Module Identifier EL30320  
Academic Year 2006/2007  
Co-ordinator Professor David A Trotter  
Semester Semester 2  
Course delivery Lecture   11 Hours.  
  Seminars / Tutorials   11 Hours.  
Assessment TypeAssessment Length/DetailsProportion
Semester Exam2 Hours written examination (2 x questions): one essay, plus compulsory commentary question on lexical data.60%
Semester Assessment 1 X 1500-2000 word essay.20%
Semester Assessment Comparative lexical research c. 2000 words: an independent piece of dictionary-based comparative lexical research on a topic to be agreed with the module co-ordinator.20%
Supplementary Exam2/3 Hours 1 x 2 hour examination if continuous assessment submitted. 1 x 3 hour examination if no continuous assessment submitted.100%

Learning outcomes

On completion of this module, students should be able to:
1. understand the main methodologies of Romance linguistics as a comparative discipline
2. see the point of a comparative approach to Romance languages (and by extension, to any other group of cognate languages)
3. appreciate the usefulness of sociolinguistics in linguistic study (both historical and synchronic)
4. demonstrate a basic comparative knowledge of the structure and methodology of a number of major historical dictionaries of the Romance languages [additional to learning outcomes for EL20220]

Brief description

The module will (a) introduce students to the main themes and methodologies of Romance linguistics as a comparative discipline
(b) present some case-studies of aspects of Romance linguistics (c) alert students to the need (when studying any one Romance language) to take account of data from adjacent Romance languages and (d) emphasize the need for the broadly sociolinguistic approach in this branch of linguistics. It is intended (although not exclusively) to serve as a 'bridging' or comparative element in a degree scheme in Romance Languages. Students taking the module should normally have studied at least two Romance Languages.

Content : Lectures
   1,2 Introduction
   3,4 "Razze latine non esistono: esiste la latinita": Latin Heritage
   5,6 Barbarians to the north and infidels to the south: Germanic and Arabic influences
   7,8 Language contact phenomena in the emergence of Romance vernaculars
   9,10 Standardization and normalization: the development of the Romance languages

   1-4 Introduction to relevant Romance dictionaries : French (FEW), Italian (Battaglia, LEI),
   Spanish (Corominas), Occitian (Lv, Rn, DOM, DAG/DAO).
   5-6 Online lexicographical resources.
   7-10 Presentations of particular topics arising from lexical study.

Module Skills

Problem_solving By being expected to address and resolve various problems (methodological as well as empirical) posed by the comparative study of the Romance languages.  
Research skills Required to find, evaluate and use source materials (primary and secondary).  
Communication Expected to communicate in seminars and to present group findings, as well as to write at an appropriate level for assignments.  
Improving own Learning and Performance Students will be able to observe the improvement in their own competence in handling complex data and dictionaries.  
Team work Expected to work in groups, and to present (jointly) group findings to seminars. Development of team skills in dividing up work and organizing it.  
Information Technology Quantities of the data which will be discussed are accessible only on-line and will entail the acquisition of some elementary competence in database searching.  
Application of Number Only applicable if students choose to undertake the c/a project on lexical data in a way which entails e.g. statistical analysis of lexical forms or distribution. No assessment unless chosen c/a topic needs it.  
Personal Development and Career planning Not directly addressed in this module  
Subject Specific Skills Use of historical dictionaries of Romance languages and by extension, of any language. This is a relatively (and increasingly) rare skill of fundamental importance for any research in historical linguistics.  

Reading Lists

Elcock, W.D. The Romance Languages. (1975) Faber


This module is at CQFW Level 6