Indiana University Bloomington
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U520  History of the Hungarian Language
Gyula Décsy

With 16 million speakers, Hungarian is the 46th largest language of the World (out of 2,800), and the 11th largest language of Europe (out of 62). Migrating from the South Russian steppe to the Carpathian Basin where they settled in 892-896 A.D., the ancestors of the Hungarians founded there an influential political entity which has existed for more than one thousand years. Between Germany in the west and the Slavic World in Eastern Europe, the Hungarians represented a unique language group and culture unifying and influencing a large group of other languages (Croatian, Ukrainian, Slovak, Czech, Polish, Ukrainian and Romanian). The course gives a comprehensive review of the 3,500 years of independent development of the Hungarian language from ca. 1,500 B.C. down to the threshold of the 21st Century. Both the internal development and the sociolinguistic aspects will be taken into consideration. Special attention will be paid to contacts with neighboring peoples (Slavs, Germans, Italians), and the modern English influence on Hungarian. Graduate students have to write a term paper on a topic determined in consultation with the instructor.

Required Readings:

Days and time: Tuesday and Thursday, 1:00-2:15.