1020.15 - Language History

Course number
Language History
An academically oriented upper secondary diploma with a good average mark in Faroese (i.e. at least 5.8 on the 7-step marking scale or 8 on the marking scale from 00 to 13).
To provide students with a foundation in Language History as a discipline with its concepts and methods, in order to enable them to understand the major trends in the history of the Nordic languages, in particular the history of Faroese from around the year 1300 A.D. to the present day.
This course approaches the Faroese language in a historical context, highlighting linguistic change and the historical development of the language. This is partly done by comparing older and more recent levels of language development, and partly by comparing Faroese to other Nordic languages. Language history encompasses reading both source text and theory. The subject is generally examined in chronological order, starting from the earliest times. The course emphasises phonetic, morphological and syntactic change, and also examines vocabulary from a historical perspective. The purpose of reading texts is to get a snapshot of language at a certain period in time, while the theoretical component is intended to introduce factors causing linguistic change and provide tentative answers to questions such as: what happens when change occurs? How and why does linguistic change occur? How is it disseminated? External language history will also be discussed, i.e. the socio-political context in which language is set. Faroese customs of naming places and people will be reviewed. And Faroese orthography will be discussed in a historical context.
Learning and teaching approaches
Teaching is structured into two-hour sessions twice a week over one semester. The main learning and teaching strategies used are lectures, student presentations and group work.
Learning outcomes
Successful students, who have passed the course in Language History as part of the BA degree programme in Faroese, will have acquired knowledge about Faroese language history as well as a foundation in the methods and concepts applied in the field of language history. Based on this knowledge, successful students can demonstrate ability to: • approach issues and questions in language history based on theory and practice • compare texts from different periods and reach conclusions regarding linguistic change based on text • identify the approximate geographical origin and date of a text • communicate language history knowledge orally and in writing • discuss issues and questions in language history on a sound subject-specific basis • place personal and place names in a language history context • place the debate on Faroese orthography in a broader linguistic context
Assessment method
The examination is divided into two components. One is a written 3-hour examination where dictionaries are the only permitted study aids. On the day of the examination, a set take-home assignment is also announced, which is due for submission at 12 noon three days later. The take-home assignment should be 4-6 pages long. Each examination component accounts for half of the mark. Students are required to pass both components of the examination in order to be awarded an overall pass in the course. If required, the reexamination is a 5-hour written examination. No study aids are permitted at the reexamination.
Marking scale
The bibliography is circulated at the beginning of the course.
Jógvan í Lon Jacobsen