Courses Catalogue

Historical Linguistics

COURSE CODE: LIN 7125
COURSE CREDIT UNIT: 4
ACADEMIC PROGRAMME: Master of Arts In Linguistics
COLLEGE/SCHOOL/FACULTY: College of Education, Open and Distance Learning
STATUS: Elective
PROGRAMME TYPE: Postgraduate

Course Description

In this course students will be introduced to the subject matter of historical linguistics, linguistic theory and gives an outline of the major types of linguistic change. Throughout the course students will interrogate why words and phrases enter languages, the origin of such words and how the orthographic, phonological, morphological and syntactical levels of a given language have changed over time. Using comparative methods the lectures will also illustrate the effects of language change on other disciplines such as history and the implications of such changes on linguistic theory. Students will have an opportunity to evaluate the merits and demerits of any such theories.

Course Objectives

1)    To introduce students to the principles and methods of historical linguistics

2)    To examine the relation between synchronic theory and language change

3)    To analyze types of language change which mainly occur at the phonological, morphological and syntactical levels of language

4)    To increase students' awareness of the relationship between history, culture and language

5)   To seek answers to questions as to why and how language changes

Course Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to:

1)    Describe endogenic and exogenic language change

2)    Explain competently language change and shift

3)    Analyze attitudes towards the influence of Arabic, Germanic and Romance on African languages

4)    Analyze types of language change which mainly occur at the phonological, morphological and syntactical levels of language

5)    Apply the knowledge acquired on the course to explain why and how their native languages change

6)    Illustrate how history, culture and language relate at a theoretical level