MA Linguistics

The Master's program Linguistics conveys in-depth and reflected knowledge of current linguistic theories and methods and offers possibilities of building a scientific profile in the areas of text and discourse processing, typology and fieldwork, language change, and sign language research. Students acquire skills in independent research and interdisciplinary work. The MA Linguistics is a consecutive program building upon a Bachelor's program in linguistics or philology.

Degree Master of Arts (M.A.) on "Linguistics"
Regular duration 4 semesters
Options single degree or double degree
Start winter or summer term
Teaching language the degree can be completed in English (German is not a language requirement); the program contains courses offered in English and German.
Admission restricted (application to the faculty)

The Master's program is based on the two major pillars of modern linguistic research: (a) dedication to the analytical study of language; (b) use of precise experimental and observational methods.

Starting with solid empirical and theoretical foundations, the program then offers four research areas as part of the profile-building domain, provided as elective modules: text analysis and discourse processing, typology and fieldwork, language change, sign languages & visual communication:


O-phase: About MA-Linguistics

Overview sheet MA Linguistics (2023)
Orientation-Phase 2022: General information about MA Linguistics (video)



modern theories of linguistics, such as minimalism, formal semantics, optimality theory, distributed morphology, constraint-based grammars, discourse representation theory; solid foundations in generative syntax and formal semantics; student participation in a rich agenda of scientific events organized by the LinG, in particular within the research training group Form-Meaning Mismatches.


methods of data collection by means of corpora and experiments; statistic modelling (descriptive and inferential statistics) and visualization; applications to different types of data, e.g., psycholinguistic experiments, historical data, phonetic data, field experiments, phylogenetic methods, etc.

Foreign language skills are very important for linguistic reflection. A particularly broad spectrum of languages can be selected through the courses offered by the Linguistics Department as well as other departments of the Faculty of Humanities and the University of Göttingen.

Advice and recommendations

  • For the language competence modules, at least one module totaling at least 6 C must be successfully completed (see list in the study regulations).
  • When choosing courses, please note that English courses are not creditable.
  • Please note that some courses can only be started in the winter term.
  • Courses can only be credited for one module.
  • For double degree students: language courses that are part of the core curriculum of the second subject are not additionally creditable.

German courses

You find more information about German language courses for international students in the following website

or the DaF webpage at:

Map of language modules


The imported modules of the MA Linguistics contain the languages on the map (represented by a dot in the country of origin). The courses are not offered every term; please consult the term program for current offers. The courses are offered by the different departments and institutions of the Faculty of Humanities. The language of instruction is German or English, please consult the term program for more details (in general, most language courses of the Institute for General Linguistics or the English Department are offered in English; most language courses of other departments are offered in German). Further eligible courses are offered by the Center for Languages and Key Qualifications (ZESS) at the University of Göttingen (not listed below).

List of languages

The following languages are part of the imported modules of the studies program:

Altorientalistik (B.AO): Sumerian; Akkadian;

Allg. Sprachwissenschaft (B.ASp): Ancient Greek; Modern Greek dialects; Vedic; Armenian; Lithuanian; Old Irish; Dan; Urum; Yucatec Maya; Georgian; Cabécar (temporary offers within the BA or the certificate program).

Ägyptologie und Koptologie (B.AegKo): Middle Egyptian; Coptic;

Antike Kulturen (B.Antik): Hebrew; Syriac; Aramaic; Ugaritic; Greek;

Arabistik (B.Antik): Arabic; Classical Arabic;

Ethnologie (B.Eth): Bahasa Indonesia; New Guinea Pidgin; Pilipino; Swahili; Vietnamese;

Evangelische Religion (B.EvRel): New Testament Greek;

Finnougristik (B.Fin): Finnish; Hungarian;

Klassische Philologie (B.Gri, B.Lat): Latin; Modern Greek;

Indologie (B.Ind): Sanskrit; Hindi;

Iranistik (B.Ira): Modern Persian; Kurdish; Klassische Philologie (B.Gri, B.Lat): Latin;

Skandinavistik (B.Ska): Danish; Norwegian; Swedish; Icelandic;

Slavistik (B.Slav): Russian; Polish; Czech; Bulgarian; Bosnian-Croatian-Serbian; Ukrainian; Old Church Slavonic;

Turkologie (B.Tur): Turkish;

Deutsche Philologie (SK.NL): Dutch;

Romanistik (B.Port/Spa/Ita/Frz): Romanian; Catalan; Italian; Portuguese; Spanish; Galician; Sardinian; French.

Text analysis and discourse processing

Text linguistics and discourse theory, linguistic properties of texts and discourses on all levels of grammar and pragmatics, discourse representation, similarities and differences between literary and non-literary texts, cognitive models of textual understanding or methods of automatic text evaluation; also connected to the research activities and the events at the Göttingen Center Text Structures.

Typology and fieldwork

World's languages, fieldwork on understudied languages, theories of language variation and methods of data collection and analysis, field methods and language documentation, universals and typology, language variation and human cognition, Germanic, Romance, and Slavic languages, Mesoamerican languages, African languages, Caucasian languages, minority languages of Europe.

Language change

Language change, methods of current historical linguistics, dynamic processes in a speech community, relationship between synchronic and diachronic variation; various approaches (e.g., grammaticalization theory, quantitative historical linguistics, dialectometry, phylogenetic modelling), corpus linguistics, and language change, Ancient Indo-European languages, diachronic change in Germanic, Romance, Slavic, and Greek.

Sign languages and visual communication

Structure of sign languages and gestures accompanying language, impact of modality on the structure of languages and their communicative use; methods of video-based data collection and analysis for research into visual-gestural forms of communication, approaches to the analysis of phenomena in sign language (grammar and pragmatics), evolution and typology of sign languages, theories of the interaction of language and gesture in the context of visual communication; The Experimental Sign Language Lab.

This study program targets a qualification for independent scientific work:
  • students acquire scientific methods and analytical procedures in small groups with intensive interaction and team reflection;
  • they can develop their own projects in "independent research" components, which offer them the possibility to individualize their study program, to acquire crucial skills supervised by the lecturers, to include interships inside or outside the university or to organize collaborative research activities.
  • they are integrated in the research community of the LinG and participate to various scientific events (international talks on a weekly basis, workshops, summer schools);
  • they train their skills in conducting scientific studies and presenting their results in workshops and conferences

This degree program can be studied with four different options:
  • Core subject studies totalling 78 credits (mono-master)
  • Core subject studies totalling 42 credits
    in combination with one module package (subsidiary subject) totalling 36 credits
  • Core subject studies totalling 42 credits
    in combination with two module packages (subsidiary subjects) totalling 18 credits each
  • Module package (subsidiary subject studies) totalling 36 or 18 credits
    in combination with a core program totalling 42 credits

STUD-perspectives The program qualifies graduates for work in the field of linguistic research and for work outside of research institutes that require a scientifically founded approach to languages and language structures (research administration, media, publishing houses, educational institutes, information technology, culture management, etc.). In addition, the program provides the basis for research work during doctoral studies. Visit our website on Perspectives after linguistics for further details.

Module responsibilities are shared by:
Marco Coniglio
Dpt. of German Philology
Anke Holler
Dpt. of German Philology
Uwe Junghanns
Dpt. of Slavic Philology
Götz Keydana
Institute for Linguistics
Guido Mensching
Dpt. of Romance Philology
Nina-Kristin Pendzich
Dpt. of German Philology
Stavros Skopeteas
Institute for Linguistics
Markus Steinbach
Dpt. of German Philology
Clemens Steiner-Mayr
English Department
Thomas Weskott
Dpt. of German Philology
Hedzer Hugo Zeijlstra
English Department

Further Information

information for teachers