Germanic Languages | History of the German Language
G532 | 25715 | T.A. Hall


This course provides an overview of the history of the German
language from its Indo-European origins to the present day. Emphasis
will be placed on the most significant phonological and
morphological developments. The course will begin with a brief
introduction to linguistics, including general principles of
historical linguistics. This introduction will be followed by six
units of approximately two weeks each devoted to the following
historical periods:

a. Proto-Indo-European
b. Proto-Germanic and West Germanic
c. Old High German
d. Middle High German
e. Early Modern German
f. Modern German (including regional dialects)

In each of these units, we will summarize the major structural
aspects of the language, examine sample texts, and consider one or
two selected scholarly issues.
No background in linguistics is assumed. The course will be
appropriate for beginners and advanced students alike. German is not
a prerequisite for this course, although a reading knowledge of
German will be presupposed. A course packet containing the readings
will be available at the beginning of the semester. Course material
will be in the form of instructor-generated handouts.
The course grade will be based on problem sets and class
participation.