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Elective: Morphological Theory


Admission requirements

Basic knowledge of linguistics and linguistic theory (in particular phonology and syntax).


The course will be divided into 3 parts;

Part 1. A bird’s eye overview of present-day morphological theory by working through a recent textbook, Geert Booij’s The Grammar of Words (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007), in order to create a common base of morphological knowledge. A number additional exercises is provided (Problems set)

Part 2. Discussion of a number of theoretical issues in more detail on the basis of some articles from the international literature. The possible topics are:

  • different models of morphological knowledge (construction morphology, realizational morphology; distributed morphology;

  • lexical integrity of complex words;

  • grammaticalization and diachronic morphology

  • construction-dependent morphology;

  • psycholinguistic modeling of morphological knowledge

Part 3. Students will give presentations about one of these topics linked to empirical data from one or more of the languages that they study.

Course objectives

Students will acquire a good overview of present-day issues in morphological theories, and the architecture of the grammar, and learn how the analysis of morphological phenomena in specific languages can be used in discussing these issues.


The timetable will be available by June 1st at the website of Linguistics

Mode of instruction

Lecture + homework, student presentations

Assessment method

Grading will be based on homework results (30 ), presentation (20) and essay (50 %)


Yes. Blackboard

Reading list

Geert Booij, The Grammar of Words. Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2007, 2nd printing. Other reading material will be provided through Blackboard.


Exchange and Study Abroad students, please see the Study in Leiden website for information on how to apply.

Application for Contractonderwijs

After application, students can register for courses en exams through uSis

Contact information