SOAS University of London

Department of Linguistics, School of Languages, Cultures and Linguistics

MA Language Documentation and Description (2018 entry)

Select year of entry: 2019 2018

duration:
One calendar year (full-time), two or three years (part-time, daytime only)

Fees 2018/19

UK/EU fees:
£9,225
Overseas fees:
£18,980

Fees for 2018/19 entrants. This is a Band 1 fee. The fees are per academic year. Please note that fees go up each year. Further details can be found in the Fees and Funding tab on this page or in the Registry Postgraduate Tuition Fees page

Entry requirements

  • Upper-second class degree (or equivalent)
  • Interview Policy: Candidates with ‘non-standard’ qualifications usually invited

Featured events

  • Overview
  • Structure
  • Teaching and Learning
  • Fees and funding
  • Apply

Overview

Venue: Russell Square: College Buildings

Start of programme: September intake only

Mode of Attendance: Full-time or Part-time

Today, there are around 6-7,000 languages spoken in the world and it is widely agreed that at least half of those are under threat of extinction within 50 to 100 years. Language documentation is a new sub-discipline within linguistics that has emerged as a response to the growing crisis of language endangerment. It emphasises data collection methodologies, in two ways: first, in encouraging researchers to collect and record a wide range of linguistic phenomena in genuine communicative situations; and secondly, in its use of high quality sound and video recording to make sure that the results are the best possible record of the language.

The MA programme in Language Documentation and Description is intended for students who wish to specialise in the documentation and description of languages, with a focus on minority and endangered languages. This specialist MA is characterised by an integrated core of subject offerings that are oriented around issues in language documentation and description, plus a series of options in linguistics, applied linguistics, and language studies.

The programme is formulated with two main pathways:

MA Language Documentation and Description [Language Support and Revitalisation] provides an introductory overview of the study of language as well as modules geared at enabling students to support endangered and minority language communities in a number of ways. This pathway is open to students with or without a background in linguistics.

MA Language Documentation and Description [Field Linguistics] provides students with a sound knowledge of state-of-the-art methods and technology for language documentation and description with an emphasis on endangered and minority languages. This pathway is open to students who already hold an undergraduate major in linguistics/applied linguistics, or an MA in linguistics.

Convenors

Structure

The MA Language Documentation and Description (LDD) consists of three components: core modules, optional modules  and dissertation research. This degree programme is formulated with two different pathways; one specialising in Language Support and Revitalisation and the other specialising in Field Linguistics.

Regardless of the pathway they chose, all students must take 180 credits.  They will take 60 credits as core modules, 60 credits on optional modules and submit a Masters dissertation worth 60 credits at the end of the year. The MA may be taken part-time, over two or three years, and there is a possibility for transferring between the two pathways for part-time students.

Dissertation

Compulsory for all students.

Module Code Credits Term Availability
Dissertation in Linguistics 15PLIC999 60 Full Year

Taught Component (Language Support & Revitalisation)

This pathway is open for full-time study to students with or without a BA in linguistics and provides an introductory overview of the study of language as well as modules geared at enabling students to support endangered and minority language communities in a number of ways.

Core Modules

Students will take the following three core modules:

Module Code Credits Term Availability
Introduction to the Study of Language 15PLIC008 30 Full Year
Applied Language Documentation and Description 15PLIH024 15 Term 1
Language support and revitalisation 15PLIH033 15 Term 2
Guided Options

Students will take modules to the value of 30 credits from the list below.

Open Options

Students will take modules to the value of 30 credits from the postgraduate open options lists.

Taught Component (Field Linguistics)

This pathway is open to students with a BA in Linguistics or equivalent and provides students with a sound knowledge of state-of-the-art methods and technology for language documentation and description with an emphasis on endangered and minority languages. 

Core Modules

Students will take the following three core modules:

Module Code Credits Term Availability
Field Methods 15PLIC019 30 Full Year
Applied Language Documentation and Description 15PLIH024 15 Term 1
Descriptive Linguistics 15PLIH043 15 Term 1
Guided Options

Students will take modules to the value of 30 credits from the list below.

Open Options

Students will take modules to the value of 30 credits from the postgraduate open options lists.

List of Linguistics Modules (subject to availability)

Module Code Credits Term Availability
Advanced Phonology 15PLIH042 15 Term 2
Advanced Syntax (Masters) 15PLIH008 15 Term 2
Applied Linguistics and Language Pedagogy 15PLIC015 30 Full Year Not Running 2018/2019
Arabic Linguistics and Language Pedagogy 15PLIH050 15 Term 2 Not Running 2018/2019
Concepts and Practice of Subtitling 15PLIH048 15 Term 2
Conference Interpreting (English/Chinese) 15PLIH051 15 Term 1
Descriptive Linguistics 15PLIH043 15 Term 1
Directed Readings in Linguistics/the Structure of Language A 15PLIH001 15 Term 1
Directed Readings in Linguistics/the Structure of Language B 15PLIH002 15 Term 2
Dynamic Syntax (Masters) 15PLIH031 15 Term 2 Not Running 2018/2019
Field Methods 15PLIC019 30 Full Year
Historical Linguistics (Masters) 15PLIH020 15 Term 1
Intercultural Communication and Interaction 15PLIH054 15 Term 1
Intercultural communication research in action 15PLIH055 15 Credits - Not Running 2018/19
Introduction to the Study of Language 15PLIC008 30 Full Year
Issues in Semantics (Masters) 15PLIH012 15 Term 2
Language Planning and Policy 15PLIH032 15 Term 2
Language support and revitalisation 15PLIH033 15 Term 2
Language, Society and Communication (Masters) 15PLIH004 15 Term 2
Linguistic Typology (Masters) 15PLIH015 15 Term 2
Morphology (Masters) 15PLIH006 15 Term 1 Not Running 2018/2019
Phonetics (PG) 15PLIH045 15 Term 2 Not Running 2018/2019
Phonology (Masters) 15PLIH041 15 Term 1
Practical Translation Arabic into English 15PLIH052 15 Term 1
Practical Translation English into Arabic 15PLIH053 15 Term 2
Psychology of Language (Masters) 15PLIH005 15 Term 2 Not Running 2018/2019
Second Language Acquisition and Bilingualism 15PLIH038 15 Term 1 Not Running 2018/2019
Syntax (Masters) 15PLIH040 15 Term 1
Topics in Lexical Semantics (MA) 15PLIH003 15 Term 1 Not Running 2018/2019
Topics in the Structure of Chinese (Masters) 15PLIH009 15 Term 2
Translation Technology 15PLIH049 15 Term 1
Translation Theory 15PLIH047 15 Term 1

 

This is the structure for applicants

If you are a current student you can find structure information on Moodle or through your Department.

Programme Specification

Important notice

The information on the programme page reflects the intended programme structure against the given academic session. Please read the important notice regarding changes to programmes and modules.

Teaching and Learning

Teaching & Learning

Knowledge
  • Familiarity with the basic concepts and assumptions of different theoretical frameworks in the discipline, and the ability to critically question and evaluate these assumptions.
  • Acquiring a solid foundation in ‘core’ areas of language documentation.
  • Familiarity with the relevant conventions and methodology applicable to work with both raw linguistic data and existing linguistic descriptions.
Intellectual (thinking) skills
  • The ability to formulate appropriate linguistic problems, propose and evaluate analyses and present evidence (for and/or against) these analyses.
  • Knowledge of how to assess data and evidence critically from the literature and original sources, how to formulate analyses and arguments within the system of concepts and assumptions in the discipline, how to solve problems of conflicting sources and conflicting interpretations.
Subject-based practical skills
  • Practising research techniques in specialised research libraries and through consultant work.
  • Retrieving and selecting information from a variety of linguistic sources.
  • Students should be familiar with the relevant conventions and methodology applicable to work with recording, transcribing and analyzing linguistic data.
Transferrable skills
  • Training in locating materials and using research sources (library holdings, ‘raw’ language data, periodicals, and the internet).
  • Structuring and communicating ideas effectively in writing
  • Questioning, understanding and evaluating competing proposals.

Fees and funding

Tuition Fees

Full details of postgraduate tuition fees can be found on the Registry's Postgraduate Tuition Fees page.

This is a Band 1 tuition fee.

Fees for 2018/19 entrants. The fees below are per academic year. Please note that fees go up each year. 

Full-time Part-time 2 Years Part-time 3 Years
UK/EU
Students
Overseas
Students
UK/EU
Students
Overseas
Students
UK/EU
Students
Overseas
Students
£9,225 £18,980 £4,613 £9,490 £3,075 £6,327
Scholarships

For further details and information on external scholarships visit the Scholarships section

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