Department ____Global Studies and World Languages__________________________
Date : March 24, 2011
___German 205___
Course No.
__Special Topics: German Culture and Language______
Course Name
This proposal is for a(n)
____X__ Undergraduate Course
Applies to: ______ Major
_____ Required
_____ Elective
______ Minor
_____ Required
_____ Elective
University Studies (A course may be approved to satisfy only one set of outcomes.):
Course Requirements:
Basic Skills:
Arts & Science Core:
_____ 1. College Reading and Writing
_____ 2. Oral Communication
_____ 3. Mathematics
_____ 4. Physical Development & Wellness
Flagged Courses:
______4 S. H._
__X _ 1. Humanities
_____ 2. Natural Science
_____ 3. Social Science
_____ 4. Fine & Performing Arts
Unity and Diversity:
_____ 1. Critical Analysis
_____ 2. Science and Social Policy
_____ 3. a. Global Perspectives
_____ b. Multicultural Perspectives
_____ 4. a. Contemporary Citizenship
_____ b. Democratic Institutions
_____ 1. Writing
_____ 2. Oral Communication
_____ 3. a. Mathematics/Statistics
_____ b. Critical Analysis
Prerequisites _______None_________________________________________________________________________________
Provide the following information (attach materials to this proposal):
Please see “Directions for the Department” on previous page for material to be submitted.
Attach a University Studies Approval Form.
Department Contact Person for this Proposal:
_Ronal M. Mazur_____________________________
Name (please print)
__5166______________ [email protected]__________________
e-mail address
[Revised 9-05]
A. Changes in the course description
1. German 205 Special Topics in German Culture and Language
This course will deal with variable topics, depending on student interest or need and available faculty expertise. The
subject matter will range from:
Introduction to general Germanic, and Indo-European linguistics to
Cultural developments and expressions of the German-speaking world; and
German media and cinema;
Contemporary life in the German-speaking world and
Contemporary social, educational, economic and political institutions in German-speaking countries.
The course will be taught in English. Supplementary optional materials in German will be referred to (when available)
for further exploration by those possessing the necessary language skills. No prerequisites. Grade only for German
Studies Minors. All others P/NC or grade.
2. Course Outline of the Major Topics and Subtopics
A sample syllabus is attached to illustrate the kind of course topic list that will be used.
Credit Hours
2 S.H.
GERM 202
4 S.H.
B. Rationale for Changes
In keeping with local administrative guidelines and trends in our discipline across the country, we are moving
away from a minor focusing exclusively on the German language to one following a German Studies model that
teaches some courses in English. This will make the content more widely available to students in a variety of
disciplines who can benefit from exposure to subjects in our field that are relevant to their own areas of study
and professional development. We have increased the credit hours from 2 to 4 to enable a more comprehensive
and detailed discussion of our topics in the broader context of study and applications.
C. Impact of this Course on other Departments, Programs, Majors, or Minors
1. This course does not increase or decrease the total credits required by a major or minor of any other
2. We have discussed these changes with our colleagues in Global Studies.
D. Describe impacts of this proposal on the University Studies Program.
This course will broaden the choices for studies in the area of Humanities.
German 205 Sample Course Syllabus
College of Liberal Arts
Winona State University
Department: Foreign Languages
Course Number: German 205
Number of Credits: 4 S.H.
Prerequisite(s): None
Date of Revision: Spring 2011
Course Title: Special Topics; German Culture & Language
Frequency of Offering: Every
Other year
Grading: Grade only for minors- All others p/NC or grade
Instructor: Ronald Mazur
Email: [email protected]
Office: Somsen 319A
Phone: (507) 457-5500
1. Introduction to Historical Linguistics. Anthony Arlotto, 1981.
2. The Story of Human Language. Text and DVD Series. John Mc Whorter Manhattan Institute, 2004.
3. Language Files. 10th Ed. Department of Linguistics, Ohio State University, 2007.
Course Description:
1. Catalog Description
2. Statement of major focus and objectives of the course
This course is designed to help students understand basic linguistic concepts in connection with a study of evolution
of the modern languages from their Indo-European origins to their contemporary forms. Linguistic and cultural
developments are examined within the three major families of Indo-European, namely Germanic, Slavic, and
Romance, with reference to individual languages in these groups.
3. Basic Instructional Plan and Teaching Methods Used
Basic linguistic concepts are introduced and are then used to study the Indo-European Proto-language
and the intermediate stages leading to modern languages. Students will do phonological and
morphological transcriptions and analyses of English and German words and familiarize themselves with
the inventory of sounds in both modern languages on a comparative basis.
4. Course outline of the major topics and subtopics
1. The Building blocks of Language and The Origins of Speech
a.) Consonants
b.) Vowels
2. Describing the Sounds of Speech - Phonology
a.) Consonants – manner of articulation, place of articulation, voicing
b.) Vowels – high, mid, low versus front, central, or back and tense versus lax
3. Phonemics – Significant Sounds
a.) Phonemes and Allophones
b.) Establishing an Inventory of Phonemes – Minimal Pairs
4. Morphology – Basic Units of Meaning
a.) Lexical (Free) Morphemes
b.) Grammatical (Bound) Morphemes – Prefixes, Infixes, Suffixes
5. Morphophonemic Variation
a.) Noun Plural Markers and Case Function Markers
b.) Verb Function Markers
6. The Indo-European Family of Languages)
a.) The Comparative Method
b.) The Individual Branches – History and Characteristics
7. Language Families – Clues to the Past
a.) The Case Against Proto - World
b.) The Case For Proto-World
8. Dialects
a.) Subspecies of a Species
b.) Tokens of the Past
c.) Spoken Style, Written Style
9. Does Culture Drive Language Change?
a.) Sociolinguistic Considerations
10. Reinventing Language
a.) Pidgins
b.) Creoles
11. Language Death
a.) The Problem
b.) The Prognosis
Anthony, David W. The Horse, the Wheel, and Language. Princeton: University Press, 2007
Arlotto, Anthony. Introduction to Historical Linguistics. Lanham, MD: University Press of America, 1984.
Campbell, Lyle. Historical Linguistics. 2nd Ed. Cambridge, Massachusetts: MIT press, 2006.
Lehmann, Winfred P. Theoretical Bases of Indo-European Linguistics. London: Routledge, 2005
Mallory, J.P. and D.Q Adams. The Oxford Introduction To Proto-Indo-European and the Proto-Indo-European
World. Oxford: University Press, 2006.
6. Mallory, J.P. In Search of The Indo-Europeans. Languages, Archaeology and Myth. New York: Thames and
Hudson, 1996.
7. Ruhlen, Merritt. The Origin of Language. Tracing the Evolution of the Mother Tongue. New York: John Wiley and
Sons Inc, 1994
8. Trask, R.L. Historical Linguistics. London: Arnold, 1996.
6. Coursework Requirements and Grading:
2 unit tests (50%)
3 Phonetic Transcriptions (12.5%)
3 Phonemic and Morphemic Analyses (12.5%)
Final Exam (25%)
Attendance: Mandatory for effective learning
Grading Scale:
100-90= A
This course meets the requirements of the humanities section of the WSU University
Studies Program (4 S.H.)
This course includes requirements and learning activities that promote students’ abilities
a. Identify and understand specific elements and assumptions of a particular Humanities discipline;
Students will be introduced to the fundamental concepts and methods of general, historical, and comparative
linguistics, which will enable them to examine English, German and other languages as structured systems
offering an unlimited range of individual and communal cultural expression.
b. Understand how historical context, cultural values, and gender influence perceptions and interpretations; and
Students will study languages as mental, phonetic, and cultural systems of remarkable durability, which
nonetheless undergo transformation over time as a result of changes in their speakers’ worlds of experience.
Since the use of language is the primary capacity distinguishing humans from other living beings on our planet,
the systematic study of language offers extraordinary insights into how we human beings encounter, define, and
conceptualize our world.
c. Understand the role of critical analysis (e.g. aesthetic, historical, literary, philosophical, and rhetorical) in
interpreting and evaluating expressions of human experience. As a mirror of human cultural activity and
experience, language is an ideal subject of analysis on all levels of expression to enable students to gain a more
conscious grasp of the way it shapes, and is shaped by, human experience. The activities listed in this syllabus
provide students with this opportunity.

GER 205 USP - Winona State University