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Peter Hess, Chair 2505 University Avenue, Burdine Hall 336, Mailcode C3300, Austin TX 78712-1802 • 512-471-4123

Fall 2009

GER 381.3 • Introduction to Diachronic Linguistics

Unique Days Time Location Instructor
38470 MW
3:00 PM-4:30 PM
BUR 232

Course Description

This seminar will provide students with an overview of the emergence and development of the German language. A wide range of topics and issues in the history of German will be considered, from its Indo-European prehistory to ongoing changes in the modern language. In addition to the history of German, this course will introduce students to the basic principles of historical linguistics, including models of how languages change and how linguistic changes spread geographically and socially.

Grading Policy

Participation: 25% Midterm paper: 25% Final paper: 50% Participation: Participation includes attendance, asking questions, answering my questions, and taking part in class discussions. Unexcused absences may be compensated for (to be negotiated as required). You will also be required to lead the class discussion once. Midterm paper: You will be required to write a brief midterm paper (circa 5 pp.) on a topic of your choice. Final paper: You will be required to write a final paper (15-20 pp.) on a topic of your choice (I will distribute a list of some possible topics). Please clear your topic with me in advance.


Campbell, Lyle. 2004. Historical Linguistics. 2d edition. Cambridge: MIT Press. Coursepack, containing a complete copy of C.J. Wells' German: A linguistic history to 1945, as well as various other readings. The Campbell book is available at the University Co-Op.


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