Associate Professor and Head of the Department
P. Branigan

The degrees of Master of Arts and Doctor of Philosophy are offered in Linguistics.


1. The degree of Doctor of Philosophy is offered in the following areas:
a) Languages in which the Department has demonstrated expertise, especially languages of the Newfoundland and Labrador Area.
b) Historical and Comparative Linguistics.
c) Language Variation and Language Contact.

2. In order to be admitted to the Ph.D. in Linguistics, a student shall normally hold a Master's degree in Linguistics. In the case of a student who does not meet the above requirement but who holds a language-oriented Master's degree, a program of additional linguistics courses, supplementary to those normally considered to be required in the Ph.D. program, may be required.

3. The program of each candidate must be approved by the Dean of Graduate Studies upon the recommendation of the Supervisory Committee in consultation with the Head of the Department.

4. Candidates who fulfill the requirement in paragraph 2 and who otherwise possess the qualifications of Ph.D. candidates will embark on a program approved on an individual basis. This will normally include not less than 18 credit hours in graduate courses, at least 6 credit hours of which must be at the 7000-level.

5. Where needed, each program will include appropriate courses to ensure that the student will have completed 9 credit hours from graduate courses in each of two required fields selected from the following:
a) Phonetics and Phonology
b) Morphology and Syntax
c) Comparative and Historical Linguistics
d) Dialectology and Sociolinguistics

6. The comprehensive examination (see Regulation H.2. of the GENERAL REGULATIONS) includes two written and two oral examinations. Students must meet all language requirements prior to undertaking their comprehensive examination.

a) The written examinations consist of two separate research papers. These papers will be submitted to the Examination Committee. At least one of the papers must be in one of the core areas of phonetics/phonology, morphology, syntax or semantics. The topic selected for each paper must obtain the prior approval of the Graduate Studies Committee of the Department. In each of these papers, candidates must demonstrate knowledge of the literature on the topic selected, general mastery of the discipline of linguistics, and ability to undertake independent research.

b) The Examination Committee will examine the candidate orally, on each paper, within one month of submission. Questioning can be as wide-ranging as the committee deems necessary to ensure that the student displays a thorough and comprehensive knowledge of the area in question.

c) The Examination Committee shall consist of the Head of Department (or delegate) who shall chair the committee, the Supervisor, the Dean of Graduate Studies (or delegate), and other members necessary to satisfy General Regulation H.2.b., who may normally include the members of the Supervisory Committee. If the Head of Department is also a member of the Supervisory Committee, an additional representative of the department shall be appointed to chair the Examination Committee.

7. Initially, candidates must obtain approval for their Ph.D. thesis topics from the Graduate Studies Committee of the Department, in consultation with the Supervisory Committee. The thesis topic is normally selected before the end of the second full year in the program. Once the topic is approved, a more detailed thesis proposal must be presented to the Department in both written and oral format, and must receive formal departmental approval prior to the writing of the thesis.

8. Proficiency in a language other than the candidate’s first language will be required, as demonstrated by a minimum B grade in a second-year language course, or performance satisfactory to the department in an arranged reading proficiency test. A structural knowledge of a non-Indo-European language is also required, as demonstrated by a minimum B grade in a field methods/language structure course, or other performance satisfactory to the department. Depending on the program, a reading knowledge of one or more additional languages may be required. Students must meet all language requirements before undertaking their comprehensive examinations.

9. All Ph.D. students are advised to consult the Linguistics department’s Graduate Handbook for details on program requirements and for general information relating to the graduate program.


In accordance with Senate’s Policy Regarding Inactive Courses, courses which have not been offered in the previous three academic years and which are not scheduled to be offered in the current academic year have been removed from the following listing. For information about any of these inactive courses, please contact the Head of the Department.

A selection of the following graduate courses will be offered to meet the requirements of students, as far as the resources of the Department will allow. Full information is to be found in the Department's Graduate Brochure.

6001. Issues in Morphosyntax
6010. Linguistic Introduction to Cree I and II
6030-6031. Linguistic Introduction to Innuaimun (Montagnais/Naskapi) I & II
6110. Selected Topics in Transformational Grammar
6115. Topics in the Syntax of A Selected Language (Prerequisite: 6001 or 6110)
6151. Selected Topics in Applied Linguistics (Prerequisite: 6150)
6200. Generative Phonology
6201. Selected Topics in Phonology (Prerequisite: 6200)
6211. Sociolinguistics
6212. Selected Topics in Language and Gender
6300-09. Special Subjects
6400. Comparative and Historical Linguistics
6403. Etymology (cross listed as English 6403)
6411. Comparative Bantu (Prerequisites: 6400 Plus knowledge of at least one Bantu language)
6430. Selected Topics in Linguistic Variation (Prerequisite: 6211 or 6220)
6500. Field Methods
6700. Experimental Phonetics
6701. Selected Topics in Experimental Phonetics (Prerequisites: 6200, 6700)
6800. Selected Topics in Morphology
6880. Selected Topics in Semantics
6999. M.A. Research Project
7000. Seminar in Research Methods
7900-03. Special Topics in Linguistics

NOTE: Appropriate equivalent credits may be given for courses taken at the Summer Institute of the Linguistic Society of America, or a similar institute. Students are encouraged to attend these institutes: they should, however, consult the Head of the Department as to what courses may be appropriate for credit.

Last modified on June 4, 2003 by R. Bruce

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