History of the German Language

Subject GERM30016 (2011)

Note: This is an archived Handbook entry from 2011.

Credit Points: 12.50
Level: 3 (Undergraduate)
Dates & Locations:

This subject is not offered in 2011.

Time Commitment: Contact Hours: A 2.5 hour seminar per week
Total Time Commitment: 2.5 contact hours/week, 6 additional hours/week. Total of 8.5 hours per week.
Prerequisites: German Language and Culture 2A and 2B.
Study Period Commencement:
Credit Points:
Corequisites: none
Recommended Background Knowledge: none
Non Allowed Subjects: Formerly available as 126-023. Students who have completed 126-023 or 126-461 Historical Grammar of German are not eligible to enrol in this subject.
Core Participation Requirements: For the purposes of considering request for Reasonable Adjustments under the disability Standards for Education (Cwth 2005), and Students Experiencing Academic Disadvantage Policy, academic requirements for this subject are articulated in the Subject Description, Subject Objectives, Generic Skills and Assessment Requirements of this entry.The University is dedicated to provide support to those with special requirements. Further details on the disability support scheme can be found at the Disability Liaison Unit website: http://www.services.unimelb.edu.au/disability/
Subject Overview:

This subject offers an historical explanation for aspects of German grammar. The science of historical linguistics is based on a hypothesis, that all languages in a language family have derived from a common ancestor and, a proven fact, that languages change over time. This subject will deal with both the concept of language change and issues of historical linguistics. Students who complete this subject should have an understanding of the processes that lead to language change. have an understanding of the many 'exceptions' to the grammatical rules of German. have an understanding of the differences that exist between English and German and how these evolved historically. have learnt to consult etymological dictionaries and to interpret the data given. and have gained an appreciation for, and interest in, etymology and historical grammar.




A 1200 word class paper 30% (due during the semester), and a 2 hour written exam (during the examination period).

This subject has the following hurdle requirements:

  • Regular participation in tutorials is required with a minimum of 75% attendance.
  • All pieces of written work must be submitted to pass this subject.
Assessment submitted late without an approved extension will be penalised at 10% per day and in-class tasks missed without approval will not be marked.

Prescribed Texts:


Breadth Options:

This subject potentially can be taken as a breadth subject component for the following courses:

You should visit learn more about breadth subjects and read the breadth requirements for your degree, and should discuss your choice with your student adviser, before deciding on your subjects.

Fees Information: Subject EFTSL, Level, Discipline & Census Date
Generic Skills:
  • have acquired skills in research, critical thinking and contextualising information.

  • have developed skills in communicating knowledge intelligibly through oral presentations and essays in German.


This subject is taught in German. Formerly available as 126-023. Students who have completed 126-023 are not eligible to enrol in this subject. This subject will only be run if there is a minimum of six participants.

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