Philology: The language in literature: stylistic topics from Old English to the present day

Vakbeschrijving Philology: The language in literature: stylistic topics from Old English to the present day
Collegejaar: 2007-2008
Studiegidsnummer: MA/FIL13
  • Dr. A. Auer
Voertaal: Engels
Blackboard: Onbekend
EC: 10.0
Niveau: 500
  • Wel Keuzevak
  • Geen Contractonderwijs
  • Geen Exchange
  • Geen Study Abroad
  • Geen Avondonderwijs
  • Geen A-la-Carte en Aanschuifonderwijs
  • Geen Honours Class

In this course we will focus on stylistic topics from Old English to the present day. Stylistics is usually described as the study of the language in literature. In order to determine the style of a text, it is essential to study a set of linguistic features that are characteristic of a particular period, genre, or register. Some linguistic devices of stylistic interest are metaphor, simile, use of tense, metre and sentence structure. As we will largely be concerned with the style of texts written between 700 and 1900, we will only be able to understand the stylistic choices made by the authors if we understand which stylistic norms prevailed at the time the texts were written. We will thus also examine materials that enable us to find out more about stylistic norms of a period. Moreover, theoretical developments in the field of stylistics such as corpus stylistics, sociostylistics, cognitive stylistics, and pedagogical stylistics will be discussed and applied to the texts selected from a range of periods and genres. Basic reading for this course consists of a selection of chapters and articles on stylistic topics. Extension is possible to 15 ECTS.


The timetable will be available from June 1st on the internet.


Two-hour seminar per week.


This course builds on experience acquired as part of a BA curriculum in English historical linguistics, Old and Middle English language and culture as well as literature courses. The students will extend their skills in reading and interpreting literature from Old, Middle and Modern English from a linguistic and cultural point of view. At the end of the course, the students will have a good understanding of methodological theories in the field studied and will be able to apply them to the selected texts. They will be able to read and interpret relevant literature independently, and present their research results both orally and in written form. Following the completion of the course, students will be well equipped to write their MA thesis on a topic in English philology.


To be announced.


Presentation and participation (20%), final essay (80%). The extension will be assessed by an \“open question\” written examination.


Department of English, P.N. van Eyckhof 4, room 102c, tel. 071 5272144, email:


Blackboard will be used in this course. Please enrol.