Intro to Historical Linguistics with Theresa (Online)

This class has passed
This class has passed

What do J.R.R. Tolkien, Friedrich Nietzsche, and Amy Adams have in common?

They’re all historical linguists!*

Learn about the history of language in a 75-minute introductory class on Historical Linguistics.

Together, we will explore how the field developed and the changing meanings of words and language.

This class is suitable for people who have never heard of the OED and don’t know their Indo-European from their language isolates.

* LIES! Amy Adams is a Hollywood actress who only *played* a linguist in ‘Arrival’.

What will we cover?

In this online workshop, we will explore:

  • How Historical Linguistics developed
  • The changing meanings of words
  • What language family trees are
  • We’ll start big with all languages around the world, and narrow our focus into how English developed – and why it’s so hard to spell. 
  • Your takeaway materials include lists of books and podcasts to keep your love of Linguistics going long into the future.

You’ll come away with a newfound appreciation of historical linguists and the language(s) you speak!

          What will you need?

          • Paper and pens for taking notes


          • Closed Captions
          • Early Bird Cheap Tix
          • Free Tix for First Nation Attendees
          • Auslan Interpreter Upon Request 

          Who will be teaching? 

          Theresa (she/her) received a minor in Linguistics (major in Classical Civilization) from the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign. 

          Her mother obtained a PhD in Psycholinguistics from the same institution. Growing up, she thought it was totally normal to discuss differing aspirations of the word ‘whale’.

          Important info:

          Buy a gift card

          Terms and conditions


          More about accessibility 

          Map by Minna Sundberg – Language Tree 

          Any other accessibility requests or questions? Just email delsi (she/her) at