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Advanced Typology


Admission requirements

BA in linguistics or a language. Knowledge of basic linguistic terminology is required. Assumed background: an introduction to linguistic typology, e.g. Velupillai, Viveka (2012), An Introduction to Linguistic Typology. Amsterdam: Benjamins.


In this course, languages exhibiting typological differences and similarities will be studied from a cross-linguistic perspective. Some major current approaches to language universals and typology will be discussed. Guest lecturers will present the state-of-the-art of particular typological domains.

Course objectives

  1. To learn about various theories accounting for cross-linguistic patterns of alignment, grammatical relations, and various interpretations of the notion of ‘subject’.
    1. To investigate particular constructions crosslinguistically on the basis of three descriptive grammars from languages in Asia, America and Africa.
    2. To discuss case studies of typological research relating to (for instance) word order, the use of typology in language reconstruction, contact-induced typological change, phonological typology, or the typology of an understudied word class, such as ideophones.
    3. To practice typological research, analysis, argumentation and presentation in written assignments, an oral presentation, and a final essay.


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

Mode of instruction

Lecture and seminar

Course Load

Attending lectures: 28 hours
Studying the compulsory literature: 110 hours
Completing assignments: 52 hours
Writing the final essay: 90 hours

Assessment Method

During the course the students hand in a number of written assignments and do one oral presentation on a selected typological topic 50%; Final essay 50%


Blackboard. Admission requirements

A pass for introductory translation courses Dutch to English and English to Dutch. Alternatively, a pass for the entry test that the English Department will make available from June 2015. The Semester 1 course is offered only to students who are registered for the Translation in Theory and Practice specialization.


The aim of this advanced translation course is to familiarize you with the challenges that a translator faces in practice. Practice makes perfect, which is why the emphasis lies on discussing the translations that you have prepared at home and on doing translations that a professional translator may be expected to do, the texts covering a wide range of topics and registers. However, we will also make a link to translation theory and ask ourselves to what extent theory helps us solve practical problems.

Course objectives

  • Ability to translate a linguistically sophisticated, but non-specialist Dutch text into grammatically correct and stylistically appropriate English, and vice versa.

  • Understanding of the relationship between translation studies and the practice of translation and the ability to apply translation theory to practical problems.

Mode of instruction

One 90-minute tutorial per week and small-group peer-review tutorials.

Course Load

The total course load is 280 hours (10 EC), allocated as follows:

  • Tutorial attendance: 26 hours.

  • Study of literature: 26 hours.

  • Preparation of translations, annotated translations and peer reviews, and test preparation 125 hours.

  • Translation test: 3 hours.

Assessment method

  • Peer-review of an annotated translation and contributions to discussion in tutorial (20%).

  • Average mark of two of the translations handed in during the course (30%).

  • Translation test (D-E; E-D) 40%.

To pass the course, you need to have handed in electronic copies of all the translations in Blackboard before each tutorial. Marks will be subtracted for failure to hand in assignments.
You can resit the translation test and resubmit course translations if these are a fail. If you fail the peer-review and tutorial-discussion component you will be asked to write and defend an extra annotated translation.


In this course, Blackboard is used to present course information, notify you of changes to the course and make course materials available.

Reading list

Recommended reference tools:

  • Lemmens, M. & Parr, T. (2013). Handboek voor de Vertaler Nederlands-Engels (Praktische tips). Amsterdam: Intertaal.

  • Renkema, J. (2012). Schrijfwijzer. Amsterdam: Boom.

  • Swan, M. (2005). Practical English usage. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  • Van Dale groot woordenboek Engels (set) (2014). Utrecht: Van DaleLexicography.

  • Van Dale groot woordenboek van de Nederlandse taal (2015). Utrecht: Van Dale Lexicography.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte via:
Registration Contractonderwijs via:

Contact will be used to provide students with an overview of current affairs, as well as specific information about (components of) the course.

Reading list

Comrie, Bernard. (1989) [2nd edition] or later reprints. Language Universals and Linguistic Typology. Oxford: Basil Blackwell.
More recent developments in typology will be discussed using additional reading (articles, book chapters), to be made available through Blackboard.


Enrolment in uSis is obligatory. If you have any questions, please contact the student administration, tel. 071 5272144 or mail:

When registering, students that are registered for the specialisation that this course belongs to, or the Research Master, take priority. The deadline for registration is August 15. All other students should contact the coordinator of studies

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte
Registration Contractonderwijs


MA Linguistics departmental office, P.N. van Eyckhof 4, room 102C. Tel. 071 5272144; mail: