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Core: History of Linguistics


Admission requirements

No additional requirements are needed.


This course gives an overview of the history of the study of human language until approximately 1950. We will read extracts of some famous texts and modern commentary on them by modern scholars. We will discuss Pāṇini (4th century BCE), Sībawayh (760-796), the Port Royal grammarians (17th century), Franz Bopp (1791 – 1867), the brothers Grimm (early 19th century), Neogrammarians (late 19th centiry), Gottlob Frege (1848-1925), Ferdinand de Saussure (1857-1913), Edward Sapir (1884-1939), Leonard Bloomfield (1887-1949), Roman Jakobson (1896-1982).

Course objectives

At the end of the course, students should be able to see the paradigms in which they usually work in a broader historical light; they should be able to understand how different visions on human language have led to different schools of thought; they should have a larger understanding of the origin of our current ideas.


The timetable will be available by June 1st at the website of Linguistics. Please check the Timetable

Mode of instruction


Assessment method

Written exam


Yes. Blackboard

Reading list

The papers to be read (some of the English translations of original texts) will be distributed on the course’s Blackboard website.


Prospective students, please check the Study Abroad/Exchange website for information on how to apply.

Aanmelden voor Contractonderwijs

After application, students are to register for courses and exams through uSis

Contact information

By E-mail: Coordinator of Studies