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MPhil

Department of German and Dutch

 

The Germanic Pathway in the MPhil in Linguistics

The Germanic pathway allows students to specialize in the linguistics of the Germanic languages in the context of general theoretical linguistics. It aims to give students the research skills and necessary intellectual background in both Germanic and general linguistics to allow them to pursue independent research on Germanic linguistics. The Germanic pathway is formally co-ordinated by Dr Sheila Watts (Department of German and Dutch). We are fortunate in being able to draw from time to time on the expertise of a number of other Germanic specialists: Dr Theresa Biberauer (Department of Linguistics); Dr Richard Dance (Department of Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic); and Dr David Willis (Department of Linguistics). Applicants need to have at least a reading knowledge of German: knowledge of additional Germanic languages is very welcome.

In the first (Michaelmas) term, students doing the Germanic pathway are expected to follow four lecture courses or three lecture courses and a course of directed reading. At least two of these must be in an area of general linguistics. They also participate in the general elements followed by all students doing the MPhil. in Linguistics (seminars in Linguistic Theory and Research Methods). Students are encouraged to maintain broad interests in both Germanic linguistics and theoretical linguistics by combining a range of courses from both areas. The following courses in Germanic linguistics will normally be available (please note that Dr Watts is on sabbatical leave in 2016 and the range of courses available will be reduced):

  • Gothic
  • An 8-week lecture course / reading class which aims to introduce students to Gothic, the oldest Germanic language.
  • Germanic Languages / Philology
  • This course has an inter-Faculty common core of lectures. Students with particular interests in either Old English or Old Norse are advised to follow the version of the course offered in Anglo-Saxon, Norse and Celtic: those with interests in the continental West Germanic languages (Old High German, Old Saxon) follow the version offered in the Department of German and Dutch.
  • History of German & Old High German - SUSPENDED in 2015-16
  • A lecture course/reading class tracing the development of German from the Old High German of the ninth century through to the modern language. In Michaelmas Term, the focus is on the earliest stages of the language.
  • *History and Structure of Dutch and Afrikaans (directed reading)
  • *Morphology of Modern German (directed reading)
  • *Modern German Dialectology (directed reading)
  • *History of Linguistic Thought in the German-speaking World (directed reading)

*Normally only one of these courses (by agreement between staff and students) will be available in any one year.

Other Germanic courses may be available by arrangement with the lecturers concerned. The list of courses in general linguistics can be found on the main page of the MPhil in Linguistics. Assessed essays are written in four of these areas. Of these, two or three should be in Germanic linguistics.

In the second (Lent) term,a seminar 'Topics in Germanic linguistics' is normally offered alongside the other seminar topics, by agreement between students and staff. This seminar will NOT BE OFFERED IN 2015-16. Students must participate in one (or optionally two) seminars in general linguistics. The seminar in general linguistics should normally continue one of the areas studied in Michaelmas Term. During this term, students begin work on their dissertation. This can be on any aspect of the linguistics of a Germanic language or languages, but topics that interact with the research interests of the teaching staff are particularly welcome.

Further enquiries about the Germanic pathway should be directed to Dr Sheila Watts .

For details of work for assessment and Regulations please see MPhil in Linguistics main page.

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