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Research in English Diachrony

Class at Faculty of Arts |


The course is focused on research in English diachrony and is taught through group research projects. The groups will be composed primarily of M.A. students, but also of PhD students working on diachronic PhD projects and of B.A. students interested in historical linguistics. The seminar will be taught in English and it will take place in the winter semester of the academic years 2019/2020 and 2020/2021.

In the first class, students are divided into groups with each group working on a different project during the semester. Each class is focused on one of the group projects at least twice during the semester. Each group will introduce the project in the first of its project classes describing the project ethodology, the plan of the research, the expected problems and, in cooperation with the other groups, it will refine and finalize the research plan. In the second project class, the group will present the results of its research. Each of the classes will also have time devoted to helping all the other groups with their research problems and all students will be expected to actively contribute to respective analyses and discussions.

The project topics are proposed by the course convenors and modified according to the students’ needs and wishes. Students can also propose their own research topics including the topics connected to their theses.

Examples of the project topics:

Collection and analysis of material reflecting grammaticalization processes, e.g. case studies of “blind alleys”, specific grammaticalization scenarios in the history of English that were started but remained uncompleted

Digitization, description and quantitative as well as qualitative analysis of texts of the so-called Updated Old English

Quantitative and qualitative research of the change in the variability of English spelling

Quantitative analysis of lexical obsolescence and obsolescence of multi-word expressions

Relationships between lexical obsolescence and diachronic changes in word-formation

Study programmes