Language History


1. Outline and discuss some major phonological, morphological and grammatical differences between Old English and Middle English. Include examples to support your discussion.

2. What features of vocabulary, morphology, spelling and grammar in Chaucer’s text The Wife of Bath’s Tale makes it a significant example of Middle English? Include examples and motivate your answers.

3. The Vikings and the Norman Conquest. Firstly, discuss and outline how these external events influenced English language and secondly, what traces can we still find from these two invasions?

4. “Language is power” is a frequently stated claim. Discuss the history and development of English from the point of view of non-linguistic factors such as power, prestige and social structures as mentioned by Barber and Yule. Relate these factors to actual con-sequences and results in the language.

All sources used have to be clearly referenced according to the Harvard system including name of author, year of publication and page number. The only sources permitted are the works by Yule and Barber listed as course literature for this module.

Answers to the questions should be in a word document and uploaded to bb no later than Monday 19 March 2018 at 23.59. Post your essay in the assigned folder on BB. (Assignments – Language History)
• Choose three out of four topics below
• Refer extensively to Barber’s book (and Yule if relevant) in order to support your arguments and claims.
• Make sure that your answers are concise and to the point, and that they are written in accurate and formal language, following academic style and format.
• Your answers should be well developed and fairly extensive, minimum 300 words each, allowing you to discuss the issues in a detailed way and provide examples where relevant.
• Use apt and appropriate terminology and vocabulary
• Use your own words and use quotation marks when quoting verbatim.
• Proofread your answers carefully before submission.

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