The program provides the following skills:

  •  Train a select group of qualified graduate student to become researchers in linguistics and lexicography, with the special aim of addressing issues of Arabic language anchored in theoretical insights of applied linguistics in the field of lexicology.
  •  Address the gaps observed in the field of Arabic lexicography. 
  • Enhance intellectual autonomy and critical thinking skills
  • Provide graduate students with methodological tools and international standards of scientific research.

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 different layers of analysis from other fields to develop the study of linguistics and lexicography;
  • Consolidating the concept of the unity of knowledge in the field, including the intersecting categories of existing findings and new ideas and practices, as well as across inter-connected disciplines;
  •  Preparing 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.
  •  Bringing the lexicon/dictionary closer with society so that it can be both a mirror and a factor in its construction.
  •  Using contemporary linguistic theories to address issues related to lexicology.
  •  Utilizing modern linguistic theories and technologies in the development of Arabic lexicography.


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 making innovative contributions to the endeavor through their master's research projects. The program is aimed at students specializing in Arabic language, linguistics, lexicography, or closely related fields of study including foreign languages, translation, and any other possible cross-disciplinary areas. It is also designed for those whose careers depend on these disciplines and who can devote part of their time to study and research. More specifically, and for this category of students, the program aims to achieve the following objectives:


  • Deepening the disciplinary competence of students coming from the fields of linguistics and lexicography;
  • Fiilling their knowledge gaps in linguistics or lexicography, or both;
  • Drawing on current methodologies of linguistic and lexicographical analysis as well as benefiting from the insights provided  by computational linguistics and its potential for building linguistic corpora and other lexicographical work.;
  • Developing a solid theoretical and methodological foundation for students who wish to pursue a PhD programme in the field of lexicography and any other closely related field.
  • Illuminating rote learning namely the traditional methods of memorization common in some venues of Arab university education, and practicing instead creative and critical thinking habits;
  • Encouraging graduate students to undertake their own scientific research so as not to remain passive receivers of knowledge;
  • Training graduate students in making presentations of evidence-based arguments;
  • Providing experience-based training in the fields of lexicography and lexicology;


In line with the academic objectives of the Doha Institute based on the integration of teaching and learning with scientific research, the program of Linguistics and Arabic Lexicography seeks to graduate qualified academic researchers to practice scientific research according to international norms and standards in the fields of linguistics, lexicology, terminology and their related applications. Students are encouraged to engage with other related disciplines to broaden their critical thinking and deepen their scientific analysis of the phenomena and issues with which they deal.  It also seeks to graduate researchers who are able to employ their scientific knowledge and research expertise to meet the needs of the Arab world in linguistics and Arabic lexicography. Upon successful completion of the program, the students will be expected to have developed high proficiency and competence in linguistic analysis at all levels of inspection (semantics, syntax, morphology, pragmatics), and in the practice of scientific research to deal with issues related to the lexicon/dictionary and terminology in accordance with the ground-breaking theories and methods, and their use in further developing the Arabic lexicography and terminography.


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, the lexicon/dictionary and levels of language, and the lexicon/dictionary and the society. Students will have the opportunity to elect courses of their choice.


Graduate students' training meets all the requirements 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 their master's research projects.

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. 


Dr. Hassan Hamzé

Professor, head of program (see full profile)


Dr. Ahmed Makhoukh



Dr. Mohammed Balboul

Professor (see full pro file)


Dr. Elias Atallah 

Professor (see full profile )

Dr. Ashraf Abdelhay

Assistant Professor (see full profile)


Dr. Moataz Alsaid

Contracted Professor


Dr. Yahya Elhaj

Contracted Professor


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 degree or equivalent in one of the following disciplines: linguistics, Arabic language and its literature, or another language and its literature (e.g. English, French etc.), or any other closely related discipline

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

3. Graduation thesis or research paper.

4. English language is a graduation requirement. Students who do not have the level required in English should enroll in the English language classes provided by the DI and should successfully pass them.

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

Program Structure (42 Credits)

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


A. Program Requirements - 24 credits:  

Students will study the following seven core courses (3 credits for each):

LAL 611 Lexicology/Lexicography and 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 discusses the relationship between linguistics and the lexicon and between the aspects of language and its levels from a perspective of formal models of analysis of natural languages. 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. 

LAL 613 Lexicon/Dictionary and Computational Linguistics

This is an introductory course to computational linguistics which focuses on the processing of natural languages. It will review progress in the field and the benefits of applying computational techniques to linguistics and Arabic lexicography. The course focuses on how to use computer software to process larger corpora of texts with a view to equip students with effective and powerful research tools to enhance performance.  It also focuses on the automatic processing of the Arabic language and the evaluation of related software for syntactic and morphological analysis, spelling checker, software for building lexicons and terminology, and programs for building corpora. To download the syllabus for this course click here.

LAL 614 Lexicology : 

This course introduces modern lexicology and focuses on key theoretical principles, concepts and skills in the field. Basic concepts and skills will be drawn on to examine the challenges associated with the Doha Historical Dictionary of Arabic project.

LAL 615 Lexical Semantics : 

This course provides a general introduction to semantics with a focus on lexical semantics. It discusses issues related to lexical and semantic fields and how these can be drawn on to determine lexical regularities.

LAL 616 Flexional and Derivational 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 these will be viewed in comparison with other languages. Key theoretical morphological principles will be drawn on in the study of Arabic lexicography.

LAL 617 Lexicography : 

This course applies theoretical knowledge and skills acquired in the field of lexicology to modern Arabic lexicography. It deals with the shortcomings of modern Arabic dictionaries with a focus on issues related to order, marking, definition and others. The course intends to present a new view of lexicography through the discussion of selected examples. The course aims to transform lexicographical work from a hobby professional practice.


2 - Program Electives:

Students choose one of the following courses:

LAL 620 Terminology and Terminography

LAL 621 Philosophy of Language

LAL 622 Lexicon/Dictionary and Levels in Arabic

LAL 623 Lexicon/Dictionary and Society


3- Specialized English Language Course (non- credit Course): The School may offer a number of non-credit bearing courses which must be taken as a condition for graduation when required by the relevant program. Students must successfully pass the assignment for each course as a condition for graduation. These courses will also appear on the student's transcript but will not contribute to the student's GPA. Please see here for details.


B. School Requirements - 12 credits:

1- Cross - Disciplinary Course - 3 credits: 

The School offers one compulsory course at the School level, as a cross-disciplinary introduction to the study of social sciences and humanities. All programs are involved in the delivery and assessment of this course. Please visit the "Interdisciplinarity at SOSH " page for more details.


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 621 Philosophy of L language : This course will introduce students to the schools and approaches of linguistic analysis in the philosophy of language with a focus on logical positivism and ordinary language philosophy. The course also discusses theories of meaning and reference, speech acts theory, and Grice’s cooperative principle

LAL 620 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, translating, and standardizing Arabic terms in the context of the Arab world.

LAL 622 Lexicon/Dictionary and Levels in Arabic : This course examines the different levels of Arabic language with a focus on the standard and dialectal varieties of Arabic in earlier and modern periods. It also discusses the relation of Arabic to other 

LAL 623 the Lexicon and Society: This course considers the dictionary as a social product and not just as linguistic artifact. It looks at the dictionary as a way of understanding the values, history and culture of a linguistic community. The dictionary is a register of the triumph of particular uses and exclusion of others. 



C. Dissertation - 6 credits:

This segment of the degree program aims to enable students, through research and the writing and presentation of a dissertation, to demonstrate their achievement of the objectives of their study over the two years of the program, in 12,000-18,000 words. 

The dissertation examination consists of two parts; a marked assessment of the dissertation 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.