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Descriptive linguistics 1


Admission requirements

First year BA Linguistics or equivalent


This course is an introduction to both the practical and theoretical aspects of language description. The emphasis is on the linguistic analysis of phonological and morphosyntactic phenomena in the languages of the world. Relevant topics to the description of a language and the writing of a grammar will be introduced on the basis of concrete language examples. Solving linguistic puzzles and analyzing data are essential to the discovery of linguistics strategies in the languages of the world. The students will choose a grammar of a language unknown to them that has not been analyzed in great detail in order to describe morphosyntactic aspects of the language.

Course objectives

At the end of the course students should be able:

  • to apply techniques and conventions of descriptive linguistics

  • to show broad knowledge of basic grammatical topics that are relevant to the description of little studied languages

  • to formulate a basic linguistic argument

  • to provide a clear analysis of several aspects of the grammar of a non-western language


Linguistics (BA)

Mode of instruction

A combination of a lecture and a seminar

Course Load

Total course load 5EC x 28 hours=140 hours

  • Lectures: 26 hours

  • Study of compulsory literature: 52 hours

  • Assignments & final essay: 62 hours

Assessment method

Presence and active participation (20%)
Assignments (50%)
Final essay (30%)


the final mark for the course is established by determining the weighted average


The students can only resit the assignments


Blackboard will be used for:

  • information on the course and on assignments

  • notifications

  • submission of assignments and the final paper through turnitin.

Reading list

We will use a selection of descriptive linguistic texts from different sources (journal papers and book chapters). The reading list will be made available at the beginning of the course.


Enrolment through uSis is mandatory.

General information about uSis is available on this website

Registration Studeren à la carte and Contractonderwijs

Registration Studeren à la carte
Registration Contractonderwijs



Education Administration Office van Wijkplaats

E-mail address Education Administration Office van Wijkplaats:

Coordinator of Studies