GER 393K • Topics in Older Germanic Language and Cultures: Middle High German
11:00 AM-12:00 PM
This course focuses on Middle High German (MHG), which was spoken between roughly 1050 and 1350. MHG is of interest to students of both linguistics and literature, thanks to the various important linguistic developments it exhibits and the rich array of MHG literature, including texts like the Nibelungenlied, Iwein, and Tristan. This course therefore introduces students to MHG language, literature, and culture, and helps them to familiarize themselves with relevant previous scholarship. Readings and translations will be coordinated with an overview of MHG grammar; linguistic comparison with Modern German will enhance the development of translation skills. We will read a representative selection from various genres of Middle High German literature. Class time will be devoted to translation and to discussion of grammatical, lexical, literary, and cultural topics. Assignments will consist of readings and translations, short quizzes, a short paper, and a final paper.
Participation: 20% Quizzes: 10% Short paper: 20% Term paper: 50% Participation: Participation includes attendance, asking questions, answering my questions, and taking part in class discussions. Attendance is mandatory. Quizzes: There will be several short quizzes on MHG grammar and translations. Midterm paper: Students will be required to write a brief midterm paper (circa 5 pp.), involving a close reading, discussion of a tricky passage, or a research topic. Final paper: Students will be required to write a final paper (15-20 pp.) on a topic of their choice and to give a brief in-class presentation on their topic.
Joseph Wright, A Middle High German Primer There will also be a coursepack with readings on various topics.