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Historical Linguistics


Admission requirements

Basic knowledge of phonology, phonetics and IPA. Students who have not followed the course Indo-European language and culture are advised to purchase and study the reader of that course.
Students who are not enrolled in the BA Linguistics should first contact the coordinator of studies


The structure and meaning of words and sentences change over time. How and why does language change? This course provides answers to these questions with the help of examples from various languages, but predominantly from English and closely related languages such as Dutch, German and Frisian. During the seminars, the same processes discussed during the lectures will be illustrated with excercises about the same phenomena in lesser known languages.

Course objectives

  • Knowledge of and insight in the methodology of historical linguistics;

  • The skills to apply these insights to new data;

  • Knowledge of the terminology of historical linguistics.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

Lectures (1 hour weekly) and seminars (1 hour weekly).

Assessment method

Oral presentation (20%)
Final written presentation (80%)

Both parts need to be completed with a minimum of 5,5 in order to succesfully pass the course.


A resit is possible for both components.

Reading list

In preparation of the presentation, students can make use of the Portal Academic Skills of the BA Linguistics. In particular, take a look at modules 3.1, 3.2 and 3.3.


Enrolment through My Studymap is mandatory

Registration Contractonderwijs

Registration Contractonderwijs


For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar

For questions related to the content of the course, please contact the lecturer, you can find their contact information by clicking on their name in the sidebar.

For questions regarding enrollment please contact the Education Administration Office Reuvensplaats E-mail address Education Administration Office Reuvensplaats:

For questions regarding your studyprogress contact the Coordinator of Studies