The MA programme in a nutshell
The master's programme in General Linguistics is offered by the Chair of General Linguistics at the Otto-Friedrich-Universität Bamberg. Linguistics in Bamberg is oriented towards empirical research, with a focus on lesser-studied languages. Students combine courses in general and theoretical issues with more practically-oriented courses in e.g. linguistic fieldwork, corpus linguistics, and language documentation. Theoretical modelling plays a minor role in our research and teaching, but is not entirely precluded. Major areas within linguistics represented in Bamberg are linguistic typology, the documentation of endangered languages, language contact and the study of regional and minority languages. Regional foci in Bamberg are the Middle East and the South Pacific; nonetheless, the methodological orientation of our teaching and research is open to any natural language and the overall commonalities and differences between the languages of the world are our primary concern.
Focus areas in teaching are the study of linguistic systems, in particular diverse grammatical systems, language variation and change, linguistic diversity as well as questions concerning the methodological foundations of empirical linguistics. Detailed descriptions of individual study modules and their specific content as well as an outline of the overall structure of the programme can be found in the Module handbook for the master's programme General Linguistics and also on the page Structure and content.
Incorporating ongoing research in our teaching
Academic staff at the Chair of General Linguistics are involved in a range of research projects in linguistics and in numerous international collaborations. Research questions and results from ongoing or recent work is also part of our teaching. Moreover, students have the opportunity to conduct first-hamd research based on larger quantities of language data collected by Bamberg researchers and collaborating colleagues. This allows students to get first-hand experience in linguistic research during their udnergraduate studies. This is particularly relevant in regards to our research contributions in the newly emerging area of corpus-based typology and the corpus building project MultiCAST. Students are generally encouraged to conduct their own research, with generous opportunity for supervision and consultation, which provides an ideal preparation for the Master's thesis.