Program Structure

Course offerings may vary and are dependent on faculty availability, student demand and registration capacity.

A. Program Requirements- 24 credits:

Students are required to study five core courses of 3 credits each and 3 elective courses of 3 credits each in addition to one Non-credit School Graduation Requirement - 0 credits:

1 - Core Courses: Students are required to study the two courses (3 credits each) listed below:​

LAL 611 General Linguistics:  This course introduces the subject of linguistics and gives a general overview of the major methodological transformations that have taken place in contemporary linguistic research. It focuses on key concepts such as mind, the language faculty, universals and mediums, idealization, modeling, (mathematical) formalism, and epistemological flexibility. Students will gain a clear idea of the relationships between the components of language and their levels in the context of formal-mathematical models, and at the end of the course will be able to analyze natural language. DOWNLOAD FULL COURSE OUTLINE HERE. 

​LAL 612  Arabic Lexicography: This course provides a general introduction to Arabic lexicography. It concentrates on the development and methodologies of Arabic dictionary writing, and the extent to which these methodologies are able to meet the needs of a linguistic community. It also aims to elucidate efforts in Arabic terminology, with a focus on the various methodologies for writing terminological dictionaries. All of this is evaluated in terms of the principles of dictionary and terminology making while invoking the linguistic, scientific, and cultural space out of which these dictionaries emerged. DOWNLOAD FULL COURSE OUTLINE HERE. ​​​

Concentration Tracks: Students of this program may choose one of two concentration tracks. Two courses of 3 credits each will be required for each concentration track as follows: 

Concentration track 1: Linguistics

LAL 621 Phonology and Morphology: This course presents the phonetic structure of linguistic units and their relationship with morphological structure. It examines how phonological and morphological information is represented by different linguistic models and how to analyze these models and their outcomes. Particular focus is placed on dealing with Arabic–specific issues in phonology and morphology and in comparison with other languages. DOWNLOAD FULL COURSE OUTLINE HERE.

LAL 622 Syntax and Semantics: This course introduces the latest models of syntax and their applications to Arabic in comparison with other languages such as English, French, Chinese, and Russian. It deals with linguistic categories, phrase structure, linkage, coordination, declension and so on. It also introduces semantics from the latest linguistic perspectives and their application to Arabic as distinct from other languages, with a focus on the relationship between syntax and semantics. DOWNLOAD FULL COURSE OUTLINE HERE.

Concentration track 2: ​​​Arabic Lexicography​

LAL 631 Lexicology and Lexicography: This course introduces modern lexicology, and deals with the theoretical concepts that define the features of lexical phenomena (words and their uses) in contrast to grammatical or syntactical features (syntactical forms within sentences or texts). This course will focus on key concepts such as lexicology, the mental lexicon, the dictionary entry, etc. It will also introduce the principles of theoretical and applied lexicography, linking them with the project of the Doha Historical Dictionary of Arabic, the challenges and successes of the initiative, and at the same time will draw comparisons with international experiences in lexicography.​


LAL 632 Terminology and Terminography: This course introduces the modern science of terminology, its various principles, schools, and methods for the study of terminology and the many mechanisms for generating and translating technical terms. It focuses on clarifying the key concepts of the field, such as the difference between terminology and terminography and terminological assessment. It presents the principles of theoretical and applied terminography, gives training in the art of writing template terminological entries, and links this with the experiences of the Doha Historical Dictionary of Arabic project and its intended issues, while at the same time drawing comparisons with international experiences.​


Elective Courses 

Students choose one of the following courses:

LAL 641 Functional Linguistics and Discourse Analysis: This course presents the field of functional linguistics and reviews some of its function models and their relationship with the analysis of linguistic phenomena and discourse in its various modes—literary, political, declarative, etc. It also presents the theoretical linguistics framework that allows for such analysis to be reasonably sound such as functional grammar, functional discourse grammar, etc. The concepts and tools of formal analysis will also be reviewed along with applied models.

LAL 642 Theories of Communication and Translation: Students of this course will study the different types of communication theories, whilst focusing on theories of interpersonal communication, "communication in small groups", "communicating with the public", "electronic communication" and "cross-cultural communication". This course will then deal with translation theory whilst focusing on its importance, characteristics and various categories, in addition to highlighting the conditions that must be available for a translator, with a focus on the comparison between Arabic and English to demonstrate the differences between them. Special attention will also be given to translation in the age of modern technology and its role in communication between cultures and global civilizations. ​

LAL 643 Computational Linguistics: This course presents aspects of the relationship between linguistics and computer science. It will review progress in the field and the benefits of applying computation to language. It focuses on the computer processing of Arabic and assesses the software available for the practice, such as morphological and syntactical parsers, spellcheckers, and automatic vocalizers. It also concentrates on software for dictionary making, the extraction of keywords, corpus building and annotation, creating semantic ontologies, and so on. Attention is given to the diachronic treatment of languages and comparative approaches.

B. School Requirements - 15 credits:

1 - Extra - Disciplinary Courses - 6 credits:  Students are required to choose two courses of 3 credits each, from disciplines other than the one they are specializing in. Students choose these courses from another program in SOSH, where one of the courses must be a research methods or theory course. 

We encourage you to visit the pages of other programs for the list of courses offered by them. Students must also consult with their academic advisor and program before choosing the extra-disciplinary program and its’ corresponding courses. 

Please visit the “Interdisciplinarity at SOSH” page for more details about this course and its description.

2 - Interdisciplinary Courses - 6 credits: Each program allows students to enroll in courses of special interest, and of a cross-disciplinary nature, which are offered jointly with one or more other programs. Courses offered as interdisciplinary courses may vary and are dependent on faculty availability, student demand and registration capacity.

All students will choose two courses of 3 credits each from the list of interdisciplinary courses.  Please visit the “Interdisciplinarity at SOSH” page for more details about these courses and their descriptions. 

3 - Non-restricted Elective - 3 credits:  Students may choose one course of 3 credits from any program in any of the Schools/centers in the DI (including SPADE and CHS). Students may choose their elective from the courses offered by the Linguistics and Arabic Lexicography Program below:

LAL 641 Philosophy of L​anguageThis course introduces the major works related to the philosophy of language (Austen, Chris, Sorrel, Strawson, Wittgenstein, and others), with a focus on specific issues (speech acts, performative strength, dialogic obligation, requirement, transference, etc.).


4 - Non-credit School Graduation Requirement: All SOSH students must successfully complete two non-credit core compulsory courses offered at the School level as a cross-disciplinary introduction to the study of the social sciences and humanities.  Please visit the “Interdisciplinarity at SOSH ” page for more details about these courses and their descriptions.

C. Thesis - 6 credits:

 Semester Four of the program (i.e. the second semester of the second year) will be devoted to the researching and writing of a thesis on a topic related to the program. This will be an opportunity for students to focus on an area of study of their choice, demonstrating the knowledge and skills they have acquired during the preceding three semesters. Students will be assigned academic advisors to supervise their research. 

The thesis examination consists of two parts; a marked assessment of the thesis (12,000-18,000 words) by two examiners and an oral defense in front of an examination panel comprised of the same two examiners.