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Fiche de cours

The Development of the English Language

Faculté de gestion: Faculté des lettres

Responsable(s): Anita Auer

Période de validité: 2015 ->

Horaires du cours (Hebdomadaire)

Date Lieu Remarque Thématique Intervenant(s)
2020/2021 : Mardi 14:15-15:00 (Hebdomadaire) Anthropole/1031 EN LIGNE   Anita Auer


Semestre d'automne
1 heures par semaine
14 heures par semestre
Langue(s) d'enseignement: anglais
Public: Oui
Crédits: 1.00


Upon completion of the course students should
- have acquired a good understanding of the complexity of present-day English as a direct result of its historical development.
- have acquired knowledge of the most important ways in which the English language has changed.
- be able to understand and apply the terminology and concepts used in the description of English language change.
- have acquired skills that allow them to analyse the English language from a linguistic and a cultural point of view.


The English language, like other languages, changes over time. In this course, we will track linguistic changes that English has experienced from the arrival of the Angles, Saxons and Jutes (c. 450 AD) on the British island to the establishment of Standard English (since 1700) and beyond. The changes in lexicon and meaning, the word and sentence structure as well as the sound system will be viewed in the context of social and political developments in the history of England, e.g. the influx of Scandinavian loanwords following the Viking attacks and settlements during the Old English period (c. 455-1066 AD) and the impact of the introduction of printing by William Caxton in 1476 on the English language. The historical periods of the English language and its external history that we will be concerned with are Old English (c. 450-1066 AD), Middle English (c. 1066-1500), Early Modern English (c. 1500-1700), Modern English (since 1700), and Present-day English. We will look both at the language used in literary texts (such as Beowulf, works by Chaucer, Shakespeare and Dickens) and everyday language (journals, letters, wills, depositions). Different dialects and non-standard varieties of English will also be considered. All in all, this course aims to provide an insight into how English came to be as it is now by undertaking a balanced study of the language elements in the different periods.


internal validation


Relevant texts will be made available for this course. Details to be given in the first class.

Exigences du cursus d'études

- Anglais au moins niveau B2
- Introduction to English Language and Linguistics (IELL)

Informations supplémentaires


UtilisationCode facultéStatutCrédits
Anglais, 2ème partie (2013 ->) ›› Linguistique - BA-ANG-2-1050Obligatoire1.00
A40-ANGL: Attestation 40 ECTS en anglais (2013 ->) - A40-ANGL ›› Linguistique et langue - A40-ANGL-2-30Optionnel1.00
NIV-ANG: Mise à niveau MA, Anglais (2013 ->) - NIV-ANG ›› Linguistique - NIV-ANG-2-1050Obligatoire1.00
Programme à option "transitoire", 2ème partie (2013 -> 2020) ›› Linguistique et langue - BA-OP-ANGL-TOptionnel1.00
Programme à options, 2ème partie (2013 ->) ›› Linguistique et langue - BA-OP-ANGLOptionnel1.00
Canton de Vaud
Swiss University
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