Master of Philosophy in General Linguistics and Comparative Philology

The regulations made by the Faculty of Linguistics, Philology and Phonetics are as follows:

  • 1. Candidates shall normally have a degree in a subject which has given them at least some experience of linguistic or philological work. Those intending to offer options chosen from C or D below should normally have, and may be required to demonstrate, some knowledge of the chosen (group of) language(s) and those intending to offer options chosen from C will normally be expected to be able to read secondary literature in French and German.

  • 2. Each candidate is required:

    • (a) to present himself or herself for written examination as defined in regulation 2 below;

    • (b) to deliver to the Examination Schools, High Street, Oxford, not later than noon on the Friday of the first week of the Trinity Term in the academic year in which he is examined, two copies of a thesis of not more than 25,000 words on the subject approved in accordance with regulation 5 below. The word limit excludes the bibliography, appendices consisting of a catalogue of data, any extensive text which is specifically the object of a commentary or linguistic analysis, and any translation of that text, but includes quotations and footnotes.

    • (c) to present himself or herself for an oral examination if and when required by the examiners.

  • 3. The examination shall consist of four parts:

    • (a) One general paper as indicated in A.

    • (b) Three papers which must be chosen from those listed in B or must be those listed in C or those listed in D.

    A. Linguistic Theory.

    B.

    • (i) Phonetics and Phonology.

    • (ii) Syntax.

    • (iii) Semantics.

    • (iv) Historical and comparative linguistics.

    • (v) Psycholinguistics and Neurolinguistics.

    • (vi) History and structure of a language.

    • (vii) Experimental Phonetics.

    • (viii) Sociolinguistics.

    • (ix) Computational Linguistics.

    • (x) Any one option from those offered as C options for the M.St. in English Language.

    • (xi) Any other subject which, from time to time, the Faculty of Linguistics, Philology and Phonetics at its own discretion may consider suitable.

  • C.

    • (i) The comparative grammar of two Indo-European languages or language groups.

    • (ii) The historical grammar of the languages or language groups selected.

    • (iii) Translation from, and linguistic comment upon, texts in the languages selected.

  • D.

    • (i) The history of one [For students starting before MT 2016: or two languages.] [For students starting from MT 2016: language, or of two or more historically related languages.]

    • (ii) The structure of the language or languages selected.

    • (iii) [For students starting before MT 2016: Either] [For students starting from MT 2016: One of] (a) Translation from, and/or linguistic comment upon, texts in the language or languages selected,[For students starting before MT 2016: Or] (b) Any paper from B above except B (vi)[For students starting from MT 2016: , or (c) A project on an aspect of the structure or history of the language, or family of related languages, studied].

  • 4. Paper A must be taken at the end of the first year of study. In addition, a student may take one other module for assessment in the first year, where there are good reasons for doing so. Marks will be moderated by the board of examiners for the relevant year, and then be released as final. A candidate who fails paper A or another module taken in the first year will have the option of sitting the same module(s) again at the end of the second year; modules retaken in the second year shall be subject to the cap on marks for re-examined options (paragraph 11 below). The general paper A and the papers in C and D[For students starting from MT 2016: (i), D(ii) and D(iii) (a)] are each assessed by 3-hour written examination. [For students starting from MT 2016: The paper in D(iii) (c) is examined by method (b).] The papers in B are assessed by one of:

    • (a) 3-hour written examination.

    • (b) An essay of between 5,000 and 7,500 words (these limits to exclude symbols and diacritics, figures, the bibliography, appendices consisting of a catalogue of data, questionnaire, or other research instrument used to gather data, any extensive text which is specifically the object of a commentary or linguistic analysis, and any translation of that text, but include quotations and footnotes). For all B papers except for B(ix) and B(x), the essay (in two typewritten copies) must be sent in a parcel bearing the words ‘Essay for the M.St./M.Phil. in General Linguistics and Comparative Philology' to the Chair of Examiners for the Degree of M.St/M.Phil. in General Linguistics, c/o Examination Schools, High Street, Oxford. Work for paper B(ix) is submitted as specified in the regulations for the M.Sc. in Computer Science, and work for papers under B(x) is submitted as specified in the regulations for the M.St. in English Language.

    • (c) A written report of between 5,000 and 7,500 words on the design and execution of an original research project (these limits exclude symbols and diacritics, figures, the bibliography, appendices consisting of a catalogue of data, questionnaire, or other research instrument used to gather data, any extensive text which is specifically the object of a commentary or linguistic analysis, and any translation of that text, but include quotations and footnotes). The research report (in two typewritten copies) must be sent in a parcel bearing the words ‘Written work for the M.St./M.Phil. in General Linguistics and Comparative Philology' to the Chair of Examiners for the Degree of M.St./M.Phil. in General Linguistics, c/o Examination Schools, High Street, Oxford.

  • In addition, the lecturer on the course of instruction may require:

    • (a) one or more practical problem set(s), to be completed and submitted at a time specified by the lecturer; and

    • (b) one or more oral presentation(s) in a public forum.

  • For each paper in B, the lecturer on the course of instruction shall prescribe a suitable combination of these options, and shall make available to the Chair of Examiners evidence showing the extent to which each candidate has pursued an adequate course of work.

  • 5. Of the two languages or language groups selected by the candidates who wish to offer the papers mentioned in C above, one must be studied in greater depth than the other.

    Combinations previously offered under the auspices of the Faculty of Linguistics, Philology and Phonetics are:

    • (a) Greek with the elements of Sanskrit Philology.

    • (b) Italic with the elements of Old Irish Philology.

    • (c) Germanic with the elements of Greek Philology.

    • (d) Greek with the elements of Anatolian Philology.

    • (e) Romance with the elements of Italic Philology.

    • (f) Italic with the elements of Greek Philology.

    • (g) Sanskrit with the elements of Greek Philology.

    • (h) Greek with the elements of Slavonic Philology.

    • (i) Celtic with the elements of Italic Philology.

      Other combinations will be allowed subject to the approval of the faculty and the availability of teaching.

  • 6. The language or languages selected by the candidates who wish to offer the papers mentioned in D above may be ancient (e.g. Ancient Greek, Latin, Sanskrit, Akkadian, etc.) or modern (e.g. French, Italian, German, English, Turkish, etc.). Only languages for which teaching is available at the time may be offered.

  • 7. The choice of the subjects for the thesis and examination will be subject to the approval of the candidate's supervisor and the faculty, having regard to the candidate's previous experience and to the availability of teaching. Not all options may be offered every year. The subjects which a candidate wishes to offer for examination must be submitted to the faculty for approval not later than Monday of the first week in Michaelmas Term in the academic year in which the candidate is to be examined.

    The subject of the thesis must be submitted for approval by the faculty not later than Monday of the first week in Michaelmas Term in the academic year in which the candidate is to be examined.

  • 8. The examiners may require a successful candidate to deposit one of the submitted copies of his thesis in the Bodleian Library. Such a candidate will be required to complete a form stating whether he gives permission for his thesis to be consulted.

    Candidates are reminded that work submitted for the degree of M.Phil. may subsequently be incorporated in a thesis submitted for the degree of D.Phil.

  • 9. The Examiners may award a distinction for excellence in the whole examination.

  • 10. If it is the opinion of the examiners that the work done by a candidate is not of sufficient merit to qualify him for the degree of M.Phil. but is nevertheless of sufficient merit to qualify him for the Degree of Master of Studies in General Linguistics and Comparative Philology, the candidate shall be given the option of resitting the M.Phil. examination under the appropriate regulation or of being granted permission to supplicate for the Degree of Master of Studies.

  • 11. Candidates requesting re-examination should be required to resit or resubmit any paper in which they have failed to achieve a pass mark. The highest mark awarded for a re-examined paper should be the pass mark.