

Non attenders:
- van Gelderen, Elly. 2014. A History of the English Language. Revised edition. Amsterdam/Philadelphia: Benjamins (whole book).
- Materials uploaded in the Moodle platform.
Assessment methods
The written exam consists of four (4) open questions, and lasts 90 minutes. Open questions allow to test critical thought, as well as the capacity of mastering the subject.
More specifically:
- Knowledge and understanding: checked through content questions;
- Applying knowledge and understanding: checked through practical exercises, such as translations and linguistic manipulations;
- Making judgements: checked through methodological questions;
- Communication skills: checked through open questions (whether students communicate their conclusions clearly and unambiguously, as well as the knowledge and rationale underpinning these);
- Learning skills: evaluation of the students' autonomy of judgement.

ATTENTION! Online exams during COVID-19. During Coronavirus emergency, exams will take place online with no substantial change in their modality. They will be "closed book", paper exams consisting of four open questions, and lasting 90 minutes.
Teaching methods
Lectures and practical exercises in class.
Teaching language
Type of exam
2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development Goals

This subject deals with topics related to the macro-area "Human capital, health, education" and contributes to the achievement of one or more goals of U. N. Agenda for Sustainable Development

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