Germanic Languages | Seminar in German Linguistics
G835 | 27694 | T. Hall

Topic: Historical Phonology

(Cross-listed with L712)

This seminar will explore a number of well-known sound changes
(primarily in Germanic), including (but not limited to) Grimmís Law,
Vernerís Law, West Germanic Gemination, the High German Consonant
Shift, and Umlaut in Old High German. A number of linguists have
applied formal models of phonology to these sound shifts, e.g.
feature geometry, syllable and moraic theory, preference laws,
optimality theory.

The goal of the course is to critically examine this recent
literature. The course presupposes some background in phonology,
including optimality theory. Each student will be required to present
and lead the discussion on one article or book chapter and to write
a research paper. The paper can either offer a re-analysis of one of
the sound changes discussed in the course, or it can offer a new
analysis of a sound change not discussed. The topic of the paper
need not be restricted to Germanic.

The course does not assume knowledge of German.