Accessibility statement

The Structure of a Language: Modern Hebrew - LAN00042H

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  • Department: Language and Linguistic Science
  • Module co-ordinator: Dr. Tamar Keren-Portnoy
  • Credit value: 20 credits
  • Credit level: H
  • Academic year of delivery: 2020-21

Module summary

The module is a course in descriptive linguistics. It will develop understanding of grammatical properties of a language unfamiliar to the students, and develop techniques for inquiring into its structure. It provides an opportunity to apply principles of phonological, morphological, syntactic and sociolinguistic analysis to a particular language, and opportunity for systematic, detailed comparison of the grammar of English with that of another language.

The choice of language will vary from year to year. In this case, Modern Hebrew.

Related modules

Co-requisite modules

  • None

Prohibited combinations

  • None

Module will run

Occurrence Teaching cycle
A Spring Term 2020-21 to Summer Term 2020-21

Module aims

The module is a course in descriptive linguistics. It will develop understanding of grammatical properties of a language unfamiliar to the students, and develop techniques for inquiring into its structure. It provides an opportunity to apply principles of phonological, morphological, syntactic, psycholinguistic and sociolinguistic analysis to Modern Hebrew, and opportunity for systematic, detailed comparison of the grammar of English with that of Modern Hebrew.

The aims of this module are:

  • To familiarise students with some linguistic properties of a language other than English

  • To develop skills in comparative linguistics

  • To allow students to apply principles of linguistic analysis to a language unfamiliar to them

Module learning outcomes

At the end of this module, students will typically:

  • Have an understanding of a small number of linguistic-theoretical problems discussed in current literature on a language other than English
  • Have an experience of working in small groups of mixed background, offering one another mutual support
  • Have experience of applying some aspect or aspects of linguistic theory to the analysis of data from a language other than English, and as a result, gain a better understanding of the relationship between data and analysis

Assessment

Task Length % of module mark
Essay/coursework
Essay 1,500 words
N/A 30
Essay/coursework
Essay 1,500 words
N/A 30
Open Examination (4 day)
Open Exam
N/A 40

Special assessment rules

None

Additional assessment information

There will be a formative assingment (essay) for submission in week 3 of Spring Term and other periodic formative assignments, either as preparation for classroom activities or as outline plans for summative assignments.

Reassessment

Task Length % of module mark
Open Examination (4 day)
Reassessment: Open Exam
N/A 100

Module feedback

Feedback will be given within 20 working days of submission.

Indicative reading

Chomsky, W. (1957). Hebrew: the eternal language. Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society of America.  Chapter 12: The struggle for revival (Chapter 11 Did Hebrew ever die? is recommended).

Mufwene, S. S. (2006). Creoles and Pidgins. In C. Llamas, P. Stockwell & L. Mullany (Eds.), The Routledge companion to sociolinguistics (pp. 175-184). Abingdon: Routledge

Izre'el, S. (2003). The Emergence of Spoken Israeli Hebrew. In B. H. Hary (Ed.). Corpus Linguistics and Modern Hebrew: Towards the Compilation of The Corpus of Spoken Israeli Hebrew (CoSIH) (pp. 85-104). Tel Aviv: Tel Aviv University.

Kuzar, R. (2001). Hebrew and Zionism: a discourse analytic cultural study. Berlin: Mouton de Gruyter. Chapter 1: Background and theory (p. 1-14 only)

Coffin, E. A. & Bolozky, S.  (2005). A reference grammar of Modern Hebrew. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press. Chapter 2: Writing and pronunciation

Haspelmath, M. & Sims, A. D. (2010). Understanding morphology (2ndd ed.). London: Routledge. Chapter 2: Basic concepts; Chapter 10: Morphophonology; 

Chapter 3: Rules; Chapter 5: Inflection and derivation.

Deutscher, G. (2006). The unfolding of language: the evolution of mankind's greatest invention. London: Arrow . Excerpt from Chapter 1: A castle in the air: pp. 36-39 only; Except from Chapter 6: Craving for order: pp183-197 only.

Glinert, Lewis. (1989). The grammar of Modern Hebrew. New York : Cambridge University Press. Ch. 40 p. 458-470; Ch. 12 p. 117-120; Ch. 39 p. 443-447 (up to and not including 39.5).

Ziv, Y. (1982). On So-Called 'Existentials. Lingua, 56, 261-281.

Berman, R. (1980). The case of an (S)VO language: Subjectless constructions in Modern Hebrew. Language, 56, 759-776.

Hacohen, G. & Schegloff, E. A. (2006). On the Preference for Minimization in Referring to Persons: Evidence from Hebrew Conversation. Journal of Pragmatics, 38, 1305-1312.

Izre'el, S. (2012). Basic Sentence Structures: A View from Spoken Israeli Hebrew. In C. Sandrine, M-N. Roubaud, M. Rouquier & S. Frédéric (Eds.) Penser les langues avec Claire Blanche-Benveniste (pp. 215-227). Aix-en-Provence: Presses Universitaires de Provence.

Feldman, L. B., Frost, R. & Pnini, T. (1995) Decomposing words into their constituent morphemes: Evidence from English and Hebrew. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 21(4), 947-860.

Berent, I., Vaknin, V. & Marcus, G. F. (2007). Roots, stems, and the universality of lexical representations: Evidence from Hebrew. Cognition, 104(2), 254–286. 

Berman, R. A. (2003). Children’s lexical innovations. In J. Shimron (Ed.). Language processing and acquisition in languages of Semitic, root-based morphology (pp. 243-292). Amsterdam: John Benjamins Publishing

Amara, M., Azaiza, F., Hertz-Lazarowitz, R. & Mor-Sommerfeld, A. (2009). A new bilingual education in the conflict-ridden Israeli reality: language practices. Language and Education, 23(1), 15-35.



The information on this page is indicative of the module that is currently on offer. The University is constantly exploring ways to enhance and improve its degree programmes and therefore reserves the right to make variations to the content and method of delivery of modules, and to discontinue modules, if such action is reasonably considered to be necessary by the University. Where appropriate, the University will notify and consult with affected students in advance about any changes that are required in line with the University's policy on the Approval of Modifications to Existing Taught Programmes of Study.

Coronavirus (COVID-19): changes to courses

The 2020/21 academic year will start in September. We aim to deliver as much face-to-face teaching as we can, supported by high quality online alternatives where we must.

Find details of the measures we're planning to protect our community.

Course changes for new students