Course Title : Varieties of English
Code Course
Credits ECTS
ELL 311-1 A -1 3 0 0 3.00 5
Lecturer and Office Hours Arti Omeri, PhD
Teaching Assistant and Office Hours
Course Level
Description The course looks at the development of English from an historical point of view, as well as a survey of the variants of English in the modern world, covering dialects, creoles, the use of lingua franca and the geographical locations of English as a first language and English as a second language. Received Pronunciation of standard British English, and American and Canadian English will be contrasted.
Objectives The students will learn the historical chronological development of English, its devvelopment into a lingua franca, and its synchronic uses in the modern world. Real world linguistic application will be stressed, and data will be gathered from informant and elsewhere, and presented in each class with partners or in teams.
Course Outline
1History of English Language First chapter is about the history of English language. David Crystal estimates that about 400 million people have English as their first language, and that in total as many as 1500 million may be to a greater or lesser extent fluent speakers of English. (pp. 1-21)
2History of English Language The two largest countries (in terms of population) where English is going to be observed and it is the inherited national language are Britain and the USA. But it is also the majority language of Australia and New Zealand, and a national language in both Canada and South Africa. Furthermore, in other countries it is a second language, in others an official language or the language of business. (pp. 21-42)
3Phonetics and Morphology One obvious linguistic effect on English of Britain’s imperial expansion was the incorporation of lexical borrowings from a wide range of languages (pp. 43-75)
4Phonetics and Morphology Linguistic variation is familiar in our own speech communities. For example, many Englishes have the alternative pronunciations [iðə] and [aðə] for either, with little apparent social marking attached to either variant. (pp. 76-109)
5Syntax This chapter presents an outline history of English syntax. The main changes will be discussed and – where possible – something will be said about the factors that played a role in the changes, and about the effects of individual changes elsewhere. In its earliest stages English was a heavily inflected language with a relatively free word order and a lexical base of mainly Germanic words, rather like modern German today.(pp. 110-199)
6Vocabulary Many changes in the English vocabulary are due to massive borrowing from the languages with which English came into contact in the course of its history, word formation, and meaning change. (pp. 200-271)
7Standardization The Milroys define standardisation as the suppression of optional variability in language, observing that ‘the various stages that are usually involved in the development of a standard language may be described as the consequence of a need for uniformity that is felt by influential portions of society at a given time’ (1991: 27). In the implementation of this development, they identify several stages: selection, acceptance, diffusion, maintenance, elaboration of function, codification and prescription. (pp. 272-311)
8Midterm Students should submit the midterm project that they have prepared via email.
9Names Names is a technical term for a subset of the nominal expressions of a language which are used for referring (‘identifying or selecting in context’) and, in some cases, for addressing a partner in communication. Nominal expressions are in general headed by nouns. (pp. 312-351)
10English in Great Britain We could simply recognize the individual nations, and talk about English, Scottish, Welsh and Irish dialects. But it takes only a moment to see that that will not do. The speaker from Kent does not see his or her dialect as the same as that of someone from Newcastle, any more than speakers from Aberdeen and Glasgow think that they share a single dialect. (pp. 352-370)
11English in Great Britain Speakers vary in age, gender, social class and, increasingly, ethnicity. So, speakers from the same geographical area must differ from each other because of their age, their gender, and other social variables. (pp. 371-383)
12English in North America In 1607, following several failed attempts, the English succeeded at Jamestown, Virginia, with their first permanent settlement in the New World. In the decades to follow, other English settlements were made at Massachusetts Bay, Plymouth, Providence and elsewhere. (pp. 384-400)
13English in North America Along the Atlantic seaboard, explorers and settlers met, mixed with and sometimes married Native Americans and used Native American names for many artifacts in American life and culture, as well as for places and for unfamiliar plants and animals in the new environment. For other places and things English speakers invented new names or invoked familiar ones. (pp. 401-420)
14English worldwide People have been predicting the emergence of English as a global language for at least two centuries (see Bailey, 1991: ch. 4), but in a genuine sense of ‘global’ the phenomenon is relatively recent. A language achieves a truly global status when it develops a special role that is recognised in every country. (pp. 421-439)
15Summary In the last week there will be a review of previous chapters and students would be given feedback for the final project.
16Final Exam
  • RICHARD HOGG AND DAVID DENISON (2006). A History of the English Language, Cambridge University Press 2006
Other References
  • Wright, L.(2000). The development of Standard English, Cambridge University Press.
Laboratory Work
Computer Usage
Learning Outcomes and Competences
1Students will learn about Standard English of Britain and the US
2Students will learn about the chronological development historical English, and the ability to trace the development of other languges
3Students will learn about the syn chronic uses and recent developments of English as a lingua franca in the modern world
Course Evaluation Methods
In-term studies Quantity Percentage
Term Projects00
Contribution of in-term studies to overall grade45
Contribution of final examination to overall grade55
ECTS (Allocated Based on Student) Workload
Activities Quantity Duration
Total Workload
Course Duration (Including the exam week : 16 x Total course hours) 16348
Hours for off-the-classroom study (Pre-study, practice) 14342
Assignments 000
Midterms 11515
Final examination 12020
Other 000
Total Work Load 125
Total Work Load / 25 (hours) 5

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