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WELCOME TO OLLIS 28TH YEAR AT THE UNIVERSITY OF DENVER > COURSES/REGISTRATION > Full Course Catalog > All Courses

A BRIEF HISTORY OF LANGUAGE   

This subject is so enormous that this survey will only touch on the bare bones (or basic highlights) of this fascinating subject. Unlike physical history with archaeological evidence, we will NEVER be able to find out how language started (unless H. G. Wells gets that time machine going again). This course will survey what we posit, what we guess, and what we know about the evolution of the world’s languages. We will start with theories of how and why language started. It is our most uniquely human characteristic! We will discuss how it may have evolved in early man and then look at the world’s families of languages. We will then focus on the two major languages we are most familiar with in the west, the Indo-European and Semitic. We will finally narrow our focus to discuss the evolution of English, and finish with an examination of the disappearance of many of the world’s languages. Bet this course will surprise you!

Required Books: Atlas of Languages, ed. Bernard Comrie, et. al. any edition

                           A History of the English Language, Albert C Baugh, any edition

 

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