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Master 2022/2023

Germanic Languages: History and Actual State

Area of studies: Linguistics
When: 1 year, 4 module
Mode of studies: offline
Open to: students of one campus
Instructors: Ekaterina Yakovenko
Master’s programme: Иностранные языки и межкультурная коммуникация
Language: English
ECTS credits: 3
Contact hours: 24

Course Syllabus

Abstract

Have you ever deciphered runic inscriptions, or leafed through parchment pages of the Gothic Bible, or read grammatical exercises left by a German monk of the 10th century? Can you pronounce Icelandic pre-aspirated consonants or Afrikaans nasal vowels? Can you think of an article joined on to the end of the word or a verbal prefix finding its place at the very end of the sentence? If not and if you believe these gaps in your knowledge need filling the course “Germanic languages: History and Actual State” is meant for you. Falling in two parts, the course implies the study of Early Germanic languages as well as modern ones. Taking it, you will have an idea of what the Germanic languages were like a thousand and a half years ago and what they are now. You will be taken to an amazing world of such languages as English, German, Luxemburgish, Dutch, Yiddish, Frisian, Afrikaans, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, Icelandic, and Faroese and familiarized with their history, spread, phonetics, graphics, grammar, and vocabulary. Though you are not supposed to acquire communicative skills, you will listen to speech records in these languages and even try to read texts in all of them. As language and culture are inseparably connected, an insight into the Germanic languages is going to be one into Germanic cultures – they are even more various. Guided by the lecturer, you will follow the Goths in their migrations and the Vikings in their everyday activities, climb the Table Mountain in Cape Town and Icelandic glaciers, enter rural dwellings of ethnic Germans in the USA and Jewish shtetls in Europe – be prepared to do that. The lecturer of the course is Ekaterina Borisovna Yakovenko, Doctor of Sciences (Philology), leading research fellow of the Institute of Linguistics of the Russian Academy of Sciences (Department of Germanic Languages), Professor of the School of Foreign Languages HSE (an invited lecturer). Being a passionate scholar and teacher and an ardent traveller who has visited quite a lot of countries (but not all yet!) where Germanic languages are spoken, Ekaterina Borisovna believes that the Germanic languages are the most interesting thing in the world. And she is certainly right.