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Chinese Linguistics: The Basics


Admission requirements



Taking a broad view, we look at Chinese languages from different angles in historical linguistics, sociolinguistics, grammar studies, dialectology, etc. These perspectives are combined with a (re-)introduction of classical themes, basic units and key notions in Chinese and general linguistics.

Course objectives

To provide students with a broad understanding of current issues in Chinese linguistics; to develop their research skills and the ability to report on their findings, both in writing and orally, for general as well as scholarly audiences.


See the timetable

Mode of instruction

Reading course, discussion seminar and topicalized lectures

Course Load

Total 280 hours (10 EC x 28 hours) – Contact hours: 24 – Preparation for class: 120 hours – Oral presentation: 12 hours – Written assignments: 24 hours – Term paper: 100 hours

Assessment method

  • In-class participation & contributions (15%)

  • Oral presentation (15%)

  • Three written assignments (30%)

  • Term paper (40%)

  • Term paper grade must be minimally 5 to pass the course


will be used as the need arises. See blackboard

Reading list

Jerry Norman, Chinese. Cambridge University Press. First published 1988; any subsequent printing is fine.


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

Contact information