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CL MA Courses

CL MA Courses

MA Courses

For information and guidelines regarding the duration of the course, the number of courses and credit requirement per semester, and eligibility requirements for the awarding of the degree and related matters, the students are advised to consult the relevant Academic Ordinances of the University. The students are advised to consult the course supervisor or Chairperson, if need be, at the time of registration every semester. Also, for any further details log on to


Given below is the list of courses offered by the Centre for students of M.A. in Linguistics. The students are advised to consult the students the faculty advisor or Chairperson, if need be, at the time of registration every semester.


List of Courses for M.A.

Course No.  Title     Credits
LE401L Introduction to Linguistics 4
LE402L Introduction to General Phonetics 4
LE403L Introduction to Socio-linguistics 4
LE404L Grammatical Theories and Models  4
LE405L Field Methods   4
LE406L Seminar  4
LE407L Semiotics and the Philosophy of Structures-I 4
LE408L Introduction to Psycholinguistics  4
LE409L Applied Linguistics 4
LE410L Phonological Analysis 4
LE411L Morphological and Syntactic Analysis 4
LE412L History of Linguistics    4
LE413L Semiotics and the Philosophy of Structures-II 4
LE414L Historical and Comparative Linguistics 4
LE415L Indian Grammatical Tradition 4
LE416L Semantics: Theories and Analysis 4
LE417L Introduction to Stylistics 4
LE418L Readings in Linguistics 4
LE419L Semiotics and the Philosophy of Structures-III    4
LE420L Language in Society 4
LE421L Introduction to Computational Linguistics 4
LE422L Introduction to Natural Language Processing 4
LE423L Artificial Intelligence/Programming in Prolog 4
LE424L Linguistics and the Human Sciences 4
LE448L Language Typology  4
LE453L  Pragmatics 4
LE460L   Acoustics and Experimental Phonetics 4
LE463L   Introduction to Phonetics and Phonology  4
LE465L   Writing Grammars 4
LE469L   Semiotics of Conceptual Structures & Discourse Analysis 4
LE472L   Study of Speech Sounds 4
LE486L   Generative Morphology 4
LE487L   Generative Syntax 4
LE488L   Generative Syntax-II  4
LE498L   Introducing Biolinguistics 4
LE499L   Optimality Theory 4
LE495L   Language, Mind and Brain Studies  4
LE500L Post Structuralist Approaches to Language and Culture 4


Descriptions of some of the courses regularly Offered to the students of M.A. Linguistics



LE 401 L               Introduction to Linguistics

The course introduces students to the basics of Linguistics. It quashes many myths about language. Concepts such as Langue and Parole, linguistic sign, Relativity, Sign language are discussed. Biological encoding of language, how we differ from other species, what are language universals, and what is the connection between linguistic diversity and biodiversity are some of the issues discussed. Some other salient features of the course are the study of language and brain, language and politics, how language is manifested in society, how language survives, changes and evolves in a contact situation. The course gives a fair idea of the areas that modern linguistics addresses to.


LE 463 L               Introduction to Phonetics & Phonology

The course aims at introducing the basic principles and tenets of General Phonetics and Phonology. Students develop proficiency in recognizing, transcribing, and reproducing speech sounds. The later half of the course will be concerned with the function, behaviour and organization of sounds of linguistics units. Students will be introduced to simple phonological rule writing. The course is designed to train students in solving simple phonological problems and help them understand the crucial theoretical issues concerning phonetics and phonology.


LE 411 L               Introduction to Morphological and Syntactic Analysis

Language design and morphology. Identification of morphemes; distribution of morphemes; morphological structure and its analysis. Analysis of grammatical categories. Concentration on the basic syntactic constructions, the major hypotheses, and the argumentation techniques that have played a major role in the development of generative  grammar.


LE 410 L               Phonological Analysis

Basic understanding of the fundamental concepts of generative phonology. Distinctive feature theory and formulation of phonological rules. Examination of phonological structure of nature languages. Exercises in phonological descriptions. The empirical justification of phonological analysis. Argumentation.


LE 405 L               Field Methods

The course provides a methodology for collection and analysis linguistic data for the determination of phonological, morphological and syntactic systems of lesser known languages of India through the use of native informants. Students are also trained to prepare small dictionaries and sociolinguistic profiles. The course involves a field trip to appropriate language areas to collect first-hand information.


LE 409 L               Applied Linguistics

Some of the major areas of application of linguistics are introduced with a focus on one or more of the following:

Language teaching analysisTheory and practice. The concept of pedagogical grammars; impact of linguistic theory and analysis in the area of language pedagogy; the concept of mother tongue, SL and FL; the development of structural models/techniques followed by communicative models/ approaches to the teaching of MT, SL and FL; error analysis and contrastive analysis in language pedagogy; use of audio-visual aids, language labs and computer aided technology in language teaching; testing and evaluation principles and procedures.

Translation: Provides an overview of translatology and linguistic theory of translation. Particular emphasis is laid on interlingual literary translation with forms in context, problems of translation such as loss and gain, culture, transfer, structural and semantic equivalence, etc.

Lexicography and lexicology: Principles, problems and procedures in writing mono/bi/multilingual dictionaries, encyclopaedic dictionaries.

Speech and Language Pathology: Provides an overview of the various kinds of communication disorders, both developmental and acquired; procedures and tests currently in use in speech/language clinics for assessment, diagnosis and therapy/ remedial process.


LE 469 L               Semiotics of Conceptual Structures and Discourse Analysis

The Abelardian semiotics of the twelfth century. The idealist Cartesian theories of sign and proposition. The empirical theories of the hypothetical evolution of signification of Condillac and Destutt de Tracy. Modern philosophers of language: Merleau-Ponty, Jacques Lacan, Michel Foucault, L. Althusser, J. P. Sartre. The Marxist distinction of the real object and the object of knowledge. Nature and culture. Linguistic competence and discourse competence. Collective, unconscious acquisition of language and the individual, conscious creative process of discourse.

LE 462 L               Chomskyan Syntax – Theory and Analysis

This course examines the origins and assumptions, and attempts theoretical evaluation of Chomskyan transformational syntax from his Syntactic Structures (1957) to Barriers (1986). It will focus primarily on the current state of the theory popularly called `Government and Binding’ including developments till mid-nineties. The course is intended to train the students in using the categories of this theory to analyse the syntax of Indian languages.


LE 460 L               Acoustics and Experimental Phonetics

This course provides an introduction to the various techniques currently in use in the study of speech sounds. Although the thrust is on analysis and study of the acoustic aspect of speech sounds the programme includes experimental methods & techniques used in articulatory phonetics as well. The students are familiarized with spectral patterns, a study of formant patterns, voice and harmonics using spectrography.


LE 404 L               Grammatical Theories and Models

The concept of paradigm, paradigm shift and development of theories & models. Traditional, philosophical study of language leading to the 19th century historicism; prescriptivism to descriptivism in the beginning of the 20th century; empiricism and rationalism, behaviourism and cognitivism, innate hypothesis and universal grammar. A study of models beginning with empiricists’ structural descriptive grammars to TG grammars; Semantic grammars, socio semantic Systemic Grammar, and communicative function oriented models of grammars.


LE 416 L               Semantics: Theories & Analysis

What is meaning? The relation of meaning to grammar, and how it is to be accommodated in an overall model of linguistic organization. Semantic fields, lexical semantics, componential analysis, dictionaries, semantic universals, semantic roles, speech act semantics, conversational implicature and such other topics are dealt with. Indian, American and European theories of meaning are surveyed critically.


LE 456 L                Sociolinguistics 

This course provides an introduction to the kinds of problems sociolinguistics deals with and the theories and methods of analysis which have been developed to handle these problems. Special emphasis is laid on multilingualism, language maintenance and shift, language planning and standardization with reference to Indian languages.


LE 496L           Developmental Psycholinguistics

I.Theories, Models  and Approaches to the study of early speech and language development. Cognitive Linguistics and Biological Foundations of Language: Chomsky and Lenneberg. Innate Hypothesis, Language University and the notion of Competence.

How is language acquired? principles and Parameters Hypothesis.

II.Clinical (development) Psycholinguistics: How is language acquired in case of Hearing Impaired? A brief introduction to Sign Language. Developmental disorders of communication – Dyslexia, Aphasia, Stuttering & Stammering; Assessment, Evaluation, Therapeutic procedures.

III. Language, Culture and Cognition: The Sapir – Whorf Hypothesis, Lexical and Grammatical influences on Cognition, Linguistic Universals; Perceptual, Cognition and Social categories.




Introduction to Biolinguistics

This course proposes to introduce the subject matter beginning with the biological nature of language and its importance for the study of human mind and brain. The course is organized around the following questions:

What does language tell us about human brain and mind? In what sense is it species specific? These questions are discussed in the context of:

  1. Acquisition of speech and language
  2. Sign language and its acquisition
  3. Speech and language disorders
  4. Core properties of human language, and core properties of mathematical skills.
  5. Evolution of brain and evolution of language.
  6. Genes and language/speech


LE 471 L               Cognitive Linguistics

Teaching is done under 3 board areas:

Neuro-linguistics and Aphasiology
First Language Acquisition
Cognitive semantics.

Under the last, we discuss: Iconicity, Metaphor, Categorisation, Cultural Models in Language and Cognition, Grammar as a conceptual organising system (including Language and Spatial Cognition).


LE 448 L               Language Typology

The course aims at studying the basic question of contemporary linguistics: in what ways do languages differ, and in what ways are they all alike? Attempt is made to examine the existing classificatory models and criteria for their evaluation as well as for the construction of viable alternatives. Common morphological devices and their syntactic correlations are examined. Specific topics may include word formation processes, reduplication, ergativity, agreement, case marking, word order, syntactic and phonological systems etc. Data will be largely drawn from Indian languages.


LE 496 L                Neurolinguistics and Language disorders

I. Brain: Structure and Function. Cerebral Dominance, Lateralization and Distributed Function. Presentation of Language in Brain: Biolinguistics and Connectionists' Models and Approaches.

II. Issues in Neurolinguistics and Aphasiology: Models of Brain - Language relationship: Classical Connectionist Model, Hierarchical Models, Global Models, Process Models.

III. Brain Pathology and Language Breakdown: Aphasia and its classification, Linguistic account of Aphasia, Clinical Aphasiology. - an overview. Dyslexya and its classification - an overview. Case Studies and interpretation of language of aphasics and dyslexics.


Numbers have to be assigned to the following new courses:


LEL                        Language Technology

The Course introduces the students the basics of data analysis and design, selection of software, introduction to databases, data formats and standards, creation of metadata, fundamentals of sound and video recording and editing techniques, tools for transcribing, archiving issues and annotation issues. Exercise in Semantic extraction using LFG and syntactic structures.


LEL                        Language Documentation and Description

As many as half of the world’s languages are endangered as they have ceased to be transferred to the next generation. A rough estimate is that out of the 6000 living languages approximately 50% of them will vanish from this earth without being recorded. The linguists around the world have pledged to document these endangered languages. The course will introduce the concepts of documentation and description of languages, the relationship between the two, and their relevance for linguistics and other disciplines. Documentation will embrace information and communication technologies to create digital sound and video recordings, to integrate them with text and other explanatory or analytical linguistic material. The course also discusses fundamental issues that are involved in describing and documenting the Indian languages. Various methodologies that are employed by linguists around the globe will be discussed. Detail discussion on the ethics of language description and documentation, especially with reference to documenting marginalized and endangered languages will be made. Special software developed for documentation in Europe will be considered and modified for the use of Indian languages.


LEL                        Documenting Lexicons

Mode of evaluation: One Mid-Semester test and a submission of a small dictionary of 1000 words drawn from the field data.

A practical course to give training in producing professional looking dictionary using time-tested sophisticated computational tools, such as SIL’s Toolbox and Lexware. Systematic extraction of lexical databases using these tools to generate a comprehensive compilation of lexical knowledge. Students will be taught how to use digitized audio, video and still picture files for illustrations, exemplify each lexical item with interlinear translation of field-data, assign appropriate semantic fields, record phonetic and sociolinguistic variations and etymological and historical facts if available, and recognize morphemic breaks and grammatical categories. The course will be of immense help in bringing out field-dictionaries. It will also train students to prepare comparative dictionary of more than two languages of the same family or of different families. The issue of incorporating different scripts associated with each language will also be considered.

A warm welcome to the modified and updated website of the Centre for East Asian Studies. The East Asian region has been at the forefront of several path-breaking changes since 1970s beginning with the redefining the development architecture with its State-led development model besides emerging as a major region in the global politics and a key hub of the sophisticated technologies. The Centre is one of the thirteen Centres of the School of International Studies, Jawaharlal Nehru University, New Delhi that provides a holistic understanding of the region.

Initially, established as a Centre for Chinese and Japanese Studies, it subsequently grew to include Korean Studies as well. At present there are eight faculty members in the Centre. Several distinguished faculty who have now retired include the late Prof. Gargi Dutt, Prof. P.A.N. Murthy, Prof. G.P. Deshpande, Dr. Nranarayan Das, Prof. R.R. Krishnan and Prof. K.V. Kesavan. Besides, Dr. Madhu Bhalla served at the Centre in Chinese Studies Programme during 1994-2006. In addition, Ms. Kamlesh Jain and Dr. M. M. Kunju served the Centre as the Documentation Officers in Chinese and Japanese Studies respectively.

The academic curriculum covers both modern and contemporary facets of East Asia as each scholar specializes in an area of his/her interest in the region. The integrated course involves two semesters of classes at the M. Phil programme and a dissertation for the M. Phil and a thesis for Ph. D programme respectively. The central objective is to impart an interdisciplinary knowledge and understanding of history, foreign policy, government and politics, society and culture and political economy of the respective areas. Students can explore new and emerging themes such as East Asian regionalism, the evolving East Asian Community, the rise of China, resurgence of Japan and the prospects for reunification of the Korean peninsula. Additionally, the Centre lays great emphasis on the building of language skills. The background of scholars includes mostly from the social science disciplines; History, Political Science, Economics, Sociology, International Relations and language.

Several students of the centre have been recipients of prestigious research fellowships awarded by Japan Foundation, Mombusho (Ministry of Education, Government of Japan), Saburo Okita Memorial Fellowship, Nippon Foundation, Korea Foundation, Nehru Memorial Fellowship, and Fellowship from the Chinese and Taiwanese Governments. Besides, students from Japan receive fellowship from the Indian Council of Cultural Relations.