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Universalien und Rarissima German in Language Typology MA


Admission requirements

BA German or BA Linguistics plus a good command of German.


Where we come from determines what we regard as normal. This holds for many areas, and also for language. Speakers growing up with German or a related Germanic language expect languages to have certain properties. These might include articles, for example, or a perfect formed with “have”. For linguistics, it is important to question such – often implicit – prejudices. How common are articles in the languages of the world? What other strategies are there for forming the perfect? What properties are found in many languages but are absent in German? Is German, typologically speaking, an ‘exotic’ language? These and related questions are addressed in this course.

Course objectives

After completing the course, students possess:

  • A sound knowledge of and insights in the grammar of German from a typological perspective

  • Elementary knowledge of phonological, the morphological and syntactic characteristics of non-Germanic languages

  • The ability to report – in an adequately scientific manner – in oral and written form on observations about language and on selected linguistic literature. This is proven in an oral presentation and in a short written essay.


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar

Course Load

Total course load 10 EC x 28 hours = 280 hours.

  • Lectures: 13 x 2 = 26 hours

  • Class preparation and reading: 13 x 4 = 52 hours

  • Preparation oral presentation: 26 hours

  • Written version of presentation: 36 hours

  • Essay: 140 hours

Assessment method


  • Active participation in class

  • Oral presentation

  • Brief written version of the presentation (1000 words)

  • Essay (7000 words)

** Weighing**

  • Active participation in class: 5%

  • Oral presentation: 25%

  • Brief written version of the presentation (“abstract”): 20%

  • Essay: 50%

The essay has to be sufficient, i.e. 5,5 or higher. The final grade for the course has to be sufficient, i.e. 5,5 or higher.


A resit is only possible for the essay.
If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.


The participants will receive written feedback on the oral presentation, the abstract and the essay.

Reading list

  • Reading material will be provided during class


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available on the website

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable


For information you can contact the instructor, dr. Jenny Audring (

For questions regarding enrollment please contact the Education Administration Office Reuvensplaats
E-mail address Education Administration Office Reuvensplaats:

For questions regarding your studyprogress contact the Coordinator of Studies