Method and theory of historical and comparative linguistics. Problems of phonological, morphological, syntactic, and semantic change and reconstruction. Prerequisite: either LING 200, LING 201, ANTH/LING 203, or LING 400.
This course introduces the basic concepts of historical linguistics and comparative reconstruction. Main focus is on the types of changes which commonly occur, examining a broad range of languages. The course also touches on genetic classification, language families, and writing systems.
Student learning goals
Gain introductory knowledge of the field of historical linguistics
Practice the analytic methods employed in linguistic analysis
General method of instruction
Textbook: Campbell, Lyle. 2004. Historical Linguistics: An Introduction. (2nd edition). MIT Press.
Class assignments and grading
Midterm exam: 20% Final exam: 30% Homework: 35% Preparation and class participation: 15%