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Topics in Chinese linguistics


Admission requirements



Whereas language training in the fall semester is concerned with broad and practical language acquisition, this course is topically defined, and provides thematic and disciplinary angles for the study of Chinese linguistics.

Students make a close reading of a coherent series of Chinese-language materials in the instructors’ fields of expertise, thus combining advanced language training with the chance to develop awareness of disciplinary thinking, and concomitant types of textual analysis and interpretation.

This course involves two contact hours per week, conducted in English, and requiring at least four hours of preparation per contact hour, not counting preparation for tests and other assessment activities such as individual presentations.

Note: students with a clear disciplinary orientation may, in consultation with their thesis supervisor and examcommission, substitute — pure — disciplinary training (10 ECTS) for the topical readings in Chinese elsewhere in the Faculty of Arts or in other Faculties, such as the Faculty of Social & Behavioral Sciences and the Faculty of Law; or even at another university.

Course objectives

To further increase the students’ abilities in:
reading Chinese scholarly texts on linguistics, script, and language education, printed both in simplified and in traditional characters;
expanding the relevant technical vocabulary;
analyzing complex academic arguments;
comparing different scholarly positions on the same issue;
presenting oral and written summaries in English of (parts of) the texts;
actively participating in group discussions in English;
gradually building up reading speed.


Second semester; please see the timetable on the departmental website for time and location.

Mode of instruction

Reading course, seminar.

Assessment method

Written assignments, including summaries in English (60%)
Oral presentations (40%)

Reading list

Texts reflecting the broad spectrum of Chinese and general linguistics, including phonology, syntax, morphology, lexicology, lexicography, grammatology, etymology, dialect geography, sociolinguistics, the history of linguistics in and outside China, and language education. A comprehensive list will be provided at the beginning of the term.


Enroll on time for this course via uSis

Contact information

website wiedenhof