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Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin

Historical Linguistics

Degree

Combined bachelor, Bachelor of Arts (B.A.).

Standard time for completing course

6 semesters

Start of study

Winter semester only, with numerus clausus

Combinations and Course Structure

Historical Linguistics can be studied as

Core subject: 120 CP*, with a second subject
Second subject: 60 CP, with a bachelor’s core subject

Please refer to ‘Bachelor’s and Master’s courses at Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin’. You will also find information about potential combinations there. For information on the range of subjects, see the current ’Course catalogue’. We recommend linguistic and philological subjects from the fields of German Studies, English Studies, Classical Philology, Romance Languages and Literatures, Scandinavian Studies, Slavic Studies, African Studies, History, Archaeology and Philosophy.

*One credit point (CP) equals a workload of 25 - 30 hours for preparation, follow-up and attendance at classes.

Language skills

Latin knowledge to the level of the German Latinum (requiring four or five years’ tuition); proof required by registration of the bachelor’s thesis at the latest. Additionally, knowledge of one modern foreign language and reasonable fluency in German is required.

Studying abroad

Study abroad periods are recommended.

Why study Historical Linguistics at HU?

In this self-contained bachelor’s programme on Historical Linguistics, Humboldt-Universität offers a unique area of specialisation within linguistic studies. The course deals intensively with the content and methods of German historical research into language and Historical-Comparative Linguistics (Indo-European Studies). No other German university offers a comparable, in-depth study of the changeability of language. Bachelor’s graduates may also continue their studies on the Historical Linguistics master’s programme at Humboldt-Universität.

What particular skills/prerequisites do you need?

An essential requirement for studying Historical Linguistics is an enthusiasm for languages and their history. Interest in cross-disciplinary knowledge is desirable (e.g. from the areas of history, archaeology, ethnology and literature) because Historical Linguistics draws data from a range of academic fields. General skills such as the ability to think abstractly, thoroughness and creativity are ideal qualities for getting the most out of a Historical Linguistics course.

Course objectives

  • The aim of the course is to provide a grounding in subject-related knowledge and the methods and working techniques of Historical Linguistics. It provides a differentiated viewpoint of the phenomenon of language and linguistic change.
  • The course’s specific requirements primarily develop the following key qualifications: networked and multi-factorial thinking; forming hypotheses under a scarcity of information; the ability to process and assimilate large quantities of data; research skills and the ability to approach complex issues in a structured and transparent manner. Further, the course promotes the capability to combine precision and attention to detail with substantial abstraction capability.
  • The course prepares students for careers that involve linguistic communication and/or dealing with language: e.g. in the area of media/press/public relations, publishing, cultural management, training and business.
  • The bachelor’s programme also creates the foundation for the next generation of academics.

Content of studies

The best way to find information about course content is to use the course regulations (www.amb.hu-berlin.de, no. 111/2014, 1. amendment no. 122/2015, 2. amendment no. 61/2018) and the annotated university calendar (hu-berlin.de/vorlesungsverzeichnis). You can also consult the Course Advisory Service.

Core subject Historical Linguistics with 120 CP

Mandatory Modules (80 CP)

Basic Studies
Module 01: Fundamentals of Linguistics, 9 CP
Module 02: Introduction to Historical Linguistics, 7 CP
Module 03: The Indo-European Language Family, 8 CP
Module 04: Foundations of Linguistic Change, 7 CP

In-depth studies
Specialisation by focusing on German Studies or Indo-European Studies

Specialisation in German Studies
Module 05: History of the German Language I, 9 CP
Module 06: History of the German Language II, 8 CP
Module 07: Linguistic Registers in Historical Flux, 8 CP
Module 08: Linguistic Variation, 7 CP
Module 09: Indo-European Linguistic Branches I, 7 CP
Module 10: Bachelor’s thesis, 10 CP

Specialisation in Indo-European Studies
Module 09: Indo-European Linguistic Branches I, 7 CP
Module 11: Indo-European Linguistic Branches II, 7 CP
Module 12: Sanskrit, 8 CP
Module 13: Research Topics in Indo-European Studies, 9 CP
Module 14: Language and Theory, 8 CP
Module 10: Bachelor’s thesis, 10 CP
 

Mandatory elective modules (20 CP)
Module 15: In-Depth Module/ Focusing, 10 CP
Module 17: Practical Orientation or
Module 18: Internship, each 10 CP
 

General elective modules (20 CP)
In addition to specialised study, Students acquire subject-specific, non-specialist and interdisciplinary key qualifications of 20 CP. The general elective modules can be chosen from the module catalogues of other subjects or central institutions (see: http://agnes.hu-berlin.de/).

Second subject Historical Linguistics with 60 CP

Mandatory Modules (60 CP)

Basic Studies
Modules 1 to 4 as in the core subject, in total 29 CP

In-depth studies
Specialisation by focusing on German Studies or Indo-European Studies

Specialisation in German Studies
Module 05: History of the German Language I, 9 CP
Module 06: History of the German Language II, 8 CP

Module 07: Linguistic Registers in Historical Flux or
Module 08: Linguistic Variation, each 7 CP

Module 16: In-Depth Module/ Focusing, 5 CP

Specialisation in Indo-European Studies
Module 09: Indo-European Linguistic Branches I, 7 CP
Module 12: Sanskrit, 8 CP
Module 13: Research Topics in Indo-European Studies, 9 CP
Module 16: In-Depth Module/ Focusing, 5 CP

General course offerings for students coming from other courses of studies

Module 26: Linguistic Variation and Language History,  5 CP
Module 28: Language development, 5 CP
Module 29: Indo-European Linguistic Branches III, 5 CP

Master’s degrees

Completing the Bachelor of Arts in Historical Linguistics enables you to study for a Master’s course in Historical Linguistics in the department. You will find additional HU programmes in the Course catalogue.

Important addresses

Department of German Studies and Linguistics: Dorotheenstr. 24, www.linguistik.hu-berlin.de, Tel. +49 30 2093-9629
Course Advisory Service and Classification and recognition of studies and qualifications: Dr. Fischer, Tel. +49 30 2093-9728, annette.fischer@rz.hu-berlin.de
Applications:  How to apply, Information for prospective international students
Links to job market: careers information centre (http://www.arbeitsagentur.de/web/content/DE/BuergerinnenUndBuerger/ArbeitundBeruf/Berufswahl/Berufsinformationszentren/index.htm) , employment market reports (http://statistik.arbeitsagentur.de/Navigation/Statistik/Arbeitsmarktberichte/Akademiker/Akademiker-Nav.html), Federal Employment Office Berufenet (http://berufenet.arbeitsagentur.de/berufe/), www.hochschulteamberlin.de/

Version: August 2018
Back to Course catalogue


Contact for questions or feedback regarding this page: studienberatung@uv.hu-berlin.de