Describing Morphosyntax


Course Objective

The student knows the fundamental notions and methods of descriptive
linguistics in the domains of morphology and syntax. The student knows
current typological, functional and cognitive frameworks within which
morphosyntactic phenomena can be understood and explained. The student
is able to apply fundamental notions and methods of descriptive
morphosyntax to data obtained from independent fieldwork. The student is
able to evaluate the adequacy of morphosyntactic descriptions. The
student is able to interact in a critical manner with literature in the
field of descriptive morphosyntax.

Course Content

Students learn how to describe and document the morphosyntax both of
lesser documented or unknown languages, and of languages that they are
acquainted with.

Teaching Methods

During the seminars (1 session of 2 hours per week), the course
readings are explained, illustrated and discussed. At the beginning of
the course, each student chooses one language (description) that (s)he
would like to know more about; for students from the master Theology:
Bible Translation this might be one of the biblical languages.
Throughout the course, students are expected to apply the central
concepts from the literature to this language, and to share their
findings with the other students. In addition, students get the
opportunity to give a presentation and to get feedback on the topic
about which (s)he plans to write a paper. Finally, the seminars are
also used to apply the concepts discussed in class to new datasets.

Method of Assessment

Written exam.


Dixon, R.M.W. 2010. Basic linguistic theory, vol 1 and vol 2. Oxford:
Oxford University Press (selected chapters).
Payne, Thomas E. 1997. Describing morphosyntax, chapters 2-4
(recommended as preparatory reading for those with little background in

Target Audience

Research master's students in Humanities (Linguistics), master's
students in Linguistics ((Language Consultancy and Linguistic
Documentation), master's students in Theology (Bible Translation).

General Information

Course Code L_TAMATWS014
Credits 6 EC
Period P2
Course Level 400
Language of Tuition English
Faculty Faculty of Humanities
Course Coordinator prof. dr. L.J. de Vries
Examiner prof. dr. L.J. de Vries
Teaching Staff prof. dr. L.J. de Vries

Practical Information

You need to register for this course yourself

Last-minute registration is available for this course.

Teaching Methods Seminar
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