Though many English-speakers celebrate the prospect that English might become the "global language," others around the world question whether this particular language-with its incoherent spelling rules, its confusing retention of some principles of inflection, and its history as a language used by colonizers-can and should achieve that status. In this course we will learn why English contains words like "won't," "its," and "whom," and how it happened that spelling and pronunciation parted ways. We will look at how the Roman, Anglo-Saxon, Viking, and Norman invasions of Britain influenced the development of the language. By looking at primary materials such as dictionaries and grammar books, we will learn how seventeenth- and eighteenth-century grammarians continue to have an influence on how the English language is written and spoken today.
Course Attributes: EN H; AS HUM; FA HUM; AR HUM