Germanic Languages | History of the German Language
G532 | 2703 | Sprouse


Three credit hour course; meets 2:30-3:45 p.m., MW in BH 315

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. The course will begin with a two-week orientation to historical
linguistics tailored to the needs of students of Germanic languages. This will
be followed by five two-week units devoted to five historical periods:
(I) Proto-Indo-European/ Proto-Germanic
(II) Old High German
(III) Middle High German
(IV) Early Modern German
(V) Modern German (and its closest contemporary Continental West Germanic "siblings").
In each of these units, we will summarize the major aspects of both the internal and the external history of the language, examine sample texts, and consider one or two selected scholarly issues. There will be an "almost final" exam. The final two to three weeks of the course will be devoted to student exposés, in which students will present their course papers in progress. The course assumes reading knowledge of (Modern) German, but no specific background in linguistics. The course grade will be based on three equally weighted criteria: (-) class participation and exposé (-) "almost final" exam (-) a course paper Texts: (+) Wells, GERMAN: A LINGUISTIC HISTORY TO 1945 (+) a course packet (+) additional materials on reserve in BH643 (+) instructor-generated handouts