ENG2166 – Middle English, introduction
This course gives an introduction to Middle English, a collective term for the language of texts dated c.1100-1500 AD. As there was no standard written language at the time, this period in the history of the English language is characterised by great regional, temporal and even individual variation, in spelling, lexicon and other linguistic features.
The course provides:
- insights into the phonology, morphology and syntax of Middle English
- a survey of Middle English dialects and dialectal diagnostic features
- an overview of the types of written materials that survive from the period
- an introduction to the principles of manuscript editing
After completing this course, you will
- understand the background for the linguistic situation in England in the period 1100-1500 AD;
- know the linguistic structure and characteristics of Middle English;
- have gained a basic knowledge of Middle English dialects and dialect features;
- be able to localise Middle English texts from their spelling and other linguistic features;
- be familiar with the written record of the Middle English period;
- know the principles of manuscript studies;
- understand the processes at work in the standardisation of English.
Students who are admitted to study programmes at UiO must each semester register which courses and exams they wish to sign up for in Studentweb.
If you are not already enrolled as a student at UiO, please see our information about admission requirements and procedures.
Formal prerequisite knowledge
This course requires ENG1100 - English Grammar, an introduction and ENG1103 - English Phonetics and Intonation, an introduction or similar courses.
- 10 credits overlap with ENG4166 – Middle English, introduction
- 5 credits overlap with ENG2155 – Aspects of Chaucerian Language and Literature (discontinued)
- 5 credits overlap with ENG4155 – Aspects of Chaucerian Language and Literature (discontinued)
The course is taught as a seminar, two hours per week for 14 weeks, 28 hours in total.
- Attendance is obligatory at least 11 out of 14 seminars.
- Students are required to submit two qualifying papers of 5 standard pages each at an appointed time. A standard page consists of 2,300 characters. Dates for submission will be announced at the beginning of the course. The essays must be approved by the course teacher for the student to be allowed to sit the final exam.
- Additional absences must be justified to the exam coordinator. Read more about rules concerning valid excuses and how to apply for approved absences or postponements. Please note that absence exceeding 50 % of all seminars may not be approved, regardless of any excuses.
The exam consists of a final four-hour written exam.
To sit the final exam, candidates must have submitted two qualifying papers, and these must have been approved.
The written examination is conducted in the digital examination system Inspera. You will need to familiarize yourself with the digital examination arrangements in Inspera.
Use of sources and citation
Examination support material
Macmillan Dictionary will be offered in the digital examination system Inspera. You are not allowed to bring your own dictionary to the exam.
Language of examination
The examination text is given in English, and you submit your response in English.
Grades are awarded on a scale from A to F, where A is the best grade and F is a fail. Read more about the grading system.
Explanations and appeals
Resit an examination
Special examination arrangements
Application form, deadline and requirements for special examination arrangements.
The course is subject to continuous evaluation. At regular intervals we also ask students to participate in a more comprehensive evaluation.