The examination and, if indicated, the teaching of the following units of study can only be taken if the examinations of the preceding units of study have been passed of Morfologie / Morphology, Klanken van de wereld / Speech sounds of the World.
Linguistic structures are generally not randomly distributed around the globe: some seem to be universally preferred, others are common in certain parts of the world, or in particular language families. The goal of modern typology is to detect distributional patterns, and to explain them in terms of factors that influence the historical development of languages. Typological work crucially depends on language description, but at the same time, typology feeds back into language description.
During this course, we highlight this co-dependency between descriptive linguistics and language typology by studying phonological, morphological, syntactic, and lexical patterns both in individual languages, and across languages. We will study a number of structural similarities and differences between languages, focusing on questions such as: “Which features coincide?” “Why are some patterns much more common than others?” “Are some patterns particularly common in e.g. Africa or South America?” “How can language X be compared to language Y?”
In doing so, you will become acquainted with the fundamentals of language description and typology. In addition, we will discuss how typological knowledge informs linguistic fieldwork on an undescribed language.
At the end of this course, you will have:
An understanding of the ways in which languages are similar (linguistic universals) and different (linguistic diversity), and how you can describe this for individual languages with which you are unacquainted.
Knowledge of fundamental concepts and methods regarding language typology and language description
Basic skills needed to apply typological principles on primary data (gathered in fieldwork for example)
Basic skills in translating structures in individual languages into a typological framework
The timetables are available through My Timetable.
Mode of instruction
Written exam 70%
Poster, with oral exam 30%
A resit will be offered for the written exam
Inspection and feedback
How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.
To be confirmed
Registration Studeren à la carte en Contractonderwijs
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