Topics in English Linguistics


Upon completion of this course, students should be able to understand and discuss: i) basic issues in the periodization of the history of the English language; ii) the main steps / stages of standardization of the English language and its relation to the external history of the language and the history of the United Kingdom and the United States; iii) the main changes and change scenarios that occurred within the so-called Modern period of the history of the English language; iv) elementary and fundamental aspects of English Phonetics and Phonology; v) general aspects of the history and structure of English spelling.

General characterization





Responsible teacher

António Henrique de Figueiredo Pedro de Albuquerque Emiliano


Weekly - 4

Total - 168

Teaching language



Available soon


AARTS & McMAHON, Eds. (2006): The Handbook of English Linguistics, Oxford: Blackwell.
ARONOFF & REES-MILLER, Eds. (2000): The Handbook of Linguistics, Oxford: Blackwell.
BAUGH & CABLE (2012): A History of the English Language, London: Routledge, 6th ed.
CRYSTAL (2003): The Cambridge Encyclopedia of the English Language, Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 2nd ed.
FROMKIN & al. (2014): An Introduction to Language, Boston: Wadsworth, 10th ed.
KEMENADE & LOS, Eds. (2006): The Handbook of the History of English, Oxford: Blackwell.
McMAHON (2001): An Introduction to English Phonology, Edinburgh: Edinburgh Univ. Press.
MINKOVA (2013): A Historical Phonology of English, Edinburgh: Edinburgh Univ. Press.
ROACH (2009): English Phonetics and Phonology: A Practical Course, Cambridge: Cambridge Univ. Press, 4th ed.

Teaching method

• Classes: formal presentations of the syllabus’ contents, with unrestricted possibility of classroom participation.
• Bibliographical support: class summaries, support documents, slides used in class, links, full texts of articles and book chapters, discussion forum available on-line in the MOODLE platform.
• Supervision: discussion sessions, one-on-one tutorials, response to students´ queries by e-mail, e-messaging or video conferencing.
In-class teaching

Evaluation method

Available soon

Subject matter

TOPIC 1. The periodization of the history of English: problems, approaches and prospects.
TOPIC 2. The standardization of English: the process of language development; milestones in the emergence of Standard English.
TOPIC 3. From Early Modern English to Modern English: main phonological, morphological, syntactic and lexical changes.
TOPIC 4. Elements of English Phonetics and Phonology.
TOPIC 5. Remarks on the development and structure of English spelling.
Note: From this set of important topics in English Linguistics only two to four will be covered in each semester. A minimum of four and a maximum of eight sessions will be assigned to each topic (with the exceptions of Topics 3 and 4 which will require additional classes).


Programs where the course is taught: