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English Historical Linguistics B

Class at Faculty of Arts |



Sound Change 1 (Sound change and phonological change in a wider perspective; Bybee 49–74) 

Week 2 

Sound change 2 (The interaction of sound change with grammar; Bybee 75–92)

Week 3 

Analogical Change (Bybee 93–114)

Week 4 

Grammaticalisation 1 (Grammaticalisation: processes and mechanisms; Bybee 117–138)

Week 5 

Grammaticalisation 2 (Common paths of grammaticalisation; Bybee 139–160)

Week 6 

Lexicalisation  (Lexicalisation: definitions and viewpoints; Brinton – Traugott 32–61)

Week 7 

Syntactic change 1(Syntactic change: the development and change of constructions; Bybee 161–187)

Week 8 

Syntactic change 2 (exercises and discussion)

Week 9 

Semantic and lexical change (Lexical change: how languages get new words and how words change their meaning; Bybee 188–208) Week 10 

Language contact (McMahon, 200–224)

Week 11 

Pidgins and creoles (McMahon, 253–283)

Week 12 

Language death (McMahon, 284–313)

Week 13 

Sources of Language Change (Sources of language change: internal and external factors; Bybee 237–264)


All relevant primary and secondary materials will be available from Moodle.


The two-semester course is designed as an expansion on the B.A. level lecture and seminar on the history of English (History of English I).

Presentations of relevant linguistic essays, text analyses and exercises related to a variety of topics in English historical word-formation, syntax, lexical history and sociolinguistics will help the student develop a deeper understanding of the major historical forces shaping the development of English.


History of the English Language I, II working knowledge of Czech, Old and Middle English

N.B. Courses in "English Historical Linguistics A" and "English Historical Linguistics B" work in conjunction, focusing on structural and sociolinguistic aspects of language change, respectively, but neither is to be considered a prerequisite for the other one.

Study programmes