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 045 or permission of the instructor.
Fall 2020. Gasser.
Catalog chapter: Linguistics
Department website: http://www.swarthmore.edu/linguistics
Check the Fall 2020 Schedule of Courses
Check the Spring 2021 Schedule of Courses