Historical Linguistics

Key information

Start date
End date
Year of study
Year 2 or Year 3
Term 2
Module code
FHEQ Level
Department of Linguistics

Module overview

All languages are constantly in a process of change and over time related languages can diverge and become different from one another. Linguists have developed techniques for studying language change and for comparing languages in order to group them into families and reconstruct their parent forms.


Introduction to Phonology and Introduction to Grammatical Structure

Objectives and learning outcomes of the module


The aim of this course is to familiarise students with the techniques of language comparison and reconstruction, based on materials from the study of Indo-European languages, but also illustrating the methods with data from a range of other language families. At the conclusion of the course, students will be familiar with reconstruction and comparison methods for any set of language data.



Total of 10 weeks teaching with 2 hours classroom contact per week.

Method of assessment


  • Two Data Analyses (500 words each) (25% each): due Term 2
  • One Essay (3,000 words) (50%) due Term 3
  • The exact assessment deadline dates are published on the relevant module Moodle/BLE page


Suggested reading

The reading list for this course will be made available from the convenor at the beginning of the course.


Professor Lutz Marten


Important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules