Historical Linguistics


Many graduate students in the Classics, Germanic Languages and Literatures, Slavic Languages and Literatures, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, and other language-centered departments take courses in historical linguistics as part of their ordinary preparation for the Ph.D. The availability of a secondary field in Historical Linguistics allows such students to have their work in linguistics officially recognized.

Historical linguistics is one of the Department’s traditional areas of strength, with two dedicated faculty positions (Jasanoff and Rau) and part of a third (Flier). 

Course Requirements

Four half-courses, to be distributed as follows:

  • Linguistics 118 (Historical and Comparative Linguistics)
  • Three other courses in Linguistics or cross-listed with Linguistics, two of which must be chosen from the following:
    • Linguistics 107: Introduction to Indo-European
    • Linguistics 123: Intermediate Indo-European
    • Linguistics 168: Introduction to Germanic Linguistics
    • Linguistics 176: History and Pre-history of the Japanese Language
    • Linguistics 220ar: Advanced Indo-European
    • Linguistics 221r: Indo-European Workshop
    • Linguistics 247: Topics in Germanic Linguistics
    • Linguistics 225a: Introduction to Hittite
    • Linguistics 250: Old Church Slavonic
    • Linguistics 252: Comparative Slavic Linguistics
    • Greek 134: The Language of Homer
    • Latin 134: Archaic Latin
    • Semitic Philology 140: Introduction to the Comparative Study of Semitic Languages
    • Semitic Philology 200r: Comparative Semitic Grammar: Seminar
    • Slavic 125: Modern Russian in Historical Perspective

Other courses with a historical linguistic focus may be added to this list at the discretion of the Director of Graduate Studies in Linguistics.

The contact person is the Director of Graduate Studies in Linguistics (DGS).