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Linguistics 4: Morphology: Analyzing Words


Admission requirements

Pass marks for Linguistics 1 and 2 (or similar courses)


This course focuses on the morphological structure of English words. Topics considered include the status of the notion of ‘word’ and the elements of which words are composed, the difference between inflection and derivation, the internal structure of compounds, and the historical origin of English word-formation processes.

Course objectives

  • Insight into the morphology of English

  • Insight into the relation between morphology and syntax, and between morphology and phonology

  • Knowledge of basic terminology (e.g. ‘word’, ‘morpheme’ and ‘affix’)


The timetable will be available by June 1st on the website.

Mode of instruction

  • Lecture (1 hour)

  • Seminar (1 hour)

Course Load

The course load of this course is 140 hours.

  • 26 hours spent on attending lectures and seminars:

  • 34 hours for studying the compulsory literature

  • 80 hours for preparing the exam and preparing/writing the paper

Assessment method

  • written exam: 70%

  • two in-term quizzes: 30%


This course is supported by blackboard.

Reading list

  • Carstairs-McCarthy, Andrew (2002). An Introduction to English Morphology. Edinburgh University Press.

  • Pinker, Steven (2011). Words and Rules. Harper Perennial. (or any other edition)

  • syllabus


Students should register through uSis. Exchange students cannot register through uSis, but must see the coordinator of studies and register with her. If you have any questions, please contact the departmental office, tel. 071 5272144 or mail:“”

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

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration via Studeren à la carte
Registration via Contractonderwijs


English Language and Culture departmental office, P.N. van Eyckhof 4, room 102C. Tel. 071 5272144;
Coordinator of studies: Ms T.D. Obbens, MA, P.N. van Eyckhof 4, room 103C.