Universiteit Leiden

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Linguistics (specialisation) (MA)

Theoretical Linguistics

Theoretical linguistics seeks to understand the underlying principles of the nature of human language.

Through investigating the (morpho-)syntax, phonology and semantics of linguistic structures, we come closer to explain the similarities and differences between languages as well as dialects. Theoretical linguistics in Leiden pays special attention to interface between subfields such as syntax-phonology interface, syntax-semantics interface, and syntax-processing interface. Through various electives, students of theoretical linguistics in Leiden also get connected with other subfields of linguistics such as experimental linguistics, descriptive linguistics, etc.

Theme coordinator: Prof. dr. Lisa Cheng


Semester 1 EC Core/Elective
Advanced Syntax I 5 Core/Elective
Advanced Syntax II 5 Core/Elective

Advanced Morphology I

5 Core/Elective

Advanced Phonology I

5 Core/Elective

Crosslinguistic variation in Semantics

10 Core/Elective

Advanced Typology

10 Elective
Cognitive Neuroscience of Language 10 Elective


Semester 2 EC Core/Elective

Comparative Syntax

10 Core/Elective

Advanced Morphology 2

5 Core/Elective

Advanced Phonology 2

5 Core/Elective
Bilingual Acquisition 10 Elective

* a 20 EC Thesis is obligatory in the second semester. An internship or an individual project can be arranged as an elective course either in the first or in the second semester.

Detailed programme

For a detailed programma, see the online study guide.

Please note that the Prospectus shows a provisional programme and list of courses.

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