Anthropology | Language & Prehistory
L407 | 0418 | LeSourd

Above section requires permission of instructor

This course provides an introduction to the areas of contemporary
linguistic research that are most relevant to the concerns of
archaeologists and students of cultural prehistory.  We will begin by
exploring how and why languages change, then investigate some of the
methods that historical linguists have developed in order to group
languages into families and to reconstruct proto-languages, the
ancestors of linguistic families.  During the second half of the
course, we will turn to applications of such historical studies,
looking at ways in which linguistic reconstruction can help in
identifying the locations of ancient populations, tracing early
patterns of migration, and revealing aspects of both the material and
the non-material culture of groups who lived in the distant past.