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Berber Linguistics


Admission requirements

General knowledge of linguistics and willingness to read French.


Berber is a group of closely related languages spoken in Northern Africa and the Sahara. In this course, an overview of the basic structures of these languages is provided, and a number of analytically and typologically interesting features will be highlighted. This includes topics such as syllabification, case marking, aspect, and sequentiality.

Course objectives

Course objective 1: Acquiring knowledge of and insight in the general structure of Berber languages and of the internal diversity.

Course objective 2: Acquiring knowledge of and insight in some of the analytically and typologically salient features.

Course objective 3: Acquiring skills of analysis of existing literature on Berber linguistics.

Course objective 4: Strengthening of oral presentation skills.

Course objective 5: Doing original analysis of Berber linguistic questions and/or data.

Course objective 5: Strengthening of written presentation skills of original analysis.


The timetable is available on the MA Linguistics website

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar

Course Load

  • time spent on attending lectures and seminars: 26 hours

  • time for studying thecompulsory literature: 75 hours

  • time for preparing one presentation: 35 hours

  • time for writing a paper based on original research: 144 hours

Assessment Method

Oral presentation based on extensive reading of orginal literature 20%
Term paper, featuring original analysis based on literature and/or on field research 80%

The final grade consists of weighted average of the above components

Resit: students who fail the course may resit the exam and/or course paper.

NOTE: The students’ presence is mandatory; repeated absence can lead to adjustments in the grading or to exclusion from examination and the resit.


Course materials will be distributed using Blackboard

Reading list

  • Kossmann, Maarten (2012). Berber. In: Zygmunt Frajzyngier and Erin Shay, eds. The Afroasiatic Languages. Cambridge.: Cambridge University Press, pp. 18-101.

Further literature will be announced during the course.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available in [English]) and Dutch

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”:

Students other than MA Linguistics need permission from the coordinator of studies before enrolling.

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable


Please contact Student administration van Eyckhof for questions.