In the Master’s in Linguistics specialisation in Language Diversity of Africa, Asia and Native America you study the linguistic structures of a wide variety of languages spoken in these regions. This Leiden University programme is taught by experts who regularly carry out research in Africa, Asia and the Americas. You will benefit from their knowledge of and experience in the many interesting features of each region. They will lead you through an array of topics, ranging from how the perspective of the speaker determines the structure of sentences in languages of the Americas, the function of serial verb constructions in Africa to the structure of numeral systems in Asia.
“Our students learn to describe African languages and to analyse the phonetic systems and grammatical rules.”
“One-third of the world’s languages are spoken in Africa. The study of these languages has entered a new era: the time of surveys is over and we are now able to go deeper into these languages and the cultures in which they are embedded.
The purpose of this master’s programme is to train students to be fully equipped to independently gather primary data on an African language, to analyse the data in detail, and to understand them in their cultural and linguistic context and to report on the findings in a way that is appreciated in the international academic arena.
Our programme has an excellent reputation worldwide. Each year we organise a colloquium on African languages in which some eighty international academics participate, and we publish the highly
respected journal, the Journal of African Languages and Linguistics. Also, the University Library in Leiden is one of the best of its kind.
My personal motivation is academic curiosity. Recently I have been doing research at the Research Centre for Linguistic Typology in Australia, a well-known centre for linguistic description. I have acquired a great many new ideas there and inspiration for teaching
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