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HSE University Master in Linguistic Theory and Language Description
HSE University

Master in Linguistic Theory and Language Description

Moscow, Russia

2 Years


Full time

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RUB 390,000 / per year *


* 195 000 – 390 000 RUB/year


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The Master’s program in Linguistic Theory and Language Description trains students in methods of linguistic analysis and the interdisciplinary study of language and language documentation. With a focus on sociolinguistics and typologically informed language description, students gain hands-on linguistic research experience.

The program is taught by members of HSE’s School of Linguistics in Moscow, which conducts a wide range of research activities, including fieldwork with minority languages, field anthropology, typology, sociolinguistics, psycholinguistics, and Russian sign language. Some of these activities are pursued in cooperation with the Laboratory of Language Convergence and the Center for Language and Brain. It is one of the few master’s programs in theoretical linguistics that includes a strong interdisciplinary perspective, including acoustic phonetics and variationist sociolinguistics.

BiljaST / pixabay

Program Overview

The program is hosted by the School of Linguistics, Faculty of Humanities. Our program is one of the few MA programs in theoretical linguistics that includes a strong interdisciplinary component and explains its relation to linguistics and language description: such as acoustic phonetics, sociolinguistics, and linguistic anthropology.

Our academic and research activities include:

  • Introduction of our students to language diversity and to field studies of minority languages and dialects;
  • Studies of language variation and change;
  • Studies of Russian grammar and lexicon, as well as Russian Sign Language, in a typological perspective;
  • Introduction to the basics of the formal language modeling;
  • Discussions about language, field research, and linguistic experiment from the interdisciplinary point of view – teaching psycholinguistics and linguistic anthropology;
  • Work with electronic corpora of different languages, as well as building them;
  • Teaching methods of linguistic data processing, statistic analysis, and visualization, in R and Python;
  • Basics of instrumental phonetic analysis;
  • Help with conceiving and carrying out one’s own linguistic project.

The program has research partnerships with the University of Tromsø, University of Helsinki, University of Stockholm, Hebrew University of Jerusalem, University of Pavia. Every year we organize guest lectures by linguistics from Europe and the US (see here and here). Or see a less formal advertisement of the program.

Several reasons why you will enjoy staying with us:

  • We tell you about what we do ourselves...
  • And if we tell you about anything else, it is interesting to ourselves.
  • You will carry out your own research projects – becoming part of modern linguistics yourselves.
  • We go on linguistic field trips, and the best of you may join us.
  • We are joyful and relatively young (as of 2017).
  • Also, the School of Linguistics celebrates, goes to the open air, etc.



Career Opportunities

About the School


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