Course Instructor Days Times Room
ENGL4060 EVANS, JONATHAN MWF 2 :30 PM 0269

Description

This is a course in the Old English language; in many respects it is similar to courses in any modern foreign language, with vocabulary quizzes, grammar tests, and translation exercises. Students will be able to learn to pronounce, read, and translate Old English prose and, at the end of the semester, Old English poetry.  The course is a prerequisite for follow-up Old English literature courses, including ENGL 4210/6210 Old English Literature (Spring 2018), ENGL 4220-6220 Beowulf (Spring 2019), and (for graduate students) 8000-level seminars in Old English. For undergraduate English majors, ENGL 4060 counts towards the Area I Medieval Literature requirement as well as for Area VII, English Language Studies. The typical follow-up OE literature courses also count towards Area I, Medieval Literature. For Linguistics graduate students, LING 6060 counts for the historical linguistics area and as an elective in any other area of emphasis. For everyone else, undergraduates and graduate students in any major, it counts as an elective.

For the first 8 to 12 weeks, the course will be conducted like a course in any language: students will learn to pronounce Old English for reading aloud, memorize essential grammar and vocabulary. The bulk of class-time is spent translating sentences and paragraphs in Old English. We will expend no effort on learning conversational Old English, however, and in this sense ENGL/LING 4060/6060 is less like a course in, e.g., modern German or Japanese, and more like a course in classical Greek or Latin. Most of the in-class activity is devoted to presentation and discussion of the functions of various categories of the Old English parts of speech, with students reading aloud their translations of sentences in the lessons and discussion of translation difficulties encountered.

Students who have had a general linguistics course such as LING 2100 or more advanced courses in historical linguistics will have an advantage over those who have not; but for those with no formal linguistic background, the first few lessons will include general comments on phonology and phonetics, grammatical inflections – e.g., noun declensions and verb conjugations – and the syntax of OE sentences, making every effort to accommodate students whose familiarity with grammatical categories and linguistic terminology is moribund or nonexistent. The last weeks of the semester are spent on translation of more lengthy passages of OE prose and some poetry.

Assignments

Grading: Short quizzes on paradigms – e.g., definite articles, pronouns, noun declensions, verb conjugations, etc.– will be given fairly often.  Throughout the textbook there are written exercises which may be assigned from time to time as in-class exercises or for outside or online homework. There is a vocabulary quiz after every fifth lesson, some of which may be completed online in the “Electronic Learning Commons” (eLC) web-hosted by the University. In some weeks, students may be asked to upload their lesson translations to the “Assignments” area in the eLC course. There will be two in-class tests on verb conjugations, a test on noun declensions, and a test on adjective forms. There will be a final exam.

Requirements

Grading: Short quizzes on paradigms – e.g., definite articles, pronouns, noun declensions, verb conjugations, etc.– will be given fairly often.  Throughout the textbook there are written exercises which may be assigned from time to time as in-class exercises or for outside or online homework. There is a vocabulary quiz after every fifth lesson, some of which may be completed online in the “Electronic Learning Commons” (eLC) web-hosted by the University. In some weeks, students may be asked to upload their lesson translations to the “Assignments” area in the eLC course. There will be two in-class tests on verb conjugations, a test on noun declensions, and a test on adjective forms. There will be a final exam.

Grading

Quizzes, homework assignments, and tests are graded a simple point system; the Final Exam will be graded on a 100-point system. Grade points will be converted to percentages and assigned letter-grades as follows: 93-100=A; 90-93=A-; 87-89=B+; 83-86=B; 80-82=B-; 77-79=C+; 73-76=C; 70-72=C-, etc. The final course grade will be calculated as follows:

 

Paradigm quizzes & exercises 25%

Vocabulary quizzes 25%

Tests and homework 25%

Final examination 25%

Attendance

Graded quizzes & homework missed for unexcused absence may not be made up.  Reasonable excuses for absence will be entertained and processed appropriately.

Material

Required text:  Evans, Jonathan. An Introduction to Old English 2018. Orders: Amazon CreateSpace, www.createspace.com.  Discount Code TBA in class. Bulk order available.

Supplementary (non-required) texts:  

Hall, John R. Clark. A Concise Anglo-Saxon Dictionary, ISBN 0802065481

Quirk, Randolph, and C.L. Wrenn,  Old English Grammar, ISBN 0875805604. 

Moore, Samuel, et al., Elements of Old English, ISBN 9781556357800.

Makeup Policy

Graded quizzes & homework missed for unexcused absence may not be made up.  Reasonable excuses for absence will be entertained and processed appropriately.