nl en

Die Wissenschaft der Wörter


Admission requirements

BA German or BA Linguistics plus a good command of German.


When we think of language, we think of words. Words are also of scientific interest. Are “schreibst” and “schreibt” two words or two forms of the same word? Is “Haupt-“ in “Haupteingang” a noun or a prefix? How do you make new words such as “whatsappisch” and why doesn’t this work with “*Facebookung”? Why are there hardly any true synonyms? How do we know that “Kalkreiniger” is against chalk, but “Glasreiniger” is not against glass? What is the phenomenon that we see in the dissimilar forms of “sein”, i.e. “bin” and “seid”?

In this course we discuss the central issues in morphology: the structure of words, their semantic and grammatical function, the productivity of word formation, but also the architecture of the mental lexicon.

Students will be collecting their own data and making their own observations.

Course objectives

After completion of the course, the student possesses:

  • A sound knowledge of the morphology of German and elementary knowledge of the morphology of other related and unrelated languages

  • Insights in the way in which morphological entities and processes are identified

  • Basic insights in morphological theory

  • The ability to report – in an adequately scientific manner – in oral and written form on observations about language and on selected linguistic literature. This is proven in an oral presentation and in two written essays.


The timetable is available on the MA Linguistics website

Mode of instruction

  • Seminar

Course Load

Total course load 10 EC x 28 hours = 280 hours.

  • Lectures: 13 x 2 = 26 hours

  • Class preparation and reading: 13 x 4 = 52 hours

  • Preparation oral presentation: 26 hours

  • Written version of presentation: 36 hours

  • Essay: 140 hours

Assessment method


*Active participation in class

  • Oral presentation

  • Brief written version of the presentation (1000 words)

  • Essay (7000 words)


*Active participation in class: 10%

  • Oral presentation: 20%

  • Brief written version of the presentation (“abstract”): 20%

  • Essay: 50%

The essay has to be sufficient, i.e. 5,5 or higher. The final grade for the course has to be sufficient, i.e. 5,5 or higher.


A resit is only possible for the essay.


The participants will receive written feedback on the oral presentation, the abstract and the essay.
Students are entitled to view their marked essay within a period of 30 days, following publication of the results


Blackboard will be used for:

  • Providing study material (including powerpoints from classes)

  • Communication

Reading list

  • Reading material will be provided during class


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.
General information about uSis is available on the website

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Not applicable


For substantive information you can contact the instructor, dr. Jenny Audring (

Please contact Student administration van Eyckhof for general questions.

The coordinator of studies is Else van Dijk