For details relating to specific languages, consult the relevant Modern Languages FHS Handbook for that language.
History of a Modern European language
The history of the language is studied. In some languages this includes close study of specific periods. Students study the methodology available for reconstructing earlier stages of their language, and apply this to investigate the pattern of development in its sound and grammatical systems. Teaching is predominantly done through tutorials, although there are also a small number of specific lectures each year.
In Medieval and Modern Greek there is an alternative option in the modern dialects of Greece.
Structure of a Modern European language
This paper involves the study of the linguistic analysis of the contemporary language. Students are expected to be familiar with ways of analysing and describing the phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax and semantics of the language in question. There will also be the opportunity to look at language variation both in terms of context (pragmatics) and social factors (sociolinguistics). The precise balance of these elements varies from one language to another, and in some cases there may also be scope to study stylistics and discourse analysis. Although this paper is not primarily concerned with historical changes, these may also be studied when they throw particular light on a specific synchronic issue. Teaching is through both lectures and tutorials, with additional classes in phonetic transcription in some languages (French).
In German, an alternative syllabus is concerned with the description of Old High German, while in Russian there is an alternative option in Old Church Slavonic.