Theoretical and Experimental Linguistics

The Master’s in Linguistics specialisation in Theoretical and Experimental Linguistics concentrates on the complexity of natural languages, ranging from their syntactic structure to how humans process and produce language. Advanced courses delve into a diverse range of topics including formal grammar – syntax, semantics, phonology – and experimental approaches to language and speech.

Choose Theoretical and Experimental Linguistics at Leiden University:

  • Develop a thorough understanding of the complexity of natural languages.
  • Learn from active researchers in an inspiring academic atmosphere that encourages original research.
  • Choose from the largest selection of languages (varying from Chinese to German, from Papuan to Slavic languages, and many more) taught and studied at any institution in the Netherlands or the surrounding region.
  • Benefit from the possibility to do an internship in an experimental research environment.
  • Join a programme that builds on state-of-the-art linguistic research being conducted at the Leiden University Centre for Linguistics (LUCL), an institute with a long-standing international reputation for excellence.

Check out the programme in Theoretical and Experimental Linguistics.

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Read LUCL’s Leiden Language Blog. It features blog posts written by members of the Leiden University Centre for Linguistics related to ongoing linguistics or language research.

Master details

  • This is a specialisation of: Linguistics
  • Degree Master of Arts in Linguistics
  • Mode of study 1 year
  • Duration Full-time
  • Start date September, February
  • Language of instruction English
  • Location Leiden
  • Croho/isat code 60815

Prof. Lisa Cheng

Lisa Cheng

“Linguistics is a part of the Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition, where
ground-breaking interdisciplinary research is carried out.”

“The master’s in Linguistics in Leiden is a master’s in formal linguistics. We have designed the programme in such a way that the students can opt for different specialisations (for example, syntax, semantics, phonetics, clinical linguistics). All of our faculty members are dedicated researchers, who are well-known internationally. Students who come to our programme will be able to learn from, and work with these faculty members.

Leiden has a special Chinese library, which is comparable to the Yen-Ching Library in Harvard University. For anyone who would like to work on Chinese linguistics, it is a really wonderful place.

We have formal connections with McGill University (Canada) and Université de Nantes, and informal connections with universities all over the world (including in the United States). There are regular colloquium series and workshops in which master’s students can also participate.

Linguistics is now part of the Leiden Institute for Brain and Cognition, where a great deal of groundbreaking interdisciplinary research is done. Leiden is now the place to be. My speciality in linguistics is comparative syntax. I compare languages within a language group (such as Chinese and Bantu languages), and I also do cross language-family comparison, such as comparing Greek and Chinese, Romance and Bantu.”

See also Why international students choose the MA in Linguistics at Leiden University.

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