Why do languages change? Why does your mobile device suggest funny completions for words you are typing? How did it happen that Finnish is spoken mostly in Finland, but its linguistic relatives are scattered over a larger area? How can you study a language that does not have a standard orthography? Why can you sometimes tell where other people come from just by their accent? Why do some people stick to their dialect, but others give it up when they move to the city? Should you try to support language diversity? Can we save languages that are spoken by a very small number of people? How can computer-synthesised speech be made to sound more human? Why do some languages seem so much more difficult to learn - are they inherently more complex?
This Master's programme will provide you with an understanding of the nature and diversity of human language and with the theoretical tools for working with language material. If you are interested in languages but are unable to decide which of them you want to study, this Master's programme offers several fields of specialisation. One of them might be just perfect for you.
During your studies, you will:
After completing your studies, you will be able to work independently in various fields that require multidisciplinary expertise in linguistic sciences. You will have the theoretical knowledge and skills that are required for postgraduate studies in the doctoral programme in language studies.
Further information about the studies on the Master's programme website.
Linguistic Diversity in the Digital Age is an integrated international programme that offers you a comprehensive view of all subfields of the science of language. As a student in the programme you will be able to choose among four specialist options: (1) General Linguistics, (2) Phonetics, (3) Language Technology, and (4) Diversity Linguistics.
General Linguistics gives you comprehensive in-depth training in a wide range of theoretical and methodological approaches to language structure and language in use. Special emphasis is put on language typology in a global perspective as well as the documentation and description of endangered and previously undocumented and under-documented forms of speech.
Phonetics will introduce you to the tools for working with the articulatory, acoustic and perceptional aspects of human speech from a multidisciplinary perspective. At the more advanced level, you will become acquainted with the methods of experimental phonetics.
Language Technology combines linguistics with digital technology in an interdisciplinary approach with close links to computer science. The focus areas include natural language processing (NLP) for morphologically rich languages, cross-lingual NLP and language technology in the humanities.
Diversity Linguistics encompasses all aspects of linguistic diversity in time and space, including historical linguistics as well as the extralinguistic context of languages: ethnicities, cultures and environments. The areal foci in Diversity Linguistics are Eurasia and Africa.
These four specialist options interact at all levels. There is a study module common to all students in the programme regardless of the specialist option they choose. The integration of these four perspectives into one programme is unique - no similar programme exists anywhere else.
In the context of “Humanities”, the programme has the closest relationship to natural sciences, and many subfields of the programme involve methods directly linked to laboratory sciences, including digital technology and neurosciences.
The teaching in the programme includes lectures and seminars, practical exercise sessions, reading circles, fieldwork excursions, as well as work practice (internship). The broad spectrum of teaching methods guarantees optimal support for your learning processes.
The Linguistics MA is a flexible programme which aims to explore the breadth and the depth of linguistics. It builds on the widest range of teaching and research expertise, covering all aspects of theoretical and descriptive linguistics: phonetics, phonology, morphology, syntax, semantics, pragmatics, discourse and conversation analysis, typology, historical linguistics, sociolinguistics, cognitive linguistics and psycholinguistics, computational and corpus linguistics, field linguistics, and the documentation and description of endangered languages. The academic staff teaching on the programme work on various practical applications of linguistics (e.g. language codification and language policy, institutional language, language in the community) and have expertise in a wide range of languages, including English and its varieties, Germanic, Latin and Romance, Russian, Polish, Kurdish and other Iranian languages, Arabic, Hebrew, Turkish, and several languages spoken in the Americas (e.g. Huave, Quechua, Ulwa), Australia (e.g. Jamingjung), and beyond.
All students receive a solid foundation for linguistic study in three core modules (of which at least two are compulsory):
The remainder of the programme allows the students to make the most of what the staff have to offer. Students can either take a variety of course units in different areas including the new Forensic Linguistics unit, or specialise in one of the following pathways: Phonetics and Phonology, Sociolinguistics, Syntax and Semantics, Typology or Romani Linguistics.
The course aims to give students a grounding in breadth and depth in Linguistics, by exploring the central features of linguistic theory: its history, objectives, principal theoretical frameworks, methodologies, contested areas and uncontested results. Students will gain experience of excellence in teaching and learning at an advanced level, in an environment where they will benefit from the fact that the School is also home to world-leading research in Linguistics.
Teaching takes on a variety of forms. Core course units and other MA specific course units are typically taught as seminars, in a small group, combining lectures with discussion. Many of them have practical tutorials as well which will help students prepare for individual research projects. Directed Readings involve individual or small group meetings during which pre-set readings on a particular topic are discussed. The enhanced Level 3 undergraduate course units combine lectures or seminars, depending on the aim of the course unit, with more optional tutorials. The aim across all teaching forms is to create the opportunity for intensive scholarly work, with areas of focus determined by the participants and their individual interests, which can be investigated in considerable depth.
If you wish to discover more about the academic staff in the department, please visit:http://www.alc.manchester.ac.uk/about/people/staff-directory/linguistics-english-language-staff/
Course units are assessed at the end of the semester during which they are offered. All taught course units except Introduction to Grammatical Theory and Phonetics and Phonology are assessed by examined coursework only. All course units include formative assessments to ensure interim feedback during the semester.
Deadlines for assessments are stated in the MA in Linguistics and English Language 2016-2017 Programme Handbook .
The Linguistics MA consists of the following elements:
Alternatives to the compulsory course units in Introduction to Grammatical Theory and/or Phonetics and Phonology may be chosen if students can provide evidence of having covered comparable material in their undergraduate degree; in borderline cases, students may be asked to take a proficiency test in Welcome Week.
The optional course units can be selected to follow specialised pathways, which include Sociolinguistics, Phonetics and Phonology, Syntax and Semantics, Typology, and Romani Linguistics. One or two course units may take the form of Directed Reading units, which are individual or small group seminars about set readings on a particular topic. These are available after consultation with an appropriated member of staff and the PGT Officer. One or two course units may also be taken from a list of MA course units available in other subject areas within the School of Arts, Languages and Cultures, or from a list of enhanced Level-3 undergraduate course units in Linguistics and English Language, which supplement the MA specific course units on offer.
For details of postgraduate course units currently on offer, please refer to the Programme Handbook.
All postgraduate students on this programme can make use of the purpose-designed Centre for Graduate Studies within the Ellen Wilkinson Building. The Centre opened in 2014 and provides state-of-the-art facilities for postgraduate study. These include 30 computers, LaserJet printers, `hot-desk' facilities for around 50 students (including workstation facilities for students with disabilities), and 132 secure lockers. The Centre is a meeting place for postgraduate taught and postgraduate research students, and also has several areas to relax, socialise and network.
In addition to the Centre for Graduate Studies, the University has five major computer clusters, together with many smaller clusters. In total there are more than 10,000 PCs and workstations across the campus. All provide access to standard office software as well as specialist programs, and all are connected to the campus network and internet. Every student is registered for email, file storage and internet access. If more demanding computer access is required, our specialist computing division Manchester Computing can provide high-end and specialist computing services.
The University Library is one of the best-resourced academic libraries in the UK and is widely recognised as one of the world's greatest research libraries. We also have one of the largest academic IT services in Europe - supporting world-class teaching and research.
Practical support and advice for current students and applicants is available from the Disability Advisory and Support Service. Email: [email protected]