Focus on Variation and Change

Language of instruction



Students are required to have passed an introductory module in linguistics at Bachelor-level. The level of English language skills required for this course should correspond to the level taught in the Language Skills and Culture introductory module.


Seminars in this module will focus on variation and change in contemporary and historical varieties of English at all levels of the language (sound change, lexical and semantic change, morphological and syntactic change, pragmatic change). They will address the correlation of language variation with sociological categories (age, gender, social class, geography, etc.) and the causal effects of the principles of economy, analogy, acquisition, prestige, etc. on language change.

Learning outcomes

Students are able to research relevant theoretical and methodological background of synchronic and diachronic linguistics, including data collection, analysis and statistical testing. On the basis of relevant literature, they develop their own research hypotheses and apply the core concepts in the analysis of their data. They learn to discuss and present these aspects in class and subsequently integrate them into their written work.