​​​The program aspires to train a select group of qualified researchers in linguistics and lexicography, with the special aim of addressing issues of Arabic language and the study of theoretical and applied linguistics. With this training, the program hopes to fill the gaps observed in the field of Arabic lexicography. 

The program aims to achieve the following objectives:

  • Mastering the epistemological, methodological and cognitive dimensions of Arabic linguistics and lexicography;
  • Achieving an inter-disciplinary understanding of the field, including making use of issues and analysis from other fields to develop the study of linguistics and lexicography;
  • Consolidating the concept of the unity of knowledge in the field, including between old and new ideas and practices, as well as across inter-connected disciplines;
  • Training students to approach questions and issues from multiple angles;
  • Linking theory with application, allowing both the examination of theory and applied results;
  • Utilizing the theoretical and practical knowledge in addressing practical issues of the Arabic language.

Much of the training is in line with the needs of the Doha Historical Dictionary of Arabic project, which will provide students with an opportunity to gain practical experience as well as make vital contributions to the endeavor through their master's research projects.

The program encompasses all components of the study of modern linguistics: phonology, morphology, lexicon, syntax, semantics, and pragmatics, in addition to the main components of lexicography and terminology and their applications. An inter-disciplinary approach is built into the program's structure, making use of courses in practical linguistics such as sociolinguistics, functional linguistics, discourse analysis, philosophy of language, and computational linguistics. Students will have the opportunity to elect courses of their choice.

The program is taught, designed, and administered by professors who are not only prominent in their fields of study, but have also made clear contributions to the development of theoretical linguistics, in Arabic lexicography, and in utilizing general linguistic knowledge to address issues pertaining to the Arabic language. 

Program Entry Requirements

The Linguistics and Arabic Lexicography program welcomes outstanding applicants who possess the skills and motivation required for graduate study. 

Students applying for this program must submit an application that includes, in addition to the documents required at the Institute level, the following:

1. A Bachelor's certificate or equivalent in one of the following disciplines: linguistics, Arabic language, or another language (e.g. English, French etc.), literature, or other related subjects

2. A transcript of grades demonstrating distinction in general academic performance and/or language related courses

3. Graduation thesis or research paper.

4. Certificate showing language competence required at the school level.

Before applying please ensure you have visited and understood the Admissions  requirements and procedures at the Institute level.


Aze-Eddine Bouchikhi
Head of Program and Professor (see full profile​)

Ahmed Makhoukh

Mohammed Balboul
Professor (see full pro​file)

Elias Atallah 
Professor (see full profile​)

Hassan Hamzé

Ashraf Abdelhay
Assistant Professor (see full profile)

Program Structure

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

A. Program Requirements - 15 credits:  

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. ​​​

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.​


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 - Disicplinary 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. 

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​anguage: This 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. 

Career Destinations

Upon completion of this program, graduates will obtain a degree in "Master of Social Sciences and Humanities in: Linguistics and Arabic Lexicography". 

​Graduates are expected to be qualified to pursue graduate studies at the PhD level, in addition to pursuing careers in organizations and institutions that focus on language and in the teaching and researching of linguistics more generally. Furthermore, graduates of this program in general, and of the lexicography concentration in particular, will be able to pursue careers in institutions concerned with lexicology and coining terms, such as the Doha Historical Dictionary of Arabic



Applicants may apply for the Linguistics and Arabic Lexicography program through an online application. Please review the Admissions Dates to ensure the application and all required documents are submitted before the deadline. 

Please visit the Apply page in order to start your application.

For any academic questions please contact the School of Social Sciences and Humanities.