G405 2147 FULK
Studies in English Language

1:00p-2:15p TR (10) 3 cr.


The topic of this section will be the Middle Welsh language. Welsh is a Celtic language, a lineal descendant of the language spoken in most of Britain when the Anglo-Saxons invaded the island in the fifth century. Middle Welsh is the form that the language took from the middle of the twelfth century to the end of the fourteenth, the period during which for the first time a corpus of literature in Welsh is preserved--as opposed to the rare, stray glosses and names that comprise nearly all of the small corpus of Old Welsh. Some Middle Welsh texts, however, are clearly redactions of much earlier compositions, some perhaps as old as the sixth century. The language is something like English in structure, as it is syntactically isolative and not heavily inflected. Our approach to the language will be text-oriented, so that we will learn much of our grammar from the process of translating texts. The texts will include selections from the delightful, fairy-tale-like Pedeir Keinc y Mabinogi ‘Four Branches of the Mabinogi’ and some of the older heroic-elegiac verse, such as Y Gododdin and the poems of Taliesin and Llywarch Hen. There will be at least two examinations and some shorter exercises. The prerequisite of G205 may be waived for those with an appropriate language background: consult the instructor. Meets with G780.