At our institute you can study Linguistics in a Bachelor programme. The programme lasts six semesters and yields a Bachelor of Arts degree (B. A.). With the successful completion of the programme you will satisfy the prerequisites for a four-semester Master programme in linguistics.

Contents of the BA programme

The Bachelor programme in Linguistics provides basic knowledge of the diversity of natural languages, their inner structure and their processing. In the course of the programme you will acquire knowledge of grammatical principles and rules on the individual levels of the language system - from sounds to meanings - as well as their realisation in language use.
You will acquire the ability to work with different formal, empirical and technical methods to describe and explain linguistic data.

Modules compulsory area

You must successfully complete all modules of the compulsory area; these grades are part of your Bachelor grade. The following modules are compulsory:

The module 04-006-1001 introduces fundamental concepts of linguistics. It is designed for the first semester. The module includes the lectures Linguistic Foundations and Formal Foundations (“Logic for Linguists”). A further course of the module is the compulsory tutorial for the lecture Formal Foundations. The module conveys basic knowledge from different domains of linguistics (phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics), introduces into description and explanation of linguistic phenomena, and conveys knowledge of mathematical logic and set theory for understanding formal analysis. The module examination consists of a two-hour written exam.

The Module 04-006-1004 is also designed for the first semester. Here you will learn about various methodological techniques that are important for linguistics. The lecture Phonetic Analysis conveys knowledge of the analysis of acoustic and articulatory properties of natural languages. The course Grammar Analysis conveys techniques for capturing grammatical structures (with many examples from under-studied languages). In the lecture Quantitative Methods, you will learn simple statistical methods for conducting and evaluating experiments. The module examination consists of a two-hour written exam.

The module 04-004-1002 is designed for the second semester. In the lecture Phonology you will learn about the foundations of sound structure and sound processes, and their theoretical modelling. In the lecture Morphology, you will learn about the basic principles of word structure, inflection and word formation. The third course is a compulsory tutorial for phonology. The module examination consists of a two-hour written exam.

The module 04-006-1003 is designed for the second semester. In this module you will learn about the basics of sentence structure and syntactical argumentation in the lecture Syntax. In the lecture Semantics you will learn about the principles of meaning decomposition. The third course of the module is a compulsory tutorial for syntax. The module examination consists of a two-hour written exam.

The module 04-006-1010 is designed for the third semester. It consists of a lecture of four semester hours per week and a compulsory tutorial, which serves to deepen the lecture content. The lecture introduces computational methods of linguistics and deals with different algorithmic approaches of language processing. It provides an insight into the interaction between algorithmic modelling and linguistic theory construction on the one hand and theories of human language processing on the other.  In addition, you will also acquire  knowledge of a higher-level programming language in the lecture, so that you can computationally implement exemplary grammatical analyses. The module examination consists of a term paper.

The module 04-006-1006 is designed for the fourth semester. In the courses of the module you deal with grammar-theoretical approaches to syntax, morphology and semantics at a more advanced level. Especially in the seminars Syntax and Morphology there may be a more specific theoretical focus. The module examination consists of two subparts: a one-and-a-half-hour written exam and a term paper.

The module 04-006-1008 is designed for the fourth semester. In the lecture Introduction to language typology you will learn more about the methods of systematic language comparison and the results of typological studies on the distribution of selected linguistic phenomena in the languages of the world. In the seminar Languages of the world you will learn more about the different language families and their characteristic properties. The third course of the module is a compulsory tutorial for the Introduction to language typology course.  The module examination consists of two subparts: a one-and-a-half-hour written exam and a term paper

For the language practice area, you will choose a language module from the university's range of courses that ideally is dedicated to a non-European/non-Indo-European language. Occasionally we offer the module 04-006-1005 by the institute. But often you must take a module from another institute. You can find further information on the module here.

Modules compulsory elective area

In the compulsory elective area, you must successfully complete modules comprising 30 credit points from the following range of courses; these grades are part of the Bachelor grade:

The Modul 03-AFR-1103 is an offering of the Institute of African Studies. You will learn an important “Lingua Franca” which is spoken in West Central Africa (mainly Niger and Nigeria) and belongs to the Chadic language family. The module consists of two mostly language-practice tutorials and a seminar about the linguistics of Hausa. The module examination consists of a one-and-a-half-hour written exam. The continuation courses Hausa II etc. can be credited for the areas of language practice or language competence (see advice).

The module 04-888-1002 is an offering of the Institute of Slavonic Studies. The module includes the language course Russian Language Practice (5 semester hours per week) and the tutorial Practical Russian Phonetics. The module examination consists of a one-and-a-half-hour written exam. The continuation modules Russian II etc. can be credited for the language competence area (see advice). 

The module 10-201-2001-1 is an offering of the Institute of Computer Science; it is offered every winter semester and comprises a workload of five credit points. The module consists of a lecture and an associated tutorial. The content of the module is dedicated to working with large data sets (Effective Data Structures, Sorting, Searching), algorithms for graphs, compression algorithms and basic strategies for algorithms. The module examination consists of a one-hour written exam.

The module 10-201-2001-2 is an offering of the Institute of Computer Science; it is offered every summer semester and comprises a workload of five credit points. The module consists of a lecture and an associated tutorial. The content of the module is similar to the module 10-201-2001-1 dedicated to working with large data sets (effective data structures, sorting, searching), algorithms for graphs, compression algorithms and basic strategies for algorithms. The module examination consists of a one-hour written exam.

The module 10-201-2005-1 is an offering of the Institute of Computer Science and is offered every winter semester. It comprises a workload of five credit points. The module consists of a lecture and an associated tutorial. The content of the module is dedicated to object-oriented software development (including objects and relations between objects, interfaces and relations between interfaces and objects, primitive data types and operations, operators, data structures and their use). The module examination consists of a one-hour written exam.

The module 10-201-2005-2 is an offering of the Institute of Computer Science and is offered every summer semester. It comprises a workload of five credit points. The module consists of a lecture and an associated tutorial. The content of the module deals with terms such as programming, programming languages, algorithms, syntax, semantics, compiler, interpreter, the connection between programming and software development, as well as algorithms and data structures, and the connection between programming paradigms and programming languages using the example of imperative and functional and logic-based programming. The module examination consists of a one-hour written exam.

The module 04-003-3006 is an offering of the Institute of German Language and German Literature. It is offered every summer semester and comprises a workload of five credit points. The module consists of a lecture and an associated seminar. The lecture and the seminar build on each other to convey basics of the central linguistic description levels of phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics and graphemics. Models of the grammar of the contemporary German language and methods of grammatical analysis are also covered. The module examination consists of a one-hour written exam.

The module 04-003-3015 is an offering of the Institute of German Language and German Literature. It is an advanced module and is offered every winter semester. The module comprises a workload of five credit points. The module consists of a lecture and an associated seminar. The lecture deals with the different subparts of contemporary German and puts them into systematic connection with each other. Thereby a special focus lies on the areas of morphology and syntax. In the seminars offered as alternatives various partial aspects and different perspectives on the German language system are taught. The module examination consists of a portfolio.

The module 04-003-1106 is an offering of the Institute of German Language and German Literature. It is offered every summer semester and comprises a workload of five credit points. The module consists of two seminars (each two semester hours per week) and two tutorials (each one semester hour per week). The various courses of the module deal with the rules and principles of linguistic communication, knowledge of language use, text-related knowledge, categories of conversation, processes of inference in the production and understanding of linguistic utterances, the dialect structure of contemporary German and its changes and/or functions, as well as the effects of different forms of language use. The module examination consists of a portfolio.

The module 04-003-1106 is an offering of the Institute of British Studies. It is offered every summer semester and comprises a workload of five credit points. The module consists of a seminar for the area of system linguistics, which is dedicated to a sub-area (e.g. syntax, morphology or semantics) from a theoretical perspective, and a seminar on diachronic variation which is dedicated to one of the historical periods of English (Old, Middle or Early Modern English) or deals with a linguistic level (phonetics, morphology, syntax, lexicon, etc.) in its development through all language periods. The module examination consists of a portfolio.

The module 04-006-1009 is an offering of our Institute and designed for the fifth semester. In the tutorial Academic skills you will learn foundational competences of linguistic work, such as the design of presentations, the writing of term papers and theses, literature review, skills in scientific argumentation and analysis, and the formal design of written works with the text-processing software LaTeX. In addition, there are two seminars with a changing thematic focus in which current research questions in linguistics are taught. The module examination consists of a portfolio (typically, a collection of smaller assignments in the three courses).

Elective area

In the elective area you select from the range of the social sciences and the humanities comprising 30 credit points. You can freely combine the modules of  different subjects. However, the departments only offer a limited number of places for  students from the elective area. Therefore, it can be the case that you are unable to get a place in your preferred module. The grades of the elective area are not part of the Bachelor grade. 

Key Qualifications

You must successfully complete modules comprising 30 credit points from the area of key qualifications. This can be cross-faculty key qualification modules or key qualification modules of the Faculty of Philology. Under certain circumstances we can also credit internships; in this regard please contact the course advising service. The grades of the key qualification modules are not part of the Bachelor grade.

You must select as a subject-adjacent key qualification a language module from the range of the Leipzig University which is dedicated to a language of communication. This module must comprise ten credit points. For further information on the module, please check the notes on the language modules.

Information on the language modules and the bachelor thesis

Aptitude for the Programme

If you consider studying linguistics, you should ask yourself whether you are interested in structural properties of languages, especially in the structural properties of less-known non-European languages. Normative perspectives on language (“What is good German?”) or techniques for successful language learning are not a subject of the programme. Ideally, you will have a high ability for abstraction and good to very good school knowledge in grammar and mathematics. Since most of the specialized literature is in English, you should also have good to very good knowledge of the English language. We recommend that you take a look into an introductory book on linguistics before the beginning of your studies, or that you attempt the tasks from the Linguistics Olympiad. Peruse our course catalogues to get an idea of the concrete content of the programme. The student council can also share information about studying linguistics in Leipzig.

Required language competence

  • German (C1, CEFR)
  • English (B2, CEFR)
  • Further non-native language (B1, CEFR) or knowledge of Latin

Application

There will be a local Numerus Clausus (NCU) depending on the number of applicants. Please send your application for admission to the Student Office of the University. If you are applying from a foreign country, please inform yourself about the general study requirements at the International Centre of the University.

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