History Eng Language

Text: Course Reader

(CRDG Marketing and Publication, Castle 101)

In this course, we will study
the origins and evolution, in historical and linguistic terms, of what today
may best be described in the plural form: the English languages. There will be
detailed analysis (and translation) of a variety of historical texts, including
several from what are traditionally defined as the Early and Middle English
periods. To do this will inevitably require of students a willingness to engage
with grammars and vocabularies that appear very different from the language
most of us use in our text messages or e-mails.


From its very humble origins
on a sparsely populated island off the coast of Europe, a motley collection of
minor Germanic dialects quickly overwhelmed the indigenous languages of Britain
before becoming itself subjected to outside invasion and eventual conquest. The
resulting linguistic hybrid, Celtic-Roman-Saxon-Danish-Norwegian-Norman English,
then began, primarily through colonial expansion and global domination, to
outgrow its sister languages on the Continent, eventually establishing itself
as what most Americans gratefully know it to be today: the whole world’s lingua


If, in what form, and for how
long ‘English’ will remain the primary global language are questions which
no-one today can answer, which is why this course also aims to look beyond the
hegemony of the current Anglo-American centre (spelled correctly according to a
competing variety).  To do this, we will
be examining some competing English-speaking communities and cultures at the
centre and periphery of the so-called English-speaking world for whom the
precepts of the descendants of Dr. Johnson and Noah Webster are no longer quite
as binding.



will be two midterms (40%) and a final examination (30%)

Laulima Postings (20%)