German linguistics (2016/2017)

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Course code
Name of lecturer
Birgit Alber
Birgit Alber
Number of ECTS credits allocated
Academic sector
Language of instruction
II SEMESTRE dal Feb 27, 2017 al Jun 10, 2017.

Lesson timetable

Learning outcomes

On successful completion of this seminar students will be able to
- describe the most prominent features of the prosodic morphology of German;
- understand scientific articles related to the topic of the seminar;
- perform simple analyses of phenomena in the realm of prosodic morphology;
- present the results of individual research convincingly and with appropriate presentation tools (power-point, hand-outs, final papers etc.)

On completion of this course, students' German language skills correspond to the C2 level of the CEFR.


Prosodic Morphology - Theoretical models and contrastive analysis

The topic of this seminar is the interaction of morphology and prosodic phonology. We discuss phenomena where the form of a morpheme is determined by prosodic principles (e.g. name truncations such as Andi-Andreas in German, Andri-Andrea in Italian and Rob-Robert in English) as well as phenomena where the selection of a morpheme depends on prosodic restrictions (e.g. the affixation of the suffix -heit in German, limited to stressed syllables). These phenomena are analyzed in the theoretical framework of Optimality Theory.
It is expected that students analyze certain phenomena of prosodic morphology and present the results of their analysis in class.
Part of the seminar is co-taught with Prof. Sabine Arndt-Lappe from the University of Trier.
This course is taught in German.

- Alber, Birgit. 2014. Entry 'Optimalitätstheorie'. In S. J. Schierholz & H. E. Wiegand et al., (eds.), Wörterbücher zur Sprach- und Kommunikationswissenschaft (WSK) Online. De Gruyter, Berlin.
- Alber, Birgit & Sabine Arndt-Lappe. 2012. Templatic and subtractive truncation. In: J. Trommer (ed.), The Morphology and Phonology of Exponence. Oxford University Press, Oxford. 289-325.
- McCarthy, John e Alan Prince 2001. Prosodic Morphology. In: A. Spencer e A. Zwicky (eds.), The Handbook of Morphology, Blackwell, Oxford, 283-305.

[part of the relevant literature and additional material are available on the e-learning platform of the course]

Assessment methods and criteria

Students which attend classes regularly are offered the possibility to give in-class presentations and to write a term paper. Students which do not attend class regularly can take an oral exam. In presentations and term papers or in the oral exam students are expected to apply methodologies and expertise acquired during the seminar to linguistic phenomena. Students are admitted to exams only after completing their C2 level of language competence.