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Advanced Morphology


Admission requirements

We will assume that you are familiar with the basic morphological terminology (e.g. ‘allomorphy’, ‘inflection’, ‘derivation’, ‘compounding’, ‘reduplication’, ‘suffixation’) as explained in an introductory course in generative linguistics, or in one of the following course books:

  • Bauer, Laurie. 2010. Introducing Linguistic Morphology, Edinburgh: EUP.

  • Booij, Geert. 2005. The grammar of words: An introduction to linguistic morphology. Oxford: OUP.

  • Haspelmath, Martin & Andrea Sims. 2010. Understanding morphology. 2nd or later edn. London: Arnold.

  • Plag, Ingo. 2010. Word-Formation in English. Cambridge: CUP.


This course looks at a range of issues central to the understanding of how human beings acquire and process morphologically complex words. We will consider how monolingual and bilingual children and adults acquire, process, and represent the words in their in their mental lexicon. A selection of key classic articles on the study of morphology will be discussed with a focus on early acquisition of inflection and derivation, morpho-syntactic processing and lexical access. We will concentrate on the morphologies of West-Germanic languages. Studying word formation processes in different languages and looking at experimental results on word processing will shed more light on the issue of how a lexicon and a grammar may be acquired and maintained and/or how linguistic access can decline under conditions of reduced input and usage.
The course consists of six seminars, including student presentations. All classes will be taught in English. You will be awarded 5 ECTS credits for this course. Only attend this course if you are willing and able to attend all the sessions (2 hours a week) and spend an extra 6 hours a week on this course during the second block of the second semester.

Course objectives

The first course objective is to provide insight into the structural aspects of word-formation processes by studying a number of recent developments in theoretical and experimental linguistics.
A related objective is to gain insight into the importance of data and experimental evidence in morphological theorising.
The third objective of this course is to learn to collect and process empirical data on word formation processes (either historically, or in the mental lexicon of monolingual and multilingual language users). As part of a student presentation you may want to collect your own data or use empirical data that you found in the readings for this course.
You will learn how the authors of articles interpret the data, you will practice to critically assess their findings and you will learn to come up with ideas about collecting other data that may support or falsify the authors’ or your own hypotheses. This will also be excellent preparation for a possible topic for an MA-thesis.


The timetables are avalable through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction


Assessment method

  • Take home examination/assignment: 80%

  • Active Participation/coöperation in class/group: 10%

  • Abstract, oral presentation. 10%

The final mark for the course is established by determining the weighted average. In order to pass the course, a minimum of a 5.5 is required for the final test. You must fulfil all requirements to get a mark for this course. Fulfilling just part of the requirements does not entitle you to a final mark and full credits.

If the mark for the written test is a 5.49 or lower, there will be a resit exam during the resit exam period. There is no resit for presentations and in-term assignments.

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.

Reading list

A list of readings (journal articles and book chapters) will be made available before the course starts. Brightspace will also be used


Enrolment through My Studymap is mandatory


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

For questions related to the content of the course, please contact the lecturer, you can find their contact information by clicking on their name in the sidebar.

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


This is a block-course for the MA Linguistics. It will take place in block 4.