The lecture “Methods in Language Variation and Change” accompanies one of the linguistic seminars in ang617/ang618 and is meant for students registered for these courses to develop basic methodological skills in the topic areas of language variation and change.
Unlike many other disciplines in the humanities, linguistics has a very empirical research tradition. To get the data needed for empirical research, there are various methods of data collection which all come with a number of limitations and advantages. In this course, we will introduce and evaluate different methods of data collection, making you familiar with the advantages and disadvantages of them all and discuss critically the suitability for your research questions.
In the lecture, we will guide students to develop different methodological skills and competences, such as:
- the ability to formulate a valid (and manageable) research question
- the ability to choose the appropriate approach to answering this research question (i.e. e.g. qualitative vs. quantitative research)
- the ability to choose the appropriate method(s) of data collection to answer this question
- the ability to choose the appropriate participants/ language corpus to answer this question
- the ability to analyse the data
- the ability to choose and present relevant results
- the ability to structure linguistic papers
The course is meant to give you a hands-on experience in working empirically yourself – from developing a research question to analysing and presenting your data. Therefore, the teaching methods in this course will vary from regular lectures in the first part to (individual) counselling and consultation about your own projects (be it posters, term papers or other kinds of examination).
Students who registered for one of the linguistic seminars in ang617 also need to register for this lecture.
“Hwæt sceolan we drinkan?”, what looks like an odd mixture of English and German is actually correct English – just more or less 1300 years old.
One can still rather easily recognize the interrogative pronoun “what” only that the “hw” is nowadays reversed. “Sceolan” is probably a little hard to decipher at first glance, however at least for German natives it should – especially in combination with the last word of the question – be quickly identifiable as the equivalent to Modern English “shall” (or sollen – in OE the “sc” was pronounced as “sh”).
The fellow who phrased this particular question therefore spoke perfect (Old) English, and yet how come that it looks more like a heavy German dialect than proper English?
This issue will be one of the leading questions for this seminar. Where did the English language come from? Why is it even called English? Where did the languages before English go? Was there something like an “Old English period”? To answer those (and other questions) a period of language history lasting around 800 years will be examined. The focus will thereby not only lay with understanding the basics of Old English spelling, phonology and surface structure, but also in identifying key concepts of language contact and language change and how they have left traces within the everyday language we use.
Notes for the module
- Aktive Teilnahme (gemäß § 9 Abs. 5 BPO neu) - Curriculare Abfolge (gemäß § 9 Abs. 6 BPO neu): erfolgreicher Abschluss von ang060 Introduction to Linguistics and the English Language (Teil 1 und 2)
Time of examination
Abgabe schriftlicher Leistungen bis spätestens 15.03. im Wintersemester bzw. 15.09. im Sommersemester.
Skills to be acquired in this module
Studierende erlangen vertiefte Kompetenz, theoretische Sprachbeschreibung zu verstehen und anzuwenden; Studierende entwickeln die Fähigkeit, Bereiche des (englischen) Sprachsystems und dessen Gebrauch problemorientiert und detailliert darzustellen; Studierende können Methoden der sprachwissenschaftlichen/linguistischen Forschung beurteilen und in eigenen Projekten anwenden