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HUM Seminar Language and Linguistics


Admission requirements

This course is only accessible for BA Japanstudies students. Students must have successfully completed their propedeuse, two BA2 seminars and the course Texts IIb.

Admission to a cluster seminar happens only through application via the head of the programme board or coordinator of studies.


Language is everywhere. We use language daily to communicate with others and to express our thoughts. Linguistics aims to better understand how language works and what it is.

The Japanese language has some characteristics that it shares with other languages and others that are unique. In this course, we will highlight both aspects. The course explores a wide range of issues dealt with in Japanese linguistics. We will focus on the language itself as well as its users. The main theme of the course is linguistic variation.

In addition to the above topics, we will also pay attention to research methods and writing skills.

Course objectives

  • Formulate a research question of proper scope

  • Identify main arguments in linguistic literature

  • Compare and evaluate different arguments on a given topic

  • Frame a hypothesis

  • Collect and analyze linguistic data

  • Construct a convincing argument based on linguistic literature and data

  • Create and conduct a well-structured and clear oral presentation

  • Lead a discussion on a linguistic topic


The timetables are available through My Timetable.

Mode of instruction


Assessment method


Partial grades are weighed as follows;

Participation element: 50%, consisting of:

  • Attendance of min. 70% of classes

  • At least 4 of 5 webposts

  • Participation in class discussions

  • Presentation

Final paper (ca. 3.000 words): 50%


The final grade consists of the weighed average of the partial grades. However, students have to get a passing grade (6.0 or higher) for both partial grades in order to complete the course.


There is a two-deadline policy for all papers; for those who miss this deadline, this means they have failed on the first attempt. Those who fail on the first attempt—whether by not submitting a paper by the first deadline, or by submitting an inadequate paper—will have one more (second and last) chance to submit their paper by the second deadline.

Inspection and feedback

How and when an exam review will take place will be disclosed together with the publication of the exam results at the latest. If a student requests a review within 30 days after publication of the exam results, an exam review will have to be organized.

Reading list

Content component:

A list of reading materials can be found in the Course Syllabus on Brightspace. There is no set textbook for this course.

Language component:

Information about the readings will be made available through Brightspace.


Enrolment through My Studymap is mandatory.


  • For substantive questions, contact the lecturer listed in the right information bar.

  • For questions about enrolment, admission, etc, contact the Education Administration Office: Vrieshof


Not applicable.