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    EN302 – History of the English Language: Power and Society in Language

    History of the English Language provides an overview of the growth and development of the English language, from its earliest forms through contemporary usages. Students will explore how the English language’s sound system, grammar, and vocabulary work. They will learn how these elements have changed over time (from Old English to Middle English to Early Modern English to contemporary English). Class discussions will focus on the social and political events that have influenced linguistic changes in English. Students will consider specifically the impact of invasion, conquest, and colonization on the development of the English language from its earliest forms through its gradual establishment as a global language. The course introduces students to: 1) the sociopolitical contexts for changes within various language systems (including phonology, morphology, graphics, syntax, lexicon, and semantics); 2) how dialects work; 3) the various forms in which English manifests itself as a global language in the contemporary world. Literary examples will provide the ground for these explorations throughout the course. Units 1. (Not offered 2020-21).

    Prerequisite: English 221 or English 250 or consent of instructor.