Language Change in English and Beyond

This module introduces students to the study of language change. It aims to show how language change can be investigated and explained, particularly in the light of the most recent developments in (functionally oriented) historical linguistics. English is the primary focus of the module but examples from other languages will be used as well. All levels of language will be covered, from phonetics and phonology, via changes in the lexicon and word meaning to grammar and pragmatics. The module is not only theoretical (how can linguistic theory account for the changes we can observed?), but also has a strong practical component, especially in the seminars, where students will get the opportunity to apply the theories and concepts that were introduced in the lectures to actual data, prominently including data related to ongoing change.