1. University of Virginia
  2. Arts & Sciences


ANTH 3480: Language and Prehistory
Linguistics Area Requirement

This course covers the basic principles of diachronic linguistics - the study of how languages change over time - and discusses the uses of linguistic data in the reconstruction of prehistory. We will consider the use of linguistic evidence in tracing prehistoric population movements, in demonstrating contact among prehistoric groups, and in the reconstruction of daily life. To the extent that the literature permits, examples and case studies will be drawn from the Mayan language area of Central America, and will include discussion of the pre-Columbian Mayan writing system and its ongoing decipherment. This course fulfills the linguistics distribution requirement for Anthropology majors and for Cognitive Science majors. It also fulfills the comparative-historical requirement for Linguistics majors.