GERMAN 220 A: Origins Of The Germanic Languages

Meeting Time: 
MWF 11:30am - 12:20pm
Location: 
DEN 303
SLN: 
14778
Instructor:
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Annegret Oehme

Syllabus Description:

The Origins of German and its Closest Relatives

The legend goes that only one vote prevented German from becoming the official language of the colonies that predated the USA. Despite being opponents in this case, German and English share common features and a linguistic genealogy. This class offers an introduction to the origins of these two languages and their closest relatives with a special focus on the sociolinguistic context. Over the course of the quarter, students will familiarize themselves with Old High German, Old English, Gothic, Old Norse, Old Saxon, and Old Low Franconian regarding their linguistic features, the people who spoke it, and the literature they produced. Students will acquire an understanding of the origins of these Germanic languages starting with Proto-Indo-European. In addition, over the course of the quarter, students will gain familiarity with patterns of language and language changes, and will be able to reconstruct the relationship of some modern languages, such as English and German. As part of their projects, students will bring diverse historic voices into dialogue within the framework of digital media and create an online exhibition about objects of significance for the history of these Germanic languages.

Full Syllabus

Schedule

Mon, March 27: Introduction

Wed, March 29: Modern and Premodern Language Conceptions 

Read: Young, Robert J. C. “That Which Is Casually Called a Language.”

Fri, March 31: Proto-Indo-European

Read: Sanders, Ruth. “Germanic Beginnings.”

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Mon, April 3: From Proto-Indo-European to Germanic

Wed, April 5: Germanic

Read: Robinson, 1-42

Fri, April 7: Germanic

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Mon, April 10: Gothic

Read: Robinson, 43-68

Wed, April 12: Gothic

Fri, April 14: Old High German

Read: Robinson, 222-246

Quiz

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Mon, April 17: Old High German

Wed, April 19: Old High German

Read: Otfried of Weissenburg. “Introduction.”

Fri, April 21: Old High German

(Presentations: German, Yiddish)

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Mon, April 24: Old Norse

Read: Robinson, 67-99

Wed, April 26: Old Norse

Read: McKenzie, Steven. “Face of Orkney’s St. Magnus reconstructed.”

(Presentations: Norwegian, Danish,)

Fri, April 28: Old Norse

(Presentations: Swedish, Icelandic, Faroese)

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Mon, May 01: Old Saxon

Read: Robinson, 100-135       

Wed, May 03: Old Saxon

(Presentations: Afrikaans, (Low German))

Fri, May 05: Team Project 1 Presentation: Otfrid & Wulfila

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Mon, May 08: Team Project 2: A Museum of Linguistics

Read: Kriston, Capps. “Word Up!”;

O’Connell, Jonathan. “Philanthropist Friedman picked to turn D.C.’s Franklin School into ‘Planet Word.’”

Wed, May 10: Old English

Read: Robinson, 136-175

Fri, May 12: Old English

Read: Tolley, Clive. “Old English Influence on The Lord of the Rings.”

Quiz

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Mon, May 15: Old English

Read: Crystal, David. “The End of Old English?”

Wed, May 17: Old Frisian

Read: Robinson, 176-198

Fri, May 19: Old Frisian

(Presentation: Frisian)

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Mon, May 22: Old Low Franconian

Read: Robinson, 199-221

Wed, May 24: Old Low Franconian

(Presentation: Dutch)

Fri, May 26: Wrap-Up Session

Quiz

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Mon, May 29: Memorial Day

Wed, May 31: Team Project 2 Presentation

Fri, June 2: Team Project 2 Presentation

Catalog Description: 
Introduction to basic grammatical concepts, terminology, and linguistics with emphasis on German-English relationship. Overview of phonology, morphology, syntax, and history of Germanic languages and people, both ancient and modern. Languages covered include Old, Middle, and New High German; English, Frisian, Dutch, Old Saxon, and Gothic. Taught in English. Offered: jointly with LING 220.
GE Requirements: 
Visual, Literary, and Performing Arts (VLPA)
Status: 
Active
Last updated: 
January 18, 2017 - 9:16pm