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Beyond Sources: What Languages Reveal about the Course of History

Vak
2016-2017

Admission requirements

You have received your propaedeutic diploma within one academic year and your academic results are good (indication: 7,3 average). Students who meet the criteria may apply for a place in the Humanities Lab.

Description

Languages are constantly changing and have done so for as long as human language has existed. Furthermore, Language users will adapt their language to suit their current needs. When a linguistic community is isolated from its linguistic relatives or comes into contact with new linguistic communities, this often leaves traces in the spoken language.

These traces are found in the form of newly introduced vocabulary, sounds or grammatical structures. Such traces can inform us about the history of a language and its speakers, even when historical sources are lacking. This is especially worthwhile when the language in question has no written traditions or because the language was spoken in prehistoric times.

The course Beyond Sources will examine the methodology of historical linguistics and will present practical cases where the history of language may serve as an important historical source to shed light on events in the past.

Course objectives

At the end of this course, the student will have:

  • A foundation in the methodology of historical linguistics.

  • Experience in analyzing linguistic data from a historical perspective.

  • Knowledge of how to approach this data to reconstruct historical contact between speakers of language.

  • Knowledge of how to analyse linguistic data to say something about the culture and environment of speakers of a language (family) in the past.

Timetable

Courses of the Humanities Lab are scheduled on Friday afternoon from 13.00 to 17.00. For the exact timetable, please visit the following website

Mode of instruction

Lecture

Course Load

  • Amount of lectures: 4 hours x 6 weeks 24 hours

  • Practical work: 5 hours x 6 weeks 30 hours

  • Literature: 8 hours a week x 6 weeks 48 hours

  • Assessment: Final paper 38 hours

Total course load for the course 5 EC x 28 140 hours

Assessment method

Assessment will consist of several parts:

  • The final week you will present a topic related to the topics discussed in the course. This will constitute 30% of the final mark.

  • Attendance and in-class participation will constitute 10% of the final mark.

  • A final essay of 5-8 pages will constitute 60% of the final mark.

  • A resit will only be possible for the final paper. It will cover 100% of the final mark, and the paper has to be more extensive to compensate (10-15 page paper).

Blackboard

Blackboard will be used to supply reading material and weekly cases that require examination and/or discussion.

Reading list

There is no preparatory reading for this course. Readings will be given every week.

Registration

Students of the Humanities Lab will be registered via uSis by the administration of the Humanities Lab.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable

Contact

Instructor: Dhr. Dr. M. van Putten

Humanities Lab:
Office: e-mail

Remarks

If all participants of this course are Dutch native speakers, this course will be taught in Dutch.
More information: website