Germanic Languages | History of the German Language
G532 | 2843 | Rex Sprouse

G532:  History of the German Language (3 cr.)
Fall 2002
Instructor:  Rex A. Sprouse

The purpose of this course is to provide students with an overview of
the history of the German language from its Indo-European origins to
the present day, while also examining selected areas in a bit more
depth. The fall 2002 version of the course will place special
emphasis on the following three areas: (1) the most important sound
changes affecting German (and its historical antecedents) from Proto-
Indo-European to the present; (2) the Early New High German period
(roughly 1350-1650); (3) variation and change in progress in
contemporary German.

There will be a relatively short written assignment associated with
each of the three major topics.  The final two to three weeks of the
course will be devoted to student exposés, in which students will
present their final course papers in progress. There will be
no “cloistered” exams (unless the class elects to replace one or more
of the short written assignments with a short in-class quiz).

The course assumes reading knowledge of (Modern) German, but no
specific background in linguistics.

Course materials:


Hartweg, Frédéric & Klaus-Peter Wegera (1989) Frühneuhochdeutsch:
Eine Einführung in die deutsche Sprache des Spätmittelalters und der
frühen Neuzeit. (Germanistische Arbeitshefte, 33.) Tübingen: Max
Niemeyer Verlag. ISBN: 3-484-25133-6.

König, Werner (1978) dtv-Altas zur deutschen Sprache. Tafeln und
Texte. Munich: Deutscher Taschenbuch Verlag. ISBN: 3-423-03025-9.

Stevenson, Patrick (1997) The German-Speaking World: A Practical
Introduction to Sociolinguistic Issues. New York: Routledge. ISBN: 0-

Stewart, Thomas W., Jr & Nathan Vaillette (eds.) (2001) Language
Files: Materials for an Introduction to Language and Linguistics. 8th
edition. Columbus, OH: The Ohio State University Press. ISBN: 0-8142-
	Materials on reserve in BH643
	Instructor-generated handouts

The course grade will be based on three equally weighted criteria:
	three short written assignments
	class participation and exposé
	course paper