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Comparative Asian Linguistics


Admission requirements

Students of the MA Linguistics, the MA Asian Studies (60 EC and 120 EC) or 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 (e.g., the noun phrase, tense and aspect, classifiers, sentence final particles, to name just a few possible topics – we will concentrate on syntactic topics) by looking at the Asian languages the students of the class are interested in. (One of the languages that will always play a role is Chinese, because that is a language the instructors have worked on a lot.) We intend to take a comparative perspective: for instanbce, 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.

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

Assessment and weighing

Partial Assessment Weighing
Oral and written assignments 40%
Term paper 60%

In order to pass the course, students need a pass mark (“voldoende”, i.e. “5.50” or higher) for the term paper and for the course as a whole.

All categories of assessment must be completed in the same academic year. No partial marks can be carried over into following years.


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

If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

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


Enrolment through MyStudyMap is mandatory.


  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: Vrieshof