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Swarthmore College    
College Bulletin - Course Catalog 
  Dec 17, 2017
College Bulletin - Course Catalog

LING 052. Historical and Comparative Linguistics

This course is an introduction to the study of linguistic change.  Various models of language change are explored to seek to understand how and why languages change.  This will be done by drawing from a wide range of languages to explore changes at all levels of the grammar (phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, etc.) and the various factors that can contribute to linguistic change.  We will learn how it is possible to reconstruct linguistic systems that we have no direct record of, and will consider what it means for languages to diverge and converge.  Major themes of the course will be the comparative method and the relationship between socio-linguistics and historical linguistics.  The topics of language shift, language endangerment and death, language birth, and language planning will also be addressed, and assigned work and projects will develop the skills to conduct historical linguistics research through exploitation of electronic and library resources.
Prerequisite: LING 001  or LING 045  or permission of the instructor.
Social sciences.
1 credit.
Spring 2018. Lillehaugen.
Fall 2018. staff.
Catalog chapter: Linguistics  
Department website:

Check the Fall 2017 Schedule of Courses

Check the Spring 2018 Schedule of Courses