20 Credits SPRING

Aims/Description: Historical pragmatics is an exciting and relatively new field which takes a holistic approach (i.e. inclusive of linguistic, social and historical factors) to studying how language users communicated and constructed meaning in earlier periods. Based on the study of English, the aims of this course are: 1) to introduce the study of historical discourse as evidenced by (for example) correspondence and courtroom dialogue; 2) to introduce topics such as sociopragmatics, (im)politeness, and the 'new philology', grounding them in historical pragmatic theory; and 3) to offer an opportunity to perform historical pragmatic analysis through textual study and corpus applications.

Teaching Methods: Lectures, Seminars, Independent Study
Assessment: Course work, Classroom testing

Information on the department responsible for this unit (English Language and Linguistics):

Departmental Home Page
Teaching timetable


The content of our courses is reviewed annually to make sure it's up-to-date and relevant. Individual modules are occasionally updated or withdrawn. This is in response to discoveries through our world-leading research; funding changes; professional accreditation requirements; student or employer feedback; outcomes of reviews; and variations in staff or student numbers. In the event of any change we'll consult and inform students in good time and take reasonable steps to minimise disruption.

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Teaching methods and assessment displayed on this page are indicative for 2021-22. Students will be informed by the academic department of any changes made necessary by the ongoing pandemic.

Western Bank, Sheffield, S10 2TN, UK