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Comparative Asian Linguistics


Admission requirements

Students of the MA linguistics, students of the MA Asian Studies (60 EC and 120 EC), and students of the MA Asian Studies (research) with (some) knowledge of an Asian language are welcome to attend this course.


In this course, we investigate a number of topics in the field of phonetics and phonology (e.g., allophony, prosody, speech perception) and syntax (e.g., the noun phrase, tense and aspect, classifiers, sentence final particles) by looking at the Asian languages (Chinese, Japanese, Korean, and languages of South and South-East Asia). We intend to take a comparative perspective: for instance, if our topic is the noun phrase, we will look at the noun phrase in say, Chinese, Japanese and Hindi and try to find out what they have in common and where they differ. Where do we position adjectives? (in front of the noun? behind it? with or without a marker?) How do we form relative clauses? How do we express definiteness? This is just one example. If we study sentence final particles, the concrete questions will be different, but the approach (looking for similarities and differences between the languages we study) will stay the same.

Course objectives

By the end of the course, students will have gained understanding of a certain linguistic topic (or different topics) which is relevant for Asian linguistics. At the same time, the course aims at developing further the research skills of the students (finding information, finding data, linguistic reasoning, etc.), as well as their skills in reporting on their findings, both in writing and orally, for general as well as scholarly audiences.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

The deadline(s) in MyTimetable is/are set for administrative purposes only. The actual date(s) will be communicated by the lecturer(s) in Brightspace.

Mode of instruction


Attendance is compulsory for all sessions. Students must prepare well and contribute to in-class discussion. If a student cannot attend because of illness or misadventure, they should promptly inform the convener. Extra assignments may be set to make up for missed class time, at the convener’s discretion. Absence without notification may result in lower grades or exclusion from assessment components and a failing grade for the course.

Assessment method

Academic integrity

Students should familiarize themselves with the notion of academic integrity and the ways in which this plays out in their own work. A good place to start is this page. Plagiarism will not be tolerated. Students may not substantially reuse texts they have previously submitted in this or other courses. Minor overlap with previous work is allowed as long as it is duly noted in citation.

Students must submit their assignment(s) to Brightspace through Turnitin, so they can be checked for plagiarism. Submission via email is not accepted.

ChatGPT: What is possible and what is allowed? Dos and Don'ts.

Assessment and weighing

The course consists of three modules. Each module will be assessed separately on the basis of written, oral and other assignments. The grades each count towards one-third of the final grade. Compensation is possible.


Only if the total weighted average is 5.49 or lower the marked components of the course which resulted in a grade of 5.49 or lower can be redone.

Inspection and feedback

Feedback will be supplied primarily through Brightspace. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the assessment results, a review will be organized.

Reading list

Readings for the course time will be announced through Brightspace as we go along.


Enrolment through MyStudyMap is mandatory.