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Advanced Investigations in Historical Linguistics

The Joint Online Course “Advanced Investigations in Historical Linguistics” will be held as a parallel course at the Freie Universität Berlin and the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, and co-taught by Malte Rosemeyer (FU) and Eitan Grossman (HUJI). It will be held in an online format and be followed by a student workshop in the week between February 20-24, 2023, held in presence in Berlin.

The proposed course will combine offline and online components. The offline component will consist of a number of videos introducing relevant types and concepts of language change (grammaticalization, lexicalization, pragmaticalization, sound change, reanalysis, actualization, word class change etc.). In the online meetings, we will discuss specialized texts that discuss selected methodological and notional problems in the description and explanation of language change. In particular, we will discuss philological considerations in the use of historical texts as data, introduce the methodology of diachronic typology, and highlight the role of sociolinguistic and interactional approaches to the study of language change. Students will work in groups to (a) establish a cross-linguistic database for an exercise in diachronic typology, and (b) realize a longitudinal corpus-linguistic study.